Strong participation from retail investors and robust inflow in equity schemes helped the mutual fund industry's asset base soar by 21.1 per cent to Rs 13.4 lakh crore in 2015.
The country's 44 fund houses together had an average assets under management (AUM) of Rs 11.06 lakh crore at the end of December 2014, compared to Rs 13.39 lakh crore registered in December-end last year, as per latest data available with Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI).
Fund houses are upbeat about the industry's prospects for the New Year as well.
Given the sluggish trends in the real estate market and continued fall in gold prices, the mutual fund (MF) industry expects to attract a larger share of the Indian households' savings from this year.
"On an overall basis, we see positive growth and higher retail participation in 2016," Reliance Mutual Fund CEO Sundeep Sikka said.
The top five fund houses -- HDFC MF, ICICI Prudential MF, Reliance MF, Birla Sunlife MF and UTI MF -- retained their top five positions from last year.
HDFC MF continued to hold its numero uno position with an average AUM of Rs 1.78 lakh crore, a surge in asset base by 18.5 per cent, followed by ICICI Prudential MF, which saw its asset base growing by 26 per cent to Rs 1.72 lakh crore.
Reliance MF's AUM climbed 24.5 per cent to Rs 1.57 lakh crore, Birla Sunlife MF's assets base went up 26.5 per cent to Rs 1.26 lakh crore and the assets under management of UTI MF increased 21.4 per cent to Rs 1.06 lakh crore.
Among others, Kotak Mahindra MF's assets base shot up by 41.5 per cent to Rs 54,902 crore, while that of SBI MF zoomed 38.7 per cent to over Rs 1 lakh crore.
In terms of the July-September quarter, the industry saw a growth of just 1.78 per cent in AUM. The mutual funds together had an asset base of Rs 13.16 lakh crore during the July-September quarter.
"MFs witnessed muted growth in Q3 on account of flat Sensex, advance tax and quarter end, which lead to institutional outflow," Sikka said.
Market experts said the yearly rise in AUM is largely on account of huge inflow in equity and equity-oriented schemes.
In addition, retail participation increased significantly during the year.
Equity assets crossed the Rs 4 lakh crore mark for the first time in the history of Indian mutual fund industry, signalling the return of domestic investors taking the mutual funds route.