Motilal Oswal has come out with their first actively managed mutual fund and it’s called theÂ MOSt Focused 25 Fund. It’s named this way because the fund will invest in up to 25 stocks at any given time.
What will Motilal Oswal MOSt Focused 25 Fund invest in?
This is an open ended equity fund, and they will invest 65 to 100 percent of their money in the top 200 biggest listed stocks. They have also said that they may invest up to 25% of their funds in stocks beyond the top 200 as long as the market capitalization of the company is more than Rs. 1,400 crores. They can also invest a portion of their assets in debt instruments.
I was curious to see how many companies fit this criteria and I looked at the S&P BSE 500Â index to find that information. The 200th company in there is Supreme Industries with a market capitalization of about Rs. 4,000 crores, and then WELCORP is number 368 with a market capitalization of Rs. 1404 crores.
Now the S&P CNX 500 represents about 96% of the free float market capitalization of stocks listed on NSE, and this fund is able to invest in about 37o of them, so in that sense there is not really a whole lot of restriction in where it can invest. You can expect the bulk of the funds to be in large or mid cap stocks, but other than that the condition of the top 200 and then beyond that companies with more than Rs. 1,400 crores in market capitalization doesn’t narrow down the field in any significant manner as far as I can tell.
How do 25 shares compare with other big funds?
The next interesting thing to look at is the 25 number. If this active fund holds 25 stocks – how does that meaningfully differ from any other active fund which doesn’t impose such a restriction on itself.
Let’s take the example of HDFC Top 200 because it is successful, somewhat similar in structure to the extent that it can only choose companies from BSE 200, and is very big in size so that can give an indication on how many stocks huge funds need to own.
They have an Excel download with the portfolio of Top 200 as on March 31st 2013, and there you can see that this fund owns 69 stocks, so that’s way more than 25!
Also, you can see that the top 25 stocks form about 70% of their portfolio, and the last 44 constitute only about 28% of their portfolio (they have 2% cash) so that’s an interesting contrast that shows what they mean when they say focused.
I feel this is a good thing because all the stocks in their portfolio should be in a position to meaningfully impact their portfolio if they set an upper limit of 25. That in itself is no magic bullet though, and can backfire as well, but as far as strategies go, it appeals to me.
Who is the fund manager of Motilal Oswal MOSt Focused 25 Fund?Â
There are two fund managers – Mr.Â Taher Badhsah who is responsible for the equity part, and Mr.Â Mr. Abhiroop Mukherjee who is responsible for the debt part.
I’m going to excerpt the information about Mr. Taher Badhsah from the offer document.Â
Mr. Taher Badhsah is the Fund Manager of this Scheme and is responsible for managing investments in equityÂ and equity related instruments of the Scheme.Â Taher is a B.E. in Electronics from the University of Â Mumbai with a Masters in Management StudiesÂ (Finance) from the SP Jain Institute of Management,Â Mumbai. He has over 18 years of rich experience inÂ fund management and investment research. He startedÂ his career as an automobiles analyst with MotilalÂ Oswal and has been well-regarded in the industry forÂ his work in this sector. Besides, Taher has also workedÂ in different capacities with organizations like KotakÂ Mahindra and Prudential ICICI Asset ManagementÂ Ltd.. He has spent the first 10 years of his career doingÂ sell-side equity research and the past 8 years in activeÂ fund management. Taher has worked as a Senior FundÂ Manager for ICICI Prudential PMS for 3 years postÂ which his last assignment has been with Kotak MahindraÂ Investment Advisors as a Fund Manager managing aÂ part of their long-only offshore equity assets betweenÂ 2007 and 2010. At Motilal Oswal AMC, in his capacityÂ as Sr. Fund Manager and Co-Head Equities, he has ledÂ the active equity investment team since 2010.Â Mr. Taher Badshah is not a fund manager for any otherÂ schemes of Motilal Oswal Mutual Fund except MotilalÂ Oswal MOSt Focused 25 Fund.
I’m unable to make any meaningful inference out of this, so I’ll leave it without further comment.
Expenses and Dates
The offer document says that the fees will be under the maximum permissible so I think it’s fair to assume that this is not going to be a low cost fund.
The NFO opened on 22 April 2013, and will close on May 06 2013.
Motilal is not the first to come up with the idea of 25 stocks but I do like the idea. However, there is no way to tell how an actively managed fund will perform without looking at the performance itself.
If you are in the market for an actively managed fund, I’d say it is better to invest in one that has already shown promise and keep this one in your watch-list to see how the fund does in a two or three year’s time.