The central government announced today that it has formed a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) named Bharat-22, which will have stocks from 22 companies including SBI, IOC, ONGC, Axis Bank, etc. This is the second such ETF being created by the government. Earlier, it had launched the CPSE ETF, through which the government had raised more than Rs 8,509 crore in three tranches. The new ETF Bharat-22 will feature a diversified portfolio, covering stocks from 6 key sectors – energy, FMCG, finance, basic material and industrial and utilities. The announcement regarding the new ETF Bharat-22 was made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The diversified portfolio comprises stocks of state-owned banks, central public sector enterprises (CPSEs), and the strategic holding that the government has in companies such as Axis Bank, ITC and L&T. The government’s strategic holding in these companies is held through SUUTI (Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India). For the uninitiated, ETF works quite similar to a mutual fund scheme wherein units are purchased by investors. “While selecting each of these sectors, we have kept in mind sectoral reforms which have had direct impact on the valuation of these shares… We believe that this ETF will be a fairly successful one,” Jaitley said.