UBI, Indiabulls get SEBI nod to enter mutual fund space

Union Bank of India has got the approval from the SEBI to enter the mutual fund arena. Indiabulls Mutual Fund has also got the final approval from SEBI to launch its mutual fund business

After waiting for over a year, Union Bank of India has got the approval from the market watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to enter the mutual fund arena.

Meanwhile, Indiabulls Financial Services, too, said it got the regulatory nod for launching its mutual fund company.

"We have received the licence from SEBI on 24th March. We hope to launch the business within the next two months," Union Bank chairman and managing director MV Nair said.

On the kind/number of products that the company would come out with, Mr Nair said, "We will be launching two products for sure. The details are yet to be worked."

Indiabulls Mutual Fund, sponsored by Indiabulls Financial Services, has got the final approval from SEBI to launch its mutual fund business. It plans to hit the market with its maiden offering in both equity and fixed income segment in a couple of months," it said in a release.

Way back in November 2008, Union Bank had tied up with the Belgian financial powerhouse KBC Asset Management to enter the MF business. At a time the domestic MF market was down in the dumps following the global financial meltdown that began in September 2008 with the fall of Lehman Brothers and many other Wall Street titans.

After getting shareholders' approval, the bank moved the SEBI for approval in early 2009. Announcing the tie-up, the public lender had then indicated that it was looking forward to launch the business by January 2011.

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EPFO to use Brickwork credit ratings for fund investment

Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has decided to use ratings of securities and bonds by credit rating firm Brickwork Rating India for investing its funds

Retirement fund body Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has decided to use ratings of securities and bonds by credit rating firm Brickwork Rating India for investing its funds.

"The ratings carried out by Brickwork for various securities and bonds issued by borrowers shall be treated and qualify for investment made by EPFO at par with the other Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) approved rating agencies," an EPFO official order said.

At present, EPFO investments are made on the basis of ratings provided by credit rating agencies recognised by market regulator SEBI, which include ICRA, CARE, Fitch and CRISIL.

The EPFO has a huge corpus of over Rs3 trillion with a subscriber base of 4.71 crore.

The EPFO's existing fund managers, including ICICI Pru, HSBC AMC, Reliance Capital and SBI, use the ratings of SEBI-recognised credit rating agencies for investing the retirement money in various securities or bonds.

Brickwork provides ratings, grading and research services. Rating services include issue ratings, fixed deposit ratings, corporate governance ratings and issuer ratings.

The company also provides initial public offer grading, research and analytical services to various stakeholders like exchanges, regulators and government entities.

Brickwork Ratings' corporate office is in Bengaluru, with regional offices at New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.

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Mumbai realty robust despite small fall in flat sales in February

Mumbai’s real estate market continues to be robust despite a minor blip in February when flat sales clocked a 2.40% decline

Mumbai's real estate market continues to be robust despite a minor blip in February when flat sales clocked a 2.40% decline, a leading industry body said.
 
The city reported a marginal decline in flat registrations at 16,341 in February as against 16,743 registrations in the year-ago period, data from the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) showed.

"There has been no sharp decline in Mumbai's real estate market-there has only been a marginal decline in sales figures of residential apartments," MCHI said in a statement.

The decline in flat sales in the first two months of this year is not severe, MCHI's president Sunil Mantri said, admitting, however, to a small dip in the same during the period. "Although it is a fact that flat sales did decline in the first two months of the current year, the extent of fall is not that severe as is being made out to be by some," Mr Mantri said.

In 2010 (January-December), Mumbai clocked a total registration of 2,17,466 compared to 1,94,885 in the previous year, MCHI data showed.

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