Equity funds attract Rs 8,200-crore inflows

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Strong inflows into equity mutual funds (MFs) continued in June, despite worry that stock prices might fall due to difficulties in implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).

Equity-oriented schemes attracted investment worth Rs 8,200 crore last month, showed data issued on Friday by the Association of MFs in India (Amfi). Strong inflow through the systematic investment plan (SIP) route appears to have contributed.

“Investments through SIP are helping add sticky money. Investors are a lot more aware and informed about MFs and understand that corrections (in prices) should be used for long-term investments,” says A Balasubramanian, chief executive officer (CEO) of Birla Sun Life MF.

Thus far this calendar year, average monthly inflow via SIP has been around Rs 4,000 crore.

Balanced funds — which invest up in a mix of debt and equity— saw inflow of Rs 7,458 crore in June. This was more than what diversified equity funds received, indicating a large section of investors are taking a balanced investment call and not putting all their money in pure equity schemes.

The total of equity assets under management (AUM) stands at about Rs 5.92 lakh crore. If the equity proportion of balanced funds is considered, the total equity AUM increases to about Rs 6.5 lakh crore.

ICICI Prudential Balanced Advantage Fund, biggest scheme in the category, alone has asset size of a little over Rs 19,000 crore.

Nimesh Shah, the CEO at ICICI Prudential MF, says: “Dynamic asset allocation funds have been created to address the fact that investors shy away from investing when markets are cheap and rush to buy when valuations are high. So, these products tend to do the opposite – buy more equity when risk is low and vice versa.”

The total AUM of balanced funds have reached nearly Rs 1.1 lakh crore, from Rs 20,000 crore a few years earlier. Though equity and balanced funds saw positive net inflow, major categories from the debt segment witnessed withdrawal.

Income funds saw a net outflow of Rs 20,685 crore; liquid and money market schemes saw outflow of Rs 12,739 crore. Heavy outflow from debt categories saw the MF sector clock overall net outflow of Rs 16,592 crore in June. The AUM of the sector also fell slightly, to Rs 18.96 lakh crore, from Rs 19.03 lakh crore in May.

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