Bajaj Finserv will be the latest entrant to the Rs 35-trillion mutual fund (MF) industry after the company received in-principle approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
“Accordingly, the company would be setting up an asset management company (AMC) and the trustee company, directly or indirectly i.e., itself or through its subsidiary in accordance with applicable Sebi regulations and other applicable laws,” said the notification. Bajaj Finserv had applied to the regulator in September 2020.
The company’s shares rose 7.91 per cent or Rs 1,207.05 on Tuesday and ended the session at Rs 16,475.25 apiece. The stock had touched a 55-week high intraday.
In the past year, the stock has delivered returns of 157.5 per cent, compared with 44.2 per cent by Sensex. The Bajaj Finance stock ended the day at Rs 6,978.75 apiece, up 3.33 per cent. With the MF industry witnessing substantial growth in the last few months, more players have looked to enter the fray. In the past few months, new players like NJ India and Samco Securities have set up shop.
At present, there are 45 players in the industry. According to Sebi, as of June, there were around six entities that were waiting for in-principal approval, including Zerodha Broking, Alchemy Capital Management, and Helios Capital Management.
Market participants say it will be very challenging for the new players to become successful as most of the assets are still cornered by the top 10 fund houses. However, there is huge scope for expanding the business as MF penetration remains low. As of July, net assets under management (AUM) of the industry stood at Rs 35.31 trillion.
According to a report by ICICI Securities, India’s AUM has recorded a strong 19 per cent annualised growth over the past 20 years. Yet, the AUM forms only 12 per cent of GDP, compared to the global average of 55 per cent.