Personal finance Friday

Kotak Mahindra MF launches Multi Asset Allocation Fund; SBI Mutual Fund launches Debt Fund Series-18 Months-5; ICICI Lombard General Insurance to provide weather-based crop insurance

Kotak Mahindra MF launches Multi Asset Allocation Fund

Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund has launched Kotak Multi Asset Allocation Fund, an open-ended income scheme.

The investment objective of the scheme is to generate income by investing predominantly in debt and money market securities, to generate growth by taking moderate exposure to equity and equity related instruments and provide diversification by investing in Gold ETFs.

The new issue opens on 31st December and closes on 14th January. The minimum investment amount is Rs10,000. The scheme will be benchmarked against 80%-CRISIL MIP Blended Fund Index and 20%-price of gold. Abhishek Bisen and Pankaj Tibrewal will be the fund managers for the scheme.

SBI Mutual Fund launches Debt Fund Series-18 Months-5

SBI Mutual Fund has launches SBI Debt Fund Series-18 Months-5, a close-ended income scheme.

The investment objective of the scheme is to provide regular income, liquidity and returns to the investors through investments in a portfolio comprising of debt instruments such as government securities, PSU & corporate bonds and money market instruments maturing on or before the maturity of the scheme. Dividend (payout) and growth options are offered under the scheme.

The new issue opens on 31st December and closes on 6th January. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. Rajeev Radhakrishnan is the fund manager.

ICICI Lombard General Insurance to provide weather-based crop insurance
ICICI Lombard General Insurance has been given the mandate to provide weather-based crop insurance for the ongoing Rabi season in Tamil Nadu. It would cover Villupuram and Dindigul districts in the state.

The crops that ICICI Lombard would cover for the season are paddy, maize, vegetables, flowers, groundnut, gingelly, mango, tomato, chillies, tapioca and pulses. The weather-based crop insurance provides cover against weather-related risks faced by crops such as excess or deficit rainfall, variations in temperature and fluctuations in humidity.

This scheme facilitates immediate compensation based on certified data collected from independent third-party bodies such as the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Tamil Nadu Water Resources Department, Central Tobacco Research Institute. This method of claim settlement removes the need for carrying out field surveys.

This is a unique insurance scheme, where the beneficiary is not required to file a claim for loss to receive a payout. Instead, ICICI Lombard intimates and settles the claim amount to the beneficiary based on certified data collected from independent third party bodies.

In Tamil Nadu, ICICI Lombard had covered 1,384 farmers and 22,382 acres of land for the last Rabi season.


Govt to re-impose 60% duty on sugar imports from 1st Jan

New Delhi: With India's sugar production set to exceed domestic demand, the government today decided the zero duty regime on sugar imports to lapse, which in effect will restore 60% duty on the sweetener, reports PTI.

Import duty on sugar was abolished in early 2009 to boost domestic supply as there was a shortfall in output in 2008-09 sugar year (October-September). Before that, the duty on sugar import was 60%.

The duty-free regime was valid till today.

“There is no need for a fresh notification with the validity of duty-free import notification (on sugar) lapsing today. It will automatically revert to 60% duty. If required, we can seek a reduction in duty later,” a senior government official told reporters.

India had imported about six million tonnes of sugar since February 2009 to meet domestic demand. Sugar production of India, the world’s second largest producer, had declined to 14.7 million tonnes in 2008-09 against the annual domestic demand of 23 million tonnes.

In 2009-10, the production improved to 19 million tonnes, but it was still short of demand.

However, in the current sugar year, the production is expected to rise to 24.5 million tonnes and the country has now begun exporting the sweetener. Prices have also softened to Rs30-Rs32 per kg in the national capital from nearly Rs50 per kg in mid-January.

Asked if the government would revise its sugar production estimates for this year due to recent unseasonal rains, the official said: “Sugar production forecast remains at 24.5 million tonnes. The recent rain may not adversely impact output. The production losses may be offset with higher recovery.”

On sugar exports, the official said the government will notify the procedures for export of five lakh tonnes of sugar under the open general licence (OGL) scheme next week.

Food and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar had announced that the government will allow regular export of five lakh tonnes of sugar to benefit from high global prices.

He had also said that the food ministry will work out the export procedures in 10 days.


FM holds first meeting of Financial Stability Council

New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today held the first meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC), a high-level body which has been set up to sort out inter-regulatory issues, reports PTI.

“We had a very positive and constructive meeting", said Mr Mukherjee who heads the Council which includes Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, finance secretary and heads of regulators like the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).

“The meeting,” finance secretary Ashok Chawla said, “discussed broad issues regarding the state of economy.”

Among others, the meeting was attended by RBI governor D Subbarao, SEBI chairman CB Bhave and IRDA chairman J Hari Narayan.

When asked whether the meeting discussed the guidelines for coordinating the work of regulators, Mr Hari Narayan said, “I think so.”

Mr Mukherjee in his budget speech had proposed to set up the FSDC to deal with financial stability, financial sector development, inter-regulatory coordination, financial literacy, financial inclusion and macro-prudential supervision of the economy, including the functioning of large financial conglomerates.

Besides, the council is also expected to coordinate the country’s international interface with financial sector bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Financial Stability Board (FSB).


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