Unit Trust of India's flagship, US-64 has pruned its technology exposure under 10% with liquidation of holdings in NIIT, Visualsoft, Global Electronic Commerce Services, Pentamedia Graphics and Videsh Sanchar Nigam. On the other hand, the scheme cumulative investment in Reliance Industries and Reliance Petroleum has now moved to a whopping 21.32% vis-à-vis 15% in December 2000. Reliance Industries is also the top equity holding. The price rise in two stocks apart, the concentrated holding could be attributed to fresh buying in Reliance companies. The February portfolio of the balanced behemoth reveals that the weightage of the ICE sector is down to 9.36% against 13.85% on December 29, 2000.
Apart from selling the five technology stocks, which had a combined weightage of 1.93%, the exposure has melted due to a sharp fall in holdings of Himachal Futuristic, Global Tele and Zee Telefilms. The exit of US-64 from a handful of ICE stocks has helped little to stem the slide in the post-budget meltdown. The tech-wreck is estimated to have eroded over 35% or Rs 532.36 crore from the fund's cumulative ICE exposure of Rs 1498 crore on February 28, 2001.
The fund's top technology pick continues to be HFCL, with a holding of 2.13% against 3.29% in December last year. HFCL has been one of the worst hit in the current slump, with share price dropping by 70% from Rs 670 on February 28 to the current level of Rs 211. However, the stock's weightage in US-64 has dropped less than the fall in its share price, which suggests that the scheme was purchasing HFCL at lower levels. Among non-technology stocks, US-64 has sold off Morepen Laboratories and ICICI Bank while government securities maintain their top slot in the overall portfolio with an exposure of 18%.
The volatility in equity markets is driving fresh investors in hordes to US-64, given its consistent dividend track record for the last 36 years. The number of new investors have seen a 52% jump from 1.59 lakh to 2.42 lakh for the one year ended February 2001. The net sales of US-64 were at Rs 789 crore, up 63% from Rs 485 crore in the corresponding period in the last year. The largest fund in the Indian industry is currently not linked to the NAV but transacted at sale and repurchase price, which is changed every month.