The Telegraph
Friday , May 16 , 2014
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Birla Sun Life to buy ING mutual schemes

Mumbai, May 15: Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company Ltd today said it would acquire all the mutual fund schemes and portfolio management accounts of ING Investment Management (India) Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

The ING acquisition will add close to Rs 1,100 crore to the assets under management (AUM) of Birla Sun Life, of which over Rs 560 crore is in mutual funds as on March 31.

“We found a strategic fit in the acquisition of schemes of ING Investment Management India. Beyond AUM, this adds to our existing investor base and we see an opportunity to increase the penetration,” A. Balasubramanian, CEO of Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company Ltd, said.

He said the transaction would increase the number of high net worth individuals having accounts with Birla Sun Life.

At present, Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund manages assets over Rs 1 lakh crore and is the fourth largest fund house in the country.

Other fund houses such as L&T Mutual Fund and Axis Mutual Fund were also keen to acquire ING Mutual Fund.

The acquisition also marks the exit of yet another foreign fund house from the domestic industry

In December last year, HDFC Mutual Fund had acquired all the eight schemes of Morgan Stanley Mutual Fund in the country.

Earlier, SBI Mutual Fund had announced the acquisition of all existing India domiciled schemes of Daiwa Mutual Fund.

In 2012, L&T Finance bought Fidelity’s mutual fund business.

Mutual funds have been making efforts to bring in retail investors. Recent data showed the number of folios with mutual funds fell by 16 lakh, or 4 per cent, in the second half of 2013-14, making it the sixth consecutive half-yearly decline.

According to the Association of Mutual Funds in India, the industry had a total of 3.95 crore folios, including institutional investors and high net worth individuals, in the second half of 2013-14 against 4.13 crore folios in the preceding six months.

Of this, retail folios stood at 3.63 crore against 3.79 crore in the first half, a fall of 4.25 per cent.