To tap the growing demand from retail investors, mutual fund houses have filed draft papers with markets regulator Sebi to launch as many as 35 New Fund Offers (NFO) in the first four months of the year. Retirement, fixed maturity plan (FMP), equity and debt are some of the themes for which mutual fund houses have filed the applications.
In addition, mutual fund houses are eyeing overseas stock exchanges for investment purpose. Sundaram Mutual Fund filed papers for a scheme (Sundaram World Brand Fund) that will invest in equity and equity related instruments listed on overseas stock exchanges across the world, while Reliance MF approached Sebi for launching a Korea-focused fund in Indian markets.
Interestingly, many mutual fund companies submitted papers with Sebi for launching plans with Hindi names so that investors in rural areas understand the objectives of the schemes in a better manner. The move is seen as moving away from the old tradition of English names for investment schemes.
'Bal Vikas Yojana', a scheme aimed at saving for children's future, Kar Bachat Yojana, a tax saving fund, 'Bachat Yojana' and 'Nivesh Lakshya' both fixed income schemes, are some of the launch schemes filed with Sebi by Mahindra MF and Reliance MF.
"Our idea is to explain the investment opportunities to customers in our priority markets in their own language starting with the product names," Mahindra AMC MD and Chief Executive Ashutosh Bishnoi said. Since the beginning of the year, draft documents for 35 NFOs have been submitted with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). Of these, 16 draft offers have been filed in last month alone.
According to market participants, MF houses are rushing towards Sebi to launch new schemes on account of growing demand from retail investors for such products as well as robust response received from investors in the recent fund launches. There has been a growing demand from retail investors for mutual fund products as the investors base touched a record high of 4.76 crore at the end of March. A total of 191 draft papers were filed last year with the capital markets watchdog.