New Delhi: Retail prices of sugar in the country, which remained volatile in 2010, are likely to remain stable at Rs30 per kg in the current year, reports PTI quoting a report by rating agency Fitch.
"In contrast to 2010, which saw significant sugar price volatility, Fitch expects prices to remain stable in 2011," the rating agency said in its report '2011 Outlook: Indian Sugar'.
The report said the movement in the prices of sugar would be in the range of Rs2 to Rs3 per kg during the year and there will be very less chances of any major ups and down in sugar prices.
"During 2010, free-sale sugar prices ranged between Rs43 per kg in February and Rs26 per kg in August; the average realisation for the whole year was Rs30 per kg," Fitch said.
The average sugar prices in the domestic market in the first three of the current sugar year (November 2010-October 2011) stood at Rs30 per kg.
"An expected, balance domestic demand and supply scenario is likely to keep full-year sugar prices stable at close to first-quarter levels," it added.
The report said that after two years of sugar deficit, it expects the country to record a surplus in 2011 on the back of an increase in sugarcane acreage and better sugarcane availability.
It noted that with sufficient sugarcane availability, sugar mills are likely to pay a premium over the state-advised prices (SAP) and fair and remunerative prices (FRP) for sugarcane. This will result into lower sugarcane costs, a key parameter for sugar mill profitability, for sugar manufacturers.
Flexible premium payment term facility appears to be another form of the cover continuance that was eased out by IRDA
HDFC Life has launched ProGrowth Flexi, a unit-linked insurance plan (ULIP) with a flexible premium payment term (PPT) facility that appears to re-introduce the 'cover continuance' option through the backdoor. Cover continuance was eased out from ULIPs by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) post effective 1st September 2010.
Under the new plan, a policy term of 10 years has a minimum PPT of five years, whereas a policy term of 15+ years has a PPT of 10 years. (There is no offer for the 11-14 years period.)
Paresh Parasnis, executive director and chief operating officer, HDFC Life, told Moneylife, "If a policyholder takes a 30-year policy term, he has the option to change the premium paying term to 10 years (instead of regular payments for 30 years) and the policy remains in force till the end of the policy term, provided the person assured lives through the entire tenure.
"This option may be exercised if the customer is not able to pay regular premiums due to some exigency. The customer has to inform us about this change after he has paid premiums for at least five years of the policy. If the policyholder does not inform us and the premiums remain unpaid, then the policy lapses and discontinuance rules are applicable," he explained."
ProGrowth Flexi has a minimum monthly premium of Rs2,500. In addition to the flexible premium payment term facility, the plan also has a flexible premium payment options and five investment funds. It offers annual, half-yearly, monthly premium payment options. The plan has an Extra Life option that includes a death benefit and accidental death benefit (additional sum assured). The plan has a 30-day free look-in.
The premium allocation charge is 7.5% in the first and second year, 5% from third through fifth year and 0% thereafter. The policy administration charge is zero for five years and 0.46% per month of the original annual premium thereafter. The total charges are in-line with other new ULIPs after 1st September 2010.
Announcing the new plan, Amitabh Chaudhry, managing director and chief executive officer, HDFC Life, said, "We continue to listen to our customers and design products that are flexible to meet their needs. HDFC Life ProGrowth Flexi is targeted at those customers who are seeking a life insurance plan that is affordable and flexible and at the same time provides value. Apart from the normal life cover, ProGrowth Flexi provides extra life cover with accidental death benefits option."
"It also has a 30-day free look-in, the first time anybody in the industry is offering this facility. As ULIPs under the new regulatory regime are different, we believe that customers need time to get familiar with the new generation of ULIPs and fully comprehend the benefits available," Mr Chaudhry said.
Entry and maturity age: Minimum age at entry is 14 years and maximum age is 65 years; maximum age at maturity is 75 years. If a customer chooses the accidental death benefits option, the minimum age at entry is 18 years and the maximum age is 55 years; the maximum age at maturity is 70 years.
Minimum Premium: For the annual option it is Rs24,000, half-yearly it is Rs10,000 and monthly Rs2,500. Maximum Premium: No limit
Minimum level of protection: For ages less than 45 years, a higher of 10 x annualised premium or 0.5 x policy term x annualised premium. Age 45 or above - the higher of 7 x annualised premium or 0.25 x policy term x annualised premium.
Maximum level of protection: 40 x annualised premium
Premium Paying Term: For a policy term of 10 years the minimum premium paying term is five years; and for a policy term 15+ years it is 10 years.
Reliance MF launches Fixed Horizon Fund-XVII-Series 6; Axis MF to introduce auto switch facility under its scheme; Deutsche MF to change fund manager
Reliance MF launches Fixed Horizon Fund-XVII-Series 6
Reliance Mutual Fund has launched Reliance Fixed Horizon Fund-XVII-Series 6, a close-ended income scheme.
The primary investment objective of the scheme is to seek to generate regular returns and growth of capital by investing in a diversified portfolio of Central and State Government securities and other fixed income/debt securities normally maturing in line with the time profile of the scheme with the objective of limiting interest rate volatility.
The new issue opens on 21st January and closes on 25th January. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000.
Axis MF to introduce auto switch facility under its scheme
Axis Mutual Fund has announced auto switch facility from Axis Treasury Advantage Fund to Axis Midcap Fund. With this facility, the investors will be able to invest in Axis Treasury Advantage Fund with an instruction to switch the units to Axis Midcap Fund on the last day of the new fund offer. The investors can avail this facility from 31 January 2011 to 14th February 2011. Axis Midcap Fund is an open ended equity scheme with the investment objective to achieve long term capital appreciation by investing predominantly in equity & equity related instruments.
Deutsche MF to change fund manager
Deutsche Mutual Fund has announced changes in the fund management responsibility. Avnish Jain, head-fixed income and fund manager-fixed income, has resigned from the services, passing the reins to Kumaresh Ramakrishnan. He would take charge as head-fixed income of Deutsche Asset Management (India) Private Ltd with immediate effect.