SBI Mutual Fund recently launched a banking fund. Investors should be wary of the risk associated with such schemes
SBI Mutual Fund recently launched an open-ended banking sector fund— SBI Banking & Financial Services Fund. Over 80% of the schemes’ portfolio will be invested in stocks of companies which are engaged in banking and financial services. The scheme would invest in banks as well as non-banking financial services companies, insurance companies, rating agencies, broking companies, microfinance companies, housing finance, wealth management, stock/ commodities exchange etc.
As of now there are nine banking mutual funds and five exchange traded funds which invest in banking stocks. Investors will now have one more option to choose from in the form of SBI Banking & Financial Services Fund. Sector funds are risky because of the concentration on a single sector.
Fund houses have covered nearly every hot sector and theme. SBI Mutual Fund is one of the oldest fund houses and it currently manages over 25 equity schemes (including close-ended schemes). This list includes five sector focussed schemes covering FMCG, information technology, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals and public sector units.
The banking sector has been a ‘hot’ sector over the past year, with the schemes of this sector returning over 80% over one year. Fund houses usually launch a sector-focussed scheme when that particular sector is doing well, in order to attract investors. SBI Mutual Fund seems to be following the same practice.
Sohini Andani will be the fund manager of the scheme. She has 16 years of experience in the area of financial services. She also manages SBI Magnum MidCap Fund & SBI Blue Chip Fund.
Should you invest?
Banking funds were among the top sector funds over the past year. Over the past one year the CNX Finance Index has delivered a return of 82% as on 18 February 2015. But investing in sector funds is risky. If you mistime your investment, it could result in a loss of capital.
The chart below depicts the one year return of the CNX Bank Nifty index each quarter. The returns have varied from a high of 77% seen in the quarter ended September 2014 to a low of -28% for the quarter ended December 2011.
Would now be a good time to invest in banking stocks? In terms of valuations, the price-to-earnings ratio (PE) of the Bank Nifty index has risen to 19.96 from a PE of just 11 a year ago. The long term average PE of the Bank Nifty is 12.43. At the current level the PE is at two standard deviations away from the mean, which means, the Bank Nifty is commanding a very high valuation. The last time the Bank Nifty was quoting a PE above 20 was in December 2010.
As per our analysis, this may not be the best time to invest in banking stocks.
If you are looking to invest for the long term, you should avoid looking for short-term gains by trying to time a particular hot sector. We suggest one should invest regularly in top performing equity diversified schemes.
Take a look at the list of top performing equity diversified schemes here— https://savers.moneylife.in/equity_mutual_fund.html
Additional Scheme Details
Benchmark Index: CNX Finance Index
Minimum Initial Purchase: Rs5,000 and in multiples of Re1
Additional Purchase: Rs1000 and in multiples of Re1 thereafter
Minimum Redemption: Rs1000 or 100 units or account balance whichever is lower
For exit within 12 months from the date of allotment: 2%
For exit after 12 months but within 18 months from the date of allotment: 1%
For exit after 18 months from the date of allotment: Nil
Maximum total expense ratio (TER) permissible under Regulation 52 (6) (c) (i)-Upto 2.50%
Additional expenses under regulation 52 (6A) (c) - Upto 0.20%
Additional expenses for gross new inflows from specified cities - Upto 0.30%