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Rediff.com  » Business » 'Freak trades' inflate MF schemes' NAV

'Freak trades' inflate MF schemes' NAV

June 05, 2008 12:09 IST
When Deutsche Asset Management Company (AMC) listed its debt scheme - DWS Fixed Term Fund-Series 43 (growth option) - on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on April 4 this year, little did they know that within 24 days the scheme's net asset value (NAV) would double to Rs 20.

Concerned with the unusual price rise, the AMC issued a notice in leading papers last week, informing the investors about it. The advertisement clearly stated,

"There is no reason for the listed price to quote at such a significant variance as compared to the underlying NAV."  Suresh Soni, chief investment officer, Deutsche Asset Management, said that there was nothing to support such a rise. "Once the fund is listed, it's for the investors to decide the price," he added.

The fund is still trading at Rs 13.90 or 39 per cent higher than the listing price despite the actual returns of only 2.05 per cent. Consider this, DWS fixed term fund - 43 is a three-year close-ended debt fund. It will mature in March 2011.

Close-ended funds are normally listed to provide liquidity to the investor, if they want to exit. They list at a discount because of this very reason. This rise in the NAV is only observed when such funds approach maturity.

Also, the returns of such funds are at a nominal rate of 10-12 per cent a year. So, there could be no possible reason for a 100 per cent rise in the NAV. "A fair value of the scheme should have been Rs 10.1," said a certified financial planner.

Dhirendra Kumar, CEO, Value Research termed such transactions as 'freak trades'. According to him, there have been instances in the past where similar irrational price hikes have been seen listed close-end schemes."

For instance, Franklin Templeton's Capital Protection Fund, a debt-oriented scheme, too witnessed similar irrational price hike when it listed last year. This scheme touched an all-time high Rs 273.45.

It is currently trading at Rs 27.90. In another instance, between 2004 and 2005, ICICI Prudential Spice - an exchange-traded fund - rose sharply for almost eight to ten months leading to the suspension of trading in 2005 for sometime.    

Experts said that most of these trades take place only in the books of traders. Typically, traders identify such stocks and listed funds, in which they book profits or losses for tax purposes. "When sellers enter to take the advantage of this rise, buyers disappear," said a fund manager.

Tinesh Bhasin in Mumbai
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