UTI Boosts Equity Buying In October

Mumbai, October 17: | Updated: Oct 18 2002, 05:30am hrs
It looks like the Unit Trust of India (UTI) is back to its original avtaar supporting the equity markets at lower levels. At least, positive numbers for the first 16 days of October seems to say so.

During the period, UTI was net buyer in the equity markets to the tune of Rs 50 crore with gross purchases worth Rs 152 crore and gross sales amounting to Rs 102 crore across all its equity-linked schemes.

The benchmark BSE-30 Sensex, which hit a 52-week low during the first week of October, looks like the key reason for the Trust to go for bottom-fishing. On October 4, the Sensex had hit a 52-week low of 2,916.38 points.

The net-buy position of UTI in the first two weeks of October will also put a lid on the markets surmise that the Trust is one of the key culprits for the plunge in the Sensex. It looks like the net equity purchases made by UTI in the first half of October might be the first positive buying in more than a year or so.

Said a senior UTI official: Investments are basically scheme-specific decisions depending on the funds requirement and money inflows in these equity schemes. Every funds view about the market might be different. One of the reasons for UTI being a net buyer in the first 16 days of October might be that the markets have been low during the period.

One of the reasons which coincides with the net positive purchases during the period is that for the first time in the last 15 months, UTI has witnessed net money inflows. The public sector mutual fund giant had witnessed net ouflows for the last 15 months since July 2001.

After the US-64 fiasco in June 2001, a big chunk of investors had withdrawn their investments from a whole lot of UTI schemes which in turn had badly impacted net inflows and led to unwinding in equities. In September 2002, UTI witnessed a net inflow of Rs 511 crore. In the whole of 2001-02 (July-June), UTI witnessed a net outflow of Rs 10,300 crore as against a gross inflow of Rs 2,600 crore. Earlier, UTI had claimed that the positive inflows in September were due to the overall improvement in the performance of UTIs various equity-dedicated schemes in the last few months.