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Business News/ Mutual Funds / Which mutual funds can get cheaper post Sebi’s TER proposals?
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Which mutual funds can get cheaper post Sebi’s TER proposals?

The note has found that roughly 45% of equity schemes, 31% of debt schemes and 41% of hybrid schemes can get cheaper if the SEBI proposals are implemented in their current form

Which Mutual Funds can get cheaper post Sebi’s TER proposals? (Representative file image) (HT_PRINT)Premium
Which Mutual Funds can get cheaper post Sebi’s TER proposals? (Representative file image) (HT_PRINT)

A research note issued by Fisdom, a mutual fund distribution platform, has analysed the impact of Sebi’s recent Total Expense Ratio (TER) consultation paper on the mutual fund industry. The note has found that roughly 45% of equity schemes, 31% of debt schemes and 41% of hybrid schemes can get cheaper if the SEBI proposals are implemented in their current form.

The proposals envisage the replacement of scheme-wise TER with asset-class-wise TER. This means there will be a single cap for equity mutual funds, another one for debt and a proportional one for hybrid funds (depending on their equity-debt split). SEBI has also proposed that costs which currently sit outside TER caps such as additional TER for beyond 30 cities flows, and additional TER in lieu of exit load and brokerage should be brought into TER.

First, let’s understand what the existing TER structure is. Under existing Sebi rules, equity funds have a graded TER cap which comes down as the scheme gets bigger. At the lowest size, the cap is 2.25% and it gets lower and lower as a scheme grows bigger. The same principle is followed for hybrid and debt funds.

However, this incentivised mutual funds to launch numerous small schemes and charge a high TER on them rather than keeping just a few schemes and directing flows into them (this would have lowered the TER cap). The new proposals would see this scheme-level cap being replaced by an asset-level cap. This asset level cap for equity schemes starts at 2.55% and falls progressively as the fund house’s AUM in that asset class falls over time.

The 2.55% starting TER cap is optically higher than the existing cap. However since additional costs such as brokerage and TER for beyond 30 cities inflows are being brought inside the cap, the actual TER can go down for many schemes. According to Fisdom’s calculations, the maximum impact will be felt on thematic and sectoral funds since these tend to be small and have the highest TER charged on them.

MF categories to be affected by SEBI's TER proposal
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MF categories to be affected by SEBI's TER proposal

As per these calculations around 79% of such schemes have a TER that exceeds Sebi’s proposed TER cap. Within hybrid funds, BAFs and aggressive hybrid funds will see the most impact and within debt funds, the credit risk category will see the strongest impact (reduction in TER).

“After the Sebi categorization and rationalisation exercise of 2017, most mutual funds were allowed to only launch 1 scheme per category. The exception was sectoral/thematic funds. That is why there are so many sectoral and thematic funds," said Nirav Karkera, Head of Research at Fisdom.

In general, investors in smaller schemes regardless of category will benefit the most if the Sebi proposals are implemented.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Neil Borate
I head the personal finance team at Mint. I have been writing about personal finance for the past 8 years after finishing two degrees in law and economics respectively. I do what I do, to help the ordinary Indian saver and investor.
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Published: 26 May 2023, 08:41 AM IST
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