Ranking of Japanese Mutual Funds in the U.S.

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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Japanese mutual funds listed in the U.S. are struggling, given the mostly weak performance of Japanese equities year-to-date and a weak yen. There are 44 Japanese mutual funds according to Yahoo! Finance. Among them, only a few are trading positive for the year and by a very little amount at that. Below is a list of the funds, ranked by net assets, as of Aug. 31, 2007. Two Fidelity funds have the most net assets ($1.72B and $807M), which has been the case for a while. The Fidelity Japan Smaller Companies (FJSCX) fund had been closed, but is apparently open again to new investors. Click to continue reading and view the ranking table.

[Ticker] [Fund Name] [Net Assets ($m)]
FJPNX — Fidelity Japan — 1,720.000
FJSCX — Fidelity Japan Smaller Companies — 807.070
PRJPX — T. Rowe Price Japan — 446.090
SJPNX — Japan S — 364.060
MJFOX — Matthews Japan — 235.080
SPARX — SPARX Japan Institutional — 85.470
FJESX — DWS Japan Equity S — 85.360
HFJAX — Henderson Japan-Asia Focus A — 57.450
FJEAX — DWS Japan Equity A — 56.710
FJECX — DWS Japan Equity C — 49.100
CVJAX — JPMorgan Japan A — 40.640
WPJGX — Credit Suisse Japan Equity Comm — 36.600
FAJCX — Fidelity Advisor Japan C — 36.490
HFJCX — Henderson Japan-Asia Focus C — 34.360
FJPAX — Fidelity Advisor Japan A — 33.980
JPNAX — Morgan Stanley Japan A — 30.070
JSCFX — Japan Smaller Companies — 29.400
SPXJX — SPARX Japan Investor — 15.610
RYJPX — Rydex Japan 1.25x Strategy H — 15.000
FAJTX — Fidelity Advisor Japan T — 14.850
JPNDX — Morgan Stanley Japan D — 13.230
JPNCX — Morgan Stanley Japan C — 12.500
RYAJX — Rydex Japan 1.25x Strategy A — 12.410
FJEBX — DWS Japan Equity B — 11.700
JPNBX — Morgan Stanley Japan B — 11.290
OBJAX — Oppenheimer Baring Japan A — 10.550
UKPIX — ProFunds UltraShort Japan Inv — 9.250
FAJBX — Fidelity Advisor Japan B — 8.270
CNJFX — Commonwealth Japan — 7.800
RYCJX — Rydex Japan 1.25x Strategy C — 7.330
AJFAX — AIM Japan A — 5.660
CVJBX — JPMorgan Japan B — 5.390
DXJLX — Direxion Japan Bull 2X Inv — 5.260
AJFCX — AIM Japan C — 1.870
AJFBX — AIM Japan B — 1.250
AJFIX — AIM Japan I — 0.690
CUJAX — Credit Suisse Japan Equity A — 0.280
OBJCX — Oppenheimer Baring Japan C — 0.240
OBJNX — Oppenheimer Baring Japan N — 0.200
UKPSX — ProFunds UltraShort Japan Svc — 0.150
OBJBX — Oppenheimer Baring Japan B — 0.140
WPJAX — Credit Suisse Japan Equity Adv — 0.120
OBJYX — Oppenheimer Baring Japan Y — –
SPJSX — SPARX JAPAN SMALLER COMPANIES F — n/a

Mutual fund managers have a tough job since they have their quarterly and annual results published and compared in the fund’s prospectus and in financial magazines and websites. Poor performance can result in fund withdrawals and/or force managers to unwillingly exit positions. Managers may also chase performance in what is known as “window dressing” at quarters’ end and a number of funds may be investing in similar equities among their biggest holdings, which can be an attempt to capture some of the market’s bigger movers by market capitalization.

By comparison, iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ) had $11.97B in assets as of the end of September. iShares S&P/TOPIX 150 (ITF) had $303M and the closed-end funds Japan Smaller Cap Fund (JOF) had $240M and the Japan Equity Fund (JEQ) had $118M.