BENGALURU, March 11 (Reuters): Inflows into Indian equity mutual funds jumped over 25 per cent sequentially to 156.86 billion rupees ($1.91 billion) in February, the highest in nine months, data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) showed on Friday.
The rise in inflows offset some of the pressure on markets, which have witnessed sustained selling by foreign investors.
Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) offloaded 341.46 billion rupees worth of equities in the first two months of 2023. The benchmark has fallen nearly 4 per cent so far this year.
"The rise in inflows into mutual funds demonstrates investor confidence in equity-oriented schemes," said N.S. Venkatesh, chief executive officer of AMFI.
Small-cap funds accounted for most of the investments at 22.46 billion rupees, while inflows into large-cap funds halved to 3.554 billion rupees from 7.16 billion rupees in January.
Favourable valuations after a correction in small-cap stocks have attracted investor interest and inflows into the sector, according to AMFI.
Contributions to systematic investment plans (SIPs) - in which investors make regular payments into mutual funds - fell 1 per cent to 136.86 billion rupees after rising to a new record in each of the last six months, data showed.
The marginal fall in SIP contribution is due to fewer days in February, according to AMFI.
SIP contributions hit nearly 1.77 trillion rupees in the last 14 months, higher than foreign outflows into Indian equities of 1.55 trillion rupees.
"The steady contributions from SIPs have acted as a cushion to markets, which have witnessed significant outflows," said Venkatesh, adding that such sustained foreign outflows in the past could have triggered a slide in markets.
Liquid funds - those that mature in 91 days - logged outflows of 113.04 billion rupees, according to AMFI.
The mutual fund industry, including debt, equity, hybrid and other schemes, logged a total net inflow of 95.75 billion rupees, down nearly 16 per cent from the 113.73 billion rupees in January, AMFI data showed