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'Direct plans likely to bring down costs for MF investors'

Last Updated: Sunday, December 9, 2012 - 18:08

Mumbai: As mutual fund houses gear up to provide direct plans in their existing and new schemes from January, total expense ratio for investors is likely to fall in different schemes, say industry officials.

"The move to implement direct plans will help in reduction in total expense ratio under a scheme by around 60-70 basis points," Quantum Mutual Fund Chief Executive Jimmy A Patel said.

As per a recent directive of the market regulator Sebi, fund houses will have to offer direct plans to investors from next month onwards in their existing and new schemes.

Under the offering, MF products will be sold to investors without the involvement of intermediaries, a move which is likely to reduce expenses incurred by investors under marketing and commissions heads paid to distributors.

Patel, however, said total expense ratio will vary from scheme to scheme and will be different for fund houses.

Another official from a fund house promoted by a mid- sized public sector bank said while expense ratio will be lower for investors coming through direct plan route, it is difficult to ascertain the total expense ratio as of now.

"While the total expense ratio will be lesser by around 40-75 basis points in equity schemes, it will be around 5-20 basis points lower in case of debt funds. However, it is difficult to give an exact number as it will vary for fund houses," he said.

He said different NAVs (net asset value) will be calculated for direct plans.

About the impact of direct plans on distributors, the official said it will not be much. "Though institutional investors with the expertise will go for direct plans, retail investors are likely to take the assistance of distributors to make an informed decision."

Direct plans are likely to reduce the role of intermediaries in the MF industry, which has been struggling even since the ban on entry load by Sebi two years ago.

On the impact on distributors, a fund manager of a large MF house said, "it is difficult to determine how it is going to impact distributors as of now."


First Published: Sunday, December 9, 2012 - 18:08
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