Reliance Industries top laggard for Mutual Funds in March; fund managers sell nearly 90 lakh shares

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© Provided by The Financial Express Funds were instead deployed towards the initial public offerings (IPO). (Image; REUTERS)

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) was the top laggard for mutual fund houses in the month of March, with the value of holdings dropping by Rs 3,060 crore. The share price of RIL, fell 2.6% during March while stock markets ended with marginal gains. This resulted in fund managers selling 90 lakh shares of the company through the month. Investors come back to mutual funds in March as AMFI data showed net inflows for the first time in eight months. 

Mutual fund houses owned 25.58 crore equity shares of Reliance Industries at the end of February. The number of shares at the end of March was down to 24.68 crore, a fall of 90 lakh shares, according to the data sourced by Edelweiss Research. In terms of change in value, ICICI Securities said the value drop was Rs 3,060 crore or 5.8% from the previous month. Fund houses have continued to trim stake in index heavyweights over the last few months. In February, fund houses sold 72 lakh RIL shares.

RIL was not the only big-name stock that was sold by fund houses. Edelweiss highlights that the oil-to-telecom conglomerate was followed by Hindustan Unilever, where fund houses sold 63 lakh shares. The number of shares sold was the highest for Vedanta with mutual funds selling 5 crore shares of Anil Agarwal’s firm. ITC followed close behind with over 4 crore shares and ICICI Bank with over 2 crore shares. 

Funds were instead deployed towards the initial public offerings (IPO). March was an IPO Frenzy month and Mutual Funds houses collectively deployed Rs 1,600 crore in 9 names, Edelweiss said. MTAR Tech IPO saw the largest inflows, totalling Rs 613 crore, Craftsman Automation inflows were at Rs 183 crore, and Nazara Technologies received Rs 180 crore, making them the three highest bets made by fund houses in the IPO arena. Easytrip Planners, Suryoday Small Finance, Laxmi Organic, Kalyan Jewellers, Anupam Rasayan, and Barbeque Nation were the other recipients of funds. 

Among stocks BPCL, Bank of Baroda, WABCO India, and SBI Cards and Payments Services were the scrips that saw the most positive change in value during the month of March.