Mutual fund count hits half-century mark
New Delhi: The number of registered mutual funds in the country has reached 50, with the latest addition of PPFAS Mutual Fund of Parag Parikh Financial Advisory Services group among the Sebi-registered fund houses.
As per the latest list of Sebi-registered mutual funds in the country as on October 31, 2012, there are a total of 50 such entities after PPFAS Mutual Fund was granted registration last month.
This is the only entity to get Sebi registration so far in 2012, while a total of three fund houses (IIFL Mutual Fund, Indiabulls Mutual Fund and Union KBC Mutual Fund) were registered with Sebi last year and two others (IDBI and Pramerica MFs) got their Sebi registrations in 2010.
Out of 50 MFs registered with Sebi, registration of CRB Mutual Fund stood suspended as on October 31, Sebi data shows.
The mutual fund industry in India started in 1963 with the formation of Unit Trust of India, at the initiative of the Government of India and Reserve Bank of India.
Later in 1987, SBI MF became the second mutual fund of the country, followed by funds set up by public sector banks and Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC) in subsequent years.
The private sector entry into the mutual fund space took place in 1993 with the setting up of the erstwhile Kothari Pioneer (which later merged with Franklin Templeton) Fund.
This was followed by various foreign mutual funds setting shop in the country, as also several mergers and acquisitions.
In 2003, UTI was bifurcated into two entities -- one being the Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India (SUUTI) and the second the UTI Mutual Fund.
The size of mutual fund industry has also seen phenomenal growth from about Rs 25 crore worth assets under management in its early days in 1964-65 to close to Rs 1.2 lakh crore by early 2003 and to about Rs 7 lakh crore now.
Market regulator Sebi's Chairman U K Sinha recently said there could be a case for consolidation in mutual fund industry currently due to presence of some non-serious players, but clarity on this course will emerge only after a national mutual fund policy is put in place.
"My view on that is that asset management industry has also got some non-serious players, and one of the reasons for that is that there is a very easy entry situation here," Sebi Chairman U K Sinha had said.
Asked whether it is time for consolidation in the mutual fund industry as some of the funds were very small, Sinha said: "Right now, if you look at the scenario as a static situation, then perhaps there is a case for consolidation."
Sebi recently announced a slew of reform measures for mutual fund industry to expand their reach across the country and also to safeguard the interest of investors.