Regulations
SEBI to relax mutual fund exposure norms for housing finance companies

SEBI decided that an additional exposure to financial services sector (over and above the existing 30%) not exceeding 10% of the net assets of the scheme in debt oriented mutual fund schemes will be allowed by way of increase in exposure to HFCs only

Mumbai: Providing respite for housing finance companies (HFCs), market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) decided to relax the investment limit for such entities in debt mutual funds, reports PTI.

 

The decision to relax the exposure norms for HFCs was taken at SEBI's board meeting.

 

"... it has been decided that an additional exposure to financial services sector (over and above the existing 30%) not exceeding 10% of the net assets of the scheme in debt oriented mutual fund schemes will be allowed by way of increase in exposure to HFCs only," SEBI said in a press release.

 

According to the regulator, the decision has been taken after taking into consideration the important role played by HFCs in fulfilling the social objective of increased home ownership and supporting the economy by creating demand for construction of new homes.

 

In a circular last month, SEBI had directed mutual funds to ensure that total exposure of their debt schemes in a particular sector shall not exceed 30% of the net assets of the scheme.

 

However, the move had raised concerns of adversely impacting the funding costs for HFCs.

 

Regarding this decision, SEBI said the relaxation would be subject to certain conditions such as that the securities issued by HFCs are rated 'AA' and above. Also, the HFCs should have been registered with the National Housing Bank (NHB).

 

"However, the total investment in HFCs cannot exceed 30% of the net assets of the scheme," the release said.

 

Earlier this week, rating agency ICRA had said that SEBI's directive for investment caps on debt mutual funds could adversely impact the funding costs for NBFCs and HFCs.

 

Certain debt mutual fund schemes, such as long-term FMPs (Fixed Maturity Plans) have been a preferred route for the NBFC (Non-Banking Finance Company) sector to raise medium to long term funds at attractive rates from the bond markets, ICRA said in a research note.

 

Under the regulatory framework, NBFCs include HFCs.

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Open offers worth Rs2,460 crore in April-August: SEBI

Between April-August 2012, shareholders received a total of 33 open offers worth Rs2,460 crore, says SEBI

New Delhi: Open offers worth Rs2,460 crore were made to buy shares from public shareholders in the first five months of the current fiscal, reports PTI.

 

Between April-August, shareholders have received a total of 33 open offers worth Rs2,460 crore, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said in its latest monthly bulletin.

 

Of these, 16 open offers worth Rs1,613 crore were made for substantial acquisition of shares. This is the highest number of offers made for this category since 2008-2009 fiscal.

 

In the month of August 2012 alone, 11 public offers were made, which is the highest number for a month this fiscal.

 

These offers worth Rs838 crore are substantially higher than offers worth Rs467 crore July, 2012.

 

According to SEBI regulations, pursuant to substantial acquisition of shares or change in control in a listed company, an acquirer has to make an offer to the public shareholders, known as open offers, so as to give them a fair opportunity to exit the company if they so wish to.

 

Open offers are made with the objective of change in control of management, consolidation of holdings or substantial acquisition in a company.

 

Seven public offers worth Rs825 crore in August were made to acquire substantial quantity of shares without acquiring control of the management, SEBI said.

 

Four offers worth Rs 14 crore with respect to change in the control of management were made in August. This, however, is the lowest number of such issues in the last five months.

 

The month did not see any open offers for consolidation of holdings in a company.

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IGI Airport charge hike has hit our plans: Malaysian Airlines

Malaysian Airlines said it is not opposed to an increase in airport charges in India but it should be manageable, otherwise it may have to re-think its strategy

 
New Delhi: The exorbitant increase in Delhi airport charges and demand for a hike by other major airports has forced Malaysian Airlines to rethink its India strategy, reports PTI.
 
"The hike in airport charges at Delhi has jeopardised our plans to increase flights from here. Other airports are also demanding a hike, so if it's not manageable, then we have to rethink our strategy," Mohamed Sathik Ali, the airline's general manager (North India), told PTI.
 
Though the airline has no current plans to invest in any Indian carrier, it also did not discount such an opportunity in the future.
 
The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) had allowed Delhi International Airport Ltd to increase overall airport charges for facilities like landing, parking and housing by a staggering 346% for next two years.
 
Recently, Mumbai Airport has sent a proposal for a 660% rise in aeronautical charges to the AERA, and after modernisation of Chennai and Kolkata airports, operator Airports Authority of India has also asked for increase in charges.
 
"India is a key market for us. We are here to grow. We are not opposed to an increase in charges but it should be manageable," Ali said, adding, "Only if we grow, we will be able to bring more tourists to India." 
 
Malaysian Airlines, which was operating 40 flights a week from five Indian cities, has increased it to 50 from September.
 
Asked about plans to invest in any Indian carrier following the government's FDI announcement in aviation sector, Ali said, "At the moment we don't have a concrete plan but we are not discounting it. If in future we see an opportunity we would definitely go for it." 
 
The airline has plans to operate from Kochi, Kolkata and Ahmadabad by next year and hopes to increase its frequency to 70 weekly flights by operating twice daily from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
 
"We have partnered with Malaysian government's 'Visit Malaysia' campaign for 2013-014 and under this, a Malaysian food festival is on in the national capital till 24th October," Ali said, adding people can enjoy exotic Malay food.
 

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