• APRIL 24, 2000

Mutual funds: Whither IPOs!

The last 6 months have witnessed a wave of mutual fund IPOs (initial public offerings). The IPOs, a large number of which were technology-related, sought to capitalise on the boom in equity markets. With the boom in equity markets turning to bust in the last few weeks, the IPOs have fallen suit.

Every other mutual fund has launched an IPO over the past few months. A large number of these IPOs were launched with the objective of capitalising on the explosive growth in the software sector. And investors who were witnessing software stocks hitting all-time highs invested in mutual fund IPOs in a big way, believing that these IPOs would also do well just like the underlying stocks.

Growth IPOs
Alliance Basic Industries Fund (Growth) Dec. 1999 8.5 -5.4% -3.6% -4.4%
Alliance Buy India Fund (Growth) Dec. 1999 7.2 -10.9% -13.2% -28.8%
Alliance New Millennium Fund (Growth) Dec. 1999 9.6 -19.2% -33.5% -37.3%
IL&FS eCOM Fund (Growth) Dec. 1999 7.8 -22.9% -34.3% -42.6%
Kothari Pioneer Internet Opport. Fund (Gr) Feb. 2000 8.7 -6.7% 0.0% -9.4%
Prudential ICICI Technology Fund (Growth) Jan. 2000 6.9 -18.1% -29.9% -29.9%
Sun F & C Emerging Tech. (Gr) Feb. 2000 7.7 -14.1% 0.0% -9.8%

Given the state of the equity markets currently, most of the investors who had rushed to enter mutual fund IPOs, are now having second thoughts about their investments. These IPOs are now trading well below their par values (Rs 10) and investors are exiting from these schemes, just as quickly.

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