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MUMBAI: Financial services company Emkay Global and brokerage Abira Securities have become the latest entities to apply for mutual fund (MF) licence from market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

Founded in 1995, Emkay Global is a diversified financial services company dealing in wealth management, investment banking, equities & derivatives, insurance broking, portfolio management services, currency, depository and research.

Vikaas Sachdeva, chief executive officer of Emkay Investment Managers, was previously CEO of ENAM Asset Management Company and Edelweiss AMC. He was a member of the board of Amfi, the industry body for mutual funds. He has a long-established background in the mutual fund industry.

Established in 2012, Abira Securities is a Kolkata-based stock broking house.

According to the market regulator website, Emkay Global had filed for the licence on 3 March, and Abira Securities on 24 March, joining seven other companies awaiting approvals.

Flipkart-backed PhonePe Private Ltd. had filed for the licence on 31 December 2021.

Applications of Deepak Shenoy’s Wizemarkets Analytics Pvt. Ltd. (Capitalmind), Samir Arora’s Helios Capital, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s Alchemy Capital, and Kenneth Andrade-led Old Bridge Capital Management Pvt. Ltd. are under process. Angel One Ltd. and Unifi Capital Pvt. Ltd. have also applied for licences.

Notably, Bajaj Finserv Ltd., Zerodha Broking Ltd. and Frontline Capital Services Ltd. have received in-principle approval from Sebi for mutual fund business.

The Indian mutual fund industry is one of the most hotly contested sectors with 43 players, with more looking to enter the space.

As per data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi), assets under management (AUM) of Indian mutual fund industry as on 30 June stood at 35.64 trillion.

The Indian MF industry’s AUM has grown to 35.64 trillion as on 30 June 2022 from 18.96 trillion as on 30 June 2017, a nearly two-fold increase in five years.

This space has also witnessed some consolidation in the recent past. In December, HSBC Holdings Plc’s Indian asset management unit agreed to buy the mutual fund unit of L&T Finance Holdings Ltd for about 3,191 crore to bolster its wealth management business.

Further, in 2020, global financial services group Manulife had acquired a 49% stake in Mahindra Asset Management Co. for 265 crore.

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