IndiaFirst Life Insurance ties up with Vidharbha Kshetriya Gramin Bank

Through this tie-up with Vidharbha Kshetriya Gramin Bank, IndiaFirst will reach over 100 branches across five districts

Private insurer IndiaFirst Life Insurance has tied up with Vidharbha Kshetriya Gramin Bank - a regional rural bank sponsored by Central Bank of India, to reach out to its customers in the hinterland of Maharashtra.

"This new tie-up will help us serve our customers in rural areas in a better and effective way," IndiaFirst Life Insurance managing director and CEO P Nandagopal said in a release.

The insurable population of the functional area of Maharashtra is about one crore, from which the company expects to cover nearly 1,00,000 accounts in three years.

Through this tie-up with Vidharbha Kshetriya Gramin Bank, IndiaFirst will reach over 100 branches across five districts.

IndiaFirst is already present in Maharashtra through over 455 branches of Bank of Baroda and Andhra Bank with Maharashtra contributing approximately 12% of its total business.

Vidharbha Kshetriya Gramin Bank launched the Group Term Plan that provides a life cover of Rs1 lakh for Rs264 per year and Group Credit Life Insurance to cover home loan, personal loan and educational loan for its existing and as well as new loan customers.

"We are keen on spreading protection to the five districts of Maharashtra -- Akola, Amaravati, Wasim, Buldana and Yavatmal -- through the saving and loan accounts of Vidharbha Kshetriya Gramin Bank," Vidharbha Kshetriya Gramin Bank chairman M A Salam said.

IndiaFirst is promoted by two public sector banks-Bank of Baroda and Andhra Bank along with UK's leading risk, wealth and investment company Legal and General.

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Maruti Suzuki sales decline 7.1% in December

Total passenger vehicles car sales declined by 8.4% to 69,329 units last month while exports jumped by 50.5% in December 2011 to 14,686 units, the company said

New Delhi: The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India’s (MSI) sales declined for the seventh consecutive month with the firm today reporting 7.1% fall in December 2011to 92,161 units, reports PTI.

The company had sold 99,225 units in the same month in the previous year, MSI said in a statement.

The national capital-based company recorded sales of 77,475 units in the domestic market last month, down 13.4% from 89,469 units in December 2010.

MSI’s exports, however, jumped by 50.5% in December 2011, to 14,686 units from 9,756 units in the year-ago period, the company added.

Total passenger vehicles car sales declined by 8.4% to 69,329 units last month from 75,652 units in the same month of 2010, it added.

Sales of the company’s mini-segment cars, including the M800, A-Star, Alto and WagonR, declined by 15.6% to 38,593 units from 45,733 units in December 2010.

In the compact segment (comprising the Estilo, Swift and Ritz models), MSI witnessed a marginal increase in sales to 20,653 units from 20,557 units in the same month a year ago.

Sales of MSI's DZiRE grew by 6.8% to 9,189 units from 8,601 units in the corresponding period a year ago.

In addition, MSI’s mid-sized sedan SX4’s sales increased by 10.8% to 843 units from 761 units in the year-ago month. Luxury sedan Kizashi witnessed sales of 51 units.

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RBI governor hints at soft monetary policy

“We have always been mindful of growth concerns, contrary to popular perceptions,” RBI governor D Subbarao said adding “in fact, in our December statement we said that growth is a serious concern. So I think the balance between growth and inflation will shift in 2012”

New Delhi: Concerned over the declining growth, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor D Subbarao has indicated that the central bank could reverse the tight monetary stance adopted by it since March 2010 to tame inflation, reports PTI.

“From here on we could expect reversal of monetary tightening,” Mr Subbarao told BBC in an interview.

The RBI governor, however, added it was “difficult to say when that will take place and in what shape it will roll out”.

The central bank is scheduled to announce the monetary policy review on 24th January.

RBI has hiked key interest rate 13 times since March 2010 in its bid to check rising inflation, but it took a pause in its December monetary policy review.

Moderation in inflation witnessed in November-December has raised the hopes that RBI may start reducing key interest rate in its forthcoming credit policies.

Headline inflation dropped to 9.1% in November from 9.73% in the previous month, while as per the data food inflation has declined to 0.42%.

Mr Subbarao said that although inflation still remained a risk, the RBI was aware that it needed to boost growth amid an uncertain global economic environment.

“We have always been mindful of growth concerns, contrary to popular perceptions,” Mr Subbarao said adding “in fact, in our December statement we said that growth is a serious concern.

So I think the balance between growth and inflation will shift in 2012”.

While the high interest rate has helped in moderating inflation, the high cost of credit has taken its toll on the economic growth. The GDP slowed to 6.9% in the second quarter of 2011-12 from 7.7% in the previous quarter.

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