Economy
Rupee breaches 61 level to hit new life-time low of 61.19 against the dollar

Forex dealers said dollar firming up against other currencies in overseas markets, mainly put pressure on the domestic currency to touch an all-time low


The rupee today fell by a massive 97 paise to breach the 61-mark to 61.19, a new all-time low, against the dollar in early trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market, on heavy demand for the American currency amid capital outflows.

 

Forex dealers said dollar firming up against other currencies in overseas markets, mainly put pressure on the domestic currency to touch an all-time low. The local currency had plunged to 60.76 intraday on 26th June.

 

The rupee had declined by nine paise to 60.22 on Friday and the fresh fall was led by a steep rise in crude oil prices which surged over $100 in overseas markets.

 

Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex fell by 262.61 points, 1.35%, to 19,233.21 in early trade today.

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LIC to invest about Rs2.5 lakh crore in markets this fiscal

Increase in exposure to the equity market, secondary or primary, would depend on market conditions, LIC chairman, SK Roy said, adding that the Corporation has been investing in stock markets in the past few weeks as there are opportunities

Unfazed by volatile stock markets, insurance behemoth Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) proposes to invest nearly Rs2.5 lakh crore in both equity and bonds this year.

 

“We made an aggregate investment of Rs2.25 lakh crore last year. This year it would increase by 10%,” LIC chairman, SK Roy said.

 

Thus, the country’s largest insurer is expected to pump in Rs2.47 lakh crore in shares and bonds.

 

Increase in exposure to the equity market, secondary or primary, would depend on market conditions, he said, adding that the Corporation has been investing in stock markets in the past few weeks as there are opportunities.

 

On its earnings, LIC expects to achieve a 15% growth in the first year premium income in the current financial year as against a contraction in the last fiscal.

 

During 2012-13, the country’s only state-run life insurer registered a 6.5% fall in new premium collection at Rs76,200 crore compared to Rs81,500 crore during the earlier fiscal.

 

Apart from urban areas, the company intends to focus on rural areas and Tier II and Tier III cities as it sees a lot of business opportunities in these pockets.

 

To increase its presence, LIC recently opened 300 mini offices across various smaller cities in the country.

 

These offices have one LIC official posted, who provides basic insurance services, with agents helping these offices in collecting premiums.

 

Simultaneous opening of these offices is part of a plan to set up 1,700 such offices in locations with population of 10,000 and above by December.

 

In his budgetary speech for 2013-14, finance minister, P Chidambaram, had said insurance companies will be empowered to open branches in Tier II cities and below without prior approval of Insurance and Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA).

 

“All towns of India with a population of 10,000 or more will have an office of LIC and an office of at least one public sector general insurance company. I propose to achieve this goal by 31 March 2014,” he had said.

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