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MFs fear inflows could fall by 50% if market mayhem continues

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Mutual fund houses are perturbed at the second consecutive day of market carnage, which will impact the sustained inflows the industry had seen so far.

Fund managers said the sharp plunge in the market may bring down the inflows in the mutual fund industry by 50 percent.

“This fall will have an percent impact the inflows. If this kind of market fall continues then the inflows may fall by half,” said a senior equity fund manager from a private fund house on condition of anonymity.

Domestic MFs witnessed total inflows of Rs 1.69-lakh crore in 2017. The 42-player MF industry also saw its assets base jump to over Rs 22 lakh crore in 2017, adding more than Rs 5.4 lakh crore to its kitty, on strong participation from retail investors and investor awareness initiatives.

Boosted by strong participation from retail investors, the number of mutual fund folios grew by a staggering 1.37 crore in 2017, to an all-time high of 6.65 crore. Folios are numbers designated to individual investor accounts, though one investor can have multiple accounts.

Asset managers say if similar kind of market plunge continues then industry might see 50 percent fall in inflows across the industry.

Carnage on D-Street continued for the second consecutive day in a row which pushed the S&P BSE Sensex by over 1200 points in opening trade on Monday but experts feel it was long overdue as valuations were rich.

“The fall is justified as valuations were rich. It is good for investors as at this investors can use this dip to pick up good quality stocks,” said Gautam Sinha Roy, Senior Vice President and Equity Fund Manager at Motilal Oswal Mutual Fund.

Agreeing with Roy, another fund manager from a private fund house said the fall in the market was ‘anticipated’ but this is something which was long overdue and investors must utilize this fall to buy stocks which were expensive.

"If this fall continues then it may be bad for the industry as inflows might be hit significantly," the fund manager quoted above said.

Considering the fall is driven by global factors, investors should stay long in Indian markets, said experts.

The S&P BSE Sensex suffered a 1275-point drop on Feb 6 following a sharp crack on Wall Street. The index witnessed its biggest intraday fall since the year 2015.

The Nifty50 slipped below its 100-days exponential moving average (DEMA) placed at 10,400. A fall below 10,200 could stretch the decline towards 10,000 levels which is closer to its 200-DEMA.