The debt funds churn: Here are the top gainers and losers in October'18The debt markets have been going through a turmoil post the recent debt crisis. Led by a fear of liquidity squeeze and major events like IL&FS downgrade and defaults, debt/fixed income investors have turned extremely cautious. Since some fund-houses were found to be holding debt securities that were downgraded, a few schemes had to take hard knocks in the form of write-downs, leading to large losses in these schemes that spooked the entire ecosystem.

Like the recent one, after every crisis that hits debt markets, some asset management companies (AMCs) lose and some win. The win/loss is in terms of investor perception. So, typically investors take money out of some and put the money somewhere else. Liquid/money market schemes are among the top three product categories for asset managers/fund-houses. While liquid funds/money market funds offer razor-thin margins to the fund-houses, they are a quick way for the asset gatherer to show size. A RupeeIQ study tries to decipher the winners and losers among the top 20 fund-houses with such schemes. Here are the details.

Liquid logic

Since scheme-wise inflow and outflow data is not publicly available, we have tried to use the average assets under management (AAUM) figures put out by fund-houses themselves to differentiate between the winners and losers. We looked at data of top 20 fund-houses which have liquid/money market schemes.

At the end of August 2018, the top fund-houses in terms liquid/money market fund AAUM were Aditya Birla Sun Life (Rs 65,662.01 crore), ICICI Pru (Rs 59,148.56 crore), SBI MF (Rs 54,740.25 crore), HDFC AMC (Rs 49,304 crore), Reliance Nippon AMC (Rs 46,394.12 crore), UTI AMC (Rs 44,222.76 crore), Kotak MF (Rs 30,583.39 crore), Axis MF (Rs 28,752.51 crore), DSP MF (Rs 26,376.97 crore) and Tata AMC (Rs 24,894.47 crore).

September 2018 saw a massive wave of outflows in the fund industry, with liquid/money market schemes especially affected as investors sought safer havens of capital. This was coincidentally a month when the half-year ends and that usually leads to corporates taking out money for advance tax payments etc. However, after accounting for those trends, the outflows were pretty substantial.

Usually, 70-80 percent of all the money that goes out in September returns in October. But that did not happen this time. By the end of October, only 33% of the money that went out in September came back as net inflows. Clearly, investors were trying to convey something. Was it fear? Was it uncertainty? Was it uneasiness? Perhaps, it was a combination of all three.

Here is how individual fund-houses stand in terms of liquid/money market scheme AAUM (Table 1)

Liquid/Money Market Schemes AAUM (Rs Crore)
AMC name Aug 2018 Sep 2018 Oct 2018
HDFC 49304 53320.75 78127.22
SBI 54740.25 57063.53 63802.4
ABSL 65,662.01 63,821.35 61,093.43
ICICI Pru 59148.56 58422.4 58655.58
Reliance 46394.12 47490.63 47531
UTI 44222.76 42763.88 41185.35
Kotak 30583.39 31829.82 34520.09
Axis 28,752.51 28140.99 22129.43
Tata 24894.47 21241.27 19821.67
DSP 26376.97 23383.98 17654.91
L&T 19689.54 19166.58 15476.24
IDFC 12799.6 13286.34 14241.4
Invesco 13413.78 14791.2 10100.39
LIC 16859.85 10738.41 6797.29
Franklin 5596.82 7169.14 6298.4
Sundaram 7723.02 6985.48 6292.34
Edelweiss 5134.83 5663.88 4795.52
DHFL 12449.31 10810.37 4617.21
Mirae 2448.75 2228.05 2008.53
Canara Robeco 1538.14 1571.31 1267.28

Tall order

By end of October 2018, the pecking order in terms of liquid/money market scheme assets saw some big changes.

HDFC Mutual Fund, which was not even in top three club, was the new number 1 in terms of liquid/money market scheme AAUM. HDFC MF amassed Rs 78,127.22 crore, with about Rs 24,806 AAUM added in just one month. It now commands 15% AAUM market share among the top 20 fund-houses in terms of liquid/money market assets.

SBI MF, which was No. 3 in August, was the new No. 2. Though it did not add as much as AAUM like HDFC MF, SBI MF added assets both in September and October — only four other fund-houses (HDFC, Reliance, Kotak, and IDFC) have managed to grow AAUM in both September and October months.

Aditya Birla Sun Life MF, the old No. 1, was relegated to No. 3 spot by October end. It lost close to Rs 4,500 crore in AAUM to end October with Rs 61,093.43 crore. ICICI Prudential also saw its liquid/money market scheme AAUM drop in October over August.

Reliance Mutual Fund held on to its No. 5 position (in August and in October), and Kotak MF too retained its No. 7 position.

Here is how individual fund-houses gained/lost AAUM in liquid/money market schemes in September and October 2018.

Liquid/Money Market Schemes incremental gain/loss (Rs Cr) in Sep, Oct 2018
AMC name Gain/Loss in Sept (over Aug) Gain/Loss in Oct (over Sep)
HDFC 4016.75 24806.47
SBI 2323.28 6738.87
Kotak 1246.43 2690.27
IDFC 486.74 955.06
ICICI Pru -726.16 233.18
Reliance 1096.51 40.37
Mirae -220.7 -219.52
Canara Robeco 33.17 -304.03
Sundaram -737.54 -693.14
Edelweiss 529.05 -868.36
Franklin 1572.32 -870.74
Tata -3653.2 -1419.6
UTI -1458.88 -1578.53
ABSL -1840.66 -2727.92
L&T -522.96 -3690.34
LIC -6121.44 -3941.12
Invesco 1377.42 -4690.81
DSP -2992.99 -5729.07
Axis -611.52 -6011.56
DHFL -1638.94 -6193.16

If you total the incremental AAUM added by fund-houses in September (over August) and October (over September), HDFC comes at top with Rs 28,823.22 crore, followed by SBI MF (Rs 9,062.15 crore), Kotak AMC (Rs 3,936.7 crore), IDFC AMC (Rs 1,441.8 crore) and Reliance AMC (Rs 1,136.88 crore). These five fund-houses added AAUM in both the months, amid a sell-off and a panic situation in debt markets.

The five biggest AAUM losers in September and October are LIC MF (Rs -10062.56 crore), DSP MF (Rs -8722.06 crore), DHFL (Rs -7832.1 crore), Axis MF (Rs -6623.08 crore) and Tata AMC (Rs -5072.8 crore). Aditya Birla Sun Life MF seems to have lost Rs 4,568.58 crore, followed by L&T MF that seems to have lost Rs 4,213.3 crore, while Invesco and UTI AMC have also shed over Rs 3,000 crore each.

Kumar Shankar Roy

Kumar Shankar Roy is contributing editor with RupeeIQ. He can be contacted on