Mutual Funds
Mutual fund count hits half-century mark

As per the latest list of SEBI-registered mutual funds in the country as on 31 October 2012, there are a total of 50 such entities after PPFAS Mutual Fund was granted registration last month

New Delhi: The number of registered mutual funds in the country has reached 50, with the latest addition of PPFAS Mutual Fund of Parag Parikh Financial Advisory Services group among the SEBI-registered fund houses, reports PTI.

 

As per the latest list of SEBI-registered mutual funds in the country as on 31 October 2012, there are a total of 50 such entities after PPFAS Mutual Fund was granted registration last month.

 

This is the only entity to get SEBI registration so far in 2012, while a total of three fund houses (IIFL Mutual Fund, Indiabulls Mutual Fund and Union KBC Mutual Fund) were registered with SEBI last year and two others (IDBI and Pramerica MFs) got their SEBI registrations in 2010.

 

Out of 50 MFs registered with SEBI, the registration of CRB Mutual Fund stood suspended as on 31 October 2012, SEBI data shows.

 

The mutual fund industry in India started in 1963 with the formation of Unit Trust of India, at the initiative of the Government of India and Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

 

Later in 1987, SBI MF became the second mutual fund of the country, followed by funds set up by public sector banks and Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC) in subsequent years.

 

The private sector entry into the mutual fund space took place in 1993 with the setting up of the erstwhile Kothari Pioneer (which later merged with Franklin Templeton) Fund.

 

This was followed by various foreign mutual funds setting shop in the country, as also several mergers and acquisitions.

 

In 2003, UTI was bifurcated into two entities—one being the Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India (SUUTI) and the second the UTI Mutual Fund.

 

The size of mutual fund industry has also seen phenomenal growth from about Rs25 crore worth assets under management in its early days in 1964-65 to close to Rs1.2 lakh crore by early 2003 and to about Rs7 lakh crore now.

 

Market regulator SEBI’s chairman UK Sinha recently said there could be a case for consolidation in mutual fund industry currently due to presence of some non-serious players, but clarity on this course will emerge only after a national mutual fund policy is put in place.

 

“My view on that is that asset management industry has also got some non-serious players, and one of the reasons for that is that there is a very easy entry situation here,” Mr Sinha had said.

 

Asked whether it is time for consolidation in the mutual fund industry as some of the funds were very small, Mr Sinha said: “Right now, if you look at the scenario as a static situation, then perhaps there is a case for consolidation.”

 

SEBI recently announced a slew of reform measures for mutual fund industry to expand their reach across the country and also to safeguard the interest of investors.

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RBI to NBFCs: Replace post-dated cheques with standardised norm

NBFCs accept post-dated cheques from their customers for future monthly instalment payments. For the purpose of standardisation and enhanced security features, the banks have been told by RBI to migrate to the “CTS 2010” standard by 31 December 2012

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asked non- banking financial companies (NBFCs) to replace post-dated cheques issued to them by customers with new standardised cheques with improved security features, reports PTI.

 

NBFCs accept post-dated cheques from their customers for future monthly instalment payments. For the purpose of standardisation and enhanced security features, the banks have been told by RBI to migrate to the “CTS 2010” standard by 31 December 2012.

 

The non-CTS cheques would be out of circulation from 31 December 2012 and will not be acceptable at clearing system of the banks as well.

 

“NBFCs are, therefore, required to ensure the replacement of NonCTS-2010 standard compliant cheques with CTS-2010 standard compliant cheques before 31 December 2012,” RBI said in a notification.

 

“CTS 2010” standard is a set of benchmarks towards achieving standardisation of cheques issued by banks across the country.

 

These include provision of mandatory minimum security features on cheque forms like quality of paper, watermark, bank’s logo in invisible ink, void pantograph and standardisation of field placements on cheques.

 

RBI further asked NBFCs to confirm to the regional office of the bank that a plan has been put in place for implementing the CTS 2010 standard within the prescribed timeline.

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Need price pooling for coal: Plan panel

To offset the impact of high import costs, the Planning Commission had said that Coal India should adopt a pooling formula on prices by combining rates of imported and domestic coal

New Delhi: Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said the price-pooling mechanism should be adopted for fuel supply to power firms but solution to some of the issues involved could take some time, reports PTI.

 

“We must move to system of price pooling for fuel,” Mr Ahluwalia said addressing the India Energy Forum.

 

He said efforts for price pooling are underway and “I am told it would be done by the end of this year.

 

“...as far as gas pooling is concerned easy solution is price pooling. But the problem with gas price pooling is that gas also goes to fertiliser... I don’t think that in the next three to four years these issues can be solved.”

 

To offset the impact of high import costs, the Planning Commission had said that Coal India should adopt a pooling formula on prices by combining rates of imported and domestic coal.

 

In September, CIL had asked the state governments to convey their views on price pooling of coal.

 

West Bengal government responded to the coal PSU and raised objections to price-pooling of coal.

 

Racing against the month-end deadline to ink the fuel supply pacts, CIL has shot off reminder letters to state governments seeking their views on price-pooling mechanism.

 

The CIL board had earlier approved the modified fuel supply agreement (FSA) without price-pooling with 65% domestic coal and 15% imported coal at cost plus basis.

 

So far, only 30 power companies, including Lanco and Adani have signed FSAs with CIL.

 

The coal major had earlier said that if price pooling was implemented, all the power consumers would have to bear the impact.

 

CIL had earlier said: “Price pooling is a mechanism to implement FSA...If price pooling is approved then 15% supply of imported coal will be not in the cost plus method, but in pooling mechanism.”

 

Last month, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had asked power companies to sign the FSAs with CIL by November-end even if they don’t have binding pacts for sale of electricity.

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