Covid-19 triggered lockdowns across the globe, it seems, have brought back investor’s focus on technology and internet related firms. While on one hand, companies with global footprint such as Facebook and Vista Equity have invested in Jio Platforms – a company owned by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries (RIL), Indian investors, too, have been scouting for investment-worthy opportunities overseas.
As per their latest fling, Parag Parikh Mutual Fund (PPFAS Mutual Fund) invested in Bill Gates- controlled Microsoft Corporation in April 2020 for one of their open-ended schemes – Parag Parikh Long Term Equity Fund (PPLTEF) and has exited its investment in Nestlé SA ADR.
The scheme has the flexibility to invest a minimum of 65 per cent in Indian equities and up to 35 per cent in overseas equity offerings and domestic debt / money market securities. As of April 30, the assets under management (AUM) / corpus for PPLTEF stood at Rs 2,925.43 crore.
“Microsoft, Alphabet (Google) and Amazon represent a large part of the global cloud computing industry. Microsoft is one of the leaders in this segment, besides Alphabet (Google) and Amazon. That is the philosophy we are working with right now. We continue to look at individual investments on their own merits and will not hesitate to invest if an opportunity looks attractive. As usual, our investment stance does not depend much on macro-economic situation but is focused on individual companies,” said Rajeev Thakkar, Chief Investment officer (CIO) at PPFAS Mutual Fund.
Besides Microsoft, the global exposure of the fund includes Amazon, Aplhabet Inc (Google Class C), Facebook and Suzuki Motor Corporation (ADR). Their top holdings, as per the factsheet, are Amazon (9.34 per cent), Alphabet (9.08 per cent) and HDFC Bank (7.83 per cent). In the Indian context, besides HDFC Bank, the fund has invested in Bajaj Holdings & Investment, Hero MotoCorp, Mphasis, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, ITC and Persistent Systems among others.
“Internet & technology, Banks' and software make up the top three sectors, comprising 46.74 per cent of the portfolio. As at April 30, 2020, 65.69 per cent is invested in Indian equities and 30.69 per cent is invested in foreign equities. The residual 3.62 per cent is parked in tri-party repos (TREPS) etc. and Fixed Deposit Receipts (FDR),” PPFAS said in an emailed note.
Fund houses such as Morningstar, Edelweiss, Invesco Mutual Fund, DSP, ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, Parag Parikh Financial Advisory (PPFAS) and Franklin Templeton offer products that help Indian investors take exposure to global equities.
Surprisingly, the funds house seems to have given a miss to the largest initial public offers in recent times – Saudi Aramco. The stock debuted in December 2019 on the Saudi Tadawul stock exchange after a mammoth $25.6 billion IPO that set the record as the biggest ever in history.