Kotak Life Insurance launches Kotak Invest Maxima

Kotak Invest Maxima offers additional survival units of up to 2% of fund value starting from 10th year and every 5th year thereafter

Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance Ltd has launched Kotak Invest Maxima, an investment oriented unit linked insurance plan (ULIP).

While the plan’s zero premium allocation charge feature maximizes the investible component, the choice of three different portfolio management strategies affords customers tremendous flexibility in managing their portfolio. Customers can choose from (a) Self Managed Strategy which offers a choice of 5 attractive funds options, or, (b) Systematic Switching Strategy which enables the customer to invest in the equity market in a systematic manner over a period of time or (c) A customized combination of the two. In the last policy year, customers can choose to exit the policy in a secure and systematic manner, by selecting the Systematic Exit Strategy option which gradually diverts all fund balances into a lower risk money market fund, to avoid volatility and safeguard returns on maturity.  

Apart from regular premium payment option, the plan also offers limited and single premium payment options. Optional rider benefits can be bought to guard against unforeseen situations such as critical illness, accidental death and permanent disability. The maturity benefit is higher of sum assured or fund value.

The plan offers additional survival units of up to 2% of fund value starting from 10th year and every 5th year thereafter. The plan also allows the policyholder to pay top up premiums at zero percent allocation charge

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Barclays India freezes retail business

Barclays, which will keep its branch network to satisfy the RBI requirement, is not alone in paring down its retail business. The Royal Bank of Scotland is awaiting RBI permission since July 2010 to sell its retail business to HSBC. RBS has 31 branches here

Mumbai: The domestic arm of the British lender Barclays, which has been rejigging its operations here, today said it is freezing the retail business in the country, a move that comes a day after it sold nearly three quarters of its credit card business to StanChart India, reports PTI.

“As part of our decision to consolidate and build a sustained profitable Indian business based on our competitive strengths globally, we have decided to not book new retail loans here. However, we will continue to maintain our deposit business, while focusing on wealth management, large corporates and investment banking services. All the existing loans will, of course, continue as normal,” the official spokesperson of Barclays India told PTI through an email.

Yesterday, StanChart India had told this agency that it bought 1.6 lakh of the 2-lakh standard credit card portfolio of Barclays, valued at around Rs175 crore, for an undisclosed sum.

But the bank said it bought cards at a huge discount to the book value of Rs175 crore. Barclays, which did not confirm the deal officially, has around 3 lakh customers under its credit card business.

The plan to quit the retail business will see at least 150 people getting the pink slip, according to a Barclays’ insider. This comes four months after Barclays, which is fighting to revive profitability, sacking 50 people here, following its decision to merge the sales team of its commercial and investment banking units.

The latest job cuts will represent about 17% of the bank’s remaining 850 employees in the country, said the source.

It can be noted that Barclays, which will keep its branch network to satisfy the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) requirement, is not alone in paring down its retail business. The Royal Bank of Scotland is awaiting RBI permission since July 2010 to sell its retail business to HSBC. RBS has 31 branches here.

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Soon an export policy for Indian wine

Looking at the popularity of Indian food overseas, wine makers feel that there is huge potential for domestic wine across the globe

In order to boost wine sales overseas, the Indian government is planning to formulate an export policy to make them at par with its global peers. All India Wine Producers’ Association (AIWPA), along with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) are working together to formulate a scheme to increase exports of India made wines.
 
Jagdish Holkar, president, AIWPA, told Moneylife that “There is an urgent need to understand the value of Indian wines and to promote it. We have received good response from the Commerce Ministry. Currently we are looking into various factors relating to wine export and the wine industry. After that we will meet with other stake holders and then prepare a final draft.”
 
The AIWPA and APEDA have identified few countries where Indian wine can be promoted in big way. They are also emphasising on developing a bilateral trade with various nations with initiatives such as wine tasting programmes.
 
“We will have discussion with Ambassadors of around 20-25 nations. Various Secretariats and Ministries of the Indian Government will also be consulted during the process. Apart from this, around 2-3 potential buyers from each of these countries will also be invited and we would facilitate some business to business meeting,” said Mr Holkar.

The countries identified for promotion of Indian wines, include the US, UK, Germany, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Japan, Korea and Singapore among others.
 
Over the years, Indian food has become popular across the world. Especially in the UK, the Chicken Tikka Masala, a popular Indian dish, is found to be most favoured dish and often is called as ‘a true British national dish’. Mr Holkar feels that the popularity of Indian food would help domestic wines to gain popularity across the world, provided they promote and export it overseas.

In the 1980s and 1990s, a revival in the Indian wine industry took place as international influences and the growing middle class increased started increasing demand for the beverage. By the turn of the 21st century, demand was increasing at a rate of 20-30% a year.

The overall consumption of wines in India is about 400,000 cases a year of which 85 percent are table wines and the remaining are the expensive varieties. Out of the 400,000 cases, about 50,000 cases are imported from various sources. According to a report by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), 8% of the wine demand in India is accounted for by major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune and Bangalore.

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