Mutual funds' equity folio count rises by 84,000 in Q1 FY15

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Equity mutual funds witnessed an addition of nearly 84,000 investor accounts or folios during the April-June quarter of this fiscal, helped mainly by sharp rise in stock market.

Folios are numbers designated to individual investor accounts, though one investor can have multiple folios.

According to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) data on total investor accounts with 44 fund houses, the number of equity folios rose to 2,92,64,713 at the end of June 2014, from 2,91,80,922 at the end of the last fiscal (March 31, 2014), registering a gain of 83,791 during the three-month period.

The additions came at a time when the market was scaling new highs.

In May, the number of equity mutual fund (MF) folio stood at 2,92,19,875, while it was 2.96 crore at April-end.

Besides, the month of April saw the first rise in more than four years. Prior to that, the equity MF sector had seen a continuous closure of folios since March 2009 after the market crashed due to the global financial crisis in late 2008. Since March 2009, it has seen a closure of 1.5 crore folios.

The investor base reached at its peak of 4.11 crore in March 2009, while it was 3.77 crore in March 2008.

On the rise in the folios last month, analysts said that robust market performance over the past few months helped investors renew faith in stock market.

Besides, the industry saw a record Rs 7,309 crore net inflows in equity funds in June, which helped the industry grow its folio count.

"The increase in investor base into equity mutual funds is a positive development for the markets. Since markets have been rising, investors seem to have realised that they are missing out on a big opportunity," ICICI Prudential AMC CIO S Naren said.

Axis AMC Senior Fund Manager (Equity) Pankaj Murarka said: "The trend of rise in new accounts in equity mutual fund is expected to accelerate as the increase is too small."

The BSE's benchmark Sensex breached 25,000 mark in June, NSE's Nifty closed at its the then all-time high of 7,600 points during the month.

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