SBI Funds: Regulating funds for higher profits

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SBI Funds: Regulating funds for higher profits
D P Singh, Executive Director and Chief Marketing Officer, SBI Funds Management Pvt Ltd

SBI Funds Management Pvt Ltd has big plans as it expands its network

By Nithin Belle

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Published: Thu 26 Jan 2017, 9:25 AM

Last updated: Mon 30 Jan 2017, 11:29 AM

SBI Funds Management Pvt Ltd, part of India's largest bank, the State Bank of India, has been witnessing phenomenal growth in recent times.
According to D.P. Singh, Executive Director and Chief Marketing Officer (domestic business), the mutual fund saw a hefty 42 per cent expansion in 2015-16 against a market growth of 14 per cent. "Even in calendar year 2016 our growth has been very good," he says.
Investors today have a lot of trust and confidence in mutual funds, he notes. In fact, this year, the industry is expected to see a 20 to 25 per cent growth in India. "There is a lot of optimism and trust in mutual funds in India," points out Singh.
About five years ago mutual funds were not doing too well in India and investor (especially retail investor) confidence was low. "But now mutual funds have become respectable and the returns are also quite good," says Singh. "In fact, the equity markets have not given good returns, whereas the funds have given average returns of eight to nine per cent."
There are 44 mutual funds operating in India today. "We have the best regulations in the world and the mutual fund industry has matured significantly," he points out.
According to the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), the nodal body of mutual funds in India, assets under management shot up by more than 26 per cent in the third quarter to Rs16.93 trillion.
Singh is confident that the assets will top Rs20 trillion by June 30. "We have been fortunate to have such a robust market in India," he says. SBI MF expects to have AUMs of Rs1.5 trillion this year.
"We are among the top five mutual funds," says Singh. "We were sixth, but we overtook UTI (the country's oldest mutual fund) and have become the fifth-largest player."
The fund is also the largest player in the systematic investment plan (SIP) sector. "We account for about 1.6 million of the 10 million SIP accounts in the country," notes Singh. "We get Rs4 billion-plus through the SIP route every month."
Asked about the Gulf NRI market, Singh says SBI MF - which also has an office in Dubai - is getting a lot of investors from the region. The fund often organises meets in the region to make NRIs aware of the Indian mutual fund sector and the huge opportunities that it offers. The fund is also looking at the possibility of dollar funds, which could attract foreign investors from the Gulf as well.
SBI Mutual Fund - a joint venture between SBI and French firm Amundi, one of the world's leading fund management companies - has 28 years of experience in fund management. It has a network of 222 points of acceptance across India.
The fund was the first bank-sponsored asset management company to launch an offshore fund called SBI Resurgent India Opportunities Fund. It also offers alternate asset investment products through Alternative Investment Funds (AIF). The first AIF was launched in 2015 and more such funds are on the anvil.

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