SBI alone to manage EPFO’s Rs 3 lakh crore fund till 30th June

EPFO turned down the proposal to give three month extension to its other existing fund managers-ICICI Pru, HSBC and Reliance Capital-as their term was to expire on 31st March, and in an interim arrangement decided that SBI would manage the funds for a further three-month period

New Delhi: Retirement fund body Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) today said its corpus of about Rs3.5 lakh crore will now be managed only by one of the existing fund manger, State Bank of India (SBI), for a three month period ending 30th June as an interim arrangement, reports PTI.

In its trustees meet here, the body turned down the proposal to give three month extension to its other existing fund managers-ICICI Pru, HSBC and Reliance Capital.

These three private players were earlier managing bulk of the fund-close to Rs3 lakh crore-of the total corpus.

"The EPFO's apex decision making body Central Board of Trustees has decided that SBI alone will manage the entire retirement fund for the interim period of three months beginning 1st April," labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge said.

The term of the four fund mangers was to expire on 31st March. The EPFO had planned to appoint new fund managers for next three financial years beginning 1st April.

The CBT headed by the Union labour minister came to this interim arrangement as EPFO is yet to complete the process of appointing new fund managers.

EPFO had started the process last year after it engaged credit rating agency CRISIL for appointing and later monitoring the performance of new fund managers.

As many as 11 asset management companies (AMCs) have evinced interest to manage EPFO's huge corpus which receives incremental deposits of about Rs30,000 crore each year.

Besides existing AMCs managing the EPFO corpus, seven new firms including Kotak Securities, Securities Trading Corporation of India, UTI Securities and ICICI Securities have expressed interest to manage the retirement fund.

In order to avoid any controversy amidst the recent outbreak of scams, EPFO had sent its tender document to Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) for vetting.

EPFO had engaged private fund mangers for the first time in July 2008. Prior to that SBI alone used to manage the fund.


Iron ore exports down by 18.60% in February to 10.13 million tonnes

FIMI secretary general RK Sharma stated that the ban on exports of iron ore by the Karnataka government last July has taken a toll on the industry. Exports during the April2010-February 2011 period declined by 17.98% to 85.43 MT

New Delhi: Continuing its declining trend for the eighth consecutive month, India's iron ore exports in February went down by 18.60% to 10.13 million tonnes (MT), from 12.54 MT in February 2010, reports PTI.

The outbound shipment of the vital steel-making raw material during the April2010-February 2011 period also declined by 17.98% to 85.43 MT, mainly on account of a ban on exports imposed by Karnataka government.

According to the data compiled by industry body Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI), the country's shipment declined by 18.60% in February against the same period last year.

"The industry has been suffering due to the ban on exports imposed by Karnataka last July. Also, the hike in export duty on iron ore to 20% in the Budget has added salt to the exporters' injury and its impact will be felt in the export numbers for March," FIMI secretary general RK Sharma told PTI.

In the Budget, duty on fines was hiked four-fold to 20% while on lumps was upped to 20% from 15% earlier. The country had shipped 117.37 MT of iron ore during the last fiscal.

Also, on account of exports ban imposed by Karnataka, shipments declined by 17.98% to 85.43 MT during April-February this fiscal.

In July last year, the Karnataka government had slapped the ban in the midst of a controversy generated over illegal mining activities in the state. Karnataka is one of the largest iron ore exporters in the country.

India has been exporting iron ore to China, Japan, South Korea, Europe and other countries.


Media, advertisers count big gains from titanic India-Pak Cricket World Cup clash

Marketers anticipate top ratings for one of the most anticipated sports events in recent times

It's the most-anticipated clash on the sports field in many years and it has sent the media world into a tizzy. As India and Pakistan play the semi-final of the Cricket World Cup, media and advertising businesses are counting the gains.

The match in Mohali on Wednesday is expected to earn some of the biggest ratings of the 2011 World Cup. On an average, media representatives have laid down a 'modest' expectation of 15-20 television rating points. "The India-England match, which was not so hyped up, garnered some 13 points," said an analyst. "India-Pakistan match being the most talked about clash will see ratings way above that. It will be at least 15-20."

Mudra Max CEO Pratap Bose estimates the ratings will reach 17-18. OMD India's managing partner Harish Shriyan also expects ratings within this range. However, some others like VivaKi COO Mona Jain expect even higher, saying that 24 will not be an implausible score. There are some others who agree.

Many corporates have given their employees the day off, schools have closed early, and many employees have stayed back at home to be able to watch the match. Enthusiasm is high, considering India's unbeaten 4-0 score over Pakistan in the World Cup matches, and the expectation that Sachin Tendulkar could score his 100th century.
Naturally, the broadcasters and the ad world is geared up for the big event. Advertising rates have shot up. The India-Pakistan match will ask for Rs17-18 lakh for a ten-second slot, perhaps the highest in television history. Advertisers are reportedly bidding desperately, and some experts think that the rates have crossed affordability.

Initially, it was expected that where IPL matches garner a rating of 4, the World Cup will see matches earn some 5-6 TVRs, and the rates were supposed to be something around Rs3.5 lakh. However, with the unexpected high ratings earned for the other matches during the tournament has led to a huge inflation in advertising prices.

The internet has also profited from this buzz. Visits to cricket websites have gone up by 50% and ESPN's Cricinfo is enjoying the lion's share, with Yahoo! Cricket following closely. Cricinfo saw seven million visitors since 20th February, the largest it has experienced.

India-Pakistan cricket rivalry being one of the most intense rivalries in the sports world, the hype is understandable. Despite India's unbeaten score, this match will be keenly watched because the thundershowers overnight would have rendered the nature of the wicket uncertain. If the pitch remains sticky, Indian spinners will be in for a tough time, but if it dries up it will give the batsmen an edge. The uncertainty will make sure that people remain glued to the screen till the end.




6 years ago

Decades ago, as children growing up in a variety of armed forces "cantts" all over the country, we knew very well that regardless of who won or lost a fight, battle, war . . . it was always Nestles that won. Reason being - there was no other supplier of condensed milk for the armed forces of the world. (Still isn't, atleast in India, by the way . . .)

It is something like that with cricket too. Artificial cancer causing sweeteners in carbonated beverages win! Mobile phones causing nerve damage wins! Emission causing internal combustion engine wins!!

Sorry for the contra view. For once, maybe, such occasions could be used to educate people on real issues - water, energy, corruption?

We are listening!

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