Goldman Sachs has sold its fund management unit in India to Reliance Capital Asset Management, joining a growing list of foreign fund managers streaming out of the country. Wednesday's 2.43 billion rupee ($37.5 million) all-cash deal would mark the sixth exit by a foreign fund manager from India since 2013.
The news comes a day after the Economic Times reported that Japanese financial services major Nomura Holdings, Inc., intended to sell its stake in its mutual fund joint venture with Life Insurance Corporation, which runs India’s largest pension plan. Since 2013, top global banks and asset managers such as Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, PineBridge, ING and Daiwa Capital Markets have moved out of the Indian mutual fund industry as they have struggled to make profits due to elevated costs of acquiring assets, according to the Economic Times.
"The problem with many foreign AMCs is their high cost structure and lower than expected returns," Jimmy Patel of Quantum Mutual Fund told the Economic Times. "The foreign AMCs have also failed to expand their reach and distribution."
According to the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), an industry body, Goldman Sachs' mutual fund arm in India managed assets worth about 71 billion rupees (about $1.1 billion) in the July to September quarter. In comparison, the Reliance Capital mutual fund managed funds worth about 1.5 trillion rupees ($23.5 billion).
Challenges such as market volatility, new net-worth requirements and steep competition have put pressure on asset management companies in India’s 13 trillion rupee ($202 billion) mutual fund industry in recent years. Asset management companies in India are also required to invest their own money in all their open-ended plans in India, according to a report from Mint, a business daily.