SEBI to keep tab on bureaucrats, politicians’ investments

New Delhi: As part of its money laundering prevention efforts, market watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will now keep a tab on mutual fund investments made by bureaucrats and politicians, including former and current state heads, reports PTI.

Come 1 January, 2010, all the new as also existing MF investors would need to disclose if they are or have been a head of state (both at central and state governments). This would even apply to MP (Member of Parliament), MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) or MLC (Members of Legislative Council).

Such disclosures would also need to be made by civil servants, bureaucrats and all politicians in the new Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance regime being implemented by the fund houses as per SEBI’s direction with effect from next month.

Earlier, KYC norms required investors to only disclose their broader occupation details like whether they are in public or private sector service, business and agriculture, or if they are professionals, retired persons or housewives.

The new KYC norms, being implemented to meet the prevention of money laundering regulations, are to be followed by both new and existing investors in mutual funds.

According to industry experts, the new KYC norms would help SEBI compile a dossier on investments made by bureaucrats and politicians.

This could be helpful in its various probes and with regard to preventive measures for money laundering activities.

Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also asked the banks to be extra careful while dealing with customers who could be ‘politically exposed persons (PEPs)’.

RBI said that banks would need to maintain a high level of monitoring for PEPs, although it has termed as ‘low-risk’ those customers who are salaried employees and work in government departments, government owned companies, regulators and statutory bodies.

The new KYC norms being implemented by fund houses would also make it mandatory for all investors to furnish their PAN (Permanent Account Number) details from next year irrespective of the size of their investment.

Currently, individual investors need to quote PAN only for investments of Rs50,000 or more, although non-individual investors are required to quote their PAN for all amounts.

All the fund houses have been asked by the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) to comply with new KYC norms.

The norms would include collecting details like PAN, address proof and photograph of all their new and existing investors, with effect from 1 January, 2011.

The AMFI decision follows a direction from market regulator SEBI earlier this year to tighten the KYC norms to check fraudulent practices and money laundering activities.

Earlier in 2007, SEBI had made it mandatory to furnish PAN—which is allotted by the Income Tax Department—for all stock market transactions as part of efforts to check fraudulent practices.


Personal finance Monday

IDBI Bank revises base rate, BPLR and interest rates on deposits; Bank of Baroda raises BPLR by 75 bps, base rate by 50 bps; IDFC Mutual Fund floats three months plan

IDBI Bank revises base rate, BPLR and interest rates on deposits

IDBI Bank announced a hike in deposit and lending rates by up to 100 basis points. The interest rates on fixed deposits of different maturities will be increased by 25 to 100 basis points; loans from the bank would also become expensive, with the lender raising its base lending rate by 50 basis points to 9%.

In addition, the bank has hiked its benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) by 25 basis points to 13.75%, which will also make existing loans more expensive.

The new deposit rates will come into effect from 15th December, the revised lending rates will be applicable to existing and new borrowers from 1st January.

IDBI Bank will offer the highest rate of 8.75% on deposits of 1,100 days’ tenor, compared to 8.25% interest at present.

The highest increase of 100 basis points was announced for deposits with a 46-90 day maturity period. The depositors will now earn 5.50% interest on these short-term deposits, up from 4.50% at present.

Bank of Baroda raises BPLR by 75 bps, base rate by 50 bps

Bank of Baroda has increased its benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) by 75 basis points and base rate by 50 basis points.

The Bank’s benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) has increased to 13.25% from 12.50% and its base rate has increased to 9% from 8.50%.

IDFC Mutual Fund floats three months plan

IDFC Mutual Fund has launched IDFC Fixed Maturity Plan–Quarterly Series 61, a close-ended income scheme.

The investment objective of the plan is to generate income by investing in debt and money market instruments maturing before the maturity of the plan. The tenor is three months.

The new issue opens on 13th December and closes on 14th December. The exit load is nil. The minimum investment amount is Rs10,000.

CRISIL Composite Bond Fund Index is the benchmark index. The scheme will be managed by Anupam Joshi.


Deepak Kapoor to join PwC India as chairman

Consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers India (PwC) today said Deepak Kapoor will take over as chairman of the company next year.

“Deepak Kapoor has been elected as the new chairman of the PwC India network of entities for a three-year term beginning 1 January 2011,” a PwC India release said.

Mr Kapoor will take over the role from Gautam Banerjee, the current chairman, who will relinquish office on 31 December 2010.

Mr Banerjee would, however, continue in his role as executive chairman of PwC Singapore and would join the PwC India Advisory Board.

The selection of Mr Kapoor, 52, has been ratified by PwC’s India Governance Board.

As the chairman of PwC, Mr Kapoor would be responsible for managing PwC India network firms’ business in India and would represent them externally and internally and lead the interactions with clients and people within the firm.


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