Mutual Funds
IDBI Mutual Fund to launch 3-4 new products this fiscal

IDBI Mutual Fund would launch new schemes in the equity space would be hybrid in nature like a balanced fund and fund of funds scheme in gold segment

Mumbai: IDBI Mutual Fund is planning to come up with three to four new products in both debt and equity space in the current financial year and also aims to achieve breakeven by FY15, a top company official said.

"We plan to launch three to four products in the debt and equity segments in the current financial year in order to tap the emerging opportunities in this space," Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of IDBI Asset Management Company, Debasish Mallick told PTI.

He also said that the product to be launched in the equity space would be hybrid in nature like a balanced fund.

The company will also come up with a fund of funds scheme in gold segment in this fiscal, where retail investors can invest through systemic investment plan (SIP) route.

IDBI Mutual, the wholly owned subsidiary of IDBI Bank, is also hopeful of achieving breakeven by 2014-15.

"Taking into account the growth rate of the company, we hope to be breakeven by 2014-15," Mallick said, adding that the AMC is fully capitalised as of now and may not need any fund from the parent in ongoing fiscal.

Till date, IDBI Bank has invested Rs75 crore in the AMC.

Talking about the new fund offer of IDBI India Top 100 Equity Fund, Mallick said that the new offer was able to collect Rs70 crore, mostly from the retail investors.

"Given the market condition, Rs70 crore of investment in an equity NFO was an encouraging response. Also, most of the money has been collected from retail investors, which gives stability to portfolio of the fund," he said, adding that the fund is now open for investment from May 25 for investors.

About distribution, he said majority of the collection is coming from IDBI bank branches coupled with distributors.

"We are strengthening our marketing efforts with focussing on distribution channel," he said.

Mallick, however, said that the company has no plans to hire fund managers as of now.


Water purification industry to abide by virus-filtration protocol

At present, the virus filtration protocol criteria does not exist in IS 10500 Indian Drinking Water standards, but it is expected to be added soon

Ahmedabad: It might be mandatory for all household water purification devices in India to abide by the virus filtration protocol, says a member of industry body Water Quality Association (WQA), reports PTI.

The unorganised household water purification industry (water purifiers manufactured in unorganised sector) in India is pegged close to Rs1,500 crore, which experts claim is complying with standards to filter bacteria only and lacks measures to filter viruses.

The organised household water purification device market in India is pegged close to Rs700 crore.

"The unorganised water purification industry will soon have to abide with the virus filtration protocols. The issue is in advanced stages of discussion with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), it could be introduced by this year end," a member of WQA said.

A report by National Institute of Virology (NIV) released in 2009 had sparked off a debate over the effectiveness of household water purification devices in the country.

The WQA works in tandem with BIS on raising the benchmark standards for industry. It comprises research analysts from industry who share views on development in the sector and deliberate on future requirements in regards to standards.

"Presently, the virus filtration protocol criteria does not exist in IS 10500 Indian Drinking Water standards, but it is expected to be added soon," Rahul Pathak of Uniqflux Membranes said.

"But, a few leading players from the organised water purification industry are already abiding by virus filtration protocols," he claimed.

The company is a licensee of Bhavnagar based Central Salt Marine and Chemical Research Institute (CSMCRI) to manufacture hollow fibre membranes for water purification devices, capable of filtering Log 4 viruses.

CSMCRI had developed, patented and thereafter licensed the novel hollow membrane fibre technology to industry, which is capable of filtering viruses and can be used to manufacture low cost water purification devices.

Explaining about Log 4 viruses, Pathak said it is the count of virus raised to power of 10 present in water. An effective purification device is one whose output shows zero virus content after filtration.

The Pune based Uniqflux manufactures membranes for original equipment manufacturers like Eureka Forbes, Uniliver amongst others.

It has started manufacturing 'Hollow Fiber UF Membranes' which the company claims are capable of rejecting Log 4 Virus, and passes the international USEPA protocol for water purification devices.


Diesel, LPG price hike not under consideration says Reddy

Reddy said no dates have yet been fixed for convening a meeting of a ministerial panel to decide on revising rates of diesel, LPG and kerosene

New Delhi: Still battling the fallout of last week's steep Rs7.54 a litre hike in petrol price, the government on Monday said it is not considering raising rates of diesel, domestic gas (LPG) and kerosene for the moment, reports PTI.

"We are not considering hike prices of diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene. It is out of question right now," Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy told reporters after a meeting called by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to discuss the impact of fuel price hike on inflation.

Chief Economic Adviser Kaushik Basu was also present at the inter-ministerial grouping on inflation.

Reddy said no dates have yet been fixed for convening a meeting of a ministerial panel to decide on revising rates of diesel, LPG and kerosene.

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on fuel prices, headed by Mukherjee, hasn't met since June last year even though depreciation in the rupee and rise in international oil prices have raised the cost of imports.

"It was only a meeting of the inter-ministerial group to look at the question of inflation. I was requested to come and offer my insights before they finalise their group recommendations," Reddy said.

"I focused on the price of diesel and its impact on inflation as a whole," he said without elaborating. "No date has been fixed for EGoM on diesel price deregulation."

The EGoM had in June 2010 taken an in-principle decision to deregulate or decontrol diesel prices but its implementation was deferred.

"In my perception, the EGoM will not meet soon...certainly not this month," an official said.

The government is believed to be buying time to let flared tempers cool before calling the meeting of the EGoM where the Congress party's ruling allies TMC and DMK are also represented. Both TMC and DMK have held street protests against the hike in petrol price. .

"I am not going to touch the prices of LPG, diesel, kerosene. Period," Reddy said.

The minister had last week stated that he was urging Mukherjee to convene meeting of EGoM soon.

Reddy said he was not considering dual pricing of diesel -- subsidised price for trucks and another rate for high-end luxury cars and power gensets, as it was not practical to implement.

Also, his proposal for levying a one-time duty of Rs80,000 on diesel cars was under consideration of the Finance Ministry.

Reddy had stated last year, "The logic in favour of increase in price of diesel is unassailable but politics and logic don't go together.

"What is desirable is known. Politics is the art of making desirable (politically) acceptable."

State-owned oil companies currently lose Rs512 crore per day on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene. Diesel is currently sold at a loss of Rs15.35 a litre, kerosene at Rs32.98 per litre loss and oil firms lose Rs479 on sale of every 14.2-kg domestic LPG cylinder.

IOC, HPCL and BPCL had together lost Rs1.38 lakh crore in revenue in 2011-12. This year they are projected to lose a record Rs1.93 lakh crore.


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