Personal finance Friday

HDFC Life launches a new ULIP; IDFC Mutual Fund floats Fixed Maturity Plan-Yearly Series 35; ICICI Pru MF unveils 1,100 days scheme; IDBI, OBC, BOI hike retail term deposit rates

HDFC Life launches a new ULIP

HDFC Life has launched ProGrowth Flexi, a smart unit-linked insurance plan (ULIP) with minimum monthly premium of Rs2,500. The ULIP comes with 30-day free look-in, flexible premium payment options, five investment funds, and the flexibility to change premium paying term.  

The product is targeted at those set of customers who are seeking a life insurance plan that is affordable and flexible and at the same time provides value. The product offers several flexibilities to customers that can be chosen based on their needs and appetite. Apart from the normal life cover, ProGrowth Flexi also provides extra life cover with accidental death benefits option.

IDFC Mutual Fund floats Fixed Maturity Plan-Yearly Series 35

IDFC Mutual Fund has launched IDFC Fixed Maturity Plan-Yearly Series 35, a close-ended income scheme.

The investment objective of the scheme is to generate income by investing in debt and money market instruments maturing before the maturity of the scheme.
The new issue closes on 10th January. The minimum investment amount is Rs10,000.

ICICI Pru MF unveils 1,100 days scheme

ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund has launched ICICI Prudential Fixed Maturity Plan-Series 53-3 Years Plan C, a close-ended income scheme.

The new issue closes on 19th January and has a tenor of 1,100 days. The minimum application amount is Rs5000.

CRISIL Composite Bond Fund Index is the benchmark index. Chaitanya Pande is the fund manager.

IDBI, OBC, BOI hike retail term deposit rates

IDBI Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) and Bank of India (BOI) have hiked interest rates on certain retail term deposit schemes on account of the higher interest rate scenario, in line with steps by some of their peers.

While IDBI and BOI hiked interest rates on retail deposits by up to 0.75% varying according to maturities, OBC went for an upward revision of 25 basis points on certain offerings. The rate hike has been done in view of "credit demand, inflation and liquidity scenario", IDBI said.

The rate hike announced by the bank is to be immediately effective and with the revision, the highest interest on retail term deposits would be 9.25%.
For deposits of up to Rs15 lakh, the maximum hike is of 75 basis points. The interest rate on deposits with a maturity period of 270 days and above, but less than one year, has been increased by 75 basis points to 8%. Furthermore, the rates for deposits with a tenor between 366 days and 499 days have been hiked by 35 basis points to 8.50%, it added.

For retail term deposits with a maturity period of 500 days, the bank has revised the interest rate to 9%, up 50 basis points from the prevailing rate.

The Mumbai-headquartered BOI has also revised the rates of its certain deposits, starting from those under Rs15 lakh to Rs5 crore and above.

Under the revised interest rates, a 180-269 days deposit under Rs15 lakh will fetch an interest of 7.25% as against 6.50% earlier, while one for 270-364 days will earn the depositor 7.50% per annum compared to 6.75% earlier. OBC also went for a revision of its term deposits in three categories, less than Rs15 lakh, Rs15 lakh-Rs1 crore and Rs1 crore-Rs5 crore. For deposits with a maturity of 300 days in all segments it fixed an interest of 7.50%, down 25 basis points from the earlier existing figure of 7.75%.

However, for deposits with a maturity of one year to 499 days and 501 days to less than two years in all segments, it has upped rates by 25 basis points to 8.25%.

Other lenders such as Dena Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank , State Bank of India and HDFC Bank among others have already hiked their retail term-deposit rates.


SEBI probes violation in income proof rules in Citi fraud

New Delhi: In connection with the alleged Rs300-crore Citibank fraud, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is probing whether the stock brokers collected income proof documents from the accused, a mandatory requirement for trade in derivatives market, reports PTI.

The market regulator had made it mandatory in December 2009 for the brokerage firms to collect income proof documents from all their clients before allowing them to trade in derivatives segment of the market.

Preliminary investigations into the alleged fraud committed by Shivraj Puri, a senior employee at a Citibank branch in Gurgaon, has found that he diverted his clients' money into derivatives market.

Investigation teams from SEBI have already more than once questioned Mr Puri as well as other parties connected to the fraud, including the officials from the bank and the two brokerage firms used by Puri-Religare and Bonanza.

As per the preliminary probe, SEBI has found lapses on part of the brokerage firms in collecting all the required financial documents from Puri and others through whose accounts he invested in stock market, a senior official said.

The brokers have been asked by SEBI to furnish all the documents that they had collected from Mr Puri, subsequent to which the regulator would check their veracity.

Most of these funds were invested into Nifty options-a derivative product with the market benchmark index Nifty as underlying security, where the investor has no obligation to take the delivery and needs to pay only margin money.

In this derivative, investors bet on upward or downward move of Nifty and returns depend on accuracy of such bets.

As the derivatives trade involve large-scale transactions, there are greater chances of black money or money earned through dubious means finding way to stock market through derivatives, the official said.

This was the reason behind SEBI in December 2009 making it mandatory for all the brokerage firms to allow their clients to trade in derivatives only after submission of valid income proof. In cases of discrepancies or the income profile not matching with the investment portfolio, the brokers are supposed to immediately inform the regulator.

Initially, brokerage firms had resisted implementation of these guidelines and agreed to abide by them only by mid-2010.

Brokers are supposed to collect these documents every year and these include copies of latest Income Tax Return Acknowledgment, Annual Accounts (last financial year for individuals, last two financial years for non individuals) and copy of Form 16 in case of salary income.

Besides, the clients also need to submit a CA-certified net worth certificate for the latest financial year, salary slip of one month in current financial year, bank account statement for last six months, demat account holding statement and other documents substantiating ownership of assets.


Govt amends Power Tariff Policy; boost clean energy usage

New Delhi: In a bid to boost clean energy generation in the country, the government today amended the Power Tariff Policy, which mandates states to have solar energy as 3% of their total power purchases by 2022, reports PTI.

"The solar power purchase obligation for states may start with 0.25% in phase I (by 2013) and go up to 3% by 2022," an official statement said.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet held here today, it added.

"The present amendment in the Tariff Policy is as per the National Solar Mission Strategy, which was approved by the Cabinet on 19 November 2009," the statement added.

As per the amendment, the power purchased by the state electricity boards or other state utilities will be complemented by solar specific Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) mechanism, through which solar power generation companies will sell certificates to the buyers.

The certificate will also help the buyers to meet their solar power purchasing obligations, the statement said.

Earlier, the ministry of power had asked the Cabinet to amend the tariff policy 2006, so that state electricity regulators can fix a percentage of energy purchased from solar power.

The amendment will come into effect from the date of its publication in the official gazette, the statement added.


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