Mutual fund houses approach Sebi with 125 new schemes in 2019 so far

With just two months to go for the year-end, draft papers for nearly 125 mutual fund schemes have been filed by asset management companies with Sebi so far in 2019, much lower than 211 such documents submitted in entire 2018.

Fund houses attributed the fewer NFOs (new fund offers) in 2019 to tepid investors' sentiment and liquidity crisis in debt funds.

Fixed maturity plan, exchange traded fund (ETF), retirement, sustainable equity fund and business cycle fund are some of the themes for which the mutual fund houses have filed the applications.

Interestingly, many mutual fund companies are also looking at index funds and global funds.

The draft documents for 125 NFOs have been submitted with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) so far in 2019 (till October 31), according to the markets regulator.

Of these, some of the schemes have already been launched after getting regulatory clearances.

"We have seen the trends from past as well as that the number of NFOs are higher when the markets are good and lower when sentiments are bad," said Omkeshwar Singh, head of mutual fund distribution business at Samco.

"During last year-and-half, except for the past few funds, most of the equity funds have under-performed, especially in the mid and small caps and also there has been lots of bad news in debt funds. Therefore the NFOs have been lower," he added.

In recent months, the mutual fund industry has been grappling with redemption pressures in the wake of debt crises at various groups, including IL&FS, Essel and DHFL.

Axis Mutual MF, ICICI Prudential MF, UTI MF, SBI MF, Aditya Birla Sun Life MF, Edelweiss MF and Reliance MF are among the fund houses that have approached Sebi with the offer documents for NFOs.

Axis Mutual Fund has sought the regulator's go ahead to introduce Axis Greater China Equity Fund that aims to provide capital growth by investing in equity and equity related securities of companies in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

BNP Paribas MF filed information document for BNP Paribas Global Disruptive Technology Fund that seeks to invest in shares of global companies which profit from innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and cloud computing.

Mahindra MF approached Sebi for launching Mahindra Top 250 NiveshYojana -- which has been named in Hindi so that investors in rural areas can understand the objectives of the schemes in a better manner.

The 44 player mutual fund industry manages assets to the tune of more than Rs 25 lakh crore.

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