Sunday, February 07, 2016
The latest plunge in equities, which began as the world ushered in 2016 and China tripped the global markets, shaved assets under management (AUM) of mutual funds by Rs 11.21 billion, or 10 basis points, to Rs 12.74 trillion in January, according to data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India.
What saved the blushes were income, liquid funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), including gold-related ones.
Not surprisingly, equity funds were battered, and their AUM fell 5.25% to Rs 3.84 trillion, marking the biggest percentage decline in the last 35 months. In absolute terms, AUM shrank Rs 213.12 billion, or the most in 7 years, as mark-to-market losses surged. The Nifty 50, the market bellwether, declined nearly 5% in January.
Yet investors seem to keep the faith, as shown in a net inflow of Rs 29.14 billion. This, however, is the lowest absolute growth in 20 months. Since May 2014, equity funds have been seeing net inflows as investors bet on a rebound in the India economy.
Balanced funds remain attractive
AUM of balanced funds fell 2.5%, or Rs 10.72 billion, to Rs 411.21 billion primarily led by losses in equity assets. However, investors don’t seem perturbed as the category still managed to attract Rs 8.80 billion, marking the 20th consecutive month of net inflows. Represented by the CRISIL Balanced Fund Index, the category lost nearly 3% in value in January.
Global funds see 20th month of outflows
Redemption pressures persisted for global funds -- or fund of funds that invest abroad – as concerns over global recovery continued to spook investors. The category saw its 20th straight month of outflows in January. Its AUM, which had touched an all-time high of Rs 32.26 billion in June 2014, has shrunk 42% since to Rs 18.77 billion.
Income and liquid funds rebound after December decline
For income funds, AUM climbed 3%, or Rs 166 billion, to Rs 5.72 trillion, driven by inflows and mark-to-market gains. January saw an inflow of Rs 150 billion, which is a rebound considering that in December 2015, there was an outflow of Rs 258.75 billion. AUM of liquid funds edged up 1.6%, or Rs 37.32 billion, to Rs 2.37 trillion, aided by net inflows of Rs 24.55 billion.
Pricier gold lends shimmer
Gold ETFs surged almost 6%, or Rs 3.23 billion, to Rs 60.96 billion, led by gain in underlying asset prices. Gold prices, represented by the CRISIL Gold Index, rose 6.9% in January. The category, however, continues to haemorrhage, clocking an outflow for the 32nd straight month at Rs 0.81 billion.
ETFs continue to get a provident fund lift
AUM of ETFs swelled to a new high at Rs 126.45 billion, primarily gaining from the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s decision to invest in the equity market through them. AUM rose 6.4%, or Rs 7.58 billion, led by an inflow of Rs 13.85 billion. Gains, however, were capped by mark-to-market losses.