Folios are numbers designated for individual investor accounts, though one investor can have multiple accounts.

According to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) data on investor accounts with all the fund houses, number of equity folios jumped to 3.51 crore (3,51,38,492) last month from 3.16 crore (3,16,91,619) at March-end, a gain of 34.47 lakh.

April last year had seen the first rise in folios in more than four years.

Prior to 2014-15, the equity MF sector had seen a continuous closure of folios since March 2009, following the global financial crisis in late 2008. Since March 2009, as many as 1.5 crore folios were closed.

Industry experts said growing participation from retail investors has led to a sharp increase in folios. Besides, optimism in investors too helped raise the number of investors' account in the equity segment.

Moreover, addition in equity folios helped increase overall investors' base to a record high of 4.64 crore in January from 4.17 crore at the end of March.

Mutual funds have reported net inflows of over Rs 69,000 crore in equity schemes in the first 10 months of 2015-16, helping the industry grow the folio count.

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