Budget 2020 on non-working day, no prospect of fresh exits for MF investors

Mutual funds (MF) investors will not be able to make fresh investments or redeem their investments on the Budget day this Saturday, when equity markets are expected to see sharp swings with Finance Minister presenting the highly-expected 2020-2021 Union Budget. 

According to market participants, this could put MF investors in a difficult spot if there is a sharp negative reaction from markets.

In a notification on Thursday, the BSE informed that as all MFs were observing non-transaction day on Saturday for all schemes, the exchange was also observing non-business day for its BSE Star MF platform. 

Industry sources suggest allowing MF transactions on Saturday could have led to operational difficulties as it would have required changes at the end of Registrar and Transfer Agents or RTAs.

"MF investors will not be able to redeem their investments or take fresh positions if they want to take an investment call on the Budget Day. They would be only able to do so on Monday," said senior executive of a fund house. 

However, with equity markets open for trading on Saturday, fund managers will be able to buy and sell stocks in their respective schemes. 

According to industry players, if MF investors fear negative impact on their corpus from Budget day volatility, they will have to act before the 3pm cut-off time on Friday. 

"This is not fair to the MF investor as he cannot take timely decisions on his investments on a day when equity prices tend to see sharp movements. However, such a move requires greater co-ordination between the regulator and industry," said a fund manager.

This is not the first time that MF investors are being kept away from participating on Budget day with equity markets being kept open.

Back in 2015, the Budget was presented on February 28, on Saturday. The markets were kept open, but MF transactions were not allowed. 

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