Open-ended equity-oriented mutual fund schemes saw the highest monthly inflows at Rs 10,796 crore in February this fiscal, even as the equity markets were hammered following the Covid-19 pandemic. The equity markets represented by the Nifty 50 fell over 6 percent during the month. Between February 10 and March 12, the Nifty tanked over 20 percent.
The net inflow into the broad category surged as investors looked to take advantage of the recent sharp declines in stocks due to worries that the Covid-19 pandemic may result in a global economic slowdown, Crisil said in a report on Friday.
At the aggregate level, the open-ended equity fund AUM declined 4.1 percent to settle at Rs 7.57 lakh crore weighed by mark-to-market losses, Crisil said, quoting Amfi data.
The report attributes the spike in inflows to value buying, and also large chunk of sticky money flowing in through systematic investment plans (SIPs).
According to Amfi data, SIP net inflows in February stood at Rs 8,513 crore, slightly lower than the record high seen in the previous month.
But throughout the fiscal, SIP inflows have been stable, which, in turn, steadied the money flow into equity-oriented schemes even though net inflows remained lumpy and erratic at times, says the report.
Within the open-ended schemes, multi-cap and large-cap funds saw net inflows of Rs 1,625 crore and Rs 1,607 crore, respectively.
Investors even opted for mid-cap and small-caps due to attractive valuations. Total net inflows into these categories stood at Rs 2,949 crore in the month.
Sectoral/thematic funds saw net inflow surge to Rs 1,928 crore -- the highest since April 2019, partly because of new schemes launched during the month.
Gold exchange traded funds also saw a sharp spike in inflows at Rs 1,483 crore as investors took advantage of the massive rally in the yellow metal.
During the month, Crisil gold index rose 4.5 percent and 9 percent over January-February, taking its asset base 28 percent higher to Rs 7,926 crore.
However, debt funds saw outflows in the month as corporates and banks redeemed their money to pay advance tax.
Overnight and liquid funds saw a cumulative outflow of Rs 45,299 crore. As a result, AUM of the open-ended debt fund category settled nearly 2 percent lower at Rs 12.22 lakh crore.
However, overall equity market volatility and debt fund outflows saw a 2 percent fall in February or nearly Rs 63,000 crore outflows from its record high, to Rs 27.23 lakh crore. However, net inflows of Rs 16,344 crore into other ETFs, primarily in the latest tranche of CPSE ETF of the government, capped losses.