Motilal Oswal MOSt Focused 25 Fund Review

Motilal Oswal has come out with their first actively managed mutual fund and it’s called the 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 500 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? 

There are two fund managers – Mr. Taher Badhsah who is responsible for the equity part, and Mr. 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. 

Mr. Taher Badhsah is the Fund Manager of this Scheme and is responsible for managing investments in equity and equity related instruments of the Scheme. Taher is a B.E. in Electronics from the University of  Mumbai with a Masters in Management Studies (Finance) from the SP Jain Institute of Management, Mumbai. He has over 18 years of rich experience in fund management and investment research. He started his career as an automobiles analyst with Motilal Oswal and has been well-regarded in the industry for his work in this sector. Besides, Taher has also worked in different capacities with organizations like Kotak Mahindra and Prudential ICICI Asset Management Ltd.. He has spent the first 10 years of his career doing sell-side equity research and the past 8 years in active fund management. Taher has worked as a Senior Fund Manager for ICICI Prudential PMS for 3 years post which his last assignment has been with Kotak Mahindra Investment Advisors as a Fund Manager managing a part of their long-only offshore equity assets between 2007 and 2010. At Motilal Oswal AMC, in his capacity as Sr. Fund Manager and Co-Head Equities, he has led the active equity investment team since 2010. Mr. Taher Badshah is not a fund manager for any other schemes of Motilal Oswal Mutual Fund except Motilal 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.

6 thoughts on “Motilal Oswal MOSt Focused 25 Fund Review”

  1. Dear OneMint team and Manshu, Thank you very much, its very good to see the care in detailing and how some highlights have been brought out on the investment universe, concentration etc. Needless to say we appreciate that in interest of investors it is cautioned that NFOs are devoid of track record and one must watch for performance. People have had bad experiences with NFOs in past. We look forward to some monitoring from your side, if you can keep us on radar and watch how we shape up based on our philosophy and process, that will be good enough for us. I do read your blogs and articles many a time and I am a fan of OneMint. Thank you very much. Aashish P Somaiyaa – CEO – Motilal Oswal AMC.

    1. I appreciate you taking the time out and leaving this comment. It is very rare in the Indian financial landscape to see this kind of frankness and I’m sure this will go a long way in building trust among people.

      Thank you and all the very best with your NFO!

  2. Its a proven gyan that one should not jump into investing directly into an open-ended NFO. If we see the past we have seen some focussed thematic schemes offered in the past. some of it are : “Franlin India Bluechip, AXIS Focussed 25 & some quant funds too.” It is a proven method to assess the performance of fund over the period and then thinking of investing into it. Because BACKTESTING of a product always gives favorable & supportive facts. As one cannot drive a car looking into rear view mirror, so in same manner one should check the performance over the period and then take a call !!!

  3. Liked your above analysis, Manshu, and the final conclusion “it is better to invest in one that has already shown promise and keep this one in your watch-list”. Personally, I feel this should be the conclusion for all NFOs however special, thematic or niche they are! -KS

    1. Yeah KS, I agree, I think the only exception to that is when someone comes out with a fund that gives you exposure to something totally new, so for example a silver ETF in India would be something that’s not present today, and will be useful for people to invest in.

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