DPs surge in rural Mrashtra

Mumbai | Updated: Apr 10 2006, 05:30am hrs
The recent stock market boom has stirred up investor interest in cooperatives, small and medium industries, and the rapidly developing IT and BT industries in rural and semi urban Maharashtra. Funds worth Rs 45,000 crore have been pumped in by the cooperative sector so far, and a similar inflow is expected over the next decade. Maharashtras cooperative sector comprises sugar production, molasses, ethanol, dairy and poultry, spinning mills, horticulture and allied activities.

There are over 140 sugar factories and a large number of spinning mills. Shareholders of these units and the promoter farmers have been monitoring day to day market developments.

They have hired consultants to update them as well. Mumbai may be the commercial and financial capital, but the rural and semi segments are no longer willing to be left out, a Mumbai-based stock broker told the FE.

Pune is another upcoming hot spot, and here, big IT players and new companies in Pune are active in the market. It is tough to estimate the volume of investment in stocks but the volume of queries through phone or email clearly indicate they are very active, another stock broker noted.

With rural Maharashtra investing in stocks, the number of depository participant (DP) accounts from these areas is on the rise. A top official of one of the two leading depositories said that the cash-rich western Maharashtra has seen the number of DP accounts shoot up over the last two years.

Districts like Ahmednagar, Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Karad taluk have become DP growth centres and asset management companies (AMCs) are enhancing their distribution networks here to market mutual fund and allied products, he says. Union Bank of Indias recent public issue was a big hit in these pockets.

According to the official, a cooperative Bank from Ahmednagar has added 9,000 DP accounts in less than one year, while new DP accounts are on a continuously being opened in a Kolhapur-based Bank. The scene is equally good in two-tier cities like Pune, Nashik, Jalgaon and others.