Contribution of the country’s small towns to mutual funds asset base surged 46 per cent to Rs 3.5 lakh crore by June-end due to initiatives were taken by markets watchdog Sebi and the sectoral regulator Amfi. Mutual funds’ assets under management (AUM) from B15 locations – small towns beyond top 15 (T15) cities – grew from Rs 2.42 lakh crore in June-end 2016 to Rs 3.54 lakh crore at the end of June 2017, according to latest data available with Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi). “Indian mutual fund industry is going through a very exciting growth phase and advertising campaigns started by Sebi and Amfi have helped in increasing penetration of mutual funds in smaller cities,” Vidya Bala, Head of MF Research at Fundsindia.com said.
“The increase in investor education programmes has resulted in increasing investor awareness and many first time investors from such towns are investing into mutual funds,” Fundsindia.com founder and COO Srikanth Meenakshi said. He further said Systematic investment plans (SIPs) have been the preferred route for many investors to invest in mutual funds. To make the move attractive, Sebi allowed more incentives for distribution of funds in B15 (beyond top 15 cities).
Currently, B15 accounts for 18 per cent of the total assets of the industry. Besides, these locations have a better balance of equity and non-equity assets. Moreover, a large proportion of direct investments were in non-equity oriented schemes where institutional investors dominate. B15 are the locations beyond top 15 (T15) cities namely – New Delhi (including NCR), Mumbai (including Thane and Navi Mumbai), Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Panjim, Pune and Surat.
About 54 per cent of the assets from B15 locations is in equity schemes, while the same is 31 per cent for T15 assets. About 26 per cent of assets held by individual investors is from B15 cities and 10 per cent of institutional assets come from such places. On the other hand, institutional assets are concentrated in T15 locations, accounting for a little over 90 per cent of the total. Further, about 9 per cent of the retail investors chose to invest directly, while over 17 per cent of HNI assets were invested directly.
“About 41.1 per cent of the assets of the mutual fund industry came directly. A large proportion of direct investments were in non-equity oriented schemes where institutional investors dominate,” Amfi noted. Together, all 42 mutual fund houses managed assets worth Rs 19.52 lakh crore at the end of June 30, 2017, a growth of 36 per cent from Rs 14.41 lakh crore managed by the industry by June-end last year.