Street signs: August equity flows surprise fund executives

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Equity mutual funds got inflows of Rs 20,000 crore in August, 2.4 times the average monthly inflows seen during the previous seven months of 2017. The unusually high inflow tally raised many eyebrows, with some market players requesting industry body, the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi), to reconfirm the data. Sources in the Amfi said the data were accurate. Also, the high tally was not on account of huge one-off flows into arbitrage schemes, said industry players.

Fund house clashes with Sebi on scheme merger

A large fund house recently engaged in a verbal spat with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) over merger of its two balanced schemes. Despite Sebi’s insistence, the fund house argued merging the two schemes would balloon the size of the scheme to unwieldy proportions and be detrimental to the interests of investors. The markets regulator has been mounting pressure on fund houses to merge schemes that have similar themes or attributes. So far, fund houses have mostly focused on merging non-performing schemes or those that have meagre assets with bigger schemes.

Tepid grey market premium for insurance IPOs

Grey market operators are not enthused by the two mega insurance initial public offerings (IPOs). Market sources said shares of ICICI Lombard and SBI Life Insurance aren’t fetching premium of even five per cent. “Both the issues are richly priced. It is unlikely that they will see huge listing day gains,” said a broker. ICICI Prudential Life, which listed in September last year, had slipped below IPO price after listing. However, it is currently up nearly 80 per cent over its issue price. The Rs 5,700-crore IPO of ICICI Lombard closes on Tuesday, while SBI Life’s Rs 8,400-crore offering opens on Wednesday.

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