HUGE inflows into its fixed income schemes have propelled HDFC Mutual
Fund to the number two position among fund houses, in terms of assets
under management. The development is significant because the
HDFC-promoted mutual fund is trying to become the first large fund
house in the country to get listed on the bourses. In the process, HDFC
Mutual has overtaken ICICI Prudential, which had retained the
runners-up spot for a long time. But, even as its AUM has grown
significantly over the past few months, market watchers point out that
HDFC’s best-performing schemes seem to be losing steam. After the
technology stocks-led meltdown at the start of the century, HDFC
Mutual, for a long time, could stake claim to many of the
best-performing schemes in the industry.
“We have been able to grow our business strongly in the past few months on back of our strong brand, expanding our distribution network and fairly consistent investment performance,” says Milind Barve, chief executive at HDFC MF. “We have been developing our relationships with distributors, clients and corporates and are poised for long-term sustainable growth in the future,” he adds. As per recent numbers on the Amfi website, HDFC MF’s average assets under management for August rose Rs 3,107 crore to Rs 53,859 crore, placing it ahead of ICICI Prudential, which witnessed a drop in its AUM to Rs 53,093 crore. As late as March this year, HDFC was behind UTI by around Rs 5,000 crore and lagging ICICI Pru by almost Rs 10,000 crore.
However, distributors say that the growth in the assets of the fund house has been largely due to its officials pushing certain debt products aggressively.
While the total AUM of the fund house has increased from about Rs 49,544 crore in January ’08 to Rs 53,858 crore in August ’08, the share of equity schemes in the total AUM is down from 33.4% to 26.6% during this period.
As far as performances are concerned, most of the equity schemes from the HDFC basket have slipped in performance in the last couple of years, as the adjoining table shows.
“In the heady days of the bull market, some of our schemes may not have stood up against the superlative performance of certain sector funds. But with market cooling off, most of our schemes have not fallen as much as the market,” says Mr Barve defending the performance of his schemes.
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