Mutual Funds
Dynamic bond funds do not give really dynamic returns

Axis Mutual Fund has launched a Dynamic Bond Fund. While such funds were launched to allow fund manager’s flexibility to deal with changing interest rates, the returns of existing dynamic funds have not been encouraging

A Dynamic Bond Fund, as the name suggests, is designed to give the fund manager the flexibility to change the duration of the bond as and when needed. In fact, funds believe that they should have bond funds where fund managers have more flexibility in a changing interest rate climate.
Interest rates and bond prices are inversely related. When the interest rate is rising, bond prices fall and the fund manager should be able to decrease the duration of the bond; short-term bonds face a lower impact. And when the interest rate is falling they should be able to increase the duration of the bond.
 The other flexibility is to move into cash and sit on the sidelines when the interest rate is rising sharply over different horizons. It is to offer this flexibility that dynamic bond funds were introduced. They will dynamically move from a fully invested situation to a fully cash position and various stages in between, depending on the fund manager’s reading of the interest rate situation.
There is just one problem. Among the most difficult things to predict in financial markets is interest rates. Economists use a variety of techniques to forecast interest rates. The most basic is to use economics and history as a guide and to make a judgment on the appropriate level of interest rates and their future course, given the state of the economy and important economic variables.
Since most economists disagree on how the economy works, or what economic history means, this is more difficult than it seems.The reason for this inaccuracy is simple. Interest rates reflect a complex set of forces including human behaviour which is highly complex. This complexity has been compounded by the globalization of economies and the integration of financial markets, on account of which money moves at lightning speed. The net result is that forecasts of interest rates and actions based on them have often turned out to be wrong.
Not surprisingly, the idea of dynamic bond funds has by and large proved to be good only on paper. We studied seven of them and their returns since inception do not seem great. Some of them have given returns as low as 2.4% since inception. Birla Sun Life Dynamic Bond Fund - Ret gave a return of 7.85% and Tata Dynamic Bond Fund fetched a return of 5.26%. Among the others are Taurus Dynamic Income Fund (1.19%), UTI Dynamic Bond Fund (5.21%), Canara Robeco Dynamic Bond Fund - Retail (3.85%), Reliance Dynamic Bond Fund (3.86%), and SBI Dynamic Bond Fund whose return of 2.36% is the worst among the lot. (It was launched in 2004.)
Even the best among the lot, Birla Sun Life Dynamic Bond Fund – Ret, has given a return of just 7.85% over a period of around seven years, which is far lower than the bank fixed deposit rate. The existing funds are already performing so badly and Axis Mutual Fund is launching another one in this group.
Axis Dynamic Bond Fund is an open-ended debt scheme which has an investment objective of generating optimal returns, while maintaining liquidity through active management of a portfolio of debt and money market instruments. The New Fund Offer (NFO) price for the scheme is Rs10 per unit. The new issue will be open for subscription from 6th April 2011 and close on 20th April 2011. It would re-open on or before 3rd May 2011.The benchmark Index for the scheme is CRISIL Composite Bond Fund Index.


SEBI sets up committee on corporate bond market

The committee, which includes representatives from SEBI, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and independent experts, would advise the regulator on development of the corporate bond market and the market for securitised instruments in the country

Mumbai: Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) today constituted a 16-member committee which will suggest a roadmap for developing corporate bond market in the country, reports PTI.

The ‘Corporate Bonds & Securitisation Advisory Committee’ would be chaired by RH Patil, the chairman of Clearing Corporation of India (CCIL), SEBI said in a statement.

The committee, which includes representatives from SEBI, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and independent experts, would advise the regulator on development of the corporate bond market and the market for securitised instruments in the country.

Members of the committee include Nimesh N Kampani (chairman, JM Financial), Rajiv Lall (MD & CEO, IDFC), Chitra Ramakrisha (joint MD, NSE) and B Prasanna (MD & CEO, ICICI Securities- PD), among others.

The committee would “advise SEBI on implementing the recommendations of the High Level Committee on Corporate Bonds and Securitisation,” it said.

It would also suggest removal of regulatory hurdles and advise on issues which need to be taken up with other regulators as also highlight the operational and systemic risks, if any, in the corporate bonds and securitised instruments market.

“This would help make the corporate bond and securitisation market more active and dynamic,” SMC Global Securities strategist & head of research Jagannadham Thunuguntla said.

Pursuant to the announcement made in the Union Budget, 2005-06, the government had appointed a ‘high level expert committee’ on corporate bonds and securitisation to examine legal, regulatory, tax and market design issues in the development of the corporate bond market.

The committee’s recommendations included enhancing the issuer as well as investor base of corporate bonds, simplification of listing and disclosure norms, rationalisation of stamp duty and withholding tax and consolidation of debt.

The committee had also suggested improving trading system through introduction of an electronic order matching system, efficient clearing and settlement systems, a comprehensive reporting mechanism, developing market conventions and self- regulation and development of the securitised debt market.

Earlier this month, SEBI allowed listing of securitised debt instruments or certificates on exchanges, and said that the move would help improve the secondary market liquidity for such instruments.

Securitisation involves pooling of financial assets and the issuance of securities that are re-paid from the cash flows generated by these assets.

Common assets for securitisation include credit cards, mortgages, auto and consumer loans, student loans, corporate debt, export receivable and offshore remittances.


SEBI tells listed cos to run updated websites from tomorrow

As per the SEBI guideline, companies not adhering to the requirement of having an ‘up and running’ website will face the risk of getting delisted from the stock exchange where their shares are traded

New Delhi: Having a website with up-to-date information at any given point of time will become mandatory for all the listed companies with effect from 1st April—a move aimed at providing investors with easy access to information, reports PTI.

A notification by market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), which makes it mandatory for listed companies to have a functional website with latest details of various investor-sensitive information about them, will come into effect from 1st April.

The websites would require to have updated information about the company’s basic business and financial details, shareholding pattern, corporate governance, contact details, as also information about any agreements with media companies.

As per the SEBI guideline, companies not adhering to the requirement of having an ‘up and running’ website will face the risk of getting delisted from the stock exchange where their shares are traded.

Changes to this effect have been brought forward by SEBI by amending Equity Listing Agreement, which a company needs to enter into with a stock exchange before getting listed. The market regulator said that these amendments to the listing agreement were aimed to “ensure/enhance public dissemination of all basic information about the listed entity.”

As per the amendment, proposed to come into effect from 1 April 2011, it would be mandatory for any listed company to “maintain a functional website.”

On its website, the company would need to provide “details of its business, financial information, shareholding pattern, compliance with corporate governance, contact information of designated officials responsible for assisting and handling investor grievances, details of agreements entered into with the media companies and/or their associates, etc.

Besides, companies would have to “ensure that contents of the said website are updated at any given point of time.”

With effect from 1 January 2011, SEBI has already made it mandatory for listed companies to make relevant disclosures about their agreements with media companies.

Besides their websites, the listed companies are also required to notify the stock exchanges with details of agreements entered into by corporates with media companies

Disclosures are required regarding shareholding of media companies, details of nominee of the media companies on the board of a listed company and any management control or potential conflict of interest arising out of such agreements.

Besides, the companies are also required to disclose “any other treaties/contracts/agreements/MoUs or similar instruments entered into by the issuer company with media companies and/or their associates for the purpose of advertising, publicity, etc.”


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