A common perception is that investment in the capital markets, particularly equities, is largely an urban phenomenon, essentially a metro show.

This seems to be true of mutual fund investments as well, if one goes by the data of geographic distribution of AUM with UTI MF available on its Web site (utimf.com).

But what is surprising is that many small cities in the country have taken to the equity cult even if, in terms of percentage, their share in the overall pie of UTI MF is very small.

In broad terms, investors from five cities account for a little more than 50 per cent of the total AUM of UTI MF, which is in line with the general trend. But what is interesting is investors' preference for particular funds.

While Mumbai occupies the top slot in all categories except one (Gilt fund where it is toppled by Jaipur), those that figure among the top five arenot uniform across all the funds.

For instance, Chennai does not figure among the top five in the income fund category as it is replaced by Ahmedabad.

In equity funds, Hyderabad replaces Bangalore while the other four are common. In the balanced fund list, Mangalore and Jodhpur elbow out Bangalore and Chennai.

In Gilt funds, Jaipur accounts for nearly half the investment with a 47.09 per cent share while Mumbai came a distant second with 20.63 per cent share.

In the ELSS category, Chennai and Bangalore are edged out of the top five by Hyderabad and Pune. But in Gold ETF, Chennai ranks fourth with a 4.13 per cent share.

The UTI example could be true in a large measure of other funds as well not only because it is the oldest MF in the country, its corpus at about Rs 59,000 crore (as at the end of FY 2011-12) under various schemes gives it a representative character.