Equity mutual funds witnessed an addition of over 15 lakh investor accounts or folios in the first half of the current financial year, primarily on account of strong participation from retail investors.
This is on top of an addition of 43 lakh folios in 2015-16 and 25 lakh in 2014-15. In the past two years, investor accounts increased mainly due to robust contribution from smaller towns.
Folios are numbers designated for individual investor accounts, though one investor can have multiple accounts.
According to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) data on investor accounts with 42 active fund houses, the number of equity folios jumped to 37,556,235 at the end of September from 36,025,062 at the end of last fiscal, a gain of 15.31 lakh.
Overall, the industry's folios rose to an all-time high of 5.05 crore.
Growing participation from retail investors and huge inflows in equity schemes have helped in increasing the folio counts, experts said.
"Contribution towards monthly SIP (systematic investment plans) lead to higher positive net inflows in equities," Bajaj Capital Group CEO and Director Anil Chopra said.
SIP is an investment vehicle offered by mutual funds to investors, allowing them to invest using small amounts periodically instead of lump sums. The frequency of investment is usually weekly, monthly or quarterly.
Mutual funds have reported net inflows of Rs 22,233 crore in equity schemes in the first six months (April-September period) of the current fiscal.
Inflows are in line with BSE's benchmark Sensex rising 1,748 points or 6.7 per cent during the period under review.
The latest inflow has pushed the assets under management (AUM) of equity mutual fund to Rs 4.33 lakh crore at the end of September from Rs 3.86 lakh crore in August-end.