No decision on lowering GDP projection yet: FM

Global ratings agency Fitch has lowered its growth forecast for India in 2011 to 7.7% from 8.3% previously, saying that the economic outlook is likely to remain somewhat clouded by persistently high inflation

New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the government has not taken any decision yet on revising the economic growth projections for 2011-12, reports PTI.

"We have not taken any decision yet...," Mr Mukherjee told reporters when asked if the government is planning to revise the gross domestic product (GDP) growth projections downwards.

In the Economic Survey, the government had projected that India's GDP growth would be between 8.75% and 9.25% this fiscal.

However, in its monetary review for the fiscal, the Reserve Bank of India pegged the GDP growth at 8%, lower than the 8.5% recorded in the previous fiscal.

The RBI has been holding a view that controlling inflation is top priority, even at the cost of growth. The central bank has hiked key policy rates 10 times since March 2010 in its bid to check price rise.

The hard interest rate regime has seen the industrial production growing by 6.3% in April 2011 compared to an over 16% growth in the year-ago period, prompting analysts to say that probably economy is slowing down.

Global ratings agency Fitch has also lowered its growth forecast for India in 2011 to 7.7% from 8.3% previously.

The Fitch report says the economic outlook is likely to remain somewhat clouded by persistently high inflation.

Last week in Washington, the finance minister had said that the Indian economy is likely to maintain the growth momentum of the previous fiscal in 2011-12 as well.

In 2010-11, the economy is estimated to have expanded at 8.5%.

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Bajaj’s motorcycle sales rise 14% in June

Total vehicle sales of the company last month stood at 3,66,657 units compared to 3,15,422 units in the same period a year ago, a growth of 16.24%

New Delhi: Bajaj Auto, the country's second largest two-wheeler maker, today reported its highest ever motorcycle sales for the month of June at 3,22,827 units, registering a jump of 14.15%, reports PTI.

The company had sold 2,82,808 units in the corresponding month last year, Bajaj Auto (BAL) said in a statement.

BAL recorded its highest ever exports for June at 1,42,124 units compared to 1,14,024 units in June 2010, a growth of 24.64%.

The company also witnessed its best figures for June in the three-wheeler segment last month at 43,830 units as against 32,614 units in the same month last year, registering a jump of 34.39%.

Total vehicle sales of the company last month stood at 3,66,657 units compared to 3,15,422 units in the same period a year ago, a growth of 16.24%, the statement said.

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MF industry assets rise 6% to Rs7.43 lakh crore in June quarter

Industry players said a good quantum of inflows into fixed maturity plans (FMPs) helped the industry to record an increase in the AUM, even as equity markets continue to remain under pressure

New Delhi: After two quarters of decline, the average assets managed by the mutual fund industry rose by 6% to Rs7.43 lakh crore, even as the country's largest fund house Reliance MF saw a drop in its assets under managements (AUM), reports PTI.

The industry comprising 43 active players witnessed a surge in their average AUM by Rs42,546 crore or 6.07%, as per the data available with industry body Association of Mutual Fund Industry (AMFI).

The combined average AUM of the 43 fund houses stood at Rs7,43,083.91 crore at the end of June 2011, up from Rs7,00,537.7 crore in end-March.

At the end of June, the AUM of the largest MF in India Reliance MF witnessed a fall of Rs317 crore to Rs1,01,259.33 crore.

The country's second largest fund house HDFC MF witnessed a near 7% jump in its AUM at Rs92,033 crore. Besides, ICICI Prudential MF's assets gained 8.57% to Rs79,760 crore during the April-June period.

Besides, UTI MF saw an increase of Rs1,916 crore or 2.85% to Rs69,105 crore in end June. As many as 32 fund houses saw an increase in their AUM figures.

Industry players said a good quantum of inflows into fixed maturity plans (FMPs) helped the industry to record an increase in the AUM, even as equity markets continue to remain under pressure.

"With interest rates going up, it has helped the industry to garner flows into FMPs, short term debt and money market instruments. Also retail participation has increased," SBI MF chief marketing officer Srinivas Jain said.

The industry has seen an AUM decline of 5% in the December quarter and 2% in the March quarter.

Among other players, SBI MF witnessed a hefty 15% jump in AUM to Rs47,874 crore. The AUM of Edelweiss MF increased by 42%, Fidelity MF by 3% and that of IDBI MF by 44%.

Industry players are expecting an upturn in the coming days pursuant to the government allowing foreign investors, other than FIIs, to invest up to $10 billion in domestic mutual funds.

They said if the government simplifies the registration process and know your customer (KYC) norms for such investors, the fund flow would increase.

"Such funds would broaden the AUM base and increase participation in MF," Mr Jain added.

During the April-June quarter, the 11 fund houses that saw their average assets dwindle include Axis MF (drop of 10% to Rs7,453 crore), LIC MF (decline of 17% to Rs9,338 crore), DSP BlackRock MF (drop of 2% to Rs30,021 crore) and Morgan Stanley MF (decline of 1% to Rs2,052 crore).

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