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Election fever? Equities and SIP inflows mark record highs in May, per AMFI data

Election fever? Equities and SIP inflows mark record highs in May, per AMFI data
The Indian mutual fund industry continued to register strong growth in fund inflows during May 2024, as monthly data released by the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) today showed. This was a record month for equity mutual funds, with the category’s inflows jumping up by a whopping 83% since April.

The mutual fund industry’s AUM (net assets under management) stood at Rs 58.91 lakh crore, rising marginally from Rs 57.25 lakh crore in April 2024.

With total inflows worth Rs 42,294.99 crore, debt mutual funds continued to receive more investor attention than their equity counterparts during the month, which saw inflows of around Rs 34,697 crore. Notably, this is the 39th consecutive month where equities have seen positive inflows. Hybrid funds also ended their month in green, garnering Rs 17,990 crore in May.
Expectations around election results behind the surge, say experts
Expectations around the continuation of a stable regime led by the ruling party BJP during the election month of May could have been the major driver behind the record inflows into the MFs.

Venkat Chalasani, Chief Executive, AMFI, said "Political stability creates an environment conducive to sustainable economic growth, attracting investments and fostering long-term investments. Global growth is sustaining its momentum in 2024 and is likely to remain resilient, supported by a rebound in global trade. The overall outlook for Indian capital markets remains positive, supported by strong fundamentals, and favourable demographics.

However, it remains to be seen how the lesser-than-expected seats for the Narendra Modi-led BJP have impacted the MF sector in the month of June. However, a continuation of the NDA regime is likely to have contributed to the improved market sentiments as evident with surging markets post the counting day, and could reflect into the MF activity as well.

"Although coalition governments face challenges in consensus-building and decision-making, infrastructure and nation-first initiatives introduced earlier are likely to receive support from allies across the political spectrum. The forthcoming 100-day action plan and a comprehensive Union Budget will provide a clearer picture of the government's priorities for the Indian economy," says Gopal Kavalireddi, Vice President of Research at FYERS.
Equity inflows mark a record high
Equity inflows remained positive for the 39th consecutive month, starting from March 2021. Growth Equity fund inflows for the month of May was ₹ 34,697, pushing the total inflows into mutual funds to Rs.1.1 lakh crore for the month. A total of 9 schemes were launched last month in the category of open-ended schemes, raising a total of ₹ 10,140 crores, said AMFI.

Kavalireddi says, “Despite potential high volatility from FII selling, general elections, GDP data, and other minor events in May, investors remained steadfast in their pursuit of returns on the back of the Indian growth narrative."

In a clear indication of investors looking to diversify their investments, multi-cap funds garnered Rs 2,644.88 crore. Large-cap funds amassed Rs 663 crore, while mid-cap funds made Rs 2,605.70 crore. On the other hand, small-cap funds have seemingly begun gaining their lost sheen, managing to take in Rs 2,724.67 crores during the month. Flexi-cap funds led the troupe, with inflows worth Rs 3,155 crore.

"Equity flows have been largely driven by expectations of the election outcome, coupled with some NFO (new fund offer) launches, which perhaps led to a much higher than expected quantum in the equity category. On the equity side, investors possibly wanted to position their portfolios in advance to avoid any kind of gap risk as election exit polls were coming out over the weekend, which could have led to a spike in equity allocations towards the end of the month," Anand Vardarajan, Head Business Head – Banking, Institutional Clients, Alternate Products and Product Strategy, Tata Asset Management.

Amidst hybrid funds, the majority came from arbitrage funds, which saw inflows worth Rs 12,758.12 crores in May. Notably, index funds and other ETFs collectively raked in Rs. 15,180 crore.
SIPs going strong
Systematic investment plan (SIP) contributions continued to breach their record highs on a month-on-month basis. SIP contributions rose marginally to an all-time high of Rs 20.90 crore last month, as opposed to Rs 20.37 crore in April. SIP accounts also jumped to their highest figure in May, standing at 8,75,89,485. During the month, around 49,74,400 new SIPs were registered. As per AMFI data, SIP plans accounted for 19% of the net flows during the month.

In the debt category, liquid funds saw the most influx, worth Rs 25,873.38 crore. Sectoral or thematic funds amassed Rs 19,213.43 crore during the month, trumping inflows by small-cap funds, which stood at Rs 2,724.67 crore, by a significant margin. Inflows into thematic funds were largely bolstered by the NFO of HDFC Manufacturing Fund, which drew Rs. 9,563 crores.

Although Himanshu Srivastava, Associate Director, Manager Research, Morningstar Investment Research India, has a word of caution for all those flocking to sectoral funds, “investors must be cautious while investing in such funds. They are cyclical, and hence investors should have the necessary skills or the right set of advice in place to track sector dynamics and time their entry and exit from these funds. These are high-risk return propositions, and hence investors must take a judicious call while investing in them.”
Gold continues to shine
The quantum of net flows in gold ETFs saw a sharp uptick to Rs 827 crore in May 2024, from a net outflow of Rs 396 crore in April.

Srivastava further notes that the enduring global inflation, which remains above central banks' comfort levels, and the persistent uncertainty surrounding interest rate cuts have bolstered gold's appeal as a haven and as a hedge against inflation, thereby attracting more investors.

“Also, 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 corrections in May, which spurred buying from investors. In INR terms, gold has done fairly well over the last year but dwarfs in comparison to how equities have fared. Given this backdrop, flows in the gold ETF category have been somewhat patchy relative to the equity asset class," he continued.

Disclaimer: The content on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice. We recommend readers consult certified, qualified and registered advisors for professional and personalised financial advice.

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