The Indian mutual fund industry added as many as 406,000 new equity folios in January, which is the highest since 2007-08, when the Lehman Brothers crisis loomed.
With this, the equity investors' base has now reached nearly 31 million -- the highest since September, 2013.
It is interesting to note that such a massive entry of investors happened at a time when key stock indices were trading at an all-time high with CNX Nifty hovering close to 9,000 mark and the BSE Sensex reaching levels of 29,000.
A similar surge was seen in the 2007-2008 period when markets touched a high in January 2008, just before the correction.
However, sector executives say that there is difference between today and FY08. According to them there is lot more room for indices to go up and, therefore, huge potential for more investments from domestic investors.
Further, what gives them comfort is the fact that the equity investors' base as on date is nowhere near what it was in 2009-10. Equity mutual funds had a folio count of 41 million during that period. Currently, the industry is way behind by a wide gap of over 10 million.
The continuous investors' awareness programmes in cities and towns across India has started bearing fruit now. However, the penetration level still is poor given the huge population of the country.