New Delhi: Investors remained bearish on gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as they pulled out Rs 54 crore from the instrument in April, preferring equities over them.
The net outflow meant assets under management (AUM) of gold funds slipped to Rs 4,802 crore from Rs 4,806 crore in the preceding month, according to latest data available with Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi).
Trading in gold ETF segment has been lukewarm during the last five years. It witnessed an outflow of Rs 835 crore, Rs 775 crore, Rs 903 crore, Rs 1,475 crore and Rs 2,293 crore in 2017-18, 2016-17, 2015-16, 2014-15 and 2013-14, respectively.
However, the segment had witnessed an infusion of Rs 1,414 crore in 2012-13.
"Gold prices which witnessed a spectacular rise since 2005 and made new highs in 2011-12 fell sharply in 2012 and have been trading in a range of 1,100-1,400 USD/oz since then. Given this range bound movement coupled with buoyant equity market performance has resulted in Indian investors largely staying away from investing in Gold ETFs, in fact we have seen redemptions year on year since the last 5-6 years.
"In any case Indian investors have traditionally preferred to hold Gold in physical form, rather than ETFs which are actually a better form of holding from an investor's perspective. Ideally investors should look to allocate 5-10 percent of the portfolio towards Gold, which works as a portfolio hedge and helps reduce overall portfolio volatility," Morningstar Manager Research Director Kaustubh Belapurkar said.
Gold ETFs are passive investment instruments that are based on price movements and investments in the metal.
According to the data, a net sum of Rs 54 crore was pulled out in 14 gold-linked ETFs last month as compared to Rs 62 crore in March.
In comparison, the investment instrument had witnessed a net outflow of Rs 66 crore in April last year.
On the other hand, equity and equity-linked savings scheme (ELSS) saw an infusion of over Rs 12,400 crore last month.
Besides, liquid funds or money market category -- with investments in cash assets such as treasury bills, certificates of deposit and commercial paper for shorter horizon -- witnessed an infusion of over Rs 1.16 lakh crore.
Overall, mutual fund schemes witnessed an inflow of Rs 1.4 lakh crore last month as compared to redemptions of Rs 50,752 crore in March due to new tax on long-term equity gains.
The inflow has pushed assets base of the MF industry, comprising 42 players, to Rs 23.25 lakh crore in April-end from Rs 21.36 lakh crore at the end of March.