As many as 2.4 million new dematerialized (Demat) accounts were opened in the country last year – the highest since 2008 – with experts stating that a string of initial public offerings (IPO) and increased demand for mutual funds had attracted investors to financial assets, according to a report in Livemint .
The report stated more retail investors had chosen to invest in stocks, quoting an expert as saying that economic reforms such as the upcoming goods and services tax (GST) had encouraged people to open demat accounts. Indians traditionally prefer gold, real estate and bank deposits.
In 2016, initial public offerings (IPOs) garnered Rs 26,493.84 crore in 2016, data from Prime Database showed.
Meanwhile, mutual fund folios in India rose 4.47 percent quarter-on-quarter in the three months ended December to a new record.
According to Association of Mutual Funds of India, mutual funds added 1,64 million folios between October and December last year to touch 50.6 million.
Nearly 3 million Demat accounts opened in 2008, according to data from National Securities Depository Ltd, and Central Depository Services Ltd.
In India, less than 1 percent of the population invests in stocks either directly or through mutual funds. Of late, startups such as Zerodha and Scripbox are trying to change this by drastically simplifying choices, and making it easier and less expensive to make transactions.