HDFC launches online property search portal in Kolkata

 HDFC Red has primary property listing with more than 9,000 types across 2,200 projects in 13 cities of the country.

Housing finance major HDFC has expanded its services to potential customers with online property portal HDFC Red.

"It is a free service to people to help them in property search. Earlier it was done by sales team, but with the growing demand we'll now offer in more structured manner," HDFC Developers CEO Sohel I S said.

At present, HDFC Red has primary property listing with more than 9,000 types across 2,200 projects in 13 cities of the country.

"HDFC Red aims to assist aspiring home buyers in identifying property and we are glad to launch it in the city today," HDFC DGM Rajiv Mittal said. "Though there is no direct link between HDFC and HDFC Red, but the service will help HDFC in attracting more customers for loan," he said.

Sohel said the company might add more services like resale of the property.

HDFC officials said Fixed First scheme, which offers fixed rate for three or five years launched in September last year, was no longer doing well as home loan seekers were expecting easing of rates.

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Birla Sun Life MF launches Gold Fund

Birla Sun Life Gold Fund new fund offer closes 15 March 2012.

Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund has launched Birla Sun Life Gold Fund, an open-ended scheme.

The investment objective of the scheme is to provide returns that tracks returns provided by Birla Sun Life Gold ETF (BSL Gold ETF). It is a domestic fund of funds.

The new fund offer closes on 15 March 2012. The minimum investment amount is Rs5000.

The Scheme's performance will be benchmarked against the domestic price of physical gold. Satyabrata Mohanty is the designated fund manager of the scheme.

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IRDA appoints M Rama Prasad as Health Insurance Forum Chairman

IRDA has said that the Forum was necessary for effective dialogue between service providers (hospitals), the insurance companies, TPAs, and the consumers in general.

Insurance regulator IRDA announced the appointment of M Rama Prasad as chairman of newly-formed Health Insurance Forum that would eventually become a self-regulatory organisation to help promote health insurance. The Health Insurance Forum, as it is called, would help in evolving policies and processes for the health insurance sector. M Rama Prasad is a member (Non-life) of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), according to a notification issued.

The forum will have 32 members, including CEOs of health insurance companies, life insurers, third party administrators (TPAs), officials from labour and health ministries and representatives of health service providers. The forum, IRDA has said, would act as a consultative agency between insurance companies and other stakeholders. It would also assist IRDA in collecting data for efficient conduct of health insurance business in the country. It added that if the members failed to attend two consecutive meetings, they would be substituted.

IRDA has said that the Forum was necessary for effective dialogue between service providers (hospitals), the insurance companies, TPAs, and the consumers in general.

This Forum would help form a consultative role in order to enable the evolution of a regulatory structure to take care of the growing needs of the sector. The Forum would meet at least twice a year and the members of would be in office for a period of two years.

Last year from 1 October 2011, IRDA had allowed portability of health insurance schemes, thereby allowing customers to change insurers without losing policy benefits.

Besides three standalone health insurers, Star Health & Allied Insurance, Apollo Munich and Max Bupa, a number of other players including National Insurance Company, United India and Oriental Insurance and ICICI Lombard are also active in this field.

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