This year we achieved sustainable business growth strengthened ourbalance sheet and remained committed to our vision of creating wealth for our clients.Our mindful business strategies have placed us advantageously to emerge as a strongercompany despite the pandemic-related challenges faced during the last two years.
Today we are one of the most preferred investment services companiesfor over a million clients. Our advanced trading and investment platforms domainexpertise and wide footprint distinguishes us from our peers.
Encouraging long-term wealth creation
The very purpose of our existence is to help customers create long-termwealth. Through our in-depth research and accrued knowledge of capital markets wecontinue to cater to long-term investors helping them channelise household savings intothe capital market and building wealth over the long term. We offer a wide range ofproducts and services to facilitate our customers grow their financial assets. Our keyobjective is to become an active partner in their journey of wealth creation byhand-holding them throughout their investment journey.
Vibrant stock markets in 2021
As the global economy continues to heal from the COVID-19 pandemic themarkets evinced resilience and delivered stellar returns in 2021-22. The spectre ofCOVID-19 appears to be waning and the Indian economy is returning to pre-COVID levels. Inwhat can be termed as one of the sharpest rallies from the lows of March 2020 most of thesectors provided positive returns standing tall and robust. The stock markets deliveredexcellent returns on the back of improved corporate earnings post-COVID near double-digitGDP and sufficient liquidity infused by the government.
NIFTY 50 offered positive returns of about 19% in fiscal year 2022 toclose above 17450. All sectoral
indices provided positive returns with the small-cap indexoutperforming Nifty and mid-cap companies. The Mid-cap index at 25.30% and the Small capindex at 28.63% also performed well during the year. However FPI (foreign portfolioinvestments) inflows were marked with significant volatility and relentless selling waswitnessed since October 2021. For the full fiscal year FPIs sold about ' 140000 crorewhich contributed to the fall in stock markets in the second half of the fiscal year.
Increasing retail participation
Nevertheless the big story of the year was the resilience of retailinvestors in the face of the global sell-off which helped Indian capital markets tidemuch of the volatility. Retail participation in the stock markets has been increasingsince the onset of COVID-19. The number of active demat accounts in the country jumped 63%during the year to 89.7 million. From an average of 4 lakh new demat accounts opened everymonth during FY 2019-20 the number trebled to 12 lakh per month during FY 2020-21. Andthis year in FY 2021-22 it further increased to about 26 lakh per month. Much of theretail participation was witnessed from the millennials - a good indication of an increasein financialisation of savings in India beyond traditional investment vehicles.
Deep customer relationships
Over the years we have built enduring relationships with our customersby virtue of our expertise in stock broking investment management and our tech-ledinnovation. The ability to cater to our clientele has helped us in establishing strongcustomer relationships widening our reach and maximising value creation.
With most of our customers being long-term investors our deliveryvolumes have been constantly rising during the year. Nearly 30% of our active customerbase has been investing through our investment platforms for an average of over 10 years -either directly into equities or through the mutual fund route. We have seen a steadyincrease in the number of clients who invest through SmartFolios our curated stockbaskets.
Although the short to medium term outlook on capital markets remainscloudy we are confident of future growth driven by an accelerated shift in householdsavings from physical assets to financial investments. As the financial sector continuesto remain under-penetrated we are playing an active role in bridging this gap being aprominent investment services player.
By drawing upon our accumulated knowledge and cutting-edge technologyand by nurturing new ideas for value creation we will continue to be a trusted partner toour customers. We remain committed to enabling them meet their financial goals whileensuring our ethical practices and transparency.
We are proud of our strong dividend distribution policy. During theyear under review we declared a dividend of ' 3.00 per share vis-a-vis ' 3.50 in theearlier year despite having declared a higher Net Profit during the year. The primaryreason being higher requirement of working capital due to recent regulatory changes.
Thank you Shareholders
As we move ahead we will continue to strengthen and upgrade ourtechnology platforms people and process capabilities. Fortifying our research content andserving our customers in the best of their interest will remain an integral part of ourbusiness strategy.
We will continue to seize new opportunities through our wide array ofofferings and well-defined strategies.
As we set out to achieve this we thank you for your complete support.
Wishing you all good health.
CA R. Bupathy