Mutual Funds: Equity Assets Under Management Touch Rs 23.8 lakh crore in ’23

The equity assets under management (AUM) of domestic mutual funds witnessed a hike for the tenth consecutive year to stand at Rs 23.8 lakh crore in the calendar year (CY) 2023, up 43% year-on-year (YoY), as per the findings of a financial services company. 

The spike in AUM was backed by an uptick in market indices and higher equity scheme sales, which tipped at Rs 38,600 crore, up 13% YoY. 

India concluded 2023 on a high note, with the Nifty registering 20% returns, marking the eighth consecutive year of a positive return. The key factors behind this performance were the anticipations of the peaking of the rate hike cycle, moderating inflation, improving liquidity, and consistently rising retail participation in equities, with the backing of strong corporate earnings. 

Similarly, foreign institution investors (FII) flows rebounded while the domestic flows stood resilient with $22 billion of inflows amidst the bullish sentiments in the primary and secondary markets.

However, mutual fund (MF) redemptions also spiked by  39%t YoY to Rs 3,323 billion, leading to a dip in net inflows to Rs 2,063 billion in CY23 from Rs 2,383 billion in CY 2022, noted the brokerage firm. 

The MF industry’s total AUM surged by  27%  YoY from Rs 10.9 lakh crore in CY2022 to Rs 50.8 lakh crore in CY23, fuelled by the growth in equity funds, other exchange-traded funds (ETFs), balanced funds, and arbitrage funds, as per the data. 

Investors continued to pose their faith in mutual funds, with inflows and contributions in systematic investment plans (SIPs) touching a new high of Rs 176.1 billion in December 2023, which is up 3.1% month-on-month and 29.7% YoY.

The year witnessed a significant change in the sector and stock allocation of funds. The weight of defensives improved by 120 basis points (bps) to 29.6%, propelled by an increase in utilities, healthcare, and telecom weights, while technology and consumer moderated. Defensives attracted attention in CY23; the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) pack contracts Domestic cyclicals’ weight dipped 110bps in CY23, pulled down by BFSI, chemicals, textiles, and retail.

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