Equity mutual fund inflows fall to 21-month low in Nov on rising rates

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, India, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

BENGALURU, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Inflows into Indian equity mutual funds tanked nearly 76% to 22.58 billion Indian rupees ($274.49 million) in November from 93.9 billion rupees in the previous months, even as markets rose to new highs, according to data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI).

The fall in inflows into equity and equity linked-schemes comes at a time when shares surged on the back of an uptick in foreign fund flows read more . The NSE Nifty 50 (.NSEI) and S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) logged monthly gains of 4.14% and 3.87%, respectively, in November.

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The decline in net flows is due to mutual funds investors cashing out in a high interest rate regime, AMFI Chief Executive NS Venkatesh said, adding that he "expected retail investors to re-enter the market by March," when the hike in interest rates would "likely come to an end."

Systematic investment plans (SIPs)

Contributions to systematic investment plans (SIPs) – where investors make periodic, equal payments into a mutual fund – rose for the fourth consecutive month to a record 133.07 billion rupees in November. The number of SIP accounts rose to 60.5 mln from 59.3 million in October.

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Segment-wise trends

All segments saw decline in flows in November. On a relative basis, small-cap funds witnessed most investments at 13.78 billion rupees, while large-cap funds logged worst outflows in 22 months.

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AMFI's Venkatesh said that investors preferred small cap funds to large caps as they saw an opportunity due to the recent correction in the segment which makes the valuations attractive.

Flows into debt funds

Debt funds witnessed mixed trends in November. Liquid funds saw inflows for the second consecutive month.

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Credit risk funds saw outflows in November after witnessing inflows in October.

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Net flows in November

The mutual fund industry logged a total net inflow of 132.64 billion rupees, down 5.6% from October. The average assets under management rose 2% to 40.5 trillion rupees from 39.5 trillion rupees in October.

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($1 = 82.2620 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio Dsouza

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