Personal finance Wednesday

ICICI Bank & Vodafone Essar ink pact for financial inclusion; Future Generali launches single premium ULIP; Reliance MF floats Fixed Horizon Fund-XVII-Series 5; Karvy launches investment plan with capital protection; Reliance MF launches Fixed Horizon Fund-XVIII-Series 1

ICICI Bank & Vodafone Essar ink pact for financial inclusion
 
ICICI Bank Ltd and Vodafone Essar Ltd have announced a joint initiative to drive financial inclusion in the country. Under this tie-up, both entities will offer a bouquet of financial products such as savings accounts, pre-paid instruments and credit products through a mobile phone based platform.

This partnership is expected to bring the un-banked and under-banked population into the organised financial services framework and assist in furthering the electronic payments market in India. ICICI Bank will leverage the distribution strength of Vodafone, which manages over 1.5 million retail points for acquiring customers and servicing them.

Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director & CEO, ICICI Bank Ltd said, "Mobile penetration is growing exponentially in the country of which the rural market forms a major contributor. There is a huge potential for offering mobile banking in these regions, which will facilitate access to the financially excluded parts of the society and ensure that benefits from various welfare and growth programs of the government reach them along with other financial services and products."

Both parties will work out the specific arrangements in the coming few weeks and chart out a go-to-market plan.

Future Generali launches single premium ULIP

Future Generali India Life Insurance Company, the Insurance joint venture between Future Group of India and Generali Group of Italy, has launched Future Generali Nivesh Preferred, a flexible one-time investment ULIP with simplicity as one of the key attributes of the product construct.

Future Generali Nivesh Preferred, while helping customers achieve their medium to long term financial goals. A single premium plan with two options on sum assured component, Future Generali Nivesh Preferred has four term options of 7, 10, 15, and 20 years and is available for customers in the age group of 7 to 68 years.

On maturity of the policy, fund value as on date will be paid to the life assured. The policy holder may also choose to receive the maturity benefit under settlement option through periodical payments for up to five years after the maturity date. Loyalty addition up to 7% for premium exceeding Rs50,000 is payable in addition. The minimum single premium is Rs40,000 and the maximum single premium is Rs4 lakh.

Future Generali Nivesh Preferred Plan offers two options to the customers to strike a balance between their insurance and investment needs. These options are: Option A offers a life insurance cover of 05 times the single premium in the first year and 1.25 times the single premium from the second year onwards. Option B offers a level life insurance cover throughout the policy term which may be ranging from 1.25 to 5 times the Single Premium. Further the customer will have an option to reduce the cover at any time from second policy year onwards. 98% of the premium paid in Future Generali Nivesh Preferred gets allocated to funds on the first day with a choice of six investment funds. These funds provide the investor flexibility to direct investments in any of the unit-linked funds of the company that match their risk appetite. 12 free fund switches per year means investors can leverage returns despite market volatility. Additional protection can be drawn, by taking an accidental death rider.

Reliance MF floats Fixed Horizon Fund-XVII-Series 5

Reliance Mutual Fund has launched Reliance Fixed Horizon Fund-XVII-Series 5, a close-ended income scheme.

The investment objective of the scheme is to generate regular returns and growth of capital by investing in central and state government securities and other fixed income/ debt securities normally maturing in line with the time profile of the scheme with the objective of limiting interest rate volatility.
The new issue opens on 12th January and closes on 18th January. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. The tenor of the scheme is 368 days.

Karvy launches investment plan with capital protection


Karvy Private Wealth, wealth management arm of Karvy group, has launched Aries, a structured product offering capital protection-oriented investments in multiple asset categories through a single product and which comes under the alternative asset class.

Aries is a 40 months investment product linked to the basket of Nifty and gold returns. A basket consists of 60% of Nifty units and 40% of gold units and brings in twofold benefits for investors-capital appreciation by participating in the equity markets and capital preservation and diversification by adding gold into the portfolio.

The product offers capital protection to the customers and pays 1.1 times the return on the positive basket performance with no upside cap enabling risk-averse investors not only total protection for their principal amount but will also receive 1.1 times return on investments based on the market performance.

Reliance MF launches Fixed Horizon Fund-XVIII-Series 1

Reliance Mutual Fund has launched Reliance Fixed Horizon Fund-XVIII-Series 1, a close-ended income scheme.

The investment objective of the scheme is to generate regular returns and growth of capital by investing in central and state government securities and other fixed income/ debt securities normally maturing in line with the time profile of the scheme with the objective of limiting interest rate volatility.
The new issue opens on 12th January and closes on 13th January. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000.

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Guidelines for life insurance cos IPOs by early Feb: IRDA

New Delhi: Insurance watchdog Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDA) today said guidelines for public float of life insurance companies will be ready by early February, reports PTI.

"Our regulation for initial public offers (IPO) of life insurance companies must be ready in two to three weeks," IRDA chairman J Hari Narayan told reporters on the sidelines of IBAI summit.

In October last year, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had approved life insurance companies to issue IPOs.

As per the draft guideline compiled by IRDA, insurance companies which are in operation for the last 10 years would only be eligible for coming out with IPOs.

Also, the present IPO guidelines of SEBI require a three-year track record of profit for a company to float a public issue.

However, non-life insurance companies will have to wait a few months to hit the capital market as IRDA is in the process of making a formal proposal to SEBI.

"For non-life IPO, we are still to make a formal proposal to SEBI. The proposal is ready...the calculation of economic capital (of non-life insurance companies) that is taking a little time... then we will go forward," Mr Narayan added.

Several private sector insurers, including Reliance Life and HDFC Standard Life, have already shown interest in tapping the capital market to augment their resource base.

Though HDFC Standard Life has completed 10 years of operations, Reliance Life does not meet this criterion.

As per the disclosure norms in offer document mandated by SEBI, the insurers would have to come up with disclosure of risk factors specific to the companies.

Also the offer document would have a glossary of terms used in the insurance sector.

Currently, most of the 22 private life insurers and 17 non-life players have foreign partners. The Insurance Act caps foreign direct investment at 26%.

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Draft norms on health insurance portability by February

New Delhi: Health insurance policy holders, feeling let down due to poor services, will have the choice to switch over to another company with the same conditions under the insurers portability option to be formulated by the Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDA) next month, reports PTI.

"Draft guidelines on portability of health insurance policies will be issued by February-end," IRDA chairman J Hari Narayan told reporters on the sidelines of IBAI summit.

Currently, there is portability on motor insurance policies.

"Under portability, the financial bonuses, pre-existing disease requirement will also get carry forward," Mr Narayan said.

The insurance regulator has been planning to come out with guidelines for portability under which mediclaim policy holders, who are not satisfied with the services, will be able to switch service providers at the same premium.

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