Axis Asian Opportunities Fund: Another global fund

Many foreign funds of the have been launched as a marketing gimmick and do not offer investors much diversification. Is the new scheme from Axis Mutual Fund any different?

Axis Mutual Fund recently filed an offer document with the regulator to launch an open ended fund of funds scheme investing in a foreign fund. This scheme would invest 95%-100% of its assets predominantly in units of Schroder International Selection Fund Asian Opportunities or other similar overseas mutual fund schemes. The remaining portion would be invested in debt & money market instruments which may include units of money market/liquid schemes of Indian mutual funds. Schroder International Selection Fund Asian Opportunities launched in October 1993 is one of the funds under the Schroder International Selection Fund. Schroder’s is a global investment company that manages around 580 funds globally with a total corpus of $388 billion.

Moneylife has analysed in the past on how global funds that put your money in other countries don’t necessarily offer much diversification. (Read: Global Funds: Lacklustre performance) Other similar schemes include: ICICI Prudential Indo Asia Equity Fund, JPMorgan Asean Equity Offshore Fund, Mirae Asset India-China Consumption Fund and Franklin Asian Equity Fund. The performance of these four schemes is as follows:

The underlying scheme—Schroder International Selection Fund Asian Opportunities— has a track record of nearly 20 years, aims to provide capital growth primarily through investment in equity securities of Asian (ex Japan) companies. At least two-thirds of the fund (excluding cash) will be invested in shares of companies in Asia, excluding Japan. The fund has no bias to any particular industry or size of company. The fund believes that Asia offers superior economic growth potential, with China and India providing key support.

As on 31st July 2013, out of its corpus of $1.64 billion, the fund has invested nearly 39% of its assets in companies listed in China, and, around 11% each in companies based in South Korea and Taiwan. Around 7% of its portfolio is invested in companies from India. Out of its total of 61 holdings, the top five holding include Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, Samsung Electronics, Jardine Matheson Holdings, Hyundai Motor and AIA Group. Over the one-year, three-year, five-year and ten-year period ended 31st July, the scheme has beaten its benchmark.

Sudhanshu Asthana, who has an experience of over 10 years, would be the fund manager of the scheme. The performance of the scheme would be benchmarked to MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Net TR index.


Other details of the scheme

Minimum amount for purchase/Switch in

Rs. 5,000 and in multiples of Re 1/- thereafter

Minimum Additional Purchase Amount

Rs.100 and in multiples of Re. 1/- thereafter


Exit Load:

3% if redeemed / switched - out up to 6 months from the date of allotment

2% if redeemed / switched - out after 6 months & up to 12 months from the date of allotment

1% if redeemed / switched - out after 12 months & up to 24 months from the date of allotment


Axis Bank files application with FIPB to raise foreign shareholding

Foreign shareholding in Axis Bank has crossed 49% and the lender filed an application before FIPB to increase the limit

Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector lender, said it applied to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to increase its foreign shareholding limit.


Last month, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a notice to Axis Bank notifying that the foreign shareholding in the bank had crossed the overall limit of 49% of its paid-up capital and that no further purchases of shares of the bank would be allowed.


“The foreign shareholding by global depository receipts (GDRs), American depository receipts (ADRs), foreign direct investment (FDI), non-resident Indian (NRI), persons of Indian origin (PIO) and foreign institutional investors (FIIs) in Axis Bank has crossed the limit of 49%. No further purchases in the shares of the bank would be allowed through stock exchanges in India on behalf of GDR, ADR, FDI, NRI, PIO and FIIs,” the central bank had said in the notification.


As of June 2013, the foreign shareholding in Axis Bank 48.96%, including investments through the foreign direct investment (FDI) route in the form GDRs of 8.08% and other foreign holdings, including FIIs, of 40.88%, the lender said in a regulatory filing.


SC says right to pension cannot be take away pending proceedings

According to the apex court, gratuity and pension are hard earned benefits of an employee and right to receive pension is in the nature of 'property'

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said right to receive pension could not be taken away pending departmental or criminal proceedings from a government employee.


The apex court observed that gratuity and pension are hard-earned benefits of an employee and right to receive pension is in the nature of 'property'.


A bench of justices KS Radhakrishnan and AK Sikri said, "This right to property cannot be taken away without the due process of law as per the provisions of Article 300 A of the Constitution of India".


"It is an accepted position that gratuity and pension are not the bounties. An employee earns these benefits by dint of his long, continuous, faithful and un-blemished service. It is thus hard earned benefit which accrues to an employee and is in the nature of "property," the SC added.


The apex court also dismissed an appeal filed by Jharkhand government against the High Court order directing it to release the withheld dues of its retired employee Jitendra Kumar Srivastava, who had criminal cases pending against him.


"We are of the opinion that the right of the petitioner (Srivastava) to receive pension is property under Article 31(1) (of the Constitution) and by a mere executive order the State had no power to withhold the same," the SC said


"...The order dated 12 June 1968 denying the petitioner right to receive pension affects the fundamental right of the petitioner under Articles 19(1)(f) and 31(1)of Constitution, and as such the writ petition under Article 32 is maintainable," the Bench said.


It also said "a person cannot be deprived of this pension without the authority of law, which is the Constitutional mandate enshrined in Article 300 A of the Constitution. It follows that attempt of the appellant to take away a part of pension or gratuity or even leave encashment without any statutory provision and under the umbrage of administrative instruction cannot be countenanced.


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