Continuing their bullish stance on banking stocks, mutual fund managers raised their exposure to the sector to a historic high of nearly Rs 78,000 crore in February.

In comparison, investment in banking stocks was at Rs 32,225 crore in February 2014.

Mutual funds (MFs) collect money from various investors for investing in securities, including stocks and bonds.

MF investments in banking stocks stood at Rs 77,805 crore as of February 2015, accounting for 21.32 per cent of their total equity assets under management (AUM) of Rs 3.65 lakh crore, according to data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

This also marks the fifth consecutive rise in MF industry’s exposure to banking stocks.

The previous high was in January this year when investment in the sector stood at Rs 76,061 crore.

MFs have been increasing their exposure to banking shares since January last year but their investment level in the sector had dropped in September 2014.

The industry again increased the exposure in October and the momentum continued till February 2015.

Software was the second most preferred sector last month with an exposure of Rs 38,514 crore, followed by pharmaceutical (Rs 23,980 crore), automobiles (24,074 crore) and finance (Rs 23,080 crore).

According to market participants, the ongoing rally might see mutual fund assets getting diversified.