New Delhi: Mutual fund (MF) managers raised their exposure in bank stocks to an all-time high of nearly Rs.55,000 crore in June this year amid soaring equity markets.
According to the latest data available with market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), MF investments in banking stocks reached Rs.54,746 crore as on 30 June, accounting for 21.5% of their total equity assets under management (AUMs) of Rs.2.55 trillion.
This was also the fifth consecutive monthly rise in exposure. After banking, software is the second most preferred sector with MFs having exposure of Rs.26,595 crore, followed by pharmaceuticals (Rs.16,834 crore) and finance (Rs.13,736 crore).
At current levels, the MF industry has the highest exposure to banking sector since August 2009. Data is not available for sector-wise exposure before August 2009, when the equity funds had deployed Rs.22,587 crore (12.73%) in banking shares.
Mutual funds are investment vehicles made up of a pool of funds collected from a large number of investors. MFs invest in stocks, bonds, money market instruments and similar assets.
According to market participants, MFs have been showing interest in banking stocks since the beginning of the year amid rising equity market. Meanwhile, the BSE Bankex surged over 3% in June this year, while the benchmark Sensex rose 5%.
The year 2014 has seen a consistent growth in investment in banking stocks by equity fund managers and their exposure has risen from 16.6% of total AUM in January to 21.5% in June. In absolute terms, fund infusion has grown from Rs.30,339 crore to Rs.54,746 crore.