Altshuler Shaham Tops 2006 Bond List

Brokerage company Altshuler Shaham Mutual Funds Management is the outstanding bond fund manager, in a list of rankings compiled by TheMarker on provident funds specializing in bonds. According to the rankings, Altshuler Shaham succeeded in beating market indexes with all the funds it managed, both over the past five years as well as over the last year. Altshuler Shaham's bond fund also generated the sweetest returns - 48 percent - the highest cumulative yield over the last five years for a bond fund.

This is the first year TheMarker is publishing a ranking of bond funds to see whether bond fund managers are delivering the goods.

The survey also reveals that among 309 funds specializing in bonds, 193 generated higher returns than the relevant index by a rate of 62 percent. This figure has no rival in the world, and Israeli bond fund managers can take pride in succeeding where bond managers around the world fail year after year.

Still, the impressive return achieved by the bond funds in 2006 is not expressed in the long term. A look at the funds' performances over the past five years, between 2002 and 2006, reveals that among 91 funds, only 23 achieved yields higher than the bond indexes, just 25 percent. That is to say that over the long term, Israeli bond fund managers struggle like their compatriots abroad, with most failing to beat the indexes.

Other bond managers scoring perfect records, in terms of beating the market indexes, were Millenium, Ramco, Africa Israel, Kivun and Simodan.