ICICI Mutual Fund, the country's second largest asset manager, garnered Rs 3,130 crore of investor flows for its new fund offer (NFO) - ICICI Prudential Housing Opportunities Fund.
S Naren, the chief investment officer of ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, who is known for his macro and business cycle calls, will be managing the fund along with co-fund manager Anand Sharma.
ICICI Prudential Housing Opportunities Fund will be benchmarked against the Nifty Housing Index, which is a newly launched index by the NSE.
HDFC Housing Opportunities Fund is the only other housing theme fund in the mutual fund industry.ICICI's Housing Opportunities Fund will not just invest in stocks of real estate companies that directly benefit from the growth of housing market, but also in the allied sectors that will benefit. Unlike a sectoral fund, a thematic fund invests in a broad set of stocks and sectors.
The fund will have a diversified portfolio, as it will invest in companies that belong to different sectors that can benefit from the growth of the housing market. So construction, financial service companies, home loan companies, consumer goods, cement, power, metals, etc. will be some of the sectors where the fund will look for investment opportunities.
The Nifty Housing Index itself comprises 50 stocks, but the fund's investable universe is likely to be much larger.
Pause on NFOs
ICICI Prudential Housing Opportunities Fund was launched before SEBI directed holding off any new fund launches till July 1, till the use of pool accounts is discontinued.The market watchdog had asked mutual fund houses to ensure that no distributor, online platform, stockbroker or investment advisor pools investors’ money in a bank account and then transfers it to the fund house for purchasing units of schemes for those investors. This is to ensure that the money does not get misused.