Industry experts attributed growing participation from retail investors, especially from small towns, huge inflows into equity schemes and several measures taken by markets regulator Sebi as well as campaigns by asset management companies (AMCs).
The MF industry added more than 67 lakh investor accounts till February of last financial year which ended on March 31, taking the total number of folios to 5.4 crore. MFs reported a net inflow of close to Rs 4 lakh crore in the 11-month period of 2016-17. Of this, equity and equity- linked savings schemes accounted over Rs 62,000 crore.
Besides, income funds witnessed an inflow of Rs 1.77 lakh crore and liquid funds generated Rs 1.11 lakh crore. The contribution of the country's smaller towns - known as beyond-15 cities (B15) - to mutual funds' asset base surged around 44 per cent to over Rs 3 lakh crore due to investor- friendly initiatives by Sebi.
B15 cities are those which are beyond these top 15 cities - New Delhi (including NCR) Mumbai (including Thane & Navi Mumbai), Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Panjim, Pune and Surat.
In 41-member MF industry, 38 players witnessed an increase in AUM, while two saw a decline. Besides, Mahindra MF was the new entrant, while JP Morgan MF exited the club. ICICI Prudential MF is the top fund house with an asset base of Rs 2,42,961 crore (excluding fund of funds) followed by HDFC MF (Rs 2,37,177 crore) Reliance MF (Rs 2,10,890 crore), Birla Sun Life MF (Rs 1,95,049 crore) and SBI MF (Rs 1,57,025 crore). These top 5 players account for more than 50 per cent of the Rs 18.3 lakh crore AUM.
"The financial year 2016-17 has been a good a year for Reliance MF in terms of AUM and performance. Our schemes continue to be top top performing with strong fund ratings, we registered strong systematic investment plan (SIP) growth and we also added CPSE ETF success to our list of milestones.
"Our quest for market expansion and drive to emerge top ranking MF will be key focus for this year," Reliance MF Chief Executive Officer Sundeep Sikka said.
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