Mutual Funds
Union KBC joins the crowded mutual fund space

Give its schemes the go-by. There are many other fund houses with a long track record to pick from

It looks like mutual fund (MF) investors are spoilt for choice, with more and more players springing up. An addition to the already crammed space of MF players is Union KBC, a joint venture between Union Bank of India and the Belgian KBC Asset Management Group, where Union Bank has a 51% stake and the other 49% is owned by KBC. Union KBC is launching a liquid fund scheme and equity scheme. From the second year, it may make a foray into offshore funds.

Union KBC Equity Fund, an open-ended equity scheme would allocate 75-100% of asset in equity and equity-related instruments, including equity-linked derivatives with medium- to high-risk profile. It would further invest up to 25% of assets in debt and money market instruments with low- to medium-risk profile. The fund will be benchmarked against the BSE 100 Index.

Union KBC Equity Fund will be managed by Ashish Ranawade, chief investment officer. Mr Ranawade was with Unit Trust of India (UTI) from April 2006 to July 2010 as head of PMS with the responsibility for portfolio performance and business strategy. Between September 2005 and April 2006, he was with ING Investment Management as head of PMS. From June 1994 to September 2005 he was with UTI in various capacities as fund manager, analyst and head of PMS. 

Should you invest in Union KBC’s schemes? Already confused investors will now be more confused, trying to choose from the array of products, which are similar in nature. Figuring out the best for them might be a task! And choosing an altogether new fund house is one of the biggest risks, as you don’t have any past performance to compare. Fund manager Mr Ranawade may be experienced, but two of the fund houses that he has worked for are not exactly known for a great investment record.

Thus, for any investor, taking a decision to invest in this fund is not very difficult—there are better and well-proven options available.

User

Reliance cuts natural gas supplies to non-core users

The oil ministry’s directive of prioritising gas supplies followed a sharp drop in output at the KG-D6 fields. Production fell from 61.5 mmscmd achieved in March 2010 to under 50 mmscmd currently, instead of rising to about 69 mmscmd as was projected previously

New Delhi: Falling in line with an oil ministry order, Reliance Industries (RIL) today cut natural gas supplies to non-core users like refineries and steel plants so that full demand of fertiliser and power plants can be met, reports PTI.

Reliance from 0600 hours today started implementing the ministry’s priority allocation order which had asked it to first supply natural gas from its eastern offshore KG-D6 fields to priority sector like urea-making units and power plants.

Supplies to non-core refineries, petrochemical units and sponge iron plants will be made only if there are any volumes left after supplies to priority sector.

“Reliance this morning curtailed gas supplies to non-core users, including its own refineries and petrochemical plant,” an industry official said.

The oil ministry directive followed a sharp drop in output at the KG-D6 fields. Production fell from 61.5 million metric standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) achieved in March 2010 to under 50 mmscmd currently, instead of rising to about 69 mmscmd as was projected previously.

When contacted, a Reliance spokesperson did not offer any comments.

Output at KG-D6, the nation’s largest gas field, is just enough to meet the contracted demand of fertiliser units, power plants, LPG extraction units and city gas distribution firms that sell CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households.

In face of falling output, Reliance had made a pro-rata cut in supplies of all its customers including priority users, the official said.

Of the 57.17 mmscmd of KG-D6 gas for which contracts have been signed, 9.57 mmscmd has been cornered by steel, petrochemical and refineries sector.

Essar Steel had signed up for 3.2 mmscmd, Welspun Maxsteel 0.40 mmscmd and Ispat 0.59 mmscmd. Besides, Reliance’s petrochemical plant gets 1.17 mmscmd and a sizeable 4.21 mmscmd goes to refineries including the Jamnagar units of Reliance.

“Supplies to non-core users has not dried up completely as Reliance has some gas left after meeting priority sector requirement,” the official said pointing to Essar Steel getting 0.6 mmscmd today against 2.8 mmscmd that it was drawing till yesterday.

Reliance had previously resisted implementing the order but fell in line once the ministry cited last year’s Supreme Court directive that held that only government had the right to decide users of the gas.

Welspun Maxsteel and Ispat last week approached the Bombay High Court seeking a stay on the ministry order, while Essar has approached the Delhi High Court. None of the courts have so far stayed the order.

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Adani Power quarterly profit jumps 77% to Rs174 crore

The growth in revenue is largely due to the addition of 1,320MW power generation capacity in FY10-11, taking the total power generation capacity of Adani Power to 1,980MW,” the company said in a regulatory filing

New Delhi: Adani Power today posted a 77% jump in profit after tax to Rs174 crore for the three months ended 31st March, up from Rs98 crore, helped by higher revenues from increased power generation capacity, reports PTI.

Revenues in the March quarter soared to Rs856 crore from Rs201 crore in the year-ago period.

“The growth in revenue is largely due to the addition of 1,320MW power generation capacity in FY10-11, taking the total power generation capacity of Adani Power to 1,980MW,” the firm said in a regulatory filing.

Currently, Adani Power is implementing 16,500MW of power generation projects across seven locations in India.

“With such a robust financial performance, we are confident of meeting our target of generating 20,000MW by 2020,” Adani Power chairman Gautam Adani said.

The company's profit after tax climbed to Rs524 crore for the 2010-11 fiscal year from Rs171 crore in the same period a year ago. It raked in revenues to the tune of Rs2,106 crore for the year ended 31 March 2011, much higher than the Rs435 crore figure for the previous fiscal.

Adani Power’s gross generated units stood at 7.6 billion in FY10-11, compared to 1.4 billion in FY09-10.

“Units sold during the year stand at 6.8 billion, as compared to 1.2 billion in FY09-10,” the filing said.

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