At a time when markets are getting increasingly polarised, fund managers are betting on ‘value investing’ as a way forward. In an interview with Mithun Dasgupta, ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company fund manager Mrinal Singh explains the concept and benefits in the current environment. Excerpts:
According to Amfi data, assets under management of the mutual fund industry fell 4.5% in July-September quarter. How would you react to that?
In July, August and September, our firm’s AUM grew 11% year-on-year. The AUM stood at over R80,000 crore at the end of September. Our market share has improved 30-40 bps across the country. So we are doing better than the industry.
What is the company’s current product portfolio?
Currently, we have 57 products, mostly debt. On equity side, we have some 12 products. And we have three hybrids funds. We are also planning to launch more hybrid products in the current fiscal.
The company is coming up with a new ‘value’ fund product. Can you explain the concept?
Globally, value-based investment is a trend which is successful and likely to last long. But for some reasons, India has been associated with the growth style of investment and that is the way money is getting managed here.
Value style of investments demand a bit of patience and is under-represented in minds of investors. We have actually taken the lead to bring value to the table for our investors. The way it goes about investing is it tries to pre-empt the market and make the right investment at the right time and wait for the market to appreciate.
How many of these products do you have and how are they different?
Based on pure value, I think, one we already have is the ‘Discovery’. We have proposed a second one. Discovery is an open-ended product and has been in the market for nine years. Asset under this are over R2,500 crore and we have some 55 stocks under it. The new fund which we are launching will be more focused as not more than 25 stocks will be under it.
Why do you feel value investing is the right