Birla Sun Life MF launches Birla Sun Life Fixed Term Plan-Series DQ

Birla Sun Life Fixed Term Plan—Series DQ closes 11th October

Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund has launched Birla Sun Life Fixed Term Plan-Series DQ, a close-ended income scheme.

The investment objective of the scheme is to generate income by investing in a portfolio of fixed income securities maturing on or before the duration of the scheme. The tenure of the scheme is 370 days.

The new issue closes on 11 October 2011. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000 and in multiples of Rs10 thereafter.

CRISIL Short Term Bond Fund Index is the benchmark index. Kaustubh Gupta is the fund manager.

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Factory output posts slowest growth in two and half years

Commenting on the data, Leif Eskesen, chief economist for India & ASEAN at HSBC said:"The growth momentum in India's manufacturing sector eased further in September. This was driven by weaker orders, with export orders still contracting due to the weaker global economic conditions"

The factory growth, as measured by the HSBC Purchase Managers' Index (PMI), was recorded at 50.4 in September, down from of 52.6 in the previous month. The latest reading was the weakest in the current two-and-a-half year sequence of growth.

The HSBC India Manufacturing PMI is based on data compiled from replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in over 500 manufacturing companies.

While Indian manufacturers have recorded a modest rise in new business received in September, the rate of new order growth slowed for a sixth successive month.

New orders from export markets fell in September, continuing the trend seen since July. While the rate of contraction eased slightly since August, it remained solid. The reduction in new export orders suggested that domestic demand provided the principal support to overall new business growth. In line with the weaker increase in new orders, a slower rise in output was also recorded (the weakest in two-and-a-half years).

Although weaker trends in production and new orders had impacted negatively on requirements for staff, there were also some reports that unfulfilled wage requests from employees had led to resignations.

Input costs faced by Indian manufacturers rose substantially during September, reflective of higher raw material costs. The rate of input price inflation slowed since August to an 11-month low, but remained strong in the context of historical data. Charges increased at a marked rate that was broadly unchanged from the previous month.

Commenting on the data, Leif Eskesen, chief economist for India & ASEAN at HSBC said:"The growth momentum in India's manufacturing sector eased further in September. This was driven by weaker orders, with export orders still contracting due to the weaker global economic conditions.

"While the persistent inflation pressures support the RBI's (Reserve Bank of India) tightening bias, the slowdown in manufacturing growth suggests that the end to the tightening cycle is at least now in sight."

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RBI’s new securitisation guidelines will hurt us: MFI industry

"The RBI has to balance between some additional liquidity facilities for MFIs at this stage. As long as the quality of the asset is good, three months or six months does not make that much of difference," Vijay Mahajan, president of the Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) said

Hyderabad: The cash-starved microfinance (MFI) sector will be severely hit by if the new draft guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on securitisation of loan portfolios are implemented, reports PTI.

Last week, the RBI released a revised draft of the securitisation guidelines.

In the case of microfinance loans, the minimum holding period of the loan before securitisation will be six months from the due date of the first instalment.

Securitisation is the process of converting existing assets, or future cash flows, into marketable securities.

The microfinance industry has been in the practice of assigning repayments from borrowers to investors in securities.

Currently, RBI allows securitisation of loans held by non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) after three months from the first instalment.

A typical MFI loan spreads across one year, with a monthly or weekly repayment cycle.

The MFIN board that is meeting on 10th October will discuss the impact of the new guidelines and will give representation to the RBI to reconsider its decision, said Vijay Mahajan, president of the Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a self-regulating body of MFIs.

"From the point of view of risk management, it definitely is ok. However, the RBI has to balance between some additional liquidity facilities for MFIs at this stage. As long as the quality of the asset is good, three months or six months does not make that much of difference," Mr Mahajan told PTI.

"We will be requesting the RBI, for the transitional period, till the banking sector lending to MFIs is restored to normalcy-at least one to two years-they should consider three months' tenure for a year-long loan and six months for a longer tenure," sad Padmaja Reddy, the promoter of Spandana Sphoorty Financial.

In this regard, Ms Reddy pointed out that the microfinance sector has been feeling the heat from banks and other financial institutions after the Andhra Pradesh government introduced a Microfinance Act regulating the sector last year.

Andhra Pradesh accounted for almost 30% of the microfinance lending in the country before the new Microfinance Act was implemented in the state.

"The new guidelines of the RBI would not really help the MFI sector, it would rather curb the MFIs in terms of raising loans. Post-AP crisis, our (microfinance companies) rating has been deteriorated. We cannot even look at even other instruments, such as commercial paper and all," Ms Reddy said.

Mr Mahajan said one of the RBI's responsibilities is to ensure that enough credit is available to MFIs at a lower level of interest.

"There will be certainly some impact on the MFI industry.

Only tail of the loan can be securitised. There is refinancing possible with a constraint that you will have to hold it at least for six months," Nidhi Bothra, the vice-president of securitisation consultant Vinod Kothari, said on the new guidelines.

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