Gold ETFs register Rs 730 crore outflow in 2017

Gold ETFs register Rs 730 crore outflow in 2017
Representational Photo

New Delhi: Investors continued to pull out money from gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and withdrew Rs 730 crore in 2017, making it the fifth consecutive year of outflow from such products.

The outflow meant asset under management (AUM) of gold funds plunged by 12 per cent to Rs 4,855 crore during the period under review, latest data with Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi) showed.

Over the last few years, retail investors have been putting in more money into equity, as compared to gold ETFs, mainly on account of strong return. Equity and equity-linked saving schemes saw an infusion of close to Rs 1.5 lakh crore last year, while overall mutual fund schemes witnessed an inflow of Rs 2.4 lakh crore.

As per Amfi data, a net sum of Rs 730 crore was pulled out of 14 gold-linked ETFs last year as compared to Rs 942 crore in 2016. It had witnessed an outflow of Rs 891 crore, Rs 1,651 crore and Rs 1,815 crore in 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively. In 2012, gold ETFs saw an inflow of Rs 1,826 crore.

“Lacklustre performance by real estate and gold, and low interest rates on traditional savings instruments have contributed in pushing investor flows into equities,” Bajaj Capital CEO Rahul Parikh said.

Gold ETFs are passive investment instruments that are based on price movements and investments in physical gold.

“While demand from India has traditionally buttressed gold prices globally, sound rally in the Indian equity markets in 2017 has meant that gold as an asset class has not been favoured. A strong Indian equity market may mean a sober outlook for gold,” Vidya Bala, head of MF Research at said.

Going ahead, Chirag Mehta, Senior Fund Manager- Alternative Investments at Quantum AMC said: “Both investment demand and prices will rise the next time the economic and political environment inspires investors to rush even more dramatically back to gold”.

“The world continues to remain in state of great disequilibrium, both with respect to the global economy and geopolitics as well. The fallout of the geopolitics globally seems to now cap the downsides in gold. Given the macroeconomic picture, gold will be a useful portfolio diversification tool and thereby helping you to reduce overall portfolio risk,” he added.