SECP Allows Mutual Funds to Invest in ‘A’ or Above-Rated Banks

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In a major move to provide ease of doing business and expand investment avenues for mutual funds, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has allowed mutual/income funds to invest in “A” or above-rated banks.

This permission will substantially expand the range of banks, where the income funds can make deposits, thus enabling funds to negotiate better returns for their unit holders.

It is pertinent to mention here that the ‘A’ category banks are categorized as ‘Stable’ by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Earlier, the mutual/income funds could only make investments in A+ rated banks and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs).

Currently, the accumulated assets of the mutual fund sector are Rs. 1.2 trillion, out of which around Rs. 300 billion is invested in Income Funds whereas Rs. 561 billion is invested in the Money Market Funds.

By bridging the gap between Income Funds and other income/savings products with similar risk profiles, the funds’ industry will be able to tap more into the potential Rs. 12.5 trillion in savings and fixed deposits currently held by banks.

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