Personal finance Wednesday

Religare MF files offer document with SEBI to launch Religare FMP-Series IV-Plan A to F

Religare Mutual Fund has filed an offer document with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to launch Religare Fixed Maturity Plan (FMP)-Series IV-Plan A to F, a close ended debt scheme. During the new fund offer (NFO) period, the scheme will offer units at Rs10 each. Religare FMP-Series IV-Plan A to F offers plans of tenure from three months to 13 months from the date of allotment of the respective plans. The scheme offers six plans viz. Plan A, B, C, D, E & F. Each of these plans offers growth and dividend payout option. The entry load and exit load charge will be nil for the scheme. The minimum subscription amount will be Rs5,000 and in multiples of Rs10 thereafter. The investment objective of the scheme is to generate income by investing in debt and money market instruments maturing in line with the duration of the scheme.

ICICIdirect.com launches online advisory facility for active traders

ICICIdirect.com has launched a new facility called 'F&[email protected]' which provides real-time advanced information on derivative contracts to its customers. F&[email protected] offers an integrated platform consisting of all tools, information and inputs needed by a retail trader to identify the opportunities in the derivative market with an option to trade it immediately. The new facility has seven sections. Among these include: Top Active Futures provides a real-time list of 10 most active future contracts of the day; Top Nifty Strikes provides a real-time list of five most active call and put Nifty contracts; Low Value Nifty Strikes provides a real-time list of five call and put Nifty contracts which are cheaper; Active Stock Options is a list of five most active call and put contracts for stock options; High Rollover Stock provides a list of stock futures; Movers & Shakers lists stock futures which are witnessing significant price or volume activity as compared to the previous day.

Birla Sun Life MF revises exit load under certain schemes of Birla Sun Life MIP II-Saving 5 Plan 

Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund has revised the exit load applicable to switch outs from Birla Sun Life Monthly Income Plan (MIP) II-Saving 5 Plan to certain fixed income schemes. The change will be effective from 12 August 2010. As per the revision, switch outs made from Birla Sun Life MIP II-Saving 5 Plan to any other schemes of Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund, exit load as applicable to the scheme shall be charged. No exit load shall be charged for switch-outs made from various plans/options under Birla Sun Life MIP II-Saving 5 Plan to Birla Sun Life Dynamic Bond, Birla Sun Life Income Fund, Birla Sun Life GSF-Long Term Plan, Birla Sun Life Monthly Income and Birla Sun Life MIP II-Wealth 25 Plan.

Allahabad Bank hikes benchmark prime lending rate by 50 bps

Allahabad Bank has decided to increase its benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) by 50 basis points (bps) to 12.5% with effect from 16 August 2010. With regard to the base rate, which is the interest rate below which banks cannot lend, Allahabad Bank has fixed it at 8%. A host of banks, including public sector undertaking (PSU) lenders Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, Corporation Bank and IDBI Bank, have raised their BPLRs in the last 10 days.

DWS Investment floats DWS Fixed Term Fund Series 73-A 370 days

DWS Investments has launched DWS Fixed Term Fund Series 73-A 370 days, a close ended debt fund. The fund is a fixed maturity plan and provides investors the benefit of indexation to get tax efficient returns, low interest rate sensitivity and low credit risk. The new fund offer (NFO) for this fund opens for subscription on the 11 August 2010 and closes on 16 August 2010. The objective of the fund is to generate regular income by investing in debt securities and money market instruments maturing on or before the date of maturity of the scheme. The unit offer price for fund is Rs10 per unit during NFO period. No entry and exit load will be charged for the fund. The minimum amount of subscription is Rs5,000 and in multiples of Re1 thereafter. Under the scheme, two investment options are available-growth and dividend payout.

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NHAI to call for project bids worth Rs4,000 crore by month-end

The National Highways Authority of India has been aggressive in calling for bids across the country, but few projects have been awarded

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which has an ambitious plan of adding 20km per day, is expected to come out with bids for road projects worth Rs4,000 crore by August-end. However, the target has been revised for the current financial year.

"More NHAI bids are expected by the end of August 2010. Bids are likely for about Rs3,600 crore to Rs4,000 crore worth of projects by the end of August 2010," said an industry source familiar with the development.

The first project likely to be bid out in this process is the Panvel- Indapur Highway project in Maharashtra. The project work will include four-laning the 100km highway. The total project cost is being pegged at around Rs1,100 crore. Bids for this project were to be called for yesterday.

The ministry of road transport and highways has been targeting an ambitious record of 20km per day (or 7,000km per year) of road development. As of May 2010, road development of around 684km has been completed.

Under NHAI's 'Work Plan I', projects of a total length of 5,600km have already been awarded. Bids for another seven projects of a total length of 4,056km are in the pipeline. Bids for 11 projects of 1,036 km have already been called for.

Under 'Work Plan II', one road project of 170km has already been awarded. Bids for projects of total length of 307km are in the process of being invited; bids for three projects of total length of 489km have already been called for. The ministry also plans to announce bids for projects of total length of  23,000km in this financial year. These are projects which have been approved and are ready for bidding.

While the NHAI has been on a bidding spree, it has suffered a setback in actually awarding them. Not much activity has been noticed on the actual awarding front over the past few months. However, it has continued to bid rigorously. The last bidding that took place was in the previous month.

In line with various announcements made by the ministry, there are plans for around six mega-expressway projects. While a few road-developing companies have already tied up with foreign counterparts to bid for these projects, nothing concrete has been announced by the ministry. According to sources from the ministry, there is no new significant development on the Expressway Authority which was being planned to smoothen the process of awarding these expressway projects.

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US industry outraged at senator's “chop shop” remarks on Infosys

Washington: Expressing outrage over a US senator calling Indian IT major Infosys a "chop shop", an industry body representing American firms has said that Indian companies were helping US create value and keep ahead of the global competition, reports PTI.

"It is totally outrageous in this day in age, when the world is so interconnected by the Internet, that draconian measures would be floated by the US Congress that tar-brushes Indian companies as 'chop shops'," US India Business Council (USIBC) president Ron Somers said on Tuesday.

"Our companies are creating value around the clock thanks to tie-ups with India, keeping us ahead of the global competition," Mr Somers said in a statement.

The Washington-based USIBC represents some 350 American companies, including many in Fortune 500 list, like Boeing, Wal-Mart, PepsiCo and General Motors and Lockheed Martin that do business in India.

Mr Somers came down heavily on various moves in US to restrict the movement of high-tech professionals and outsourcing of work to India.

"Cutting our nose off to spite our face by imposing restrictions on movement of high-tech professionals will hobble American companies' ability to compete in the global marketplace," he said.

"Value addition is being provided by Indian companies 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for US companies, complimenting the value being generated by the American workforce. When our day winds down and our workforce shuts the lights off, the Indian workforce awakes for their morning to continue adding value," Mr Somers added.

USIBC said it remains committed to removing restrictions to bilateral trade and investment between the world's two largest free-market democracies.

Criticising companies outsourcing American jobs, New York senator Charles Schumer had last week described Infosys as a "chop shop", a place where stolen cars are dismantled and parts sold separately.

He said such companies outsource high-paying American tech jobs to immigrants willing to take less pay.

The USIBC statement comes a day after commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said in the Rajya Sabha that such a remark from a the New York senator was unfortunate.

"Infosys is one of the leading companies. It has a global name and brand. Any disparaging remark, I would term it unfortunate and avoidable," Mr Sharma had said.

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