Union Budget Reaction - Mr.N.K.Prasad, President and CEO, CAMS
Union budget's focus on addressing growth with a tilt towards rural and infrastructure spending while keeping fiscal prudence intact is directionally positive for the MF industry. Fund industry has been witnessing secular growth cycle for last three years with industry AUM doubling. Industry is witnessing sustained interest of investors evidenced by growth of investor accounts, systematic investments, and growth in B 15 cities. Retail lead growth potential for MF industry is enormous and MF industry is investing in investor education & awareness.
Union Budget has withdrawn RGESS targeted at growing retail investor base, which was not popular with retail investors who found setting up Demat accounts cumbersome. Govt.'s intent to creating new ETFs with diversified CPSE stocks and possible inclusion of railway units like IRCTC, IRFC, IRCON proposed to be listed is favourable for MF industry. ETFs comprised of diversified CPSE stocks would be popular with new retail investors if such investors could be served by the Asset Management Companies instead of insisting on Demat accounts. Mutual Funds have been serving large number of investors not holding MF units in Demat accounts but transacting via stock exchange platforms used by trading members as well as limited purpose members. Mutual Funds have established investor servicing infrastructure with extensive linkages to Stock exchanges, Settlement Corporation and brokers operating on stock exchange platforms over several years without necessity of investors setting up Demat accounts. Such a model would make ETFs popular with small retail investors.