Responding to a question on whether insurance companies would be able to hit the capital market to raise funds through IPO, SEBI chairman UK Sinha said, “It is not entirely in my hands. I get the feeling that IRDA is quite serious about it”
Chennai: Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is in “advance stage” of finalisation for issuing norms to non-life insurance companies planning to come out with an Initial Public Offering (IPO), reports PTI.
“So far as life insurance companies are concerned, it has been sorted out. The issues and norms have been clarified between SEBI and IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority)... so far, non-life (insurance) companies are concerned, the matter is in advance stage of discussion,” SEBI chairman UK Sinha told reporters here.
He was responding to a question on whether insurance companies would be able to hit the capital market to raise funds through IPO.
Declining to elaborate further, he said both SEBI and IRDA are quite serious about it. “It is not entirely in my hands. I get the feeling that IRDA is quite serious about it.
So my presumption is that it will not take too much time (to announce the norms for insurance companies to raise funds),” he said.
Noting that since the launch of computer-generated redressal system to investors, SEBI has received over 35,000 complaints, Mr Sinha said, “Most of the complaints registered by investors were against corporates listed in the stock exchanges”.
“More than two-thirds of the complaints have been solved within a period of less than 30 days and rest of complaints are also getting sorted out very soon. I will say more than 50% of the complaints are not against SEBI or against its intermediaries.
“Those are against corporates. More than 50% of the complaints are against corporates who are listed on the stock exchanges,” he said.
He said an investor through its website would be able to track the status of his complaint.
Explaining about the kind of complaints that were filed by investors, he said, “major complaints that were received are—(the investor) is not receiving the dividend in time or receiving an amount of dividend which is less than what an investor thinks he should have received.
“The complaints are also about not receiving the notices for AGMs or not receiving the annual reports in time”.
Voicing concern that spread of mutual fund industry in the country was not up to the expectation for the potential in market, Mr Sinha said, “the net inflow in the equity schemes of the mutual funds was down by Rs13,500 crore in 2010-11. But in 2011-12, the net inflow in equity schemes of the mutual funds was positive by around Rs600-Rs700 crore”.
He said SEBI has begun a process of consulting various agencies and with stakeholders on how to enhance the reach of mutual funds industry in the country.
“It will be a multi-pronged strategy. The exercise has just begun. We will be talking to all the stakeholders and then will take a final view”, he said.
He said the decline in the inflows in the mutual funds industry was not specific to India and similar trend was also witnessed in some advanced economies.
“Generally, including advanced economies where mutual funds penetration has been quite high, there has been a decline in the inflows to the mutual fund industry,” he said.
Mr Sinha warned of taking stringent action against those companies which do not follow the SEBI’s requirement of minimum public holding. According to Mr Sinha, so far 181 companies in the country are non-compliant of SEBI’s requirement of minimum public holding.
“So SEBI has now prescribed two more avenues for companies to try and issue their shares so that they reach and prescribe minimum public shareholding,” he said.
“If some company is not following the compliant, i.e. by June 2013 for private companies and August 2013 for PSUs, then the consequences of SEBI’s law will follow,” he said.
He also advised that an active investor should furnish his mobile phone number and email addresses so that whenever his account was opened, an SMS alert and email message be sent immediately. “This is an investor friendly measure,” he said.
Responding to a query, he said, on QFIs, so far 13 firms have taken the licenses from SEBI for being a qualified depository participant (QDP).
“If you recollect QFIs (Qualified Foreign Investors)there are entities which must have licenses for QDPs so that they can canvass businesses outside India. 13 firms have taken that license. To become a QDP, they have to be registered with SEBI.
They must have minimum assets of Rs500 crore and they have to presence outside India,” he said.
Mr Sinha was here to participate in a seminar “Investors: The Road Ahead” organised by SEBI and National Stock Exchange.
BoI has acquired 25% stake from Bharti Enterprises, while 26% from the Axa Investment Managers Asia Holdings
New Delhi: State-run lender Bank of India (BoI) on Monday said it has acquired 51% stake in Bharti Axa Mutual Fund for an undisclosed amount, reports PTI.
Bank of India and AXA Investment Managers Asia Holding have now upon receipt of all regulatory approvals, completed the formalities for acquisition of 51% of the equity stake of Bharti AXA investment Managers and Bharti AXA Trusteeship Services, the bank said in a filing to the BSE.
The remaining 49% stake will be with the Axa Group. However, the bank did not disclose the transaction size.
With the acquisition, Bharti Enterprises, which had about 25% stake in the fund house, has made an exit from the asset management business.
The bank has acquired 25% stake from Bharti Enterprises, while 26% from the Axa Investment Managers Asia Holdings.
In December, 2011 BoI had said the name of the fund house will be changed to Bank of India AXA Investment Managers after the acquisition is complete.
With the stake transfer, BoI is re-entering mutual fund business. The bank was in the mutual fund business in 1990.
Of the six schemes launched by the fund, four had been redeemed and two schemes transferred to Taurus Mutual Fund after giving exit option to investors in 2004.
At present, there are eight MFs either fully or partly-owned by banks along with overseas partners.These include Baroda Pioneer Mutual Fund, Canara Robeco Mutual Fund, ICICI Prudential MF, Principal MF of PNB and SBI Mutual Fund, Axis MF, IDBI Mutual Fund and Union KBC MF of Union Bank.
Undoubtedly a hit, but will Aamir Khan create a social movement and emerge the new hope for Indians desperately seeking a leader? It is too soon to tell, argues Sucheta Dalal
Just a week ago, a close friend wondered why we hadn't had another television show like Rajni - the spunky, crusading housewife-next-door, effectively portrayed by the late Priya Tendulkar in the1980s. Rajni had India glued to the television for the 30 minutes when she took on corrupt officials and made us believe that we could emulate her.
More recently Bollywood cinema has done its bit through inspiring films such as Rang de Basanti , Peepli Live and of course Munnabhai-2 which led to a spurt of Gandhigiri to deal with corruption and social issues across India. I like to think that it is this Gandhigiri of Munnabhai that paved the way for the groundswell of support for Anna Hazare, the gritty, Gandhi-like fighter who brought lakhs of people to the street and the government to its knees by refusing to leave Tihar jail after an ill-considered arrest.
And now we have Satyamave Jayate whose first day reception suggests that it could shake up the nation out of its complacency with its detailed coverage of social issues every Sunday Morning. The first day reaction to Satyameve Jayate (SJ), especially on the social media, suggests that it is already a hit. Many say that India's venal politicians are watching it closely and SJ could soon have running for cover. Will it happen?
Lets take a closer look at the epic scale on which SJ is mounted. For starters, it will be aired on multiple Star channels and a tie up with Doordarshan gives it the kind of reach that Doordarshan had in its monopoly days - that is, if it holds it audience and can build on the first day reception. And indeed, Aamir Khan is just the person to pull it off. He has enormous credibility for the role he is playing and is known for his attention to detail. If media reports about his fee (Rs3 crore per episode) are true, he also had a terrific financial incentive to keep him tugging at our heart strings and clearing our tear ducts every week.
Lets not forget that Aamir Khan gets big bucks because his star power pulls in corporate sponsors looking to buy credibility (as in Reliance Foundation), visibility ( Aquaguard, Airtel), or revenue (text messages). Using the programme to raise funds for an NGO is also an excellent touch - although it is unclear how this NGO is selected.
The biggest plus factor in getting a top filmstar (could have been a cricket superstar too) to anchor the show is that it skirts awkward questions or suspicion about a quid pro quo for the sponsors. For instance the controversial Reliance Industries is hardly the epitome of good corporate behaviour and its role in cornering our natural resources, including oil and telecom spectrum is still under investigation. So it is ironic that Reliance Foundation is getting an image white-wash by making the grand gesture of funding deserving NGOs by matching the money raised from text messages. The sponsors who have reportedly paid big bucks to be part of SJ include Bharti Airtel (media reports say that it paid Rs 18 crore) , Aquaguard (Rs 16 crore) and others such as Axis Bank (which gets a lot of airtime), Coca-Cola (will this ground water guzzler raise eyebrows of environment activists who are waging a long battle against it? Or would they rather hope to be a part of a future SJ episode?), Berger Paints and others. That advertising spots on the show are also being sold at thrice (Rs10 lakhs) the going rate for a 10-second slot.
SJ has clearly got off to a big start, the question is, will Aamir Khan will be able to hold his audience and ensure that they tune in every Sunday morning. It will happen if the issues that he deals with are startling, but more so, if there is tangible follow-up action. For instance, Aamir Khan has said he will write a letter to the Rajastan chief minister to club all the cases against doctors who were caught in a sting operation on the spread of female foeticide by two intrepid journalists. He asked people to text Yes/Now answers to the question - 'should the Rajasthan government set up fast track court to deal with cases arising out of sting operations on doctors involved in aiding female foeticide'. SJ's credibility will shoot up dramatically if the Rajasthan government responds immediately, or, if the High Court or Supreme Court had taken a suo moto decision to fasttrack the complaints after watching the episode (unfortunately the courts are on vacation).
In this case, the state government has not acted against the doctors caught in the sting, instead by the journalists are being forced to run around the state appearing as witnesses in multiple cases filed after extensive television coverage of the sting operation. If SJ can provoke definitive action or a serious public outcry based on its episodes, then it has a very real chance of turning into the biggest mass mobilisation movement since our struggle for independence. But so far, the flutter is mainly on twitter and the social media.
Also, despite the fact that SJ with different hashtags and Aamir Khan were trending on twitter all of Sunday, the audience is still in wait and watch mode. Here is some quick feedback we obtained from a cross section of non-twitter viewers. We only asked them if they had seen the hugely publicised show, if they would make it a point to watch it every Sunday and whether it would make a difference.
"I wanted to (watch the show) but could not. I heard very good reviews from my friends in the local train. From everyone's reaction I can safely say that it was a good show to increase awareness about serious issues, seriously (without the background music playing with emotions, this is not my comment but is from one of my friends). I wish I could watch it every Sunday live... if not, then would definitely love to watch it later either the repeat telecast or on YouTube," says Yogesh, a journalist.
Sera who works with an NGO, didn't watch the show and thinks that people would prefer Crime Patrol (aired on Sony TV) over SJ.
Vishal says that the concept is fine but he didn't find the show hard-hitting enough considering the promotional hype. He says, he would watch it if he manges to get up early on Sundays and cant say whether SJ will motivate him to work towards social issues based one episode.
Raj, who is in his 30s, says, "I did see. It was good. The topic was known and hence it was not surprise for me. If the show is able to correct social evils, it will be great. Otherwise, it will just be another show we will watch and forget."
"Considering the way it was advertised, I expected Aamir to confront those involved in female foeticide, says Judith, whose big ambition is to be do something about pressing social issues.
Pankaj, an HR professional, liked the show and also messaged his response to Aamir Khan, but he says that he is not sure it will make a difference although he hopes it will. "The program was a bit stretched at 1.5 hours, I am not sure if I can stick to the television for that long every Sunday morning," he adds.
Pratibha Kamath, research analyst says that, "The way the problem was handled by him was a step further towards solving it and I really think it will help."
In other words - SJ is indeed a hit, but based on the first show it is unclear if it will be just a great show or evolve into a game changing social movement and throw up a potential leader in Aamir Khan.
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