Helped by institutional inflows, HDFC has regained the top spot in mutual fund rankings, overtaking ICICI mutual fund.

As per the December 31 end of period (EOP) assets under management (AUM), HDFC had assets worth Rs 2,93,011 crore, ahead of ICICI with Rs 2,82,068 crore.

Industry sources, however, said that rankings traditionally have been based on Q-AAUM, or the quarterly assets under management, published by the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) at the end of each quarter.

Also, EOP AUM ranking could again change as it accounts for AUM on a particular day and is largely dependent on the outflows on the last day of the period.

The sources said that, as per Q-AAUM for the quarter to December 31, 2017, ICICI MF, with Rs 2,93,338 crore, still holds the top position, ahead of HDFC MF with Rs 2,89,168 crore.

Industry saw outflows of an estimated Rs 1,27,000 crore in liquid funds in the quarter to December 31, 2017. Liquid assets were at Rs 3,55,408 crore at start of the quarter and stood at Rs 2,97,253 crore at its end.

As short-term institutional money is primarily invested in liquid funds, its outflow also affects relative ranking of MF players.

Institutional money decides ranking of mutual fund players as it accounts for Rs 11,00,000 crore, or over 50 per cent of the total MF industry assets of Rs 21,37,000 crore.

The bulk of the MF industry has been focusing on profitability as key criteria for ranking mutual fund players, as it factors in stable AUM growth with more sticky and retail assets rather than building top line by accessing large corporate money.

Post-demonetisation, the MF industry has gained a lot of momentum, but it remains divided among those focusing on the topline for higher AUM growth and those emphasising retail assets and seeking profitable growth.