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Challenger tops managers

CHALLENGER International was the star performer among professional managers of Australian shares in the year to June 2001.

Its Australian shares fund produced a return of 23.2 per cent, well above the Index return of 9.1 per cent as measured by the S&P/ASX200 Index.

Consulting group InTech found that the median Australian shares manager returned 13.1 per cent.

At the other end of the scale from Challenger was BT, which returned just 0.3 per cent for the year.

InTech found that investment “style” had a big impact on the performance of fund managers. It said this year’s top managers could be characterised as “value” managers, in contrast to the previous financial year when “growth” managers were the top performers.

A notable exception was Challenger, which InTech classified as style neutral. It attributed Challenger’s strong performance to superior sector and stock selection. It invested in the diversified industrials, health and biotech sectors which performed well during the year, and largely avoided the poorly performing telecommunications sector.

Two of its best stocks were Howard Smith, recently taken over by Wesfarmers, and Fauldings.

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