Insurance
Reliance Life launches new pension plan

The new scheme Reliance Life Insurance Smart Pension Plan is a comprehensive non-participating unit-linked pension plan

Reliance Life Insurance has launched a new pension plan, which encourages early saving for post-retirement financial independence.

 

The new scheme Reliance Life Insurance Smart Pension Plan is a comprehensive non-participating unit-linked pension plan, the company said in a statement.

 

It claims to be the only retirement plan that offers rider options to customers to safeguard against accidental death, illnesses and even life insurance, guaranteed returns and loyalty additions safeguard against volatile market conditions.

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Equity mutual funds suffer massive redemption of Rs6,580 crore in May

Sales of equity mutual fund schemes may have marginally increased, but huge redemptions led to a net outflow of Rs3,357 crore in May 2013. The business will not revive unless the fund companies and the regulators take responsibility for their actions.

Equity mutual fund schemes continue to face net outflows. Over the past 12 months there has been only a single month which drew in a net inflow. Over the past year, from June 2012 to May 2013, there has been a total outflow of Rs17,967 crore. In January 2013, the total redemptions for the month had peaked to as high as Rs8,289 crore, the highest since October 2010. Sales of equity schemes have also failed to pick up. Compared to the same month the last year, equity MF sales have fallen by 4% to Rs3,223 crore from Rs3,343 crore in May 2012.

 

Moneylife has been constantly highlighting declining sales of mutual funds which has a lot do with the attitude of both fund companies and the regulator. The actions of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) have been consistently ill-informed and capricious. After the regulator abruptly banned upfront commissions in August 2009, SEBI has been trying to tinker around with the rules without any clue about how the buyers (investors) and the sellers (distributors) perceive equity funds.
 

In September last year, under the current chairman, it introduced a new category of fund sellers. This new cadre of distributors which would include postal agents, retired teachers, retired government and semi-government officials will sell units of ‘simple’ and ‘performing’ mutual fund schemes. Despite a waiver in registration fees for first-time distributors for five months (February to June 2013) very few distributors have been enrolled under this category, according to news reports. When SEBI had released this circular in September 2012, we had pointed out a number of issues with this. (Read: Retired teachers selling ‘simple’ & ‘performing’ schemes: Another harebrained idea from SEBI)
 

Two new fund offers (NFOs) that were launched during the period brought in Rs146 crore. Over the past three months as many as nine NFOs have been launched, but they were able to bring in an inflow of just Rs641 crore. The number of NFOs launched witnessed a spike because many of the new schemes launched were Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Schemes. In the calendar year 2012 saw just seven NFOs being launched.

Equity assets under management fell by nearly 2% to Rs1.75 lakh crore in May 2013 from Rs1.89 lakh crore in April 2013. On the other hand, the S&P BSE Sensex gained 1.31% over the one-month period ending 31 May 2013.

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Finance ministry to seek Cabinet nod for all-women bank

The all-women bank, proposed in the Budget, would be wholly-owned by the government and is expected to start operations from November 2013 through six branches in different parts of the country

The finance ministry will soon approach the Cabinet for approval to set up India’s first all-women bank, entailing an initial investment of Rs1,000 crore.

 

A Cabinet note has been circulated for the all-women bank and the matter is likely to be considered by the Cabinet soon, sources said.

 

The all-women bank, proposed in the Budget, would be wholly-owned by the government and is expected to start operations from November 2013 through six branches in different parts of the country.

 

Finance minister P Chidambaram had recently said that initially there would be one branch in each major region of the country—South, West, East, Centre, North and the North-east.

 

The bank, mostly manned by women, would start with an initial capital of Rs1,000 crore.

 

Also, the proposed bank will lend mostly to women and women-run businesses, provide support to women Self Help Groups (SHGs) and their livelihood.

 

Moreover, it will employ predominately women, which addresses the gender-related issues and empowerment and financial inclusion. However, it will take deposits from both men and women.

 

Earlier, a committee headed by headed by former Canara Bank chairman MBN Rao and comprising of bankers and other experts had prepared a blueprint for the all-women bank.

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