Gold exchange-traded funds saw net inflows of Rs 815 crore in May as investors preferred safe haven options amid stock market volatility and the coronavirus crisis.
The category has been one of the better performing asset classes since last year. Since August 2019, gold ETF segment has received net inflows of Rs 3,299 crore.
According to latest data available with the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi), a net sum of Rs 815 crore was pumped into gold-linked ETFs in May, much higher than the net Rs 731 crore infused in April.
However, the category had seen a net outflow of Rs 195 crore in March.
Prior to this, gold ETFs had seen hefty inflows of Rs 1,483 crore in February and Rs 202 crore in January.
The safe haven asset saw an infusion of Rs 27 crore in December 2019 and Rs 7.68 crore in November 2019 However, it had seen a net pull-out of Rs 31.45 crore in October last year.
"Gold ETF investment remains higher in comparison to the months before the pandemic. Many investors are preferring to park their money in gold in light of the volatile markets," said Harsh Jain co-founder and COO of Groww.
Echoing the views, Himanshu Srivastava, senior research analyst (manager research), Morningstar Investment Adviser India, said, "With coronavirus pandemic infecting markets globally and with all major economies staring at recession, gold, expectedly, has emerged as one of the best performing asset classes and a preferred investment destination among investors."
He further said the surge in gold prices also provided a profit booking opportunity for investors, and they made good use of it intermittently. As a result, gold ETF category also witnessed net outflows of Rs 31 crore in October 2019 and Rs 195 crore in March 2020.
Gold functions as a strategic asset in an investor's portfolio, given its ability to act as an effective diversifier, and alleviate losses during tough market conditions and economic downturns.
Its safe-haven appeal has been on full display in 2019 and so far in 2020, and the yellow metal is witnessing one of its best rallies after 2011.
The inflows meant assets under management (AUM) of gold funds climbed to Rs 10,102 crore at the end of May, from Rs 9,198 crore at the end of April.
Gold-backed ETFs are passive investment instruments that are based on price movements and investments in physical gold.
Going ahead, Srivastava said this segment may continue to gain traction from investors considering the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic to the global economy and markets.
Overall, mutual fund houses witnessed inflows of over Rs 70,800 crore across all segments in May as compared to inflows of Rs 46,000 crore in April.
The AUM of the 44-player industry climbed to Rs 24.55 lakh crore by the end of May from Rs 24 lakh crore at the end of April.