IDFC Mutual Fund floats Fixed Maturity Plan-Seventeen Months Series 3

IDFC Mutual Fund new issue closes on 7th March

IDFC Mutual Fund has launched IDFC Fixed Maturity Plan-Seventeen Months Series 3, a close-ended income scheme.

The investment objective of the scheme is to generate income by investing in a portfolio of debt and money market instruments maturing before the maturity of the scheme. The tenor of the scheme is 17 months.

The new issue opens closes on 7th March. The minimum investment amount is Rs10,000.

CRISIL Short Term Bond Fund Index is the benchmark index. Anupam Joshi is the fund manager.


Diesel price deregulation will depend on inflationary pressures, says revenue secretary

Govt to react to increasing fuel prices globally as the situation unfolds; official says difficult to tell how high prices will go

New Delhi: The government today said that a decision to free diesel prices from government control will depend on the inflation situation. "We had announced last year that a decision would be taken at an appropriate time to deregulate diesel, the government hasn't changed its decision... We have to see how the inflationary pressures go and take a decision," revenue secretary Sunil Mitra told journalists on the sidelines of an Assocham function.

On the rising crude prices globally, Mr Mitra said that the government would react as the situation unfolded. "It would have been inappropriate for us to take a stand (in the Union Budget) on how much petroleum is going to cost," he said.

Crude oil prices in the international market are ruling above $100 a barrel and with the crisis in Libya and some West Asian countries continuing, they may go up further, reports PTI.

Although food inflation declined from 20.2% in February 2010 to 9.3% in January 2011, it still remains a concern. Headline inflation in January at 8.23% is above the comfort level of around 5-6%.

Mr Mitra said it was impossible to assess the ramifications of the current crisis. "... It is impossible to say now where it is going to go, whether it will affect Saudi Arabia or Iraq and other sources from where we get oil. So this is something that we will have to react to as the situation unfolds," he explained. He said that if global crude prices increased, petrol prices would also increase, as it is deregulated.

Answering some questions on the Goods and Services Tax regime (GST), Mr Mitra said that as the Budget was over, he would talk to the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers to take the issue forward. "We have been tied up with the Budget, we will now sit down and work on that... We will have to discuss this, have a talk with the empowered committee and take a decision," he said.


MFs give agents more time for biometric cards, KYD norms

Market regulator SEBI in September 2010 had ushered in a major overhaul of the way mutual funds were sold with the introduction of biometric cards and stringent licensing norms for distributors to weed out agents indulging in frauds

New Delhi: Mutual funds have given their distributors one more month to comply with stringent identity verification norms wherein agents are required to get biometric cards that carry information like finger-print impressions, reports PTI.

Market regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in September 2010 ushered in a major overhaul of the way mutual funds were sold with the introduction of biometric cards and stringent licensing norms for distributors to weed out agents indulging in frauds.

As per the SEBI direction, all fund houses were asked to comply with 'Know-Your-Distributor (KYD)' norms before the grant or renewal of registration of distributors.

While the norms were implemented for new distributors with effect from 1 September 2010, existing distributors were required to comply with the new requirements by February 2011.

However, the mutual fund industry body Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) has now extended this deadline by another month and asked the existing distribution registration holders to comply with the new KYD norms by the end of March.

The distributors and some fund houses, too, were not very keen on the new set of rules and had been lobbying hard for its annulment, said an official at a leading fund house.

The fund houses and distributors were hopeful of some reprieve after UK Sinha, formerly chairman of AMFI and chief of fund house UTI MF became the SEBI chairman last month.

The new requirements have not been done away so far, but AMFI has now extended the deadline for completing KYD process by existing registration by one month.

The fund houses would suspend payment of commissions to distributors not completing the KYD process by March 2011.

The agents would be required to get biometric cards that would carry an impression of their right hand index finger and help in immediately checking the distributor's record for any possible irregularities in the past.

The KYD norms, devised on the lines of KYC (Know-Your-Customer) norms followed by banks and other financial service providers, would require distributors to submit identity and address proofs, PAN and bank account details.

Besides keeping a check on agents indulging in fraudulent activities, the move is also aimed at weeding out non-serious agents and those indulging in mis-selling activities.

There are more than one lakh distributors working for about three dozen fund houses in the country.

Previously, grant of registration needed a certificate for having passed an AMFI certification examination, two photographs and payment of a registration fee.

However, pursuant to a directive from market regulator SEBI, the AMFI certification has been replaced by a certification programme for distributors conducted by the National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM).

Furthermore, the new KYD norms would require distributors to go through a stringent verification process that would look into the past record of the distributors to minimise the risk of mis-selling and other potential fraudulent activities.

In a circular to the fund houses on the new KYD norms, AMFI had said: "As you are aware, there are increasing numbers of instances of financial frauds played on the investors by Mutual Fund distributors/their employees."

"As one of the measures to control this situation, SEBI has advised AMFI to tighten the procedure for distributor registration. On reviewing the current procedure for registration of distributors, it was decided by the board to introduce a more stringent Know-Your-Distributor (KYD) process involving obtaining relevant documents and validation of such documents, personal verification and biometrics."

The fund houses would also require to initiate steps to ensure correctness of the information furnished by the distributors and conduct their in-person verification.


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