Mutual fund industry in crisis due to pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit nearly all sectors of businesses, people, economy, trade and the financial system worldwide. Mutual fund industry has been adversely affected due to corona virus. All mutual fund investors have incurred huge losses in NAVs, specially those investing into categories of equity related mutual fund schemes.
Nearly 20 categories of mutual funds viz. energy funds, International funds, banking funds, large cap funds, mid cap funds, dividend yield funds, PSU funds, infrastructure funds, etc. are some of the mutual fund schemes that have faced losses tremendously in the last month. The energy sector saw a downfall of 20.08% in the last month. It was followed by the International funds category which dipped to 20.07%. The banking sector funds also had a downfall not only because of the corona virus threat but also because of the non performing assets crisis. The gold funds category is the only sector which has given positive returns in the last month.
Winding of 6 mutual fund schemes by Franklin Templeton:
Franklin Templeton, the leading global investment management company announced the winding up of 6 mutual fund schemes on 23rd April, 2020.
Fear of Investors:
All these issues have led to fear in the minds of investors making them pull out Rs. 9,000 crores out of the credit risk mutual fund schemes. As per the data collected by Pulse Labs, the asset under management of these mutual funds have dropped by 19%.
A lot of tension can be seen in the credit risk fund category because of the redemption and unavailability of liquid underlying assets. The HDFC credit risk fund has the highest loss in comparison with other credit risk funds. The asset under management of the credit risk funds show the tremendous depth in comparison to the last month.
Lakshmi Iyer, chief investment officer of debt, Kotak Mutual Funds said to the media that without even considering the quality of the portfolio, investors have started redeeming the money from the funds. One of the ICICI Prudential spokesperson said to the media that the company assures the portfolio is well differentiated on the asset side and liability side.
RBI has recently announced rupees 50,000 crore special liquidity funds for Mutual Funds. This was announced after the winding up of 6 mutual fund schemes by Franklin Templeton. It is a measure taken by RBI to calm down the investors and reduce their panic by providing a guarantee of having adequate liquidity to meet the redemption. These funds can be borrowed by the companies from banks at a repo rate of 4.4% for 90 days. The Targeted Long Term Repo Operations is to help several financial services companies to manage their cash flow problems amid COVID-19 outbreak.