SEBI wants neutral bodies to educate investors, curb mis-selling

The market regulator has stressed the need for matching the risk profile of the investor and the risk associated with the product while selling a financial instrument

In order to avoid mis-selling of investment products, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) chairman C B Bhave highlighted the greater need for neutral agencies to educate investors, reports PTI.

"Neutral agencies like the media, regulators and other self-regulated bodies add more value...they make an effort to let investors see both the sides," Mr Bhave said while speaking at a seminar on investor education.

Intermediaries having an interest in the products do educate the people, Mr Bhave said, but they can tend to overlook the flip side. He cited the example of derivative products where investors were told how much money they could make if the stock price rises, but were not told about what happens when the stock falls and how their losses increase.

Mr Bhave also stressed the need for matching the risk profile of the investor and the risk coming with the product while selling, and said, "different classes of investors need different kinds of education...a retired person's risk profile is different from that of a student."

The SEBI chief also asked the agencies to target one such group of investors at a time when it comes to education and avoid having generic programmes.

"Emphasis must also be given to educating the investor in the language he understands, and hence, it would be beneficial if regional languages are also used," he said.


Investment advisory firm Indiareit raises Rs100crore, eyes another Rs150 crore

The company’s real-estate fund plans to invest the corpus in residential projects, a sector which has been starved for funds

Indiareit Fund Advisors (Pvt) Ltd has completed raising Rs100 crore through a green-shoe option for its domestic fund ‘INDIAREIT Domestic Fund Scheme IV’, on Wednesday. It is an investment advisory firm promoted by Piramal Enterprises. Under this domestic fund, the company has already raised Rs500 crore and has an option to raise another Rs250 crore through a green-shoe option.

Currently the company’s total corpus stands at Rs600 crore. The company plans to raise the remaining Rs150 crore within the next one-and-a-half months through domestic high net-worth individuals (HNIs). The fund-raising will be completed by August 2010.

“We have completed raising Rs100 crore today and our total corpus currently stands at Rs600 crore. The remaining Rs150 crore would take another month-and-a-half,” said Ramesh T Jogani, managing director and chief executive officer, Indiareit Fund Advisors.

The company plans to deploy the money over the next three years by investing in the residential sector. It plans to pay back investors returns between the fourth and seventh years. Indiareit plans to give 20% internal rate of return (IRR) on investment to its investors. The fund is currently looking at a deal in Mumbai, two in Bengaluru and one in Delhi.

It has already deployed Rs597crore which it raised under ‘INDIAREIT Domestic Fund Scheme III’. It invested in 30 lakh sq ft in saleable area properties spread across Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. It invested in Mumbai with Aristo Realty Developers Ltd (in commercial and residential property) and the Neptune Group (at an enterprise level). In Bengaluru, it has invested with the Skyline Group (residential property) and in Hyderabad with Northwood (‘Retreat’, a 120-acre gated community project). The fund has made two partial exits out of the Aristo projects in Mumbai and has given 11% returns on the total capital invested.

Currently, most of the fund houses are reluctant to invest in the realty market as it does not seem to give good returns. The houses which have invested during 2005, 2006 and 2007 are not able to exit their real-estate investments because projects are either in the ‘land’ stage or construction stage. But Indiareit thinks this is the best time to invest as other players are not investing in the realty sector. “Our skill is to invest when others are not investing,” said Mr Jogani.


Lakshmi Vilas Bank plans to set up housing finance company

Private sector lender Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd said its board of directors has decided to float a subsidiary company for undertaking housing finance business.

“The housing finance space offers immense scope. We need focused and concerted efforts in this business in order to reap the benefits from this huge potential market. That is why the bank’s board has decided to float a new subsidiary to undertake the housing finance business,” KSR Anjaneyulu, managing director and chief executive, Lakshmi Vilas Bank said in a release.

On Wednesday, Lakshmi Vilas Bank shares ended 2.6% higher at Rs91 on the Bombay Stock Exchange where the benchmark Sensex closed 1% up at 17,700 points.




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