In the last financial year, the number of new systematic investment plans (SIPs) registered stood at 1.09 crore, down by around seven lakh against 1.16 crore seen in 2017-18.
Not only new SIPs declined, even number of SIPs discontinued increased to 58.75 lakh in 2018-19 compared to 34.83 lakh in the previous financial year. One of the reasons for fall in SIPs could be the weak performance of equity funds in the last one year, say market participants. According to data from Value Research, of a total 365 open-ended equity schemes, around 39% of the schemes has given negative returns in the last one year.
The worst performance of the schemes came from infrastructure sector, small-cap funds and mid-cap schemes. Out of 22 mid-cap schemes, 19 schemes have given negative returns in the last one year.
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In the small-cap segment, out of 14 schemes, only one scheme Quant Small Cap Fund has positive returns in the last one year. In the mid-cap segment, schemes such as Baroda Mid Cap fund and UTI Mid cap have dipped by 12.29% and 11.64%, respectively, in the last one year. The S&P BSE Midcap TRI index has given returns of -6.14% in the last one year, showed data from Value Research.
Even the inflows into equity funds for FY19 had also slowed down by around 40% at `1.07 lakh crore compared to `1.71 lakh crore in 2017-18, show data from the Association of Mutual Fund in India (Amfi). Swarup Mohanty, CEO, Mirae Asset Global Investments (India), said: “If we look at the changes in the regulations than everything has moved to trail brokerage, there was one big faction of SIP sellers, which used to sell on upfront brokerage. So, that part is in the process of realigning their own business model to the new remuneration and I think in last one year that part has gone through a slowdown from fresh registration perspective.”
He also added that one of the reasons for discontinuation of SIPs can be attributed to overbuying of mid-cap funds which has gone through lean period.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India in October last year had asked fund houses to adopt full trail model of commission in all schemes, without payment of any upfront commission or upfronting of any trail commission. Market participants also say that SIP flows have also become stagnant in the last few months due to the volatility in equity markets.