Personal finance Thursday

Benchmark MF floats Infra BeES; Reliance MF introduces Reliance Index Fund-Sensex Plan; IndiaFirst launches Smart Save and Young India; MetLife India unveils Met Smart Platinum

Benchmark MF floats Infra BeES

Benchmark Mutual Fund has launched Infrastructure Benchmark Exchange Traded Scheme (Infra BeES), an open-ended exchange traded fund (ETF). The investment objective of the scheme is to provide returns that, before expenses, closely correspond to the total returns of the securities as represented by the CNX Infrastructure Index by investing in the securities in the same proportion as in the index. The new fund offer (NFO) price is Rs10 plus premium per unit. Minimum investment amount is Rs10,000. The issue opens on 9 September 2010 and closes on 23 September 2010. The exit load for the scheme is nil. 

Reliance MF introduces Reliance Index Fund-Sensex Plan

Reliance Mutual Fund has introduced Reliance Index Fund-Sensex Plan, an open-ended growth scheme. The investment objective of the scheme is to replicate the composition of the Sensex, with a view to generate returns that are commensurate with the performance of the Sensex, subject to tracking errors. The scheme offers two options - growth and dividend. It opens on 9 September 2010 and closes on 23 September 2010. An exit load of 1% will be applicable if the units are redeemed on or before the completion of one year from the date of allotment. The new fund offer (NFO) price is Rs10 per unit. Minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. The benchmark index for the scheme is BSE Sensex.

IndiaFirst launches Smart Save and Young India

IndiaFirst Life Insurance has launched two new unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs) - IndiaFirst Smart Save Plan and IndiaFirst Young India Plan. Both ULIPs - Smart Save Plan and Young India Plan provide insurance cover and market linked investments growth. Both plans provide customers the facility of loan and offer portability. They also offer the customer a choice to invest across five different funds. The minimum term of the Smart Save Plan is 15 years. The minimum term of the Young India Plan is 10 years. Young India Plan has an additional benefit equal to the sum of all future premium(s) payable on the life assured's death or disability due to an accident.

MetLife India unveils Met Smart Platinum

MetLife India Insurance has launched its first unit-linked insurance plan (ULIP) -Met Smart Platinum. The product is bundled with an investment strategy that incorporates event-based auto-rebalancing to ensure better risk-management while optimising returns. It offers customers the option to choose the allocation of desired percentages of their investment between a high risk fund (Flexi Cap) and a low risk fund (Protector II) depending on their risk appetite. The flexibility offered to the customers by Met Smart Platinum allows them to make top-up investments apart from allowing partial withdrawals in case the customer needs emergency liquidity of funds. The plan also allows customers to increase and decrease the life coverage depending upon their changing lifestyle needs as they cross different stages of their life.


BHEL mulls JV to finance power projects

New Delhi: State-run BHEL is exploring the possibility of formation of a separate finance company as a joint venture with a strategic partner to finance power projects, reports PTI.

"We have floated EOI (Expression of Interest) for consultation for appointment of a consultant to work on ideas to use our cash reserves," CMD BHEL B P Rao said.

"We would appoint a consultant who would advise us on such issues like leveraging our resources to increase our exposure in the power sector, we may pick up minority stake ... 26% (stake) in the power projects," Mr Rao said.

"We may go for a separate investment arm for BHEL for funding power sector projects ... lets see what works out," he said adding that the NBFC can target the opportunities in overseas markets also," he added.

BHEL floated the tender for appointment of the consultant a couple of days and is likely to do the appointment in a month from now.

"We may finalise the consultant in a month," he added.

BHEL is currently engaged in manufacturing power equipment, transportation and auto components.

At present, the company manufactures equipment that can generate 15,000 MW of electricity and is planning to augment this capacity to 20,000 MW by March, 2012.


Employers must take out health cover for workers: Ahluwalia

New Delhi: Making it mandatory for organised sector employers to take health insurance cover for employees will help spread the reach of insurance products, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia suggested today, reports PTI.

"There has to be a mandatory provision for providing group health insurance cover to all workers in the organised sector by their employers", he said at a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Health Insurance Summit here.

He said, "I think it is feasible, the government should give very serious consideration to this (making it mandatory for employers to get group insurance for their workers)."

"We will never be able to spread (health) insurance for which people pay unless an element of incentive-cum-compulsion is introduced. If you leave it to people, only rich persons would buy...even middle class would not go for it," he said.

Although India's private health insurance industry's business volumes have grown by over 35% a year in the last few years, a staggering 85% of the population remains uninsured, according to industry estimates.

An 'India [email protected]' report suggests that about 65% of the people that incur expenditures on major health problems become indebted for life.

One of incentives, Mr Ahluwalia suggested, could be exempting the part contribution of health insurance premium for workers by the employer.

Ahluwalia thinks that there is no point creating public infrastructure that does not work properly and general public end up bearing the entire expenditure on getting a patient treated.

Asked about whether the private insurance companies should provide cashless health insurance cover, Mr Ahluwalia said, "We cannot say that all private insurance companies must run cashless (health) insurance."

Admitting that the government's move of making mandatory health insurance cover for all organised worker would not be the only solution, he said that it is true that we cannot do it for self-employed people, but government is running a Rashtriya Sawasthya Bima Yojana for them.

Under the scheme, a free health insurance cover for medical treatment of up to Rs30,000 is provided to the people below poverty line. The insurance premium is shared between Centre and state in the ratio of 75:25%.

He said, "The Centre and states together spending little over 1% of the gross domestic product (GDP) on public health service which was even lower than one percentage point three year ago."

"We want to scale the spent on health service to over 3% of GDP, but we have to think that the expenditure would be entirely on creating public health infrastructure or a part of it should be used to providing health insurance cover to people", he added.


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