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Playing safe: Equity investments by mutual funds slow in November

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Mumbai | Updated: November 30, 2018 7:21:25 AM

Equity funds bought shares worth around Rs 2,500 crore up to November 28, their lowest since February 2017.

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Mutual funds (MFs) have slowed their investments in equities in November even as benchmark indices have bounced back. Equity funds bought shares worth around Rs 2,500 crore up to November 28, their lowest since February 2017. MFs had invested Rs 2,039.55 crore in the equity market in February 2017, data from the Sebi showed.

Market participants indicate that the fall in equity investments might be due to the slower inflows into equity funds in November. “Investments are the function of net flows received by the MFs. Though we don’t have the exact number, I think November might be slightly slower in terms of flows in equity MFs,” says Radhika Gupta, CEO at Edelweiss Asset Management.

The Sebi data also showed that investments by MFs had slowed to Rs 3,919.15 crore and Rs 4,094.53 crore, respectively, in July and August too. However, in September and October, these stood at Rs 11,638.18 crore and Rs 24,047.32 crore, respectively. Even as data for two more trading days is yet to be out, industry experts believe that total might not cross Rs 3,500-4,000 crore.

In the past, we have seen investments through lump-sums slowing down in the last few months. In October, equity MF saw inflows of Rs 14,783 crore, highest since February. But the average monthly inflows into equity schemes in first seven months fell to Rs 10,751 crore from Rs 14,200 crore in 2017-18. Overall, the MF industry saw inflows of Rs 35,529 crore in October, the data from Association of Mutual Funds in India showed.

Even as the contribution through systematic investment plans (SIPs) continues to increase every month and total SIP contribution between April and October at Rs 52,472 crore, the number of new SIPs registered in October stood at 9.35 lakh, the slowest addition in six months. Between May and September,10 lakh new SIPs were added every month.

Fund managers are somewhat anxious about a slowdown in SIPs if equity markets continue to remain volatile or go down further from current levels. Although the number is very small, some investors have discontinued their SIPs; in the current fiscal around 32.87 lakh SIPs have been stopped. The total assets under management of SIPs in October stood at Rs 2.17 lakh crore.

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