The Indians are zealous savers of the hard earned money we earn. But while doing our investments be it for our retirement or children education / marriage, we seldom feel the need to insure ourselves. In our busy daily lives (mostly of city dwellers), we often ignore or procrastinate, the decision to insure ourselves and our family adequately.
Nevertheless now here’s some good news. In order to compete with Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) of domestic insurance companies, now domestic mutual fund houses are reviving a scheme, whereby you’ll be provided with an insurance cover as you invest in equity mutual fund scheme(s). It is noteworthy that such an investment- cum-insurance scheme was kept on the backburner almost for three years as the capital market regulator – Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the insurance regulator – Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), had crossed swords, after SEBI demanded part-regulation of ULIPs (as they were investment products as well). Thus, mutual fund houses that were set to launch an equity-insurance product too dropped plans to launch such schemes.
Excluding at present with the regulatory impasse easing, domestic mutual fund houses have once again started rolling out insurance-wrapped funds. Asset managers such as Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund, Reliance, ICICI Prudential Mutual, among others have launched funds with an insurance cover over the past two to four months. Fund marketers are trying to make use of the negative perception surrounding ULIPs, especially about its cost structure and disclosures, to push their products.
The majority of the mutual fund houses have schemes with a maximum cover of up to Rs 20 lakhs. These mutual fund schemes are structured in a way to pay out about 50 – 100 times the Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) amount provided that an investor stays invested in the fund for two to three years. But, in case of redemption from a respective fund, the benefit of an insurance cover will not be offered. Moreover, the insurance cover shall start only after a waiting period of 60-90 days of enrolment; but in case of accidental death, the waiting period is not applicable.
During consequence in case an investor wants to enjoy an insurance cover a She / She SIPs into mutual funds, it will be imperative for one to stay invested over a long-term period of time.
Despite the fact that insurance-wrapped mutual fund schemes is an innovative idea aimed at promoting long-term investing habits amongst investors, and certainly a luring proposition; we think that investors should not enroll into a SIP of any mutual fund scheme merely because it is providing an insurance cover for free. One should select a winning mutual fund prudently, and thereafter opt to invest vide the SIP mode, and avail the insurance benefit, if available. Moreover one should not rely merely on insurance-wrapped mutual fund schemes to meet their insurance requirement, but instead also look at “pure term insurance plans” which are a cost-effective proposition to insurer you optimally.
Companies will have to pay commission to brokers for the submission of investors’ IPO forms even if the public offer is withdrawn, and listings will not be allowed till the time this payment is made.
In its guidelines for submission of IPO (Initial Public Offer) applications through a nationwide network of brokers, physically or electronically, market regulator Sebi has made provisions for payment of a commission to such brokers by the IPO-bound companies.
Once the broker accepts the application, he would be responsible for uploading the bid on the stock exchange platform and would be made liable for not uploading the bid even after accepting the application.
Sebi has asked the stock exchanges to take action against such brokers and in case of repeated offence, stringent action can be taken by the stock exchanges against those brokers.
As per the measures proposed by Sebi, which have been approved by its board and would be soon notified, the commission would be payable based on applications that have been considered eligible for the purpose of allotment.
Brokers would be adequately compensated by the issuer, so that they will be interested in directly or indirectly marketing the issue as well.
Based on the total commission payable as calculated by the Registrar, the company would disburse the amount to the exchange before listing and the exchange in turn would pay to the brokers through clearing corporation within two days from the receipt of money from the issuer.
However, the listing would be withheld by the exchanges till the time issuer pays brokers’ commission to the exchange.
Also, the companies would be liable to pay the brokers for their activity even if they withdraw the public issue during the issue period.
The decision to increase the reach of IPOs through nation-wide broker network of stock exchanges in electronic form is a major policy initiative undertaken by Sebi for its primary market reforms.
Currently, public offers are largely distributed through a syndicate network comprising various brokers and sub-brokers with payments done through either cheques or ASBA mechanism (use of banking channels).
The new facility will be extended to 1,038 locations where at least one of the clearing banks has a branch. Investors can approach any of the brokers in these locations to submit their application forms.
The stock exchanges would provide for download of application forms on their websites, and also facilitate investors to view the status online.
* Disclaimer: These recommendations are based on the theory of technical analysis and outlook of the market performance. Readers those who buy and sell securities based on the above information in this column are solely responsible for their actions. The author won't be liable or responsible for any sort of financial and legal loses suffered by the traders.