New Delhi: The mutual fund industry took a hit of more than Rs 16,000 crore on its asset size during 2011, even as the newly-crowned market leader HDFC MF grew in size and consolidated its top position.

As per the latest quarterly data released by Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), the cumulative average Asset Under Management (AUM) of all fund houses stood at about Rs 6,87,640 crore in the last quarter of 2011.

This marked a decline of Rs 16,040 crore from a total of Rs 7,03,680 crore in the first quarter or January-March period of 2011.

The experts attributed the fall to the sharp losses in the stock markets, as also to the withdrawals by investors. The funds typically collect money from investors to invest in various asset classes including stocks and debt securities.

The loss was even larger for the cumulative asset base of the top five fund houses (HDFC, Reliance, ICICI Pru, Birla Sunlife and UTI Mutual Funds), as their total average AUM declined by Rs 31,741 crore in the same period to end the year at Rs 3,60,733.14 crore.

At the end of 2011, HDFC Mutual Fund retained its leadership position with total average AUM of Rs 88,737.07 crore. It marked an increase of Rs 2,455 crore from the levels in the first quarter of 2011.

HDFC MF was the only one among top five fund houses to register an increase in this period, as the remaining four saw their AUMs decline.

Reliance MF's average AUM dipped by Rs 17,417 crore to Rs 84300.35 crore, while that of ICICI Prudential MF dipped by Rs 4,080 crore to Rs 69472.08 crore.

Birla Sunlife MF's average AUM dipped by Rs 3,327 crore to Rs 60406.30 crore, while the decline was larger at Rs 9,371 core for UTI MF, whose average AUM stood at Rs 57817.34 crore in the October-December quarter of 2011.

At the end of 2011, there were a total of 44 fund houses in the country, as against 42 in the first quarter.