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Mutual funds prune exposure to tech stocks

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Sell shares worth Rs 1,550 crore in firms during March

Tepid growth outlook and new headwinds such as rupee appreciation have made mutual fund (MF) managers wary of the information technology (IT) sector.


Money managers, who have already been underweight on the sector, were seen further pruning their exposure to the country’s top IT stocks. Last month, investment managers liquidated shares worth Rs 1,550 crore in IT companies. The stand was vindicated after IT bellwether had a tepid March quarter and disappointed with its revenue guidance. 


have turned bearish on the IT pack due to multiple headwinds such as stricter US visa policy, lower order flows, and sharp appreciation in the rupee.



India’s largest fund house took an aggressive call to cut exposure to The fund house sold its shares worth Rs 580 crore. On the other hand, HDFC Mutual Fund’s major reduction in the sector was as it sold shares worth Rs 200 crore. Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund reduced its allocation to and liquidated shares worth Rs 113 crore. Interestingly, Reliance Nippon Mutual Fund added more of shares worth Rs 167 crore during March.


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Neelesh Surana, equity head at Mirae Asset Mutual Fund, says, “We have been underweight on IT for nearly two years now. The growth trajectory for the sector is coming down and recent rupee movement is not favouring the sector at large. At current times, they have slipped to a level where it appears further big downside is protected. Some IT counters may trigger buying interest at these levels.”


Shares of all the top IT majors are trading 10-30 per cent lower than their 52-week high. and are hit the worst as their shares have plunged 28 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively, against their one-year high.


“With the exception of Infosys, equity MFs don’t have substantial exposure to the IT sector. Recent selling is more of a directional than a strategic call for many of us,” explains chief investment officer (CIO) of a mid-sized fund house.


“Cautious view continues on IT sector. Issues of visa and weak order flows have been discounted in the prices. However, the sudden strength in the rupee may not be priced in fully. There may not be immediate uptick in growth prospects for IT companies. Doubt remains if the domestic IT leaders will sustain their position on the global map given the fast-changing scenario. Higher payout may not help battle the weak investor sentiment,” said Ambareesh Baliga, an independent market expert.


This year, the IT index is down 10 per cent even as the benchmark Sensex has rallied 10 per cent. 

Mutual funds prune exposure to tech stocks

Sell shares worth Rs 1,550 crore in firms during March

Sell shares worth Rs 1,550 crore in firms during March

Tepid growth outlook and new headwinds such as rupee appreciation have made mutual fund (MF) managers wary of the information technology (IT) sector.


Money managers, who have already been underweight on the sector, were seen further pruning their exposure to the country’s top IT stocks. Last month, investment managers liquidated shares worth Rs 1,550 crore in IT companies. The stand was vindicated after IT bellwether had a tepid March quarter and disappointed with its revenue guidance. 


have turned bearish on the IT pack due to multiple headwinds such as stricter US visa policy, lower order flows, and sharp appreciation in the rupee.



India’s largest fund house took an aggressive call to cut exposure to The fund house sold its shares worth Rs 580 crore. On the other hand, HDFC Mutual Fund’s major reduction in the sector was as it sold shares worth Rs 200 crore. Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund reduced its allocation to and liquidated shares worth Rs 113 crore. Interestingly, Reliance Nippon Mutual Fund added more of shares worth Rs 167 crore during March.


chart

Neelesh Surana, equity head at Mirae Asset Mutual Fund, says, “We have been underweight on IT for nearly two years now. The growth trajectory for the sector is coming down and recent rupee movement is not favouring the sector at large. At current times, they have slipped to a level where it appears further big downside is protected. Some IT counters may trigger buying interest at these levels.”


Shares of all the top IT majors are trading 10-30 per cent lower than their 52-week high. and are hit the worst as their shares have plunged 28 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively, against their one-year high.


“With the exception of Infosys, equity MFs don’t have substantial exposure to the IT sector. Recent selling is more of a directional than a strategic call for many of us,” explains chief investment officer (CIO) of a mid-sized fund house.


“Cautious view continues on IT sector. Issues of visa and weak order flows have been discounted in the prices. However, the sudden strength in the rupee may not be priced in fully. There may not be immediate uptick in growth prospects for IT companies. Doubt remains if the domestic IT leaders will sustain their position on the global map given the fast-changing scenario. Higher payout may not help battle the weak investor sentiment,” said Ambareesh Baliga, an independent market expert.


This year, the IT index is down 10 per cent even as the benchmark Sensex has rallied 10 per cent. 

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Chandan Kishore Kant

Business Standard

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