Largecaps are the flavour of the season on Dalal Street amid the ongoing Covid-19 uncertain.
And ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company, India’s third-biggest mutual fund house, played safe in June and bought over 10 lakh shares each in at least 11 Nifty companies.
Available data shows the money manager lapped up shares of leading players from oil & gas, telecom, banking, information technology, metals and minerals and power in June, when BSE benchmark Sensex advanced 7.50 per cent.
The fund house added 2 crore shares of GAIL (India) last month. It also bought 99 lakh additional shares in NTPC, 56 lakh in Bharti Airtel and 52 lakh in ICICI Bank. Barring NTPC (down 2 per cent), GAIL, NPTC and Bharti Airtel shares rose 1-10 per cent last month. Energy-to-telecom behemoth Reliance Industries, country’s major lenders State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, HDFC Bank, IT major Wipro and metal and mining firm Vedanta were among other major buys among the top 20 players for the fund house.
“We have many contrarian bets in the metal and power sectors. We should also look for contrarian bets in the financial space, as it is going through a big down-cycle at this point,” Sankaran Naren, CIO of ICICI Prudential AMC, told ETNow in an interaction last month.
The AMC’s investment team led by Naren also showed its confidence in Power Finance Corporation, GMR Infrastructure, SJVN, Chennai Petroleum Corporation, Mangalore Refinery, City Union Bank and Manappuram Finance. The fund house purchased 12.50 -36 lakh additional shares in these firms.
On the other hand, it offloaded over 25 lakh shares each in Infosys, Engineers India, Zee Entertainment, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, Cipla, M&M, Indian Oil Corporation, BHEL, The South Indian Bank, Motherson Sumi, ITC and ONGC.
With Rs 3.32 lakh crore in asset under management, ICICI Prudential AMC reduced exposure to at least 400 companies, but bought selectively in some 133 others.
Kotak Mahindra Bank, Adani Ports, IndusInd Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Adani Enterprises, Bajaj Auto, Nestle and Dr Reddy’s Labs were among the other Nifty companies where the fund house raised stake during the month gone by.
Most of the Nifty stocks delivered positive returns to investors last month with Bajaj Finance gaining the most at 45 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finserv (up 33 per cent), IndusInd Bank (up 21 per cent), M&M (up 17 per cent) and RIL (16 per cent). However, Zee Entertainment (down 6.78 per cent), Coal India (down 6 per cent), Bharti Infratel (down 3.67 per cent) and Dr Reddy’s Las (down 3.10 per cent).
ICICI Prudential AMC offloaded 1.34 lakh shares in Bajaj Finserv and 6.75 lakh in Bajaj Finance during the month.
Hopes of a potential Covid-19 vaccine and expectation of further stimulus announcements from the government kept the sentiments positive last month.