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Mutual fund AUM crosses the Rs 60 lakh crore mark, SIP nos. and AUM touch all-time highs

Mutual fund AUM crosses the Rs 60 lakh crore mark, SIP nos. and AUM touch all-time highs
June turned out to be a blockbuster month for thematic/sectoral mutual funds, which managed to amass Rs 22,351.69 crore during the month, the highest amongst all equity mutual funds. Overall, equity mutual funds saw inflows worth Rs 40,537 crore, whereas debt mutual funds saw significant outflows of about Rs 1.07 lakh crore. Within this category, liquid and overnight funds saw maximum outflows.

As Himanshu Srivastava, Associate Director – Manager Research, Morningstar Investment Research India noted,
since June is a quarter end month, debt-oriented schemes, as expected, witnessed a net outflow. Only funds with a duration profile of less than 1 year, like low duration and money market funds, saw inflows.

"The net outflow across the board could also be on the back of investors shifting towards equity markets in expectation of better returns, as the equity markets continue to touch all time high levels after the election results were announced. Between May and June, the number of folios in the debt segment fell from 7,091,977 to 7,013,214, which is a drop by 78,763 folios. In May, the number of folios fell by 26,088 folios".

"Moreover, uncertainty over the interest rate cut cycle has also been keeping investors in tenterhooks. With no clarity on the probable timing for the beginning of interest rate cut cycle, investors, for a time being, would have decided to adopt a wait and watch approach and stay away from categories which are exposed to interest rate risks such as Dynamic and Gilt", he continued.

SIP figures touch all-time highs

As AMFI data further revealed, the number of new SIPs registered in June 2024 stood at a staggering 55,12,962. With this, the total number of SIP accounts in the country reached 8,98,66,962, inching up marginally from 8,75,89,485 in May 2024. SIP contributions also stood at an all-time high of ₹ 21,262.22 crores in June 2024 as against ₹ 20,904.37 crores in May 2024.

The AUM of retail folios, which comprise of equity, hybrid and solution oriented was Rs 36,32,226 crores for June 2024. In hybrid schemes, multi-asset allocation funds garnered Rs 3,453.12 crore in June, and Arbitrage funds saw inflows worth Rs 3,836.58 crore. The only hybrid scheme to see net outflows were conservative hybrid funds, which shed Rs 130.57 crore.

June marked the 40th consecutive month of positive inflows for equity funds since March 2021. As Feroze Azeez, Deputy CEO, Anand Rathi Wealth Limited highlights, "SIP numbers are hitting peaks every month, accumulating a stellar ₹21,260 crore. This strengthens the fact that Indian investors are resilient and are participating in the long-term growth of the market. The overall market behaviour supported by numbers suggests that investors are strategically positioning themselves with cautious yet optimistic approach for long-term growth".

Last month, the Indian MF industry hit the Rs 60 trillion mark for the first time. Exactly 10 years ago, in 2014, the industry's AUM stood at Rs 10 lakh crore. Just 6 months ago, its AUM was Rs 51 lakh crore. Anand Vardarajan, Chief Business Officer - Key Clients & Alternate Investments, Tata Asset Management underlines that is growth is a huge validation when it comes to expanding retail investor's base and investors themselves choosing mutual funds as a reliable investment vehicle for wealth creation. This is further underscored by the fact that the addition in six months is equal to what the industry has seen in ten years ago!

Large and Mid Cap funds find investors

After garnering consistently high inflows in the recent past, small cap funds amassed Rs 2,263.47 crore, a slightly sobering figure. Midcap funds saw inflows worth Rs 2,527.84 crore. On the other hand, inflows in large-cap funds dipped at significantly to stand at Rs 970.49 crore. Far more investments went towards the large and mid-cap funds, which saw inflows worth Rs 2,912.19 crore.

Melvyn Santarita, Analyst – Manager Research, Morningstar Investment Research India notes that these substantial net inflows can be attributed to the election results announced earlier in the month. Investors have remained optimistic and invested on policy continuity and anticipated reforms, expecting stability within the coalition government at the Centre. It was this optimism that propelled markets to new all-time highs.

The multi-cap category witnessed the second highest net inflows in June 2024 among the equity-oriented categories amounting to INR 4,708.5 crores which was its 3rd highest net inflows ever over a monthly period. Categories which are biased towards the large-caps segment like flexicap (Rs 3,058 crores) and Value (Rs 2,027 crores) saw robust inflows during the month.

"While markets have been in a prolonged bull run, there are concerns about overvaluations in certain areas, particularly in the mid and small-cap segments. Consequently, investors may be opting to invest in large-cap segments, where valuations are more favorable", Santarita highlighted.

"However, they also continued their investments in mid and small caps, since the returns generated by mid and small cap segment over the last few years haven’t got unnoticed. Hence, the categories having substantial exposure in these two segments have witnessed strong net inflows. It is important to note that mid and small cap segments are highly volatile. While they can give exceptionally high return in up markets, they can fall equally hard in down markets. It’s important for investors to take exposure in these funds in line with their risk appetite", he cautioned.

However, Hitesh Thakkar, Acting CEO, ITI Mutual Fund is confident of the immense wealth creation opportunities mutual funds will offer in the coming 5-7 years to retail investors.

"Mutual fund is one of the preferred, transparent & cost-effective investment products in India and is well accepted by retail investors. The trend is positive for Mutual fund industry future growth. There are chances that Industry will cross milestone of ₹100 lakh crores AUM by 2030”, he says.

Gold continues to glitter

Net flows in Gold ETFs continued to be robust in June 2024, standing at Rs 726 crores. However, this was slightly below the net flows witnessed in May (Rs 827 crores).

"Over the years, Gold has gained prominence as an effective diversifier, prompting many investors to include Gold ETFs in their portfolios. Gold prices also saw some slight correction in June which spurred buying from investors", underlines Santarita.

However, the reason why inflows in gold ETFs have remained patchy as compared to equity is due to the significant gap in the returns offered. "Gold has done fairly well over the last year but dwarfs in comparison to how equities. Also, some investors could be choosing to opt for a risk-on approach to investing with the anticipation of a reversal in rate cycle going ahead", he continues.