Personal finance Thursday

CIBIL and TransUnion launch CIBIL Mortgage Check; SBI Mutual Fund launches SBI Debt Fund Series-370 Days-6; HDFC Mutual Fund launches HDFC FMP 25M September 2010; Kotak Mahindra MF launches Kotak FMP 370 Days Series 7; DSP BlackRock MF launches DSP BlackRock FMP-12M-Series 7; DCB hikes lending rate by 50 bps to 15.50%

CIBIL and TransUnion launch CIBIL Mortgage Check
control fraudulent transactions in the housing finance industry, Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd (CIBIL) and TransUnion have launched CIBIL Mortgage Check-India's first repository of mortgage information. CIBIL and TransUnion, in consultation with the National Housing Bank (NHB) and other industry institutions, developed the country's first centralised nationwide database of mortgage information that will help banks and financial institutions access mortgage information, exercise stronger due diligence, and reduce fraudulent transactions. CIBIL Mortgage Check will enable more informed decisions to be made in assessing new mortgage applications as well as better portfolio management. The comprehensive reference database will contain information on properties which owners have availed loans; summaries of those loans, including the open and close dates; and comprehensive mortgage information on those properties.    
 
SBI Mutual Fund launches SBI Debt Fund Series-370 Days-6

SBI Mutual Fund has launched SBI Debt Fund Series-370 Days-6, a close-ended debt scheme. The new fund offer (NFO) price for the scheme is Rs10 per unit. The scheme opened on 26 August 2010 and will close on 16 September 2010. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. The investment objective of the scheme is to provide regular income, liquidity and returns to the investors by making investments in debt instruments maturing on or before the maturity of the scheme. The exit load for the scheme is nil. The scheme offers two options-growth and dividend (payout). The minimum target amount for the scheme is Rs1 crore.

HDFC Mutual Fund launches HDFC FMP 25M September 2010

HDFC Mutual Fund has launched HDFC FMP 25M September 2010, a close-ended debt scheme. The new fund offer (NFO) price for the scheme is Rs10 per unit. The scheme opened on 01 September 2010 and will close on 13 September 2010. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. The investment objective of the plans under the scheme is to generate income by making investments in debt/money market instruments and government securities maturing on or before the maturity date of the respective plans. The benchmark index for the scheme is CRISIL Short Term Bond Fund Index.

Kotak Mahindra MF launches Kotak FMP 370 Days Series 7

Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund has launched Kotak FMP 370 Days Series 7, a close ended-debt scheme. The new fund offer (NFO) price for the scheme is Rs10 per unit. The scheme opened on 01 September 2010 and will close on 06 September 2010. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. The scheme has two options- growth and dividend (payout). The investment objective of the scheme is to generate returns by making investments in debt and money market instruments with a view to significantly reduce the interest rate risk. The benchmark index for the scheme is CRISIL Composite Bond Fund Index.

DSP BlackRock MF launches DSP BlackRock FMP-12M-Series 7

DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund launches DSP BlackRock FMP-12M-Series 7, a close-ended debt scheme. The new fund offer (NFO) price for the scheme is Rs10 per unit. The scheme opened on 01 September 2010 and will close on 08 September 2010. The minimum investment amount is Rs10,000. The scheme has two options- growth and dividend (payout). The investment objective of the schemes is to seek capital appreciation by investing in debt and money market securities. It is envisaged that the scheme will invest only in such securities which mature on or before the date of maturity of the schemes. The schemes may also use fixed income derivatives for hedging and portfolio balancing. The term of the scheme is 12 months from the date of allotment. The exit load for the scheme will be nil.

DCB hikes lending rate by 50 bps to 15.50%

Development Credit Bank (DCB) has revised the benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) to 15.50% for all eligible advances linked to BPLR. The bank has increased the BPLR by 50 basis points (bps) i.e. from 15.00% per annum to 15.50% per annum with effect from 01 September 2010.
 

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SBI's Israeli branch breaks even in 2nd year

Tel Aviv: State Bank of India's (SBI) branch here has broken even in just second year of its operations, defying speculations by some analysts who saw it as an unwise move to open a branch at a time when other foreign banks were shutting down their offices in the country reports PTI.

SBI became the first bank to open a branch in the Israeli diamond exchange in June 2007 to encash on the burgeoning Indo-Israel trade.

Sources at the Bank of Israel confirmed SBI's remarkable progress, and also executives of other Israeli companies working with the Indian bank.

"After fulfilling all obligations and paying desirable taxes to the authorities concerned, the Indian bank still seems to have made an incredible progress by registering some profits during its early years of operations.

"It has set an example for other foreign banks to follow," a senior executive of a leading Israeli company doing business with India said.

Outgoing CEO of SBI, V Sashikala, speaking to PTI did not comment on this but said that "the bank has managed to successfully prepare its client base across various sectors and as per its strategy made sure that there is no overwhelming reliance on one particular sector".

Indo-Israel trade has been diversifying over the years and even though trade in diamonds still constitute some 50% of the bilateral trade, other sectors have picked up in a big way. The bilateral trade figures between the two countries continue to increase, registering $4 billion in 2008 and is projected to reach $5 billion this year.

"None of the sectors can claim a share of more than 20% in our portfolio", Ms Sashikala said.

Given that the significant portion of bilateral trade between the two countries was in diamonds, SBI's chairman, O P Bhatt, during the inauguration ceremony had said that the bank had operations in all the major diamond trading centres of the world and Tel Aviv completed the loop.

With India and Israel discussing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), bilateral trade is likely to get a new push which will enhance the scope for the Indian bank's presence in the Jewish state.
 

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Equifax launches credit information service in India

Mumbai: Equifax Inc, a global leader in information solutions, today said that it has begun providing its in-depth credit information solutions across India, using member-contributed data from the country's largest banks and financial institutions, reports PTI.

Equifax Credit Information Services (ECIS) brings Equifax's global experience to the growing Indian economy through its joint venture with six leading Indian financial institutions.

These are Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Prime Limited, Religare Finvest Limited, Sundaram Finance Limited and Union Bank of India.

Equifax applied to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a certificate of registration to establish the new credit information company under The Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005, and was approved for a license in March of this year.

"The emergence of India as a major influence in global commerce, and India's own internal growth, require world-class customer insights and risk-management systems," Equifax Chairman and CEO, Richard F Smith, said in a statement here.
 
"Our joint venture combines Equifax technology and international experience with a very large and growing database, managed and delivered entirely within India, to give our customers unmatched data and insights, in the most efficient and effective manner," he added.

ECIS has implemented the most stringent standards in the industry for the verification of the information within its database, ensuring its high quality, the statement said.

ECIS is one of only a select few companies granted a license to operate a credit information company in India.

"Our in-country staffing, local hosting, volume and depth of files we already have, allows us to understand the Indian business community and its needs better than any other service provider," ECIS managing director & CEO, Samir Bhatia, said.

"Lenders have told us they want new ways to be able to manage their portfolios," Mr Bhatia said, adding "we will be providing a comprehensive suite of credit risk; customer retention/cross-sell and collection products based on the highest calibre data in the industry."

Equifax's database includes information on more than 572-million consumers and more than 81-million businesses globally.
 

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