Even as it becomes difficult to pick stock given frothy valuations in the stock market, PPFAS Mutual Fund which manages assets topping Rs 1,000 crore is sitting on piles of cash at 23% of its AUM. In an interview to ET Now, Raunak Onkar said that the fund house would rather sit on cash than invest without conviction. When asked about the unusual levels of cash ( the industry has cash of around 5-6%), Raunak Onkar said, “I agree, but instead of chasing ideas which we do not have conviction in, we would rather wait for the right idea to arrive and it has nothing to do with market levels.
So, market can be wherever it is, if tomorrow an idea comes in, the residual cash will be immediately deployed, say 5% or 10% will go into two stocks and you will see a 10% cash holding,” he told the channel last week. The current cash position could not be immediately ascertained. Elaborating on which kind of stocks the fund house invests in Raunak Onkar said, “The point is to have conviction in the ideas we own and only go for ideas where we are sure that we have some edge and understanding how the business works and have some visibility how the business will grow.”
According to the company’s website the house runs just one scheme- Parag Parikh Long Term Equity Fund. “Parag Parikh Long Term Equity Fund has the flexibility to invest in Indian and foreign companies irrespective of market capitalisation and sectors,” says the website.”
Interestingly, PPFAS fund invests 65% of its corpus in Indian equities, and enjoys the same tax benefits as any other Indian equity mutual fund scheme, despite it having the freedom to invest in foreign stocks.
Instances of fund managers prefering to hold cash rather than investing into the capital markets have been found earlier too. In 2017, for want of opportunities to invest, DSP BlackRock Micro Cap Fund had shut the doors to fresh investments. Similarly in April-17, Motilal Oswal Asset Management had stopped accepting new cash for its Next Trillion Dollar Opportunity Strategy, which mostly invests in small and mid-cap stocks, as an ongoing rally had made valuations untenable.The original article could be seen here.