Frequently Asked Questions

1. Mutual Fund Definition

A mutual fund is an investment vehicle that pools investors’ money and invests on behalf of the investors. It is an instrument that raises money from a group of people and invests their money in stocks, bonds, and other securities. Each investor owns units, which represent a portion of the holdings of the fund. Mutual funds are managed by professional fund managers who create specific portfolios with regards to the investment objectives.

2. Regulation Related to Mutual Funds

In Nepal, Mutual Funds are governed by:

  • The Mutual Fund Regulations, 2067(2010 A.D.)
  • The Mutual Fund Directive, 2069(2012 A.D.)

3. Fund Ownership

Mutual funds raise their funds from the general public and institutions. Each mutual fund investor is a “unit holder” of the mutual fund scheme. All unit holders share in the funds’ gains and losses on an equal basis, proportionately to the amount they’ve invested. Investors are entitled to gains and losses realized on the entire portfolio, not to any individual security the fund is invested in.

4. Types of Mutual Funds

In Nepal, Mutual Funds are governed by:

  • Closed-End Funds
    • A closed-end fund has a fixed number of shares outstanding and operates for a fixed duration (generally ranging from 3 to 15 years). Close-end funds raise a fixed amount of capital through an initial public offering (IPO). After the funds are raised, the closed-end funds are listed on a stock exchange so its units are traded just like any other stock on an exchange. After the fixed-duration expires, the closed-end mutual fund scheme terminates and investors can redeem their units.
  • Open-End Funds
    • An open-end fund is one that is available for subscription all through the year and is not listed on the stock exchanges. Investors have the flexibility to buy or sell any part of their investment at any time at a price linked to the fund’s Net Asset Value (NAV). Open-end funds do not have restrictions on the amount of shares the fund will issue. If demand is high enough, the fund will continue to issue shares no matter how many investors there are. Open-end funds also buy back shares when investors wish to sell.

5. Fund Size

The corpus or the fund size differs from scheme to scheme. The corpus is fixed in case of closed-end fund. In the present Nepalese context, fund sizes usually range from around Rs.600 million to Rs. 1 billion.

6. Asset Allocation

In the Nepalese context, Mutual Fund Companies will invest in a combination of or in all the following instruments as stipulated by Rule 34 of prevailing Mutual fund Regulation:

  • Securities registered with SEBON
  • Securities called for public offering
  • Securities listed in Stock Exchange
  • Debentures, treasure Bills and other instruments of money market issued by Government of Nepal or Government Agencies receiving full guarantee or protection of Government of Nepal or NRB.
  • Bank Deposits
  • Money Markets Instruments
  • Other areas prescribed by the SEBON

7. Management of Mutual Funds

A Mutual Fund’s investments are chosen and monitored by a qualified fund manager who buys and sells securities for the most effective growth of the fund. The fund manager works on behalf of the unit holders and works on their interest.

8. Structure of a Mutual Fund

  • Fund Sponsor
    • According to the Mutual Fund Regulations, 2067 (2010 A.D.), a body corporate established for performing financial business pursuant to prevalent laws, with certain other restrictions. In the present context, Fund Sponsors are “A Class” Commercial Banks, as an example, Nepal Investment Bank Ltd.
  • Fund Supervisor
    • The Fund Sponsor, with the consent of the Fund Supervisor appoints the Fund Manager. The primary functions of the Fund Manager are to create the mutual fund scheme and to manage and invest the assets of the scheme in an efficient manner.
  • Fund Manager
    • The Fund Sponsor, with the consent of the Fund Supervisor appoints the Fund Manager. The primary functions of the Fund Manager are to create the mutual fund scheme and to manage and invest the assets of the scheme in an efficient manner.
  • Depository
    • The Fund Manager appoints the Depository, with consent from the Fund Supervisor. The primary functions of the Depository are to maintain the record of the units, perform their transfer deed and to perform safe keeping of securities under the scheme.

9. Net Asset Value (NAV)

The Net Asset Value (NAV) indicates the underlying value of the mutual fund. The NAV is calculated by the mutual fund company. It shows how much each investor would receive if the mutual fund portfolio was to be liquidated and all liabilities were paid off.

The following formula is used to calculate the NAV:

NAV = (Fund Assets – Fund Liabilities)/Total shares outstanding

In case of open-end mutual funds, shares of the mutual fund are sold and bought at the NAV price.

In case of closed-end mutual funds, shares of the mutual fund may not be sold and bought at the NAV price. As the closed-end fund is traded in a stock exchange (e.g. NEPSE), the traded value of the mutual fund usually differs from the NAV calculated by the mutual fund company. The market price is quoted by NEPSE, while the NAV is quoted by the mutual fund company.

  • NEPSE trading price at a premium to NAV – If the NEPSE price is above the NAV as calculated by the mutual fund company, then the mutual fund is said to be trading at a premium.
    • Reasons why mutual funds trade at a premium:
      • Increase in demand and decrease in supply of the mutual fund
      • Highly regarded Fund manager
      • Trust that Fund manager makes good investment decisions and that he/she can continue such a trend in the long run
      • Expectation that the assets of the fund will perform well in the future
  • NEPSE trading price at a discount to NAV – If the NEPSE price is below the NAV, then the mutual fund is said to be trading at a discount.
    • Reasons why mutual funds trade at a discount:
      • Decrease in demand and increase in supply of the mutual fund
      • Mediocre investment decision of the fund manager
      • Grim outlook of NEPSE
      • Expectation that the assets of the fund will under-perform in the future

10. How Investors Get Returns

The mutual fund pays out dividends annually. Further, when the mutual fund scheme matures, the assets of the fund are liquidated and the realized profits are distributed among the holders of the mutual fund units.

11. Why Mutual Funds Are a Better Option Than Any Other Investment Vehicle

  • Diversification – Depending on its scheme, a mutual fund portfolio consists of a variety of securities. This mix of securities leads to the offsetting of losses on certain securities by gains in other securities. This diversifying away of risk leads to better returns in the long run.
  • Cheaper Portfolio Construction – One can enjoy benefits of a portfolio of securities at a cheaper price. For an investor to get benefits of the same exact mix of securities will cost more than buying mutual fund units.
  • Professional Financial Management – The fund is managed by an experienced and professional fund manager with support from a dedicated research team. While creating and optimizing the portfolio, macroeconomic and microeconomics analysis is done to create the best mix of securities for the mutual fund portfolio. Hence, investors are better protected against adverse effects of the economy.
  • High Liquidity – High Liquidity in closed end and open end mutual funds. Closed end funds can be traded in the Nepalese Stock Market, which ensures high liquidity. Open end units can be sold to the mutual fund itself, which ensures high liquidity. So, investors do not have to worry about illiquidity in context of mutual funds.
  • Tax Benefits – Tax benefits are being currently proposed to the Nepalese Government.

12. Can NRNs Invest in Mutual Funds?

Yes, NRNs can also invest in mutual funds through portfolio managers.