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Date:  24/07/2014
1-yr FMPs rolled over; 3-yr FMPs launched
As we wait for the Finance Bill 2014 to get passed in Parliament and thereby bring clarity as to what the government ultimately decides about debt fund taxation, the mutual fund (MF) industry has started to change its approach towards fixed maturity plans (FMPs). Fund houses have already started rolling over the one-year FMPs that have either come up—or are coming up—for maturity. Additionally, fund houses such as L&T Investment Management Ltd and ICICI Prudential Asset Management Co. Ltd have started to launch three-year FMPs. The new rules say that long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax for all non-equity-oriented MFs will be at a flat rate of 20% as against 10% at present and the holding period to qualify as LTCG is now 36 months as against 12 months earlier. While to some extent the redemptions in open-ended schemes can be extended beyond the one year period, the dilemma comes when redemption of closed-end funds such as FMPs are due.(Mint)
Date:  24/07/2014
Debt fund managers' careers at stake
At least a fifth of debt fund managers in the mutual fund (MF) sector might lose their job with the change in taxation for their segment in Union Budget 2014-15, say executives. Worse hit will be sales teams in the debt category, where the job cuts could be as much as 40 per cent, say sources. The most impacted will be fund houses with higher concentration of fixed maturity plan (FMP) assets in their debt assets under management (AUM). These are likely to be smaller entities, heavily dependent on institutional money flows. There is talk that fund houses are already preparing options such as bank treasuries and insurance for debt fund managers. The Budget has proposed to increase the rate of tax on debt funds to a flat 20 per cent. Further, the tenure for claiming long-term capital gains has been increased to 36 months from the existing 12 months. The new norms will be applicable to units of MFs other than equity-oriented funds.(BS)
Date:  24/07/2014
FIIs power markets to new highs
The benchmark indices - BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty - ended at new all-time highs on Wednesday, following seven straight sessions of gains on robust buying by foreign investors. Better-than-expected corporate earnings and supportive global markets aided investor sentiment. The BSE Sensex on Wednesday gained 121 points, or 0.47 per cent, to close at 26,147.33, the broad-based National Stock Exchange's Nifty rose 27.9 points, or 0.36 per cent, to end at 7,795,75. The Sensex and the Nifty surpassed their previous closing all-time highs of 26,100 and 7,787, respectively, touched on July 7. Technology stocks, led by Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), were the biggest contributors to the market gains, followed by banks. Software exporters rose after Goldman Sachs upped its price target on key stocks in the sector.(BS)
Date:  24/07/2014
Sensex hits fresh record highs: The road ahead for markets
After moving in a narrow range for most part of the trading session, the Sensex picked up momentum in the last one hour of trade and rallied as much as 146 points to hit its fresh record high of 26,292.66 in trade on Thursday. The S&B BSE Sensex finally closed 137.02 points higher at 26,271.85. It hit a low of 26,077.70 and a lifetime high of 26,292.66 in trade today. Tracking the momentum, the 50-share Nifty index also managed to hit fresh lifetime high of 7,835.65 in trade today. The index finally closed 34.85 points higher at 7,830.60. The S&P BSE Sensex has already rallied over 24 per cent so far in the year 2014 and has become the top performing index in the world on a year-to-date basis. (ET)
Date:  23/07/2014
PF account holders to soon receive universal numbers
From October 15, employees will not have to apply for transfer of their provident fund (PF) accounts while switching jobs anywhere in India. The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is speeding up work on universal account numbers (UANs) for subscribers. Employees now are allotted another PF account numbers when they switch companies. Earlier, it used to take a while to get accounts transferred to new employers. Since EPFO switched over to online transfers in October 2013, this takes 30 days. This will become even faster with the UANs. Employees will merely need to update their new employee identity numbers provided by the new employers in their UANs when switching jobs and their accounts will be automatically shifted. Once a UAN is allotted to an employee, he or she need not go through his or her employer to provide details to EPFO, unlike now. "There will be no need for an individual to go through the employer. This system will be employee-centric,"(BS)
Date:  23/07/2014
Sensex at new closing high of 26,147; Nifty ends a tad below 7,800-mark
The markets made record closing high today after a choppy session. The S&P BSE Sensex closed at record high of 26,147.33 up 121.53 points. Tracking the momentum, the 50-share Nifty index also closed at record high of 7795.75 up 27.90 points. The BSE Sensex ended the trade at 26,147.33 up 0.47%. It hit high of 26,188.64 and a low of 26,000.40 in trade today. The 50-share Nifty closed at 7795.75 up 0.36%. It hit high of 7,809.20 and a low of 7,752.90 in trade today. (ET)
Date:  23/07/2014
IRDA to crack down on vehicles plying without insurance
With an eye on reducing the large number of uninsured vehicles in the country, the insurance regulator has started a pilot initiative in Cyberabad, Telangana, to strictly enforce the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, which makes it a criminal offence to ply a vehicle without insurance. “We have collaborated with the police and they will send challans to owners of vehicles without an insurance policy. What we have found (through the pilot) is that out of the 12 lakh registered vehicles, almost 25 per cent do not have an insurance policy,” said M Ramprasad, Member, non-life, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA). “If the results of this pilot are encouraging then we will extend it to seven more states. We are planning to collaborate with the Ministry of Road Transport to use their data on the number of registered vehicles to corroborate data from insurers,” he said.(BL)
Date:  23/07/2014
Debt plans may still be a better long-term bet
Should I still keep my contingency funds in liquid or liquid-plus funds? Does it make sense to open an account in a bank that pays 6 per cent on savings accounts? With the longer lock-in period, should one only invest in longterm debt funds and dynamic funds? Debt investors are pondering over these questions as they are coming to terms with the Budget proposal to increase long-term capital gains tax on non-equity funds -which also include fixed maturity plans (FMPs), gold funds, monthly income plans (MIPs) -to 20 per cent from 10 per cent and the lock-in period to qualify for the concessional rate of tax to three years from one year. Though fund managers and many advisors say only FMP investors will be hit hard by the new tax rule, many individuals, albeit only a small per cent, used to park their contingency and surplus funds in short-term debt funds to earn better post-tax returns. (ET)
Date:  23/07/2014
Though fund managers and many advisors say only FMP investors will be hit hard by the new tax rule,
UTI AMC's four public sector shareholders — SBI, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Life Insurance Corporation — may collectively end up pocketing about R1,000 crore among them if the government decides to offload 25% stake in UTI AMC, the country's fifth largest asset management company (AMC) in terms of the assets it manages, through an initial public offering (IPO). All these four entities own 18.5% each in the AMC.An AMC's valuations can be based on the multiple of its earnings and the mix of assets it has. Typically, retail-oriented assets get a valuation of 6-7% of AUM, while institutional, or debt, assets get a valuation of 2-3% of AUM. In past few years, deals in the MF industry have been valued at anywhere between 4-7% of average AUM. According to experts, UTI could be valued at 5-6% of average AUM or 7-8 times its revenue. The AMC's assets stood at R79,440 crore as of quarter ended June 2014, while its revenues for FY13 stood at R493 crore. (FE)
Date:  22/07/2014
International mutual funds may be a good bet despite new tax norms
Experts advise investors to stay put in these funds as they offer diversification to portfolio. However, exposure should be limited to 10%, says ET. Many investors are rethinking about their investments in international mutual funds -schemes that invest in shares of companies that are listed overseas. The Budget proposal to change long-term capital gains tax on non-equity mutual funds is going to rob a chunk of the post tax returns. Also, investors will have to stay invested in these schemes for a longer period of 36 months to qualify for the long-term capital gains tax of 20%. Earlier, investments of more than a year used to qualify for long-term capital gains tax of 10%. No wonder, many investors feel that it may be time to exit these schemes. (ET)
Date:  22/07/2014
Economic indicators back stock markets
After a rough patch, the Indian economy is slowly coming back to life. Though it is still early days, the incoming economic signals have been encouraging. After clocking a sub-5% growth for two consecutive years—first time in the last 25 years—the economy in the current fiscal, as noted in the Economic Survey 2013-14, is expected to grow between 5.4% and 5.9%. Along with the stock market wherein the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex has gone up 21.4% since the beginning of the year, the optimism is now widely shared. “It is not an exaggeration to say that India is set to be Asia’s biggest turnaround story. We expect GDP (gross domestic product) growth to rise to about 6.5% in 2015 and at least 7% in 2016, marking a watershed year when India’s economy likely starts to outpace that of China. Growth in India is largely domestic driven, which offers a huge pool of opportunity for investors,”
Date:  22/07/2014
FIIs raise stakes in mid- and small-cap stocks
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs), which have invested $12 billion (Rs 70,550 crore) in Indian equities so far this year, have increased their stakes in about 150 mid- and small-sized companies during the quarter ended June. During that period, about half their investment was in mid-and small-cap firms. According to the latest shareholding pattern data, FIIs have raised their stakes in PVR, Repco Home Finance, Himatsingka Seide, Shasun Pharmaceuticals, Persistent Systems, City Union Bank and Sintex Industries by five percentage points. Of the 350 mid-cap and small-cap companies that have declared their December quarter shareholding pattern so far, FIIs have increased their stakes in about half, or 172 companies. For 64 companies, the holdings remain unchanged, while in the remaining 114, FIIs cut stakes.(BS)
Date:  22/07/2014
FMPs will still offer a slightly higher return than fixe deposits: Arvind Sethi
The Budget doubled the tax on debt funds and raised the holding period from one to three for getting long-term capital gains benefits. As a result, post-tax return on fixed-maturity plans (FMPs) for more than one year, but less than three years, will be less attractive to those in a higher tax bracket. Arvind Sethi, managing director and CEO of Tata Asset Management, in an interview to Saikat Neogi, says, FMPs will offer a slightly higher return than fixed deposits and investors must go in for FMPs with a maturity of more than three years. If the Budget tax proposals on non-equity funds are finally notified without any changes, how should retail investors look at FMPs? If the tax proposals are notified without any changes, then the post-tax return on FMPs for more than one year, but less than three years, will obviously be less attractive to those in the higher tax bracket — but we still think that FMPs will offer a slightly higher return than fixed deposits.(FE)
Date:  21/07/2014
Mid- and small-cap funds are needed for long-term portfolios
Funds that invest in smaller companies in the market, categorized as mid- and small-cap funds, should be an essential part of any long-term portfolio. The reason is that these funds have the potential to act as the growth engine for generating higher returns for your investments. Smaller companies have more headroom for growth than their larger counterparts and could easily outshine the latter when it comes to portfolio performance.Mutual funds are the ideal way to invest in such companies since such funds offer the benefit of diversification that is essential to protect yourself against the associated risks. Although the net asset value of such funds display more volatility than large-cap or broadly diversified funds, over the long run, they have proven themselves to be high performers. Before choosing a mid- and small-cap fund, an investor needs to keep a few things in mind. The universe of such stocks is larger than large-caps and the probability of making wrong choices is higher.
Date:  21/07/2014
Is investing with a trigger meant for you?
On 7 July, Union KBC Asset Management Co. (AMC) Pvt. Ltd’s maiden trigger fund hit its predetermined return target in less than a quarter of the time that it had. Union KBC Trigger Fund Series 1, a closed-end fund with a ‘twist’, was launched in October last year. The twist was a predetermined target return of 30%. If the fund reaches the target anytime during a three-year period (net asset value or NAV of the direct plan’s launch date is used as a starting point), then it matures on that day.Given the state of the market in the last six months, it’s not surprising that despite a three-year window, the fund has achieved the return in eight months itself. The scheme will now be closed and investors will soon get their money back, booking their profits in this rally. But the flip side is that if these investors want to remain invested in the markets they will have to make that choice again about where to invest. Here is a look at if investing with a trigger is meant for you.(Mint)
Date:  21/07/2014
Finance Ministry may tweak Budget 2014 proposal to double tax on debt mutual funds
Finance Ministry is contemplating to tweak the Budget proposal for hiking capital gains tax to 20 per cent for debt mutual fund investors from prospective effect instead of April 1, 2014. "There have been demands from mutual fund industry body and some announcement could be made at the time of reply of Finance Minister on Finance Bill debate in Parliament later in the month," an official source said. The mutual fund industry has been arguing that those persons who had invested money in debt-oriented MFs prior to the announcement of Budget proposals should not be subjected to higher incidence of tax. Finance Ministry, according to sources, could extend lower tax rate of 10 per cent to those investors who had redeemed their holding on or before July 10. Also the tax department is considering to exempt past investments whose redemptions would be made by March 2015. (ET)
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