With another round of massive net inflows in December 2014, equity mutual funds recorded the highest inflow in a calendar year
In December, Rs15,247 crore of equity mutual fund units were purchased—the second highest monthly purchase in 2014. Despite a high quantum of redemptions amounting to Rs8,596 crore, equity mutual funds reported a net inflow of Rs6,651 crore. Last year was an impressive year for equity funds. In 2014 equity funds reported a net outflow in just two months. The bulk of the inflows came in the second half of the year from June to December, accounting for 98% of the inflows for the year.
In 2014, as much as Rs49,558 crore flowed in to equity schemes, the highest since 2006, when equity funds reported a net inflow of Rs37,184 crore. Though, it is to be noted, this does not factor in the time value of money. If we consider 7% as the inflation rate over the past eight years, the amount invested in 2006 is equivalent to Rs63,889 crore. The net inflow reported in 2014 is still much below this level.
Equity linked saving schemes too, reported purchases of Rs1,014 crore in December, the highest since March 2008. The interest for equity tax-saving schemes picks up in the last quarter of the financial year, when investors rush to invest in Section 80C products for a tax rebate.
As many as 15 new fund offers (NFOs) were closed in December 2014, bringing in Rs2,582 crore. In a bull market, one usually sees a flourish of NFOs. Out of the 15 equity NFOs, 13 were close-ended schemes. We have highlighted in the past how fund houses are rushing in to launch close-ended schemes to lock-in assets and over-charge investors. (Read: How mutual fund houses are using close-ended schemes to overcharge investors)
With the bulk of NFOs launched, a large number of equity folios too were created. As many as 0.34 million folios were added in December 2014, taking the total number to 30.39 million folios. The number of folios increased by around 500 thousand over the one-year period ended December 2014.
According to Crisil, average assets under management of equity schemes “gained 15.53% or Rs451.21 billion to a record high of Rs3.36 trillion. For the year, the category gained 71.68% or Rs1.40 trillion, the largest calendar year gain for the category since the industry started declaring average assets (since September 2010).” The Nifty gained 31.39% in 2014.
SEBI observed that VPIPL is prima facie engaged in fund mobilising activity from the public, through the Offer of NCDs
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), based on its investigation ruled that VPIPL (Vaibhav Pariwar India Projects Limited) shall not mobilise funds from investors through the Offer of NCDs or through the issuance of equity shares or any other securities, to the public.
SEBI received a complaint dated 29 April 2014 from an investor alleging non-payment of interest and maturity amount in respect of Secured Redeemable Non-Convertible Debentures issued by VPIPL. SEBI, in the process of investigating the complaint asked for papers from VPIPL.
SEBI also received a complaint dated 5 June 2014 from another investor in respect of the non-payment of interest and maturity amount in respect of Secured Redeemable Non-Convertible Debentures issued by VPIPL.
Meanwhile, RBI vide letter dated 4 July 2014 and Office of the Director, Economic Offences Investigation Cell, Finance Department, Govt. of West Bengal, Kolkata vide letter dated July 28, 2014 also forwarded a complaint received by them from an investor of VPIPL regarding non-payment of maturity amount in respect of Secured Redeemable Non-Convertible Debentures issued by VPIPL.
SEBI’s investigation observed from the Balance Sheets that VPIPL has not created any Debenture Redemption Reserve and failure to create Debenture Redemption Reserve is prejudicial to the interests of the debenture holders.
SEBI also concluded, “Based on the material available on record, I find that Ashok Kumar Banerjee and Chandrima Sarkar have prima facie failed to meet the eligibility criteria specified under the provisions of the Debenture Trustees Regulations and therefore, have acted as unregistered Debenture Trustees, which amounts to violation of the abovementioned provisions of the SEBI Act read with the Debenture Trustees Regulations.”
The SEBI member in his order argued as follows: “It is pertinent to mention that urgent measures have to be taken in the matter as VPIPL and its Directors have failed to submit relevant information to SEBI. In light of the same, I find there is no other alternative but to take recourse through an interim action against VPIPL and its Directors along with its Debenture Trustees, viz. Ashok Kumar Banerjee and Chandrima Sarkar, for preventing that company from further carrying on with its fund mobilising activity under the Offer of NCDs.”
The SEBI order said that VPIPL shall not mobilize funds from investors through the Offer of NCDs or through the issuance of equity shares or any other securities, its Directors, viz. Rajesh Kumar Rai, Manoj Kumar Rai, Binay Kumar Lall and Indrakala Rai and its Debenture Trustees viz. Ashok Kumar Banerjee and Chandrima Sarkar, are prohibited from issuing prospectus or any offer document or issue advertisement for soliciting money from the public for the issue of securities, and VPIPL and its Directors, are restrained from accessing the securities market and further prohibited from buying, selling or otherwise dealing in the securities market, either directly or indirectly, till further directions.
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