Sucheta Dalal :Mutual fund redemptions continue unabated
Sucheta Dalal

Click here for FREE MEMBERSHIP to Moneylife Foundation which entitles you to:
• Access to information on investment issues

• Invitations to attend free workshops on financial literacy
• Grievance redressal


You are here: Home » What's New » Mutual fund redemptions continue unabated
                       Previous           Next

Mutual fund redemptions continue unabated  

April 6, 2010

 The series of game-changing initiatives taken up by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in August last year to spruce up the mutual fund industry have largely blown up in the face of the beleaguered sector. Ever since SEBI changed the face of the industry last year, outflows have far outstripped inflows into various schemes of mutual fund houses.

According to data available with Moneylife from a leading registrar and transfer agent, redemptions in non-NFO (new fund offer), non-SIP (systematic investment plan) open-ended equity funds have shown a remarkable trend of steady haemorrhage of cash. Except for the month of February 2010, every month from August 2010 has seen outflows exceeding inflows into mutual funds.

In March 2010, redemptions touched a high of Rs4,200 crore, compared to around Rs1,700 crore in the month of February. Normally, the month of March witnesses huge inflows into equity-linked savings schemes (ELSS) due to the tax benefit offered by these products. However, the current upheavals in the industry have overshadowed this phenomenon to show a deviation from the normal.

Moneylife has previously written ( about how fund companies have been struggling with massive redemptions despite a surge in equity markets. As mutual funds normally benefit from a rising market, this steady drain of funds is even more galling for the industry. 

After the ban on entry loads that came into play from 1 August 2009, outflow of money from fund schemes accelerated since most financial advisors could not get incentive to sell and service funds. The ban has dried up the distributors’ revenues and they are now asking investors to consider unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs) and company fixed deposits as the next best investment opportunity.

SEBI's move may have been well intentioned, but it tripped badly in failing to assess the ground realities and the consequences of its actions. It failed to visualise that sharply higher commissions paid by the insurance industry will suck money out of MFs. It also failed to ensure the availability of inexpensive alternative distribution channels.— Sanket


-- Sucheta Dalal