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Taxing times for MFs as companies withdraw
July, 04th 2006
Advance tax pressure leads to redemptions

The need for companies to withdraw money from mutual fund (MF) schemes to make advance tax payments has turned MFs into net sellers in equities. The move by the corporate investors has also forced the MFs to lower their investment flows into debt funds in the month of June.
The MFs were net sellers at Rs 1,976 crore in equities in the month of June. They were net buyers in equities to the tune of Rs 7,893.36 crore in May. Similarly, MFs have reduced their investment in debt segment from being net buyers of Rs 7,893.91 crore in May to Rs 5,328.64 crore in June.

Also, the number of new fund offerings (NFOs) too has come down drastically as during this turbulent period no AMC would dare to come out with new schemes in the market. This has also hit the flows coming to industry, market players said.

Commenting on this trend, Jimmy Patel, CEO, JM Financial MF said that corporate investors have withdrawn money from debt funds from mid-June onwards to pay their advance taxes. This is the reason for the lowering of fund-flows into the debt segment.

Dhirendra Kumar, CEO, Value Research attributes the slow fund inflows into the industry to redemption pressures and hardening of interest rates domestically and internationally. The hardening of the interest rates has hit the bond market too, which has witnessed a fund outflow.

Kumar said the fund flow into the industry dipped drastically as investors were hit badly due to the market meltdown in May, which has recovered to an extent in June. The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)'s Sensex dipped by 14.90% or 1,820 points at 10,298.61 points in May. The US Federal Reserve's decision on May 11 to hike the interest rates by 25 basis points was one of the key reasons for the global market meltdown. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers at Rs 7,354.10 crore in May with the expectation that the US and other global markets would become more attractive investment destinations.
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