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Date:  28/07/2014
KYC form has changed; fill the right one
The clunky know-your-customer (KYC) forms continue to undergo finer changes. Mutual funds (MFs) are now asking you to fill up one more form, even though you may have already done your KYC. As per a requirement specified by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) in December 2013, you now need to furnish your income details in a separate form to your fund house, instead of mentioning it in a KYC form that was prevalent earlier. In simpler words, your KYC form has changed and you will now need to furnish your income details to your fund house directly, even if you had submitted them earlier as part of your KYC compliance. Up until last year, your KYC form asked all sorts of details from you and was lengthy. Apart from basic details such as your name and address, it also asked you your annual income, net worth and whether or not you are associated with politics. Remember, all these details were earlier kept with the KYC registration agency (KRA).(Mint)
Date:  28/07/2014
Don’t write off debt funds
Confusion has reigned supreme ever since the Finance Minister proposed tax changes on non-equity mutual funds in the recent Budget. The first question was whether the long-term capital gains (if you hold these funds for more than three years) would be taxed at a ‘flat’ 20 per cent or at 20 per cent with indexation benefits. The Budget documents make it clear it is the latter. Then, there was a furore about the retrospective effect. Would investors who bought debt funds in the last two years now have to pay higher tax if they sold their investments? The new finance Bill clarifies that investors who sold their debt fund investments between April 1 and July 10 this year will not suffer the higher rate of short-term or long-term capital gains tax announced in the Budget. But investors who didn’t sell them so far will still have to fork out capital gains tax.(BL)
Date:  28/07/2014
The ULIP-Mutual Fund face-off
Unit-Linked Insurance Plans, in their first avatar prior to 2010, were the retail investor’s nightmare — high front-loaded expenses, high surrender charges, opaque structure and poor returns. This compared unfavourably with the far more transparent and cost-effective mutual funds. But a regulatory crackdown in June 2010 has made ULIPs far more investor-friendly than before. First, their costs have been curtailed. Now, policies with terms of 15 years and above are mandated to keep their costs at 2.25 per cent of gross return. These costs have to be evenly distributed over the lock-in period of five years. Two, surrender charges, which used to take away 30-40 per cent of the premiums, are now capped too. If the policy is discontinued in the first year, the surrender charge is 20 per cent of the premium or ₹3,000, whichever is lower (for investment amount up to ₹25,000). This reduces with every year and becomes nil after five years. (BL)
Date:  28/07/2014
Sensex ends the day below 26,000
The S&P BSE Sensex closed the day in red Tracking the momentum, the 50-share Nifty index also traded with a negative bias through the day. The Sensex ended the day at 25,991.23; down 135.52 points. The Nifty was at 7,748.70; down 41.75 points. (ET)
Date:  26/07/2014
No retrospective tax on debt mutual funds
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday ruled out retrospective application of the Budget proposal to double the rate of capital gains tax on debt mutual funds from 10 per cent to 20 per cent. He proposed an amendment to the effect that redemptions made till July 10 in the current financial year would be exempted from the higher tax rate. “I have reconsidered it and proposed to move an amendment in the Finance Bill that the new tax regime will not be applicable to transactions of sale of units between April 1 and July 10 this year. If you have sold during this period, this (higher tax) will not apply,” Jaitley said in reply to a debate on the Finance Bill, 2014 in the Lok Sabha. He also moved amendments to carry out proposals of the Budget to make changes in transfer pricing to reduce tax disputes. The House later passed the Finance Bill, 2014 with these amendments as well as other changes. With this, the Budget exercise got over in the Lok Sabha.(BS)
Date:  26/07/2014
Markets snap 8-day winning streak
Indian markets fell from their record highs on Friday, on profit booking in key financial and metal stocks. The BSE exchange’s 30-share benchamrk Sensex ended at 26,127, down 145 points or 0.6 per cent from its previous close. The National Stock Exchange’s Nifty closed at 7,790, down 40 points or 0.5 per cent, after hitting an all-time of 7,840 during the day. The decline ended the market’s eight straight days of gains, during which the benchmark indices rose nearly five per cent. The sharp up-move was led by robust buying from foreign investors.(BS)
Date:  26/07/2014
Tax concessions on debt funds only a minor relief: MFs
The mutual fund industry on Friday termed Finance Minister Arun Jaitely’s clarification on the long-term capital gains tax for debt mutual funds only a minor relief. The Minister said the long-term capital gain tax of 20 per cent would not be imposed on units redeemed between April 1 and July 10. Though the move safeguards the interest of investors who have redeemed before the Budget, it does not address the concern of people who have invested in the scheme before the Budget. Nilesh Sathe, Director and CEO, LIC Nomura MF, said the Jaitley’s statement in the Lok Sabha has cleared the uncertainty prevailing in the industry after the Budget. However, in the coming days, it would be difficult for the industry to devise an attractive fixed maturity product for three years, as there are no instruments in the debt market that provide commensurate yield, he added.(BL)
Date:  26/07/2014
Recovery in mid-, small-caps can be sharper: Mirae Asset
Despite a sharp rise in mid- and small-cap stocks, Jisang Yoo, CEO, Mirae Asset Global Investments, says investors need to look at the big picture over the medium term. In an interview with Business Line , he says economic policies outlined in the Budget provide sufficient optimism for the market. Edited Excerpts: After the Budget was presented, the market corrected sharply. Was that an overreaction? Given the limitation of time and resources, it is a pragmatic Budget. It provides a direction of the Government intent regarding restoring growth, and reducing deficit. Markets’ disappointment and correction is possibly linked to an overdue correction after the post-election results rally, and unnecessary hype created in anticipation of the Budget. Equity markets have already recovered their losses post-Budget, and as we speak, are close to their all-time highs.(BL)
Date:  25/07/2014
Cabinet approves 49% FDI in insurance
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday signed off on a proposal to raise the foreign investment limit in insurance to 49% from 26% and approved diverting government-procured foodgrains to the open market to fend off a fresh spike in food inflation because of weak monsoon rains. The cabinet also cleared a Bill to give more powers to the capital markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), to crack down on illegal collective investment schemes; the proposed legislation will replace an ordinance that’s in place. The CCEA move to raise the foreign investment ceiling in insurance will ensure more capital inflows into the funds-starved sector; finance minister Arun Jaitley proposed the increase in his budget speech. The approval of the cabinet to the amendments clears the way for both the Bills—the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill and the Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill—to be tabled in Parliament either in the ongoing budget session.(Mint)
Date:  25/07/2014
FIIs continue to buy into India story, inject $25 bn into equities, debt in CY14
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have pumped in a combined $25 billion in stocks and bonds so far in 2014, strongly endorsing the country’s political stability and growth potential in a manner not seen before. FIIs have picked up $12 billion worth of equities while investing around $13 billion in debt; on Thursday the Sensex soared to yet another lifetime high of 26,271.85 points. Despite the rich valuations and only a moderate pick-up in earnings, the Street remains bullish on the Indian market. Brokerage Credit Suisse, for instance, has acknowledged that after the sharp re-rating in the Indian market, several investors have turned uncomfortable citing India’s premium to other EMs (emerging markets). Nevertheless, it finds the comparison with other EMs, as a basket, inappropriate, arguing the expected recovery off the bottom for the other EMs is much more tepid than in India.(FE)
Date:  25/07/2014
Debt MFs lose sheen after tax-arbitrage benefit removed
The Budget provision relating to taxing of long-term capital gains on sale of debt mutual fund units could have far-reaching implications. The nature of gain on sale of units of such funds would now be considered long term only if these units are held by the seller for more than 36 months, which earlier was only 12 months.Since the long-term nature of capital gains entitles the seller to apply indexation on the cost of acquisition, unit holders of debt mutual funds will now have to hold these for over three years to claim the benefit. On the other hand, if such units of debt funds are sold before three years, any capital gains arising on such sale shall be short term in nature and taxed at the applicable slab rates of the investor. Another noteworthy change in relation to taxability of non-equity oriented mutual funds is the tax rate applicable on long-term capital gains. (FE)
Date:  25/07/2014
Good time to invest in infrastructure
The Sensex has gained almost 10 per cent from May 15 till date, while the CNX Infrastructure Index has gained almost 17 per cent in the period. The price to earnings (P/E) ratio of the BSE Sensex is 18.96; for the CNX Infrastructure Index, it is 24.57. The estimated P/E for next year is 14.04 for the Sensex. Of the 24 companies that make up the CNX Infrastructure Index, six have a P/E higher than 20. Does this mean infrastructure is fairly valued? Or, has it run up quite a bit? According to experts, barring stray companies, the infra sector is fairly valued and it is a good time to invest. Aviral Gupta, fund manager, Mynte Advisors, says even if some companies are facing debt restructuring problems, once interest rates come down and regulatory norms become flexible, they will start giving good returns. "The infra sector broadly includes real estate, steel and cement companies. The kind of plans the government has will definitely help such companies,'' he says.(BS)
Date:  25/07/2014
Should you roll over your FMPs for 3 years?
Fund houses are offering investors in one-year fixed maturity plans (FMPs) the option to roll over their investment for two more years, to reduce redemptions. They say this would also help investors avoid taxes they would otherwise have paid, by redeeming after one year, under new tax rules. Experts believe investors contemplating the extension should also take into account the schemes’ liquidity profile and the change in interest rate cycle during the proposed period of investment, not only the change in tax rules. The government has proposed to increase the rate of tax on debt funds from 10 per cent, to 20 per cent. Further, the tenure for claiming long-term capital gains has been increased to 36 months from the existing 12 months. These changes are expected to be applicable to existing investments as well.(BS)
Date:  24/07/2014
FIIs power markets to new highs
The benchmark indices - BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty - ended at new all-time highs on Wednesday, following seven straight sessions of gains on robust buying by foreign investors. Better-than-expected corporate earnings and supportive global markets aided investor sentiment. The BSE Sensex on Wednesday gained 121 points, or 0.47 per cent, to close at 26,147.33, the broad-based National Stock Exchange's Nifty rose 27.9 points, or 0.36 per cent, to end at 7,795,75. The Sensex and the Nifty surpassed their previous closing all-time highs of 26,100 and 7,787, respectively, touched on July 7. Technology stocks, led by Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), were the biggest contributors to the market gains, followed by banks. Software exporters rose after Goldman Sachs upped its price target on key stocks in the sector.(BS)
Date:  24/07/2014
1-yr FMPs rolled over; 3-yr FMPs launched
As we wait for the Finance Bill 2014 to get passed in Parliament and thereby bring clarity as to what the government ultimately decides about debt fund taxation, the mutual fund (MF) industry has started to change its approach towards fixed maturity plans (FMPs). Fund houses have already started rolling over the one-year FMPs that have either come up—or are coming up—for maturity. Additionally, fund houses such as L&T Investment Management Ltd and ICICI Prudential Asset Management Co. Ltd have started to launch three-year FMPs. The new rules say that long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax for all non-equity-oriented MFs will be at a flat rate of 20% as against 10% at present and the holding period to qualify as LTCG is now 36 months as against 12 months earlier. While to some extent the redemptions in open-ended schemes can be extended beyond the one year period, the dilemma comes when redemption of closed-end funds such as FMPs are due.(Mint)
Date:  24/07/2014
Debt fund managers' careers at stake
At least a fifth of debt fund managers in the mutual fund (MF) sector might lose their job with the change in taxation for their segment in Union Budget 2014-15, say executives. Worse hit will be sales teams in the debt category, where the job cuts could be as much as 40 per cent, say sources. The most impacted will be fund houses with higher concentration of fixed maturity plan (FMP) assets in their debt assets under management (AUM). These are likely to be smaller entities, heavily dependent on institutional money flows. There is talk that fund houses are already preparing options such as bank treasuries and insurance for debt fund managers. The Budget has proposed to increase the rate of tax on debt funds to a flat 20 per cent. Further, the tenure for claiming long-term capital gains has been increased to 36 months from the existing 12 months. The new norms will be applicable to units of MFs other than equity-oriented funds.(BS)
     
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