Everonn chairman JJ Irani resigns; new CEO appointed

Everonn Education's board has elevated whole-time director Susha John to post of CEO after the arrest of its managing director P Kishore by the CBI in a bribery case. The board also appointed a business council of two independent board members to advise the CEO

Chennai: Education service provider Everonn Education on Friday said its chairman Jamshed J Irani has resigned and it has elevated whole-time director Susha John to post of CEO after the arrest of its managing director P Kishore by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a bribery case, reports PTI.

A meeting of the board of directors, held on Thursday to review the 'extra-ordinary"' situation arising out of Mr Kishore's arrest on Tuesday, accepted the resignation of Mr Irani and appointed Ms John as CEO to exercise the powers delegated to the managing director, a company statement issued here said.

The board also appointed "a business council of two independent board members to advise the CEO", it said.

Breaking its silence over the arrest of Mr Kishore, the company said it would extend "all cooperation to all concerned as necessary to clearly demonstrate its commitment and adherence to principled corporate governance".

"The company 'reiterates' that business would continue as usual and would not be impaired in any way. The board has unanimously expressed its confidence in the management and the business," the statement added.

Mr Kishore was arrested for allegedly giving Rs50 lakh as bribe to Income Tax commissioner Andasu Ravindar to conceal Rs60 crore of taxable income out of Rs116 crore detected by CBI officials recently. Besides Mr Kishore, the CBI had arrested Ravindar and another person.

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JP Morgan Mutual Fund plans open ended hybrid scheme. But how much does one invest in such an offer?

It’s not clear how an investor should decide to invest in a scheme that makes allocations to equity, gold and debt

JP Morgan Mutual Fund has filed an offer document with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to launch JPMorgan India E.D.G.E (Equity Debt Gold Exposure) Fund, an open ended hybrid fund that will offer a Regular Income Scheme (an open-ended income scheme) and a Next Gen Scheme (an open-ended equity growth scheme).

The investment objective of the fund is to seek to generate capital appreciation by investing in a diversified portfolio of equity and equity-related securities, debt and money market instruments and gold exchange traded funds (Gold ETFs), through the two different schemes.

The Regular Income scheme would allocate up to 30% of assets in equity and equity-related securities with a medium- to high-risk profile. Between 65% and 95% of assets would be allocated to debt securities, money securities and cash and cash equivalents with low- to medium-risk profile. About 5% to 15% of assets would be allocated to gold exchange traded funds with a medium- to high-risk profile.

The Next Gen scheme would allocate 65% to 95% of assets to equity and equity-related securities with a medium- to high-risk profile. Up to 30% of assets would be allocated to debt securities, money securities and cash and cash equivalents with a low- to medium-risk profile. About 5% to 15% of assets would be allocated to gold exchange traded funds with a medium- to high-risk profile.

We have already mentioned the difficulties faced by investors in deciding to invest in such hybrid schemes when Sundaram launched its fund Sundaram Equity Plus. Hybrid schemes which combine equity, gold and fixed income have been the flavour the whole of last year. Religare Mutual Fund was the first to launch such an asset allocation product in April 2010 with Religare Monthly Income Plan (MIP) Plus, which aimed to invest in fixed income, gold and equity. Similarly, Canara Robeco launched its own hybrid plan, Indigo Fund.

These funds claim to offer exposure to different asset classes within the same scheme, especially those that have a low correlation. So if you have a period when equity is not looking bullish, then gold will take care of it. Similarly there are phases when equity would do well and not gold. So, the investor gets to ride different assets in different cycles through the same scheme. At least that is the theory behind these all-in-one schemes.

But does this make sense and should you invest in the JPMorgan India E.D.G.E fund? The question is, where would you place a scheme that divides your money into different assets (gold and equity)? It is not clear to us how an investor will decide as to how much to put into a scheme like this, when he already has money invested in gold ETFs and/or equity schemes. Is such a scheme meant for those who have no investment in either equity or gold?

If an investor has investments in equity and not in gold, he could buy some gold ETF. So what specific role does such a scheme perform that existing products cannot? Fund companies do not offer any guide. Indeed, they have little contact with investors, preferring to deal only through distributors whose interest in fund products has been dwindling. Fund companies concentrate on devising products, leaving it to the investor to decide how the new fund will fit into their financial planning. Thus, investors are more confused how to deal with such hybrid schemes.

The benchmarks for the schemes are as follows:
Regular Income Scheme: BSE 200 (15%), Crisil Short Term Bond Fund Index (75%), INR gold prices (10%).
Next Gen Scheme: BSE 200 (75%), Crisil Short Term Bond Fund Index (15%), INR gold prices (10%).

The equity portion of the scheme will be managed by Harshad Patwardhan and Amit Gadgil, who have already been managing two existing equity schemes of JP Morgan. However, both the schemes have not shown great returns since inception. JPMorgan India Equity and JPMorgan India Smaller Companies, which were launched in 2007, have given returns of 5% and -8% respectively since inception.

The debt portion will be managed by Nandkumar Surti and Namdev Chougule, while the gold portion will be managed by Nandkumar Surti together with Harshad Patwardhan.

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Banking system facing liquidity deficit: FM

"The net borrowings by banks from RBI in the recent times, is a reflection of the deficit liquidity conditions," finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said to a question in the Lok Sabha

New Delhi: The government today said that the banking system is facing a liquidity crunch as is reflected from increased borrowings by lenders from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), reports PTI.

"The net borrowings by banks from RBI in the recent times, is a reflection of the deficit liquidity conditions," finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said to a question in the Lok Sabha.

On an average, banks and primary dealers have borrowed Rs46,298 crore on a daily basis from the RBI so far this fiscal (April-August).

This is marginally lower than the Rs46,946 crore borrowed in the previous fiscal (2010-11).

"Borrowings by banks from the RBI with the government securities as a collateral is a normal liquidity management operation for banks and this happens whenever there is overall liquidity deficit in the system," Mr Mukherjee added.

According to the minister, during 2008-09 and 2009-10, banks have placed funds worth Rs4,212 crore and Rs1,00,310 crore with the RBI.

Banks invest in government securities as part of their statutory requirement to maintain the Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR), which is currently at 24%.

The RBI managed the day-to-day liquidity in the banking system through its Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF). Under this facility, banks which are short of liquidity can borrow from the RBI (overnight) at the Repo Rate (8%), by keeping government securities as collateral.

"This is in line with the best international practices," Mr Mukherjee added.

He said that increased bank borrowings from RBI indicates strengthening of the monetary transmission mechanism and is consistent with the anti-inflationary stance of monetary policy.

As part of efforts to control inflation, the RBI has hiked policy rates 11 times since March 2010. However, inflation continued to remain on higher trajectory. The overall inflation, which crossed the 9% mark in December 2010, stood at 9.22% in July.

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