ATM :: Home loan overdraft accounts squeeze banks

Mayur Shetty | TNN | Updated: Jul 2, 2018, 14:40 IST | Times of India

ATM

MUMBAI: Well-heeled borrowers are parking larger amounts in their home loan overdraft account after running out of options for generating high returns. This has prompted lenders to hold back on offering this product to new customers.

The home loan overdraft facility allows the borrower to use the advance as a savings account and transfer surplus funds there. The advantage is that no interest is charged on the home loan to the extent of the extra money kept in the account.

But lenders are unhappy with more money being parked there as they lose out on interest income, while having to make all provisions required for outstanding loans. Traditionally, middle-class borrowers would use any additional funds to prepay loans, while savvy investors would avail of an overdraft facility and park surplus funds there. Kept temporarily, this surplus would be used for another investment.

Now, with both financial markets and real estate in a sluggish state, the idle funds in these overdraft accounts are rising. “If a substantial part of the loan amount is parked in the overdraft account, the bank loses money as there is no interest income but all attendant costs — commission to agents and provision costs — are there,” said a senior official with State Bank of India (SBI).

While banks are not withdrawing the product, they are putting additional conditions to apply for it. Some banks are refusing to take over loans where the customer has parked more than half the loan amount in the account. Others are not offering the loan for smaller amounts. Yet another multinational bank is charging an annual fee on the unused balance.

Sukanya Kumar, founder of RetaiLending.com, which acts as a direct selling agent for many lenders, said, “This is a strange situation where the banks have a product but they do not want to offer it to a customer. Even if they insist on a higher loan amount today, what will they do if customers park more funds in their account?”

Even otherwise, the overdraft version has traditionally never been pushed the way home loans are sold. It was initially offered by multinational banks to their wealthy borrowers to differentiate themselves from other lenders. This was soon picked up by private banks ICICI Bank and Axis Bank, and even state-owned SBI. Most of the multinational banks — including Citi, HSBC and DBS — are offering this to customers. Banks that have shifted focus to retail like IDBI Bank and IDFC Bank are also providing this product. But even as the number of banks has increased, lenders are becoming choosy.

Source: https://bit.ly/2MD9HRE

ATM :: Buyers find ways to avoid steep GST on flats being built

Nauzer Bharucha | TNN | Updated: Jul 2, 2018, 11:09 IST | Times of India

ATM

MUMBAI: Prospective flat buyers are indulging in innovative ways to circumvent paying the 12% GST levied on under-construction flats. GST on such projects is one of the main reasons that have kept purchasers away, said builders.

Some builders have found a way out for the prospective buyers. They show the booking amount as a ‘loan’ given by the buyer to its subsidiary company and once the building is ready with the mandatory occupation certificate from the BMC, the builder returns the amount to the purchaser with interest. ”

Nil GST on completed projects offers loophole

While GST on under-construction flats is a dampener on sales, some builders have found a way out. They show the booking amount as a ‘loan’ given by the buyer to its subsidiary company and once the building is ready and occupation certificate (OC) obtained, the builder returns the amount to the purchaser with interest. “The client then pays back the entire money to the construction firm,” said a builder with projects in the eastern suburbs. This does the trick because GST is not levied on completed projects with OC whereas GST rate is 12% on under-construction projects, and buyers in the affordable housing segment (homes of up to 60 sqm carpet area) pay 8% GST.

Property expert Pranay Vakil agreed that, “Some developers take funds from buyers in a different account/company and transfer it against the sale of a flat when occupation certificate is received,” but he sounded a cautionary note saying “This has a built-in danger in case the developer reneges on his commitment if the project is delayed.”

“GST is supposed to be a tax-neutral proposition, with input tax credit benefits to be passed on to homebuyers. However, lack of clarity on the amount and timelines of passing on this benefit have led to a predictable phenomenon—the quest for ways and means to avoid GST,” said Anuj Puri, chairman of Anarock Property Consultants. “In one variable, a homebuyer enters into a deal with the developer and subsequently, after receipt of the occupation certificate, the deal is cancelled and a fresh agreement is signed between the two parties. While reputed developers are steering clear of such deals because of the obvious potential legal pitfalls, a few smaller players are engaging in such practices to avoid GST and attract buyers,” said Puri.

He cautioned that many homebuyers had burnt their fingers dealing with such unethical players. “The RERA regime is strict and has penal actions, so these practices are not exactly a widespread phenomenon. Nonetheless, the governing authority has to collar such players to maintain sanity in a market that is just beginning to show the green shoots of recovery.”

Lamenting the 50% drop in sales in his under-construction luxury projects, a developer said: “Prospective buyers say they will sign a letter of intent (LoI) to block the flat so that they don’t have to pay GST They tell us they will pay after the building is complete. However, this LoI has no legal sanctity and the buyer can back out of the project without any consequences.”

But another developer with luxury tower projects in central Mumbai claimed his firm hasn’t come across this practice yet. “Our under-construction sales continue to remain strong and customers have no issue paying GST since they also get the benefit of the input credit in the pricing,” he said.

Builder Nayan Shah said customers want the builder to bear part of the 12% GST burden. “In our under-construction projects, we have started offering a box price, which is all inclusive. We bear part of the GST, about 7%, of the liability,” he said.

A homebuyer told TOI that developers were not passing on tax benefits to their customers of under-construction projects and are even delaying or denying the same despite being asked multiple times. “In our project, none of the customers have been given a taxation pass through benefit,” he said.

Sources said most purchasers are not even aware of the GST tax discount. “This is unfair for them. Most developers get away due to this lack of knowledge. This is, of course, a problem with a few developers and not all,” they said.

Source : https://bit.ly/2tXbfy5

NTH :: Now, get your credit score free of cost on WhatsApp

Fintech startup Wishfin has partnered with Transunion Cibil to provide credit scores through WhatsApp
Shaikh Zoaib Saleem | Last Published: Thu, Jun 28 2018. 11 15 AM IST | LiveMint.com

NTH

Over the past couple of years, credit information companies or credit bureaus operational in India—TransUnion Cibil, Equifax Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd, Experian Credit Information Co. of India Pvt. Ltd and CRIF High Mark Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd— have tied up with several fintech companies to provide customers credit scores, credit reports as well as monthly updates, on request.

Fintech startup Wishfin has gone a step ahead and partnered with Transunion Cibil to provide credit scores through WhatsApp.

A credit score is based on your credit history, like repayment of EMIs and credit card dues. A good credit score can boost your bargaining power when you go for a loan, especially big-ticket loans like a home loan. Some banks even offer lower rates to individuals with high scores.

How to get credit score on WhatsApp?

You are required to either give a missed call on 8287151151 or enter your mobile number on Wishfin’s website. Following this, you will get a WhatsApp message from a verified business account “Wishfin CIBIL Score”. You are required to follow the instructions and share your name, date of birth, gender, address, permanent account number or PAN and email.

Mint tried the service, and got the credit score instantly. To get a detailed report, however, you need to log in to Wishfin’s website.

You can get your report, and 12 monthly updates free of cost as of now.

How to get credit reports from other channels?

From credit bureaus: The Reserve Bank of India has mandated credit bureaus operational in India to provide one free full credit report in a year to every individual who requests for it. This will contain all the details that will be reflected in a report that a bank would get when you request for a fresh loan. You can access these reports through the websites of credit bureaus.

From fintech platforms: Fintech companies have tie-ups with credit bureaus to provide reports, mostly free of cost. In return, they get consumer data they use to cross-market products. Some fintech platforms also ask for details like salary and current employer.

Source: https://bit.ly/2tSdK4W

NTH :: Home loan: Is this right time to go for it, as banks may raise rates?

IDBI Bank has already increased its one-year MCLR rate to 8,65 percent, making its loans more expensive for customers. The bank has also increased its two-year and three-year MCLR rate to 8.7 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively
By ZeeBiz WebTeam | Updated: Mon, May 14, 2018 06:12 pm | ZeeBiz WebDesk

NTH

If you are thinking of taking a home loan then you must do it as early as possible, as banks are likely to increase their interest rates in near future. IDBI Bank has already increased its one-year MCLR rate to 8,65 percent, making its loans more expensive for customers. The bank has also increased its two-year and three-year MCLR rate to 8.7 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively. This rate has been made effective from May 12. The bank has increased MCLR in the range between 0.5 bps and 0.10 bps.

This is the base rate at which banks provide loans to its customers. If banks get cheaper loans then they also lend at cheaper rates to their customers and vis-a-vis. An increase in the MCLR means, your loans will come at a higher rate, and you will have to shell out more for auto loans, home loans, personal loans or any other loans.

The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) recently increased its home loan rate for up to Rs 30 lakh from 8.35 percent to 8.65 percent. Allahabad Bank is also providing the home loan amount up to 30 lakh at 8.35 percent.

Other banks including Axis Bank and Bank of India are giving home loans up to Rs 30 lakhs at 8.4 percent, according to Bank Bazaar. For home loans between Rs 30 lakh and 75 lakh, Allahabad Bank, Dena Bank and SBI are charging 8.35 percent. These banks are also charging the same rate for loans over Rs 75 lakhs, according to the financial services company website.

ICICI Bank, however, is charging between 8.75 and 8.95 per cent for loans over Rs 75 lakh, while HDFC Bank is providing loans at 8.6 percent for the amount exceeding Rs 75 lakh. As the banks are increasing their loan rates, this is the right time to go for home loan.

Source: https://bit.ly/2wPUABq

ATM :: Got good credit score? Get cheaper home loan

Rachel Chitra | TNN | Updated: May 16, 2018, 09:51 IST | Times of India

ATM

BENGALURU : Are banks gearing up to reward you for good behaviour? After Bank of India (BoI) and Bank of Baroda (BoB) announced such measures, IDBI Bank on Tuesday said that it will reward good borrowers by giving them differential pricing on their home loan interest rates based on their Cibil scores.

According to Cibil COO Harshala Chandorkar, this could point to a larger trend of “loan interests more aligned towards a carrot-and-stick policy – where good borrowers can reap the benefits of their financial prudence and bad borrowers get weeded out or have to pay steeper rates”.

With all four credit bureaus in India – Cibil, Equifax, Experian and CRIF Highmark – looking at wider coverage and criteria, from whether you paid your electricity bill on time to whether your parents paid off for the bike they got you in college, this score could affect your loan prospects.

In the last few years, with non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and micro-finance institutions also sending information on borrowers to credit bureaus, lenders now have a wider and more comprehensive data set to assess. This could further widen as Cibil is currently in talks with telecom regulator Trai for access to data on prepaid recharges, and other agencies for utility bill payment history.

Banking analyst Hemindra Hazari said, “The whole point of Cibil assessing a customer’s data is that at some point it should translate into benefits. Corporates are always being graded on their term loans, unsecured debt and convertibles, AAA or BB++ rating, and that gives a better picture of their credit worthiness.”

In IDBI Bank’s case, it will be offering loans at 5-15bps (1 percentage point = 100 basis points, or bps) cheaper for customers whose Cibil score is above 700. A credit score normally ranges between 300 and 900 – based on credit behaviour and repayment history. Therefore, the higher the score, the more the chances of securing a fresh loan. IDBI Bank ED Jorty Chacko said, “We are keen to provide all aspiring consumers with access to credit. But while doing so, it is important to reward those consumers who have exhibited consistent credit discipline through timely payments and responsible credit management.”

But with many customers unaware of the role credit bureaus play and whether decisions taken earlier in life can come back to haunt one, Hazari said, “I am concerned about the privacy of our data. In India, there is a very low premium on methods employed for data collection and aggregation. And also, many a time, your consent is not required before financial institutions share additional sets of information over and above what is mandated.”

Source: https://bit.ly/2Iu3GVT

ATM :: Here’s how to use your credit card to avail better terms on a home loan

Lenders prefer to offer home loans to individuals who have a credit score in excess of 750.
Nikhil Walavalkar | May 16, 2018 09:46 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

ATM

Issuance of a credit card marks the entry into the world of credit for most millennials. The journey that starts with a credit card generally peaks when one opts for a home loan, thanks to sky-high home prices. Obtaining a home loan at an attractive rate is a task for many. But they forget that if one uses a credit card prudently, it can help strike a better home loan deal. Here is how it works.

Lenders prefer to offer home loans to individuals that have a credit score in excess of 750. This score is not built overnight. If a borrower has been repaying the loan on time, it can help build a credit score over a period of time. Here is how your credit card usage aids in building a credit score and obtain a home loan at an attractive rate of interest.

Timely repayment of outstanding
Credit cards allow you to access funds without interest for a stipulated period of time, if you pay the entire bill before the due date. “Failure to pay the bill in full attracts interest but also harms your credit score,” Satyam Kumar, co-founder and CEO of LoanTap Financial Technologies, said.

He advises paying all credit card dues in full before the due date to ensure that the credit score goes up. If possible use standing instructions on your saving bank account, so that the lender debits the bill from your account. If you pay the minimum amount due, even though the banker is not treating it as a default, credit score companies do not take it positively.

If you miss your bill payment once in a while by a couple of days, it may not kill your credit score. But avoid repeating such instances a few months before applying for a home loan.

Credit utilisation ratio
“Keep your credit utilisation ratio low at around 30 percent,” Kumar stated. For beginners, it stands for how much credit one uses out of the allotted limit. It is calculated for each card separately as well as jointly for all cards. For example, if you have two credit cards – A and B – with a credit limit of Rs 1 lakh each. and spend Rs 60,000 and Rs 2,000 on these cards, respectively. Then the credit utilisation ratio for Card A and B stands at 60 percent and two percent, respectively. Jointly it stands at 31 percent. Had the user spread this expenses equally on both cards he would have been closer to the 30 percent mark.

Once in a while this number may go up. But consistently high numbers shows a credit hungry behaviour. If you are using a credit card with low limits, it makes sense to ask your banker to increase the credit limit on the credit card. This will ensure that your credit utilisation ratio falls, if you keep spending a similar amount.

Longevity of your credit card accounts
Credit score gives more weightage to older credit accounts. Longer the repayment history, better is the credit score. Avoid closing your old credit card accounts. Keep using the old credit card and repaying it before the due date helps the credit score.

Personal loans on credit cards
Many prefer to avail personal loans on their credit card to avoid paying a high rate of interest. This move blocks their credit card limit. The borrower is also expected to repay the loan on time. Late payments or defaults on these loans also pull down one’s credit score.

“Be diligent while repaying these personal loans as they are high-cost credit compared to other secured loan options. Also, failure to repay leads to a fall in credit score,” Vishal Dhawan, Founder and Chief Financial Planner at Plan Ahead Wealth Managers, said.

Disputes
If there is a dispute with the lender pertaining to a transaction or charge on the credit card, do not ignore it. “Sometimes individuals tear the credit card as they are unhappy with the service. However, it does not help. One has to ensure there is no outstanding and formally close it,” Dhawan added.

Opting for a one-time settlement or not paying it up will lead to adverse remarks in your credit report. “If you spot a disputed transaction or a charge on your credit card, it makes sense to speak with the card issuer and follow up for an amicable resolution,” Kumar said.

If you use your credit card prudently, there is a high possibility that your credit score will remain good and you will be offered a better deal.

Source: https://bit.ly/2KraZ0X

ATM :: 7 easy fund-raising options to offset unexpected wedding costs

No need to press the panic button. You can still ensure your child has the dream wedding you envisioned.
Rajeev Mahajan | May 15, 2018 08:27 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

ATM

Preparing for your child’s wedding? You may want the nuptials to be fabulous – with a dreamy ambiance, excellent food and scented flowers. While Indian parents invariably create a decent corpus for the auspicious occasion, there may emerge a scenario when the budget spirals out of control and resources are just not enough.

No need to press the panic button just yet. You can still ensure your child has the dream wedding you envisioned. Read on for some easy options that can help you in organise the funds needed for the special day.

Personal loan
A personal loan is an excellent way to defray expenses without fretting over offering collateral. Most financial institutions, including nationalised banks and NBFCs, offer personal loans. Since it is unsecured in nature, the interest rate is a tad steep and ranges between 14 percent and 24 percent a year. There are, however, a few criterions for sanction, chiefly your monthly income.

Lenders also review your current financial health, monthly commitments, debt payments, assets, existing equated monthly instalments (EMIs) and unsettled loans. They look into your credit report and score. Simply put, lender needs assurance that you have the resources for loan repayment.

Loan against property
This is another option that provides you a financial buffer against unexpected wedding costs. You can pledge residential/commercial property or a plot of land at its prevailing market value to avail funding from a bank.

The approval for loan against property is straightforward, provided all valid documents are in place. Since it is a secured loan, the rate of interest is affordable as the lender can recover the borrowed amount by selling the mortgaged property in case of default.

Wedding loan
One can also avoid a cash crunch by opting for a wedding loan. These loans are granted by many financial establishments under the personal loan category. A wedding loan is sanctioned on the basis of factors like your employment status, net monthly income, credit score, past loan history and your ability to pay back.

Given that no guarantor is required, the interest rates are high. Also, the tenure option is flexible. You can avail the pre-payment facility and settle the outstanding balance amount before the due date, thereby saving on the high interest rate.

Loan against securities
Another way to ease the financial burden of your child’s wedding is by opting for a secured loan. Banks and financial institutes offer assistance against mortgage of financial assets: term deposits, savings certificates or life insurance policies. The amount sanctioned depends on the value of the collateral. Since lenders have the security of retrieving their investment in the event of an interest rate default, the interest rate is low around 12-15 percent annually. Also, unsecured loans don’t require much documentation.

P2P lending platform
Do you have a less favourable CIBIL score? You may want to consider a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform to raise money for essential wedding expenses. The P2P route though still in infancy is being viewed as an attractive alternative to personal loans.

The online lending phenomenon is uncomplicated and allows you to borrow money directly from investors at attractive rates on the basis of your creditworthiness. What’s more, the entire funding procedure is accomplished with speed and without too much paperwork.

Crowdfunding campaign
Looking for another alternative to bail you out from a stressful situation? Adopt the crowd-funding path to offset some of the rising wedding costs. It is an innovative measure that can help raise funds quickly to cover the shortfall. In recent years, crowdfunding websites have mushroomed in large numbers.

The concept is simple. Just create a compelling page online along with a target amount and then share the link with close friends, neighbours, relatives, co-workers, among others. You might be surprised at the number of contributions that come towards the wedding kitty.

Borrow from family members
Tried all the above options in vain and still running short? Seek the support of close family members to tide over the wedding expenses that have suddenly emerged. But before taking this step make sure you have a repayment plan in place after the big day.

This is important since loans taken from loved ones are interest-free and flexible with no signed agreement. The best way is to hand over a promissory note with the assurance that the borrowed amount will be reimbursed by a specific date.

Exploring the above funding options will help you in planning your child’s wedding without any financial constraints. It is important to exercise restraint and not exceed the wedding budget drastically, so that the borrowings do not lead to financial distress. At the end of the day, one must remember that the loan acquired is a debt that has to be repaid.

The writer is Co-Founder, CEO & Director of Antworks Money

Source: https://bit.ly/2GjJJiM

ATM :: Why you should be careful of ‘free’ credit score reports

By Preeti Kulkarni, ET Bureau | May 14, 2018, 06.30 AM IST | Economic Times

ATM

Are you feeling tempted to access your credit report for free? Before you rush to share your personal details with a little-known third party in return for the free report, remember you can get it directly from the credit information companies (CIC). You are entitled to receive one report per year from each CIC— TransUnion CIBIL, Equifax, Experian and High Mark. However, third-party fintech portals such as Paisabazaar, Bankbazaar, Creditmantri, etc. offer customers access to more than one free credit report in a year, along with some other services.

Third-party benefits
“Some fintech firms help consumers understand their credit situation and guide them to improve their credit score. Others help compare and find the best credit card and loan offers based on one’s credit score,” says Manu Sehgal, Head, Business Development and Strategy, Equifax. These are the services that CICs do not offer. Also, as third-party portals do not have any restrictions on how many times you access the credit report, you can take corrective steps quickly, if needed, to improve your credit score.

“Even a small discrepancy in the records or a single day’s default in EMIs or credit card bills has an impact on your credit score. Easier access to credit report allows you to quickly initiate steps with CICs/banks to correct mistakes,” says Navin Chandani, Chief Business Development Officer, BankBazaar.

Approach with caution
Given the recent reports of data leaks and its misuse, should one part with personal information in exchange for free services? Third-parties typically seek PAN, identification, address, mobile number and email details. Also, you will have to give your consent before CICs can share your credit history with a third-party. “We can share credit reports with portals we have partnered with only if the customer consents to it,” says Harshala Chandorkar, COO, TransUnion CIBIL.

Once you give consent, you cannot hold the CIC responsible for any misuse of your information by a third party—so be careful whom you give consent. “If the customer is not diligent and gets lured into giving out his information—PAN, date of birth, mobile—required to get the credit score, he risks misuse of his credit history and other information in the report,” says Chandani.

Additionally, sharing personal details with third parties may invite spam calls and emails. “Read the terms and conditions when accessing the services of these portals and avail services of only the betterknown fintech portals,” says Sehgal.

Before you share your details, verify if the portal has a tie-up with a credit bureau. “The portal should mention the name of the bureau offering the credit report and it should also provide consumers the option to unsubscribe or delete their details from the platform,” says Radhika Binani, Chief Products Officer, Paisabazaar.

Source: https://bit.ly/2wNxfA7

NTH :: Have a CIBIL score of 760? Bank of India offers home loans at cheaper rates to customers with good credit score

Bank of India will offer preferential pricing rates to borrowers with good credit scores for home loans of Rs 30 lakh and above, the state-run lender said.
By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: May 7, 2018 7:35 PM | Financial Express

NTH

Bank of India will offer preferential pricing rates to borrowers with good credit scores for home loans of Rs 30 lakh and above, the state-run lender said. Customers with CIBIL score of 760 and above will be offered loan at the minimum home loan interest rate or the marginal cost of lending rate (MCLR) for an year, the bank said in a statement. MCLR is the minimum interest rate of a bank below which it cannot lend. Those with a score of 759 and less, the rate of interest for loans of Rs 30 lakh and above will come at MCLR plus 0.10 basis points for a year.

One basis points is 100th of a percentage point. Bank of India said borrowers availing home loans of over Rs 30 lakh will be benefited from the reduced rate of interest. A consumer’s CIBIL score is a three-digit numeric summary of the credit information report (CIR) — summarising the past credit behaviour and repayment history — and ranges from 300 to 900.

The higher the score, the better are the chances of loan approval. Most banks check a consumer’s CIBIL score and report before approving a loan. “Consumers with a good credit discipline should be rewarded, as it helps propagate the importance and need to maintain a good financial history. Our preferential pricing model aims to reward high-scoring home-loan aspirants with competitive ROI, thereby helping them making their dream home a reality,” Bank of India said in a statement.

Credit information company TransUnion CIBIL’s Head of Direct to Consumers Interactive Hrushikesh Mehta said: “Bank of India’s CIBIL score-based incentive helps further highlight the need to monitor and build a positive credit profile through good credit habits.”

Source: https://bit.ly/2jES8Eg

ATM :: 7 home loan repayment options to choose from

By Sunil Dhawan | ET Online | Updated: May 05, 2018, 12.32 PM IST | Economic Times

ATM

Buying that dream home can be rather tedious process that involves a lot of research and running around.

First of all you will have to visit several builders across various locations around the city to zero in on a house you want to buy. After that comes the time to finance the purchase of your house, for which you will most probably borrow a portion of the total cost from a lender like a bank or a home finance company.

However, scouting for a home loan is generally not a well thought-out process and most of us will typically consider the home loan interest rate, processing fees, and the documentary trail that will get us the required financing with minimum effort. There is one more important factor you should consider while taking a home loan and that is the type of loan. There are different options that come with various repayment options.

Other than the plain vanilla home loan scheme, here are a few other repayment options you can consider.

I. Home loan with delayed start of EMI payments
Banks like the State Bank of India (SBI) offer this option to its home loan borrowers where the payment of equated monthly instalments (EMIs) begins at a later date. SBI’s Flexipay home loan comes with an option to go for a moratorium period (time during the loan term when the borrower is not required to make any repayment) of anywhere between 36 months and 60 months during which the borrower need not pay any EMI but only the pre-EMI interest is to be paid. Once the moratorium period ends, the EMI begins and will be increased during the subsequent years at a pre- agreed rate.

Compared to a normal home loan, in this loan one can also get a higher loan amount of up to 20 percent. This kind of loan is available only to salaried and working professionals aged between 21 years and 45 years.

Watch outs: Although initially the burden is lower, servicing an increasing EMI in the later years, especially during middle age or nearing retirement, requires a highly secure job along with decent annual increments. Therefore, you should carefully opt for such a repayment option only if there’s a need as the major portion of the EMI in the initial years represents the interest.

II. Home loan by linking idle savings in bank account
Few home loan offers such as SBI Maxgain, ICICI Bank’s home loan ‘Overdraft Facility’ and IDBI Bank’s ‘Home Loan Interest Saver’ allows you to link your home loan account with your current account that is opened along with. The interest liability of your home loan comes down to the extent of surplus funds parked in the current account. You will be allowed to withdraw or deposit funds from the current account as and when required. The interest rate on the home loan will be calculated on the outstanding balance of loan minus balance in the current account.

For example, on a Rs 50 lakh loan at 8.5 percent interest rate for 20 years, with a monthly take home income of say Rs 1.5 lakh, the total interest outgo for a plain vanilla loan is about Rs 54,13,875. Whereas, for a loan linked to your bank account, it will be about Rs 52,61,242, translating into a savings of about Rs 1.53 lakh during the tenure of the loan.

Watch outs: Although the interest burden gets reduced considerably, banks will ask you to pay that extra interest rate for such loans, which translates into higher EMIs.

III. Home loan with increasing EMIs
If one is looking for a home loan in which the EMI keeps increasing after the initial few years, then you can consider something like the Housing Development Finance Corporation’s (HDFC) Step Up Repayment Facility (SURF) or ICICI Bank’s Step Up Home Loans.

In such loans, you can avail a higher loan amount and pay lower EMIs in the initial years. Subsequently, the repayment is accelerated proportionately with the assumed increase in your income. There is no moratorium period in this loan and the actual EMI begins from the first day. Paying increasing EMI helps in reducing the interest burden as the loan gets closed earlier.

Watch outs: The repayment schedule is linked to the expected growth in one’s income. If the salary increase falters in the years ahead, the repayment may become difficult.

IV. Home loan with decreasing EMIs
HDFC’s Flexible Loan Installments Plan (FLIP) is one such plan in which the loan is structured in a way that the EMI is higher during the initial years and subsequently decreases in the later years.

Watch outs: Interest portion in EMI is as it is higher in the initial years. Higher EMI means more interest outgo in the initial years. Have a prepayment plan ready to clear the loan as early as possible once the EMI starts decreasing.

V. Home loan with lump sum payment in under-construction property
If you purchase an under construction property, you are generally required to service only the interest on the loan amount drawn till the final disbursement and pay the EMIs thereafter. In case you wish to start principal repayment immediately, you can opt to start paying EMIs on the cumulative amounts disbursed. The amount paid will be first adjusted for interest and the balance will go towards principal repayment. HDFC’s Tranche Based EMI plan is one such offering.

For example, on a Rs 50 lakh loan, if the EMI is xx, by starting to pay the EMI, the total outstanding will stand reduced to about Rs 36 lakh by the time the property gets completed after 36 months. The new EMI will be lower than what you had paid over previous 36 months.

Watch outs: There is no tax benefit on principal paid during the construction period. However, interest paid gets the tax benefit post occupancy of the home.

VI. Home loan with longer repayment tenure
ICICI Bank’s home loan product called ‘Extraa Home Loans’ allows borrowers to enhance their loan eligibility amount up to 20 per cent and also provide an option to extend the repayment period up to 67 years of age (as against normal retirement age) and are for loans up to Rs 75 lakh.

These are the three variants of ‘Extraa’.

a) For middle aged, salaried customers: This variant is suitable for salaried borrowers up to 48 years of age. While in a regular home loan, the borrowers will get a repayment schedule till their age of retirement, with this facility they can extend their loan tenure till 65 years of age.

b) For young, salaried customers: The salaried borrowers up to 37 years of age are eligible to avail a 30 year home loan with repayment tenure till 67 years of age.

c) Self-employed or freelancers : There are many self-employed customers who earn higher income in some months of the year, given the seasonality of the business they are in. This variant will take the borrower’s higher seasonal income into account while sanctioning those loans.

Watch outs: The enhancement of loan limit and the extension of age come at a cost. The bank will charge a fee of 1-2 per cent of total loan amount as the loan guarantee is provided by India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation (IMGC). The risk of enhanced limit and of increasing the tenure essentially is taken over by IMGC.

VII. Home loan with waiver of EMI
Axis Bank offers a repayment option called ‘Fast Forward Home Loans’ where 12 EMIs can be waived off if all other instalments have been paid regularly. Here. six months EMIs are waived on completion of 10 years, and another 6 months on completion of 15 years from the first disbursement. The interest rate is the same as that for a normal loan but the loan tenure has to be 20 years in this scheme. The minimum loan amount is fixed at Rs 30 lakh.

The bank also offers ‘Shubh Aarambh Home Loan’ with a maximum loan amount of Rs 30 lakh, in which 12 EMIs are waived off at no extra cost on regular payment of EMIs – 4 EMIs waived off at the end of the 4th, 8th and 12th year. The interest rate is the same as normal loan but the loan tenure has to be 20 years in this loan scheme.

Watch outs: Keep a tab on any specific conditions and the processing fee and see if it’s in line with other lenders. Keep a prepayment plan ready and try to finish the loan as early as possible.

Nature of home loans
Effective from April 1, 2016, all loans including home loans are linked to a bank’s marginal cost-based lending rate (MCLR). Someone looking to get a home loan should keep in mind that MCLR is only one part of the story. As a home loan borrower, there are three other important factors you need to evaluate when choosing a bank to take the loan from – interest rate on the loan, the markup, and the reset period.

What you should do
It’s better to opt for a plain-vanilla home loan as they don’t come with any strings attached. However, if you are facing a specific financial situation that may require a different approach, then you could consider any of the above variants. Sit with your banker, discuss your financial position, make a reasonable forecast of income over the next few years and decide on the loan type. Don’t forget to look at the total interest burden over the loan tenure. Whichever loan you finally decide on, make sure you have a plan to repay the entire outstanding amount as early as possible. After all, a home with 100 per cent of your own equity is a place you can call your own.

Source: https://bit.ly/2wjnSId

ATM :: Home loan from bank or NBFC: Which one should you opt for?

Banks and NBFCs follow different guidelines when it comes to lending and, thus, home loans disbursed by them are also done on certain different parameters. Here’s all you need to know.
By: Adhil Shetty | Published: May 3, 2018 1:03 PM | Financial Express

ATM

When buying a house, we all want to get the best deal on the home loan we avail as it is probably the longest financial commitment we will make impacting our overall portfolio and expenses. However, deciding on the right financial institution to avail the loan from is a rather tricky task, given the market is competitive.

With the rise of non-banking financial corporations (NBFCs) in India, the choice has only gotten wider as customers can now choose not only among banks, but also NBFCs. But did you know that availing a home loan from a bank and an NBFC may seem similar, but work in very different ways?

Banks and NBFCs follow different guidelines when it comes to lending and, thus, home loans disbursed by them are also done on certain different parameters. Find out how these two differ when it comes to assessing an individual for a home loan and which one can you resort to for your home loan.

1. Interest Rates: MCLR vs PLR

Banks operate their housing loan interest rates based on Marginal Cost of Lending Rate (MCLR), which serves as their lending benchmark and is closely monitored by the RBI. On the other hand, loans by Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) and NBFCs are not linked to the MCLR. They are linked to the Prime Lending Rate (PLR), which is outside the ambit of the RBI. So while banks can’t lend at rates below the MCLR, PLR-linked loans do not have such restrictions.

Banks have both floating and fixed rates, of which before only floating rates felt the occasional impact of MCLR. But in February this year it was announced by the RBI that all new loans whether with floating interest rates or base rates will be linked to the MCLR.

An MCLR-linked loan clearly mentions the intervals at which its interest rate will automatically change. In a falling interest rate scenario, this allows customers to receive RBI-mandated rate cuts in a transparent, time-bound manner.

As NBFCs and HFCs are free to set their PLR, it gives them greater freedom to increase or decrease their loan rates as per their selling requirements. This sometimes suits customers and provides them more options, especially when they fail to meet the loan eligibility criteria of banks. But in many cases, for those who easily meet the criteria this may also result in inflated interest rates compared to banks.

2. Loan Eligibility via Credit Score

As paperless financial technology takes prominence, more and more lenders are depending on credit scores to determine loan eligibility. While there are upper caps set on interest rates through MCLR and PLR, the actual interest rate you pay on your loan is linked to your credit score. Leading lenders are known to offer their best rates to customers with a CIBIL score of 750 or more.

While both banks and NBFCs consider credit scores carefully, NBFCs tend to have more relaxed policies towards customers with low credit scores. However, with a very low score, both banks and NBFCs will likely charge you a higher interest rate. In some cases, banks may ask to convert the home loan into a secured loan by mortgaging some asset if the credit criteria is not met, but you still need the loan.

A customer with a low score can in fact start with a loan from an NBFC. Through timely repayment, s/he can improve his credit score. After this, once the bank’s eligibility criteria is met, the loan balance can be transferred to a bank.

To keep yourself ready, make sure to access credit reports by CIBIL or Experian. This will allow you to be ready even before you approach a lender. Since credit scores change every quarter, you can take your time to improve it before you decide to avail the loan in order to get a better rate of interest and disbursal amount.

compare

3. Loan Amount

The actual cost of property is never just the selling price promoted by developers and builders. During acquisition it typically goes up as other costs like stamp duty, registration, an assortment of payments towards brokerage, furnishing, repairs and more always add up. Based on where you are in India, you may have to pay between 3 and 11 per cent of the property value as registration cost alone.

Banks are allowed to fund up to 80% of a property’s value. For example, if you are buying a property worth Rs 50 lakh, you may receive a loan of Rs 40 lakh from banks excluding the registration cost and associated charges of course. The rest of the fund requirements would have to be met by you and often these last mile costs weigh heavily on the final decision to buy a property.

Although both NBFCs and banks are not allowed to fund stamp duty and registration costs, NBFCs can include these costs as part of a property’s market valuation. This allows the customer to borrow a larger amount as per his eligibility.

4. Pre-Payment, Foreclosure and Late Payment Charges

Just like other loans, home loans also have associated charges attached. Both banks and NBFCs will have charges for pre-payment and foreclosure but NBFCs tend to charge much higher. In addition, late payment charges by NBFCs may sometimes be close to 10 or 20% of your monthly EMI, giving you no respite in case you default on any payment. NBFCs also tend to have higher processing fees, although some banks may charge similar amounts.

Whoever the lender may be, make sure to calculate you future interests and factor in additional costs associated with your repayment as home loans range between 10 and 30 years and you may have to bear such high charges in future.

(The writer is CEO at Bankbazaar.com)

Source: https://bit.ly/2rhfZOE

ATM :: Markets closed, but that need not stop you from investing!

Imagine a platform for investments where you do not need to worry about whether the market or the MF office is still open.
Rohit Ambosta | May 01, 2018 09:28 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

ATM

What are the trading timings for the stock markets in India? When can you walk into a mutual fund office and invest in mutual funds? Obviously, you can only trade when the market is functioning between 9 am and 3.30 pm. Similarly, you can only walk into a mutual fund office and execute transactions when the office is functioning, which is typically between 10 am to 5 pm. What if you want to invest in mutual fund because you just got a credit amount into your bank account at 6 pm on Friday? You will typically have to wait till Monday morning, talk to your advisor and then walk into the mutual fund office and submit your application for an equity fund along with your cheque for the amount. But, what if all these timings could really cease to matter very soon? Here is how…

Welcome to the anywhere and anytime financial market

The legendary investor Warren Buffett rightly said that to be successful you have to work hard for your money but if you really want to be wealthy then you have to make the money work hard for you. Imagine a platform for investments where you do not need to worry about whether the market or the MF office is still open. You just log into an online platform on your computer and execute the buy or sell trade. Of course, the actual execution may happen on the next day but as far as you are concerned you have done your job. You have transcended the constraints of time and place and managed to execute your financial transaction at the time and place of your choice.

This is a dual advantage for you. Firstly, you can execute the transaction at the time of your choice; that is whenever you are free. You do not really have to worry about whether the mutual fund office is open or whether the market is functioning. You just open your system, punch in the details and the order is logged into the system. Execution is then just a matter of formality. You can also execute anywhere. It is immaterial whether you are at home or office or attending a wedding. You do not even need access to a computer or laptop since these days you could download this entire platform on an App and execute all your transactions from your smart phone itself.

How to make an informed decision anytime and anywhere?

That is the logical next question. You obviously cannot talk to your advisor in the midst of the melee. Also, you do not have access to all your existing investment documents. There is a solution which the platform can offer. Imagine that the platform assists you at two levels. Your entire financial plan and the details of investments held by you are clearly documented and stored in the platform itself. That means you can access your portfolio and your plan 24X7 from any part of the world. So, your portfolio reference point is always available with you. Now the bigger challenge is getting the right advice before investing.

That is where machine intelligence comes into play. Did you know that there is a way of getting advice that is entirely free of emotional bias? That is called algorithm driven advisory. This is not some black box program throwing up esoteric solutions based on a methodology you do not understand. The algorithms are designed to help you make an informed decision. It is based on the use of big data and many years of expert research to tabulate all the investment opportunities on one side and then again use big data to mine and create a picture perfect investment-needs profile of yours. When you combine the two you have a neat solution. All that you have to do is to click a button to say OK. That is surely a lot simpler.

Monitoring and rebalancing my portfolio when required…

So you have managed to get advice at the place of your choice and invested at the time of your choice. Can you also monitor your investments at the place and time of your choice? The answer is an emphatic “Yes”. When we talk of monitoring, we not only refer to the portfolio evaluation but also whether the portfolio of investments is in tune with the original financial plan. Has any sector outperformed? Has any sector underperformed? Have valuations become too steep. The beauty of having such a big data driven platform is that it not only helps you with such analytics but also gives you the answers. What should you do if you are overinvested in a sector? Which funds can you shift out of and which funds can you shift into? How to rebalance your entire portfolio mix and then execute with the click of a button? All these can be done from the comfort of your chair!

The big question, therefore, is can this kind of a platform do everything which can be managed by human advisors? The difference could lie in the use of big data. That could be well be the future of investing!

(The writer is CIO, Angel Broking)

Source: https://bit.ly/2FDKW3W

ATM :: What should you do if your fund gets a new name and strategy?

Existing mutual fund investors would need to evaluate their schemes if they change their strategies substantially in order to ensure they are still in sync with their financial goals and asset allocation
Kayezad E. Adajania | Last Published: Tue, May 01 2018. 10 30 PM IST | LiveMint

ATM

HDFC Prudence Fund (HPF), the country’s largest equity-oriented mutual fund scheme with assets close to Rs37,000 crore, will now be known as HDFC Balanced Advantage Fund and can switch entirely between equities and debt. Until now, it could invest only 40-75% in equities. On 25 April, HDFC Asset Management Co. Ltd announced plans for many of its schemes, as part of the ongoing merger and re-categorisation exercise.

Most other fund houses, too, have announced their plans to re-categorise their schemes. If you don’t agree with your schemes’ new form, you have a chance to exit without paying an exit load. Here’s how you should decide what to do.

web_MF

Your scheme could change…
If there is no change to your scheme, you have nothing to worry about. But if your scheme is about to change, check how big or small it is. For instance, if you own a large-cap fund that is set to become a large- and mid-cap fund or a multi-cap fund, it won’t matter much. In fact, this particular move is good, said Prateek Pant, head of product & solutions at Sanctum Wealth Management. “Going ahead, it will get difficult for large-cap funds to outperform their benchmark indices. The definition of large-cap fund has narrowed down and benchmarking performances against total returns index would make things tougher for large-cap funds,” he said. Read more here.

If your scheme undergoes a big change, evaluate. For instance, SBI Treasury Advantage Fund, which will be known as SBI Banking and PSU Fund, was meant for short-term investments. Now, its strategy would be to invest in debt scrips of state-owned companies and banks. “If the risk profile of a scheme changes, look at it again. If it no longer meets your purpose, leave it,” said Vidya Bala, head-mutual fund research, Fundsindia.com.

…but do not jump the gun
Don’t blindly go by the change in your fund category. Mirae Asset Emerging Bluechip Fund (MEBF)—an erstwhile mid-cap fund—has become a large- and mid-cap fund. The name remains the same, and, what’s more, the fund remains the same too.

On the face of it, a shift from a mid-cap to a large- and mid-cap fund is a big change. But dig a little deeper and you might not want to worry about it. According to capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), a large- and mid-cap fund must invest a minimum of 35% each in large- and mid-cap stocks. As it turns out, MEBF has been increasing its exposure to large-cap companies over time; from an average of 20% in 2014 and 26% in 2015 to 38% so far this year, as per Value Research.

“We didn’t want to tamper our existing portfolios too much. So, whichever categories our funds fitted into naturally, we have moved our funds there,” said Swarup Mohanty, chief executive officer, Mirae Asset Global Investments (India) Pvt. Ltd. HPF, too, remains the same. Although a dynamic category fund can switch entirely between equity and debt, a person close to HPF said it can—and will—continue to invest 65-70% in equities like always. Of course, how the fund performs in falling markets in the face of its present equity allocation remains to be seen as the fund will now be compared to other dynamic funds. HPF refused to comment.

The tax implications
If your scheme merges with another or ceases to exist, there are no tax implications. If, however, you choose to withdraw, you may have to pay short-term capital gains tax of 15% (plus surcharge and cess) if you had bought the units in the past one year or long-term capital gains tax, otherwise.

The only respite is you don’t pay an exit load, if any, even if you withdraw within the exit load period.

web_should-you-do

What should you do?
Each merger and re-categorisation poses a unique situation. How one investor reacts to a change could be different from another investor’s reaction. Sit with your financial adviser to understand the ramifications of your scheme changes. But here are some broad principles you should follow.

* If your scheme’s risk profile increases a little, there is no cause for alarm. For instance, a large-cap fund becoming a large- and mid-cap fund is acceptable. If your scheme’s risk profile increases a lot, take a closer look. For instance, SBI Magnum Equity Fund (a large-cap fund) is now a thematic fund SBI Magnum Equity ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance).

* Just because the fund has changed its category or name does not necessarily mean the scheme has changed. Check if the scheme will continue with its strategy.

* But if the scheme’s objective has changed—especially due to a merger with some other scheme—evaluate it. HDFC Gilt (government securities) Fund – short-term plan will now be merged with HDFC Corporate Bond Fund. Both schemes are different.

* New investors, beware. Past performance is set to become a bit hazier, especially for those schemes that have to alter their strategies, for the next three years. In this case, check who the fund manager is, and go by his track record.

* Debt funds are trickiest to navigate in this exercise. The good news is that they’ve become sharper and each of them now comes with a well-defined objective. Revamp your entire debt schemes portfolio.

Source: https://bit.ly/2HILziu

ATM :: Essentials Young Investors Must Know Before Investing in Mutual Funds via SIP

By SiliconIndia | Tuesday, May 1, 2018

ATM

A Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) is the best investment option for many investors – especially if you’re a young person, just beginning your investment journey. A SIP is a low-risk move, ideal for those who are in it for the long haul because else, the returns tend to be low. A steady investment of even Rs.500 per month has the potential to generate decent returns in the long run without putting a major dent in your pocket. But like all other investment options, it’s never wise to put in your money unless you’re well informed. Here are some things you must keep in mind when investing in Mutual Funds via SIPs.

– What exactly is a SIP?

A SIP lets you invest small amounts regularly in equities, debts and other kinds of mutual funds. It involves you buying units of any (or many) Mutual Funds of your choosing by investing a minimum of Rs. 500 per month. It is then up to you to redeem your units at any point in time. A SIP is ideal for younger investors since it practically guarantees good returns with a lower risk of capital loss. It bridges the gap between high-risk options like equities and low-risk options which may not produce returns.

– The Power of Compounding

There is a thumb rule talking about investments. The truth is that the longer you keep your money in a fund, the more money is likely to be generated over time. This is where young investors have an edge over older ones. If you’re 40 and want to begin investing in a retirement fund, you’re 18 years behind those who began at 22. The 22-year olds are likely to generate higher returnsprimarily because of the compounding effect. Start as early as possible.

– Be Informed

No investment option is completely risk-free and investing in the wrong fund may end up being a grave error. You can never be too careful with where to put your money. It’s always better to look at the past performance of any mutual fund you decide to put your money into. Of course, this is not possible if it’s a new mutual fund. Try to ensure that the mutual fund you pick has been around for a few years at the very least before investing your money. You don’t want to be risking letting it all go to waste, do you?

Your fundsare distributed into a set of pre-decided companies from numerous sectors. These companies are usually mentioned in the prospectus, and you’re free to check up on them. In the interest of staying informed, it is advisable to check out all the companies mentioned.After all, it’s your money that will help fund its future endeavors, and you have every right to know what it’s being used for. Read up on the companies, the industries and the sectors that your mutual fund is investing in, and analyze whether they are ones you’re comfortable with, or if they’re ones you’d like your money to be invested into.

– Your Own Goals

Don’t just start investing because it’s the “in” thing and everyone around you is doing it. If you really want to gain from your investment, align it with your goals. Whether that goal is to buy your dream car after 10 years or to generate enough capital to start your own business in 15 years, or even go to the vacation you always wanted – your end goal and the money it’ll require should be fixed in your mind as early as possible. Once that’s settled, you can go about looking at what exactly to invest in and how much to put into it every month. For example, if your goal is to buy a car costing ?30 lakhs in 15 years, you can’t invest in something that’ll give you any less than that at the given time.

– Market Risks

Mutual Funds Schemes can be considered low-risk and safe to the extent that they are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and the fact that companies must have a minimum net worth to be eligible for mutual fund investments. However, fraud is a very real possibility and the less informed can easily be ensnared. Technicalities are everything here, so always read the terms and conditions thoroughly. Only pick a SEBI registered investment adviser.

– Choosing the Right Scheme

Mutual fund selection depends on the kind of an investor you as an individual, are. If your goals are long-term and you can handle risk, you could invest in equity schemes. If you’re more of a moderate investor with a lower of appetite for risk, you should consider investing in large cap or multi-cap mutual funds (that is, large companies or multiple companies) which tend to have lower exposure to risks. This is because such funds are channeled into companies which are comparatively stable. If you’re more aggressive and don’t mind the risk, invest in small cap or mid cap funds instead.

– Choosing the Right Bank and Date

This may not look very significant, but it’s actually pretty important. The general practice is for the plan to directly take money from your bank account monthly (or at whatever regular interval you have fixed). So, the date you fix should be keeping in mind that the account isn’t low on funds when the money is cut. Keep your balance at a minimum of at least the investment amount, and make sure you set the date of investment as one which is placed after you get your income (salary, rental income, etc.).

Be careful not to use an account that you hardly use otherwise, sincethere’s a higher chance of it running into issues of insufficient funds around the time your SIP debit is due.

Get Started Now

Once you’ve understood these essentials of mutual fund investments, it gets fairly easy to take a plunge as an investor and start crafting your investment goals. Get started now. The sooner you do, the more the returns! Remember the power of compounding?

Source: https://bit.ly/2jq1iEH

NTH :: China’s new behaviour monitoring system to ‘purify’ its 1.4 billion population

Aakanksha Mathur | 30 April, 2018 | MeriNews

NTH

China’s new “social credit scheme” which becomes mandatory for all citizens by 2020 is designed to involuntarily rate people based on their “commercial sincerity”, “social security”, “trust breaking” and “judicial credibility”.

But what does that imply for the 1.4 billion strong Chinese population? Well, almost 11 million Chinese are no longer allowed to fly and another 4 million are barred from taking a train owing to their low personal scores. Come next week, the programme will be implemented nationwide.

According to the Chinese government, its a system to “purify” society by rewarding trust-worthy people while at the same time punishing those who are not, says a report from CBS News.

Much unlike Credit Information Bureau of India Limited (CIBIL) score which we Indians are familiar with, this new Chinese social credit score system covers a much wider scope like whether you pay your taxes on time, follow traffic rules and even on what you post online. This means that trolling someone on Twitter could severely harm your score.

Liu Hui, a journalist by profession, was recently denied an air ticket because his name featured in the list of untrustworthy people. He was asked by a court to apologize for a series of tweets that he had made and later told that his apology had been rejected on the grounds of sincerity.

“I can’t buy property. My child can’t go to a private school. You feel you’re being controlled by the list all the time,” Liu was quoted by CBS News as saying.

While getting involved in community service and buying domestically manufactured products can increase your score, indulging in acts like fraud, tax evasion and smoking in public make it drop. A low social credit score translates into the fact that you are banned from let alone buying plain or trains tickets, even a high-speed internet connection.

What makes this social credit rating system work is China’s robust network of an estimated 176 million surveillance cameras which the country plans to increase to 600 million by 2020.

In fact, in several big cities of China like Shanghai, cameras are used for tracking and catching hold of jaywalkers. The cameras first record the offence and then the recording is played on the nearby video screen to publicly shame the offender.

However, the downside of this behaviour monitoring system is that is can be abused by the government, feels Ken DeWoskin, who has studied China’s economic and political culture for over three decades.

“Well, I think that the government and the people running the plan would like it to go as deeply as possible… to determine how to allocate benefits and also how to impact and shape their behaviour,” DeWoskin told CBS News.

Not minding the collateral damage, since you were born in a communist country, being rated “trustworthy” by the government does come with fringe benefits like lower bank interest rates, discounts on energy bills and also that China’s largest online dating site reportedly even boosts the profiles of people with good credit scores.

Source: https://bit.ly/2jq1iEH

NTH :: Should EPFO subscribers hike their ETF investments?

The whole theme of EPFO providing these choices to increase and reduce equity exposure is a case of duplication of effort and design. Financial experts are advising investors to leverage existing options.
Hiral Thanawala | May 02, 2018 11:28 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

NTH

There is good news for over five crore subscribers of retirement fund body EPFO. Soon they may have an option to increase or decrease investments of their provident fund into stocks through exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the current fiscal. In its last meeting, the Central Board of Trustees decided to explore the possibility of granting an option to increase or reduce equity allocation to subscribers contributing through ETF above the 15% cap.

The Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had started investing in ETFs from investible deposits in August 2015. In FY16, it invested five percent of its investible deposits, which was subsequently increased to 10 percent in FY17 and 15 percent in FY18. However, subscribers were not at all pleased with this increase in exposure to equities. There were some who didn’t want to risk their retirement corpus built through the EPF route. While other subscribers were keen to increase exposure to equities for better returns in the long-term.

So, what advice do financial experts have for EPFO subscribers looking to increase their exposure to equities through the ETFs route when the option is opened up?

Who should increase or reduce investments in ETFs?
Several investors are not reasonably patient with their active investments and panic when they see volatility in the market. Chenthil Iyer, a Sebi registered investment adviser and author of ‘Everyone Has an Eye on Your Wallet! Do You?’ said these investors generally invest only in fixed deposits and post office schemes. “For such investors, increasing the equity exposure through EPF route may be a good option as it is a passive mode of investing and ensures a long-term commitment.”

For investors who manage their active investments and have a well-diversified portfolio, Iyer recommends a minimum equity exposure.

Arvind Laddha, Deputy CEO, JLT, Independent Insurance, has a word of caution. “In the past, there have been negative returns for consecutive two-to-three years or even more from equity markets and this could compromise the savings of EPFO subscribers which they are not used to.”

As not all investors understand the risk of equities and their volatile nature of returns, Kalpesh Mehta, Partner at Deloitte India, feels an investor should also consider one’s age, risk appetite, financial obligations and total net worth before increasing exposure to equities through ETFs.

Benefits of increasing investments in ETFs
Here are the benefits of increasing investments in ETFs through EPF contribution as explained by Amit Gopal, Senior Vice President, India Life Capital: 1) Regular monthly SIP because of mandatory contributions; 2) Inexpensive as employees (contributors) don’t have to pay fund management fees in the current model of EPF; and 3) Tax advantages on contributions. To this, Colonel Sanjeev Govila, CEO, Hum Fauji Initiatives lists institutional framework taking care of selection and research of equities while investing.

Drawbacks of increasing investments in ETFs
Gopal highlights drawbacks such as insufficient administrative track record, illiquidity associated with a retirement fund product, absence of choice in fund manager and products.

To this, Iyer cautions, “Putting the responsibility of equity exposure of this fund on the individual may expose it to the vagaries of the individual’s risk perception, leading to possible over-exposure.”

Make EPF more investor friendly
EPF needs to be investor friendly with additional facilities of enhancing and reducing equity allocation which is likely to be made available in the coming two-to-three months. Iyer feels periodic electronic statements should be mailed to the subscribers which clearly mentions the amount and number of units available in ETF.

“Further an automatic mode of distributing the contribution into equity and debt should be made available based on the age of the individual just like NPS.” This, he feels, will ensure minimum manual intervention in decision-making with regard to equity exposure.

According to Goyal, while EPFO have described some methods of passing on returns, nothing concrete has been implemented. “It is unclear how they will ford the system and governance challenges that could arise.”

It would therefore be good if these issues are resolved before increased allocation and employee choices are implemented. An investor needs to keep a track of this developments for their own benefit.

Leverage on existing options instead of duplicating efforts
The whole theme of EPFO providing these choices to increase and reduce equity exposure is a case of duplication of effort and design. Financial experts are advising investors to leverage existing options.

“The NPS already provides the same structure and benefit. Integrating it with the EPFO and permitting portability is a more efficient way of enhancing employee choice. NPS already has the architecture and track record of administering an employee choice model,” Gopal added.

Source: https://bit.ly/2IdyOMu

NTH :: Do not reject loan application based on CIBIL score, says HC

STAFF REPORTER | MADURAI | UPDATED: APRIL 22, 2018 04:14 IST | The Hindu

NTH

Coming to the aid of a law student who sought an educational loan from a nationalised bank, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has directed the bank to consider the loan application and disburse the loan within two weeks.

Justice M.S. Ramesh, hearing the plea, observed that nationalised banks had time and again rejected loan applications based on the CIBIL reports of family members.

The student being the principal borrower, the status of parents and family members could not be a criteria for rejecting the application. CIBIL score should not be a ground for rejection of an application. It was a wilful disobedience of various orders passed by the court in this regard, making this case liable for contempt of court orders. The Head of Indian Bank, which had rejected the loan, was directed to issue necessary directions to all its branches in the State to refrain from rejecting educational loan applications on such grounds.

The court was hearing the case of M.Hariharasudhan, a law student of Prist University, Thanjavur, who had sought an educational loan of Rs. 70,000 from the Indian Bank. He moved the High Court after his application was rejected based on his father’s low CIBIL score.

Source: https://bit.ly/2Ht9X3D

Interview :: Worst over for the market, top 10 stocks to bet on in FY19

Interview with Gaurav Jain, Director at Hem Securities.
Uttaresh Venkateshwaran, Sunil Matkar | Apr 06, 2018 03:19 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

While the market may have fallen around 10 percent from its peak, experts such as Gaurav Jain, Director, Hem Securities believe that the worst may be over now.

“In the next quarter, the market should settle and then a pullback is likely,” Jain told Moneycontrol’s Uttaresh Venkateshwaran & Sunil Shankar Matkar. He expects largecaps to move ahead and midcaps will play catch-up.

He expects a broad-based pick up in the market going ahead. “In the past few days, a few stocks have risen, which have pushed the market. We should start seeing a pick-up in many more stocks. Essentially, people are not in a panic stage, while retail investors have looked to book profits and are not in a hurry to invest,” Jain further added. Edited excerpts:

The market has been trading off the previous high points. What is the outlook for D-Street going ahead?

Over the last quarter, we saw events such as the Union Budget, which introduced taxes on long term capital gains (LTCG). Global markets reacted negatively, while big IPOs also sucked liquidity from the market, among other factors. As such, the market had a good run up in the past two three quarters.

In the next quarter, the market should settle and then there could be a pullback. Next quarter should be of accumulation and positive movement.

So, what kind of returns are you expecting from this market?

We are in an election year. So, the market could behave differently with results coming on. Overall, for FY18 we are looking at 8-10 percent returns.

What can be seen as triggers for this market?

Firstly, many companies’ results were affected in one quarter on the back of Goods and Services Tax (GST). With new GST Bill coming in full flow, it should give positive flow for most sectors. Even as the e-way bill is introduced, some companies could face some issues at the start and then gradually get comfortable with it.

Secondly, look at growth visibility in the Sensex and Nifty. Several managements are hinting at positive cues. Earnings could improve and several companies have done their expansions on their side.

Lastly, we have to wait for how monsoon pans out. So, overall there is positive momentum and investors are quite bullish on India even at this point.

Does that mean we could go back to the record high levels?

Probably…

What are you hearing on private capex plans? Are they willing to spend on that front as well?

Most companies, the big ones especially, have done their share of capital expenditure. One important reason why this is happening is due to change in technology that is erupting. For instance, look at telecom sector. In case Reliance Jio comes up with a new technology, rivals also tend to counter those. In case of textiles, many things have happened and firms are adding up more technology and machines. With changing technology, fast-growing companies need to adapt to it and they are deploying resources in those areas.

Could you throw some light on the state of midcaps? How do you expect them to perform going forward?

Largecaps should start moving first, going forward, followed by midcaps. Investors currently are playing conservative as they saw their stocks bleeding all through the last quarter. Hence, the money is going into largecaps right now.

But what about valuations for several segments in the market…how did the IPO market perform in FY18?

Look at the number of IPOs that came up with multiples of 30 and 40 times. Fund managers that we spoke to are talking about large systematic investment plans (SIPs) that have to be deployed into such stocks and that is probably why such high multiples were seen.

In FY17, we saw around 37 IPOs hitting the market and this figure could be higher this fiscal, looking at the prospectuses filed and information available from merchant bankers. Also, IPO sizes are a lot larger now.

But will investors have the appetite going forward?

Institutional investors will have it. They will always look at beaten down stocks and they also do not have issues with funds.

Currently, retail investors are investing less. If they have Rs 100 with them, they are looking to invest Rs 20 right now. In fact, many retail investors have booked profits in the past quarter.

Is there much downside from the current market levels?

I don’t think so. The worst should already be over. In the past few days, a few stocks have risen, which have pushed the market. We should start seeing a pick-up in many more stocks. Essentially, people are not in a panic stage, while retail investors have looked to book profits and are not in a hurry to invest.

So, what will your advice be to a 35-40-year old investor?

They must invest in mutual funds. But you could also do it making money by directly investing in equity markets as well.

What sectors are you looking at currently?

We expect pharmaceuticals to perform, while it could be a challenge in case of information technology names.

You can look at infrastructure sector as well. These companies are flooded with orders.

On banks, it is clearly not the case that all PSU banks are bad. Right now, people are not trusting PSU banks and private banks are usually considered more transparent.

It is a play on perception and that could be seen in cases of a recent listing such as Bandhan Bank. The IPO came at a very good multiple and still listed at good returns. These are companies with professional management which are growing along with having fast execution and chasing for business. As such, we were seeing a shift to private sector banks, but currently investors also do not know about hidden concerns in PSU banks too.

LTCG tax on equities has become a reality now. Are you getting queries about it and what are you telling them?

I think the sentiment around it has been already digested in the market. People are taking in the transition in stock market. I feel that this is not an issue at this point.

How much of a risk is political scenario for the market?

The market tends to be very volatile on political instability. As soon as there are chances of dent to existing government, it starts reacting. The question is not about which government, but about a stable one. This is important from a foreign investor perspective. These would have regular impact but not larger level…the market will make a comeback once the elections are over.

As we move into end of this year (and closer to general elections), investors may hold for couple of months to understand what is happening (on the political front).

On the global front, any statement from the US with respect to protection of its own trade boundaries is a major risk for the market.

Lastly, what are your top stock picks for FY19?

hem securities

Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.

ATM :: Despite RBI maintaining status quo on rates, your loans may pinch more

By Sunil Dhawan, ET Online | Updated: Apr 05, 2018, 06.29 PM IST | Economic Times

ATM

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may have kept the repo rate unchanged at 6 percent in its first bi-monthly review for the financial year, but it would be premature for home loan borrowers to rejoice.

This is because equated monthly instalments (EMIs) on loans may still go up as some banks have already increased their marginal cost-based lending rates (MCLR) over the last month owing to rising cost of funds. Repo rate was last cut in August 2017 when it was reduced by 0.25 percent.

“In the current interest rate cycle, we have touched the lowest level and it will come as no surprise if the cycle turns. Against this background, the impetus for stimulating housing demand does not lie on interest rate alone but on other reforms and steps taken by various stakeholders. Measures such as implementation of RERA in true letter and spirit, palatable payment plans for home buyers and relatively cheaper house prices are some of the critical determinants to revive the real estate sector. Until such time the benefits of these measures percolate across markets, the sector will continue to reel under pressure,” says Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director, Knight Frank India.

All bank loans, including home loans, taken after April 1, 2016, are linked to a bank’s MCLR and any rise in it will push the interest rate higher. As things stand today, the interest rate appears to either remain stagnant or there exists a remote possibility for them to move up in the near term. Unless liquidity in the system improves and inflation is well under RBI’s target, borrowers, both existing and new, will have to make do with a high interest rate regime.

At a home loan rate of 8.4 percent, the EMI on a Rs 1 lakh loan for 15 years comes to Rs 979. If the rate is increased by by 100 basis points (or 1 percent), the EMI will go up to Rs 1038 — a difference of Rs 59 or about 6 percent increase.

Rising MCLRs
Interestingly, State Bank of India, the country’s top lender by assets, had increased its MCLR across most maturities in March. SBI also raised the 1-year MCLR to 8.15 percent from 7.95 percent, other lenders like ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank, followed suit and raised their MCLR, albeit by a slightly lower magnitude of 15 basis points. Other banks may hike their MCLR too, and thus EMIs may rise.

When base rate fails
It is important to note that several loans taken before April 1, 2016 which are still linked to base rate are still being serviced by the borrowers. They stand to benefit only when the bank will cut its base rate. Not many banks have cut their base rate in the recent past. SBI had it by 0.30 percent on Jan 1, 2018, before this it had cut it by 0.5 percent in September 2017. Effective April 1, 2018, Allahabad Bank had cut base rate to 9.15 percent from 9.6percent and even its benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) has been brought down to 13.40 percent from 13.85 percent.

Taking stock of the situation, RBI in its February meet had stated that, “Since MCLR is more sensitive to policy rate signals, it has been decided to harmonize the methodology of determining benchmark rates by linking the Base Rate to the MCLR with effect from April 1, 2018.”

MCLR linked home loan
Banks, however, may or may not lend at MCLR. They may ask for a spread or a mark-up or a margin. The actual home loan interest rate can be equal to the MCLR or have a ‘mark-up’ or ‘spread’, but can never be lower than the MCLR.

Untitled-2

Note: Loans are disbursed by HDFC Ltd.

New home loan borrowers
For new home loan borrowers, it’s only the MCLR linked loans that matter. Don’t wait any longer in the hope of an interest rate cut if you are thinking of getting a loan. Instead, if you are eligible, you can opt for the benefit under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme. The deadline to avail the benefit under this scheme is March 31, 2019. Under the scheme, a credit-linked interest subsidy is given according to the applicant’s income level.

Existing home loan takers

a) Home loans linked with MCLR
As was no rate cut today, there is unlikely to be any downward pressure on MCLR. On the flip side, with banks increasing their MCLR, the possibility of home loan rates going up when the reset date arrives cannot be ruled out either. In MCLR-linked home loans, the rate is reset after 6/12 months as per the agreement between the borrower and the bank. The rate applicable on that date becomes the new rate for servicing the EMI’s.

Untitled-1

b) Base rate home loans
Interest rates charged under the base rate system is relatively higher as compared to that under the MCLR regime. Still, if your home loan interest rate is linked to the base rate system, you might want to reconsider the option of switching to an MCLR based loan. As has been seen in the past, there has been a lag in the transmission of cut in repo rate by banks to the consumers after the central bank reduces rates. However, under the base rate system, whenever RBI had raised repo rates, the banks used to raise their base rates without any delays.

Source: https://bit.ly/2qjZSzv

 

 

ATM :: Mutual fund investing: Basic facts to know while investing in balanced funds

Balanced Funds have an overall equity spread of almost 65% either in the large, mid or small cap stocks.
Navneet Dubey | Apr 04, 2018 11:27 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

ATM

Balance funds are the funds which have exposure to two main asset classes – equity and debt. This fund gives you exposure to stocks as well as money market instrument. These funds have the equity orientation as around 65% of your monies get invested in equity and remaining 35% in debt funds. The risk associated towards equity exposure is almost of the same amount as the risk is associated with any normal equity fund do have. So, are these balanced mutual funds really ‘balanced’ enough? SEBI has recently proposed to change the name of the balanced fund into three categories – Aggressive Hybrid Fund, Balanced Hybrid Fund and Conservative Hybrid Fund.

We bring you the main features of balanced funds and tell you how to go about making the most of your investment in them:

What does the equity spread consist of?

Balanced funds have an overall equity spread of almost 65% either in the large, mid or small cap which can be extended even towards micro-cap funds. Having flexibility towards too many categorisations, the fund manager gets the liberty to choose stocks, however, that may welcome more risk to your portfolio. Therefore, check the holdings before investing in these balanced funds as the range between mid-caps to micro-cap can be risky if you are a conservative investor.

What are new balanced funds?

As per the regulator (SEBI), the categorization of these balanced funds will get further differentiated into various sub-heads to provide more clarity to mutual fund investors. These can be termed as follows:

The Aggressive Hybrid Fund: It will invest in equities & equity related instruments between 65% and 80% of total assets and debt instruments between 20% and 35% of total assets.

The Balanced Hybrid Fund: It will invest in equities & equity related instruments between 40% and 60% of total assets and debt instruments between 40% and 60% of total assets. However, no arbitrage would be permitted in the scheme.

The Conservative Hybrid Fund: It will invest in equities and its related instrument between 10% to 25% of overall assets and debt instruments between 75% and 90% of total assets.

Other hybrid funds which investors can further look to make investments can be – Arbitrage fund, Dynamic asset allocation fund and Multi-asset allocation funds.

To provide more clarity to investors, these new categories of balanced funds termed as new types of hybrid funds will help investors to understand their funds in a much better way. Not only this, fund managers will also get clarity to structure their fund as per new rules, getting clear direction as to which stocks to select while designing the scheme. Hopefully, in future, there may be no room for confusion while selecting balanced funds for investing and switching between high risky to a less risky portfolio.

Tax treatment: Debt and equity-oriented funds

Currently, all the balanced funds today are having an average exposure of 65% to equities, they come under the ambit of equity oriented fund. However, in future the new conservative hybrid funds can get debt tax treatment as more of the exposure is tuned towards debt asset class.

However, in overall mutual fund taxation structure, equity funds and debt funds are taxed as below:

Equity Oriented Fund

LTCG: There is no long-term capital gain tax on equity funds after one year if gains do not exceed Rs 1 lakh. However, if capital gains exceed Rs 1 Lakh, the realised amount will get taxed at 10%.

STCG: Short-term gains are taxed at 15%. Where gains are realised within one year.

Debt Oriented Fund

LTCG: These mutual fund schemes are taxed at 20% long-term capital gain tax and

STCG: When realised within 3 years, these are taxed at marginal tax rate where a maximum taxation of 30% can be applied to short-term capital gain tax for both Resident Individuals & HUF.

Source: https://bit.ly/2qhYwFj

NTH :: Surge in self-employed taking home loans: Crisil

G BALACHANDAR | Published on April 04, 2018 | The Hindu Business Line
But delinquencies are also on the rise

NTH

CHENNAI: The share of home loans to THE self-employed has increased to a little less than a third of the overall housing loan portfolio of housing finance companies (HFCs) from one-fourth of the portfolio four years ago, points out a report of rating agency Crisil.

Primarily driven by the government impetus to affordable housing, there has been a big surge in the self-employed taking home loans. In the overall home loan portfolio of HFCs, the share of self-employed borrowers is about 30 per cent now when compared with about 20 per cent four years ago.

“Several initiatives of both the government and the regulator in the recent past have led to fast growth in home loans taken by the self-employed. We expect such mortgages to continue showing good growth because of the sharp focus of smaller HFCs and increasing interest of the larger ones,” said Krishnan Sitaraman, Senior Director, Crisil Ratings.

Loans to the self-employed segment have grown at a CAGR of about 33 per cent in the past four years, compared with 20 per cent for the overall home loan segment. Home loans outstanding in the self-employed segment are expected to have topped ₹2 lakh crore by the end of 2017-18. Though new, small and larger HFCs have been aggressively catering to the self-employed segment, banks are also strengthening their presence in the home loan segment due to subdued credit demand from corporates and asset quality pressures.

However, on the flipside, delinquencies are also rising in the self-employed segment. Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) in the segment are estimated to have inched up by 40 basis points to about 1.1 per cent by the end of 2017-18, compared with about 0.7 per cent a few years back. This trend, however, warrants caution because lending to the self-employed is largely based on assessed income. Additionally, a section of borrowers, who have a limited credit history or banking experience, are highly vulnerable to disruptions such as demonetisation, and see high volatility in cash flows in the event of exigency.

“The two-year lagged NPAs in the self-employed segment, at about 1.8 per cent, is much higher compared with about 0.6 per cent in the salaried segment, where the portfolio quality has remained largely stable over the years,” said Rama Patel, Director, Crisil Ratings.

Given that the self-employed segment is relatively riskier than the salaried segment, HFCs tend to demand higher yields to offset higher credit cost. Further, to surmount borrower data issues, HFCs are adopting practices such as offering lower loan-to-value ratio, higher in-house sourcing, and developing the expertise to assess un-documented income.

While financiers are adopting a risk-based pricing approach, long-term sustenance will depend on strong credit and underwriting practices, said the report.

Source: https://bit.ly/2Ewjvby

ATM :: In love with largecaps? Here are 20 stocks in which 4 top MFs are betting on

After the recent correction valuations of most of the mid & small caps as well as largecaps have come to more reasonable levels, but are still not in lucrative.
Kshitij Anand | Apr 04, 2018 09:27 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

ATM

So where are fund managers betting your money in FY18? Well, a close look at the funds which outperformed benchmark indices in the largecap space suggested that fund managers are in no mood for experiments.

They stuck to quality stocks despite volatility, according to data collated from Morningstar India database. Five funds which outperformed Nifty include names like Invesco India Growth which rose 18.9 percent, followed by BOI AXA Equity which gained 18.09 percent, BOI AXA Equity Regular rose 17.13 percent, and Edelweiss Equity Opportunities Fund rose 16.46 percent.

A close look at the stocks in which some of these funds have made their investments include names like HDFC Bank, RIL, Maruti Suzuki, ICICI Bank, Graphite India, L&T, IndusInd Bank, IIFL Holdings, HDFC, Avenue Supermarts, TCS, Sterlite Technologies, and Escorts etc. among others.

The rally was not as swift among the benchmark indices which rose 10-11 percent in the last 12 months. After a blockbuster 2017 and FY18, all eyes are on FY19 which according to most experts belong to largecaps.

Mid & smallcaps outperformed largecaps by a wide margin in the year 2017, but for FY19, most analysts suggest investors not to ignore this space. One possible reason is attractive valuations compared to mid & smallcaps.

Street expectations are for at least high-teens earnings growth in large-caps and about 20 percent earnings growth in mid-caps and small-caps. But, for investors, a healthy balance of large and midcap funds would make a strong portfolio.

“Performance of stocks in FY19 will depend on the quality of companies, quality of managements, balance sheet performances and profitability. FY19 will not be as easy as FY18 when markets were at an all-time high,” Jagannadham Thunuguntla, Sr. VP and Head of Research (Wealth), Centrum Broking Limited told Moneycontrol.

“The year 2018 will differentiate men from boys. We recommend that 50-60% of capital should be parked in large caps, 20-40% in mid& small caps and 10-20% in thematic stocks,” he said.

After the recent correction valuations of most of the mid & small caps as well as largecaps have come to more reasonable levels, but are still not in lucrative. The best strategy for investors is to use the mutual fund route to invest in quality largecaps as well as midcaps.

“On a broader portfolio basis, for a person in the age bracket of 35-40 years, the exposure to direct equity should also ideally be around 50-60% while the rest could be spread across other avenues of investments,” JK Jain, head of equity research at Karvy Stock Broking told Moneycontrol.

“A mixture of flagship mutual funds schemes from different segments like Largecap, Midcap, Balanced and Multicap funds, which have delivered in the past must be a part of one’s portfolio,” he said.

Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.

Source: https://bit.ly/2v4u3iG

ATM :: Why prepaying a home loan may be the best investment option in current yields scenario

ET CONTRIBUTORS | By Raj Khosla | Mar 12, 2018, 02.30 PM IST | Economic Times

ATM

Major banks and housing finance companies have raised their lending rates. Whenever home loan rates are hiked, borrowers want to know whether they should prepay their loans to save on interest. In the past, there was no clear answer because there were several investment opportunities that could yield better returns than the interest paid on the home loan.

Not any longer. Stock markets are looking jittery, fixed deposits are tax-inefficient and debt funds are giving poor returns. If a penny saved is a penny earned, prepaying a home loan may be the best investment option available. Where else can you get 8.5% assured ‘returns’ on the surplus cash? Another compelling reason to rework the math and at least partially repay your home loan is the new tax rule that caps the deduction on home loans at Rs 2 lakh a year. If you have a large home loan running, you would do well to make partial prepayments as soon as you can.

There are some obvious benefits of foreclosing a long-term loan. The longer the tenure, the higher is the interest outgo. Just like long-term investments build wealth for you, longterm debt burdens you with high interest. Yet, a long-term loan may be unavoidable in some circumstances. A young person who has just started working may not be able to afford a large EMI. The loan tenure would have to be increased so that the EMI fits his pocket.

In such situations, borrowers are advised to go for a ballooning repayment, where the EMI increases every year in line with an increase in the income. This can have a dramatic impact on the loan tenure. If you take a home loan of Rs 50 lakh at 8.5% for 20 years, the EMI will be Rs 43,391. But a 5% increase in the EMI every year will end the loan in 12 years and two months. If you tighten your belt a bit and increase the EMI by 10% every year, you can become debt-free in less than 10 years (see grphic)

Pay off a 20-year loan in less than 10 years
Hiking the EMI every year reduces the tenure drastically.

pg-7

Contrary to what T.S. Eliot said, April is not the cruellest month. Any salaried individual will vouch for this. While annual increments are something to celebrate, people with large outstanding debts should also try and increase their EMIs in line with the increase in income. In a few weeks, they will also get their annual bonuses. At least some of that should be used to prepay the home loan.

Reducing your outstanding debt or closing the loan is naturally a psychological boost. It gives the individual a sense of financial freedom.

Some people argue that prepaying the home loan robs the individual of liquidity. That’s not correct. Several banks offer home loans with an overdraft facility that allows the borrower to withdraw money as and when he needs it. Though overdraft facilities normally entail annual maintenance charges, home loan overdraft facilities are exempt from this charge. It’s also a good idea to use a loan against property to repay other costlier loans. For instance, an unsecured personal loan that charges 18-20% can be replaced with a loan against property that costs 8.5%.

(Author is founder and managing director, Mymoneymantra.com)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of http://www.economictimes.com.

Source: https://goo.gl/UpcRzh

ATM :: CIBIL-like regime for corporate loans need of the hour, CRISIL-like regime not enough

S Murlidharan | Mar 12, 2018 14:38:24 IST | First Post

ATM

Individuals are supposed to fret and agonise over their credit score awarded by CIBIL (Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited) so that they are not in disfavour with the lending banks and institutions. All payments made by them are passed on to CIBIL which together with three other companies in the same business keeps a running score of the credit behavior of individuals. While the efficacy of the regime is debatable, for which this is not the occasion, what raises eyebrows is the absence of a similar regime for corporates who are by far the heaviest borrowers and defaulters.

What CIBIL does is brought out in its blurb: “TransUnion CIBIL is India’s leading credit information company and maintains one of the largest collections of consumer information globally. We have over 2,400 members–including all leading banks, financial institutions, non-banking financial companies and housing finance companies–and maintain credit records of over 550 million individuals and businesses. Our mission is to create information solutions that enable businesses to grow and give consumers faster, cheaper access to credit and other services.”

To be sure, there is a regime for corporates as well—CRISIL—but that is extremely limited. CRISIL (Credit Rating Information Services of India) and its competitors are credit rating agencies whose services are used by corporates episodically, i.e. when they issue bonds, invite deposits or mobilise funds through commercial papers. To be sure again, it is not as if once these episodic events take place, the role of the credit rating agency is over; it does keep a vigil on the credit behavior of the borrower till the instrument through which funds were mobilized is redeemed or discharged. But the vigil kept by the credit rating agency is not as comprehensive, continuous and all-encompassing as it is for individuals under the CIBIL regime.

Time has come for the banking regulator, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to mandate constant monitoring of corporate banking behavior that if anything is more rigorous and thorough than the one for individuals given the enormous stakes involved.

The Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud perhaps might have been pre-empted had there been a regime such as the one outlined above. Why did PNB scam happen? It happened because Nirav Modi had banking dealings with PNB and not with Axis or Union Bank, to wit. And the RBI has said banks should not entertain requests for Letters of Credit (LoC) unless the borrower had banking relationship with them.

Thus arose the need for an intermediary instrument—letters of undertaking (LoU). LoU assures the stranger-banks, as it were, that the familiar-bank vouchsafes for the creditworthiness of the unknown credit-seeker. Modi got the requisite LOUs forged in collusion with two corrupt Mumbai branch employees of PNB and got the credit from a clutch of Indian banks having foreign branches including Axis and Union Bank. The charade of LOU need not have been enacted had the banks had a CIBIL-like regime under which the banking behavior of Modi with PNB would have been shared with Axis and Union Bank.

Banks in India do come together and share vital information when they form themselves as a syndicate when the loan asked for is too big for their boots in terms of funding required and risks involved. But what is required is a more transparent, general and accessible information regimea la CIBIL.

The comprehensive CIBIL regime for individuals in juxtaposition with absence of a similar regime for corporates smacks of penny-wise pound foolish behaviour. It also gives credence to the long-held view that when you borrow in thousands you are in trouble with the bank but when you borrow in millions or billions, the bank is in trouble. Banks can correct this skew by putting in place a robust monitoring regime of corporate financial behavior that is accessible on real-time basis by everyone having a skin in the game.

(The writer is a senior columnist. He tweets @SMurlidharan)

Source: https://goo.gl/rGH5y7

ATM :: Can floating home loans become fair?

Currently, banks can decide their own benchmark lending rate, the MCLR. What if your loan was linked to a benchmark set by a third-party? Will you get a better deal?
Vivina Vishwanathan | Last Published: Tue, Mar 13 2018. 08 33 AM IST | LiveMint

ATM

India has floating home loans that become expensive as soon as the interest rates go up, but don’t float down when the rates fall. This happens because the banking regulator allows banks to peg their home loan rates to a benchmark that the banks themselves control—allowing them to benefit when they choose to, at the cost of you, the retail borrower. But it looks as if competition is finally arriving in this segment with a new home loan product from Citibank India, which uses a third-party benchmark. Here, we examine if such a thing is good for you or not. But first, some background.

Several times, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its monetary policy review has flagged the issue of rate cut benefits not being passed on to retail customers. It has tried thrice to rationalize the benchmark lending rate linked to home loans, in a way that there is transparency and the benefits are passed on to consumers.

In the last 7 years, we have also seen home loans move through three benchmark rates—from benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) to base rate in 2010 and then to marginal cost of funds based lending rate(MCLR) in 2016. However, none of these attempts seem to have worked and the desired goal of transparency in loan rates has still not been delivered.

Last year, during a monetary policy announcement, RBI governor Urjit Patel indicated that MCLR could be reviewed as the rate transmission to customers continued to be slow. While the banking regulator waffles on this, Citibank has come out with a home loan product that is linked to 3-month treasury bills (T-Bills).

Is it allowed to do this? “RBI permits banks to link their variable rate home loans to MCLR, provide fixed-rate loans, semi-fixed-rate loans or (even) link their loans to an external benchmark,” said Rohit Ranjan, head of secured lending, Citibank India. This is not the first time a bank has linked its home loan product to an external benchmark. ING Vyasa Bank Ltd, in 2005, had a home loan product that was linked to Mumbai Inter-Bank Offer Rate (Mibor) (you can read more about it here). Let’s understand the home loan products linked to T-Bills and see if you should opt for them.

Santosh Sharma/Mint

The product
Citi’s new home loan product is linked to the 3-month Government of India T-Bill benchmark. It is an external reference rate. Citi has decided to pick this data from the Financial Benchmarks India Pvt. Ltd (FBIL), which is a company that aims to develop and administer benchmarks relating to money market, government securities and foreign exchange in India.

How is the data for this benchmark arrived at? According to FBIL, it is based on T-Bills traded in the market. The benchmark rate is announced everyday at 5.30pm, except on holidays.

It is calculated from the data of secondary market trades executed and reported up to 5pm on the Negotiated Dealing System – Order Matching Platform (NDS-OM)—which is an electronic system for trading government securities in the secondary market. All trades of Rs5 crore or more, and having had a minimum of three trades in each tenure are considered. The benchmark T-Bill data is then published for seven different tenures: 14 days, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months.

So that there is consistency, the bank has decided to pick the rate published on 12th day of each month. “Our endeavour is to provide as much stability as possible on rates to our customers. We believe a date towards the middle of the month best suits this objective,” said Ranjan. Usually, the RBI too comes out with its bi-monthly monetary policy in the first week of the month.

As this home loan product will be linked to 3-month T-Bill data, its reset clause will also be set for 3 months. This means, every 3 months your home loan interest would change based on movements in the external benchmark rate.

Is a 3-month T-Bill benchmark appropriate for 20-30 year loans? In a developed market such as the US, mortgages are linked to longer duration benchmark rates. “Linking long-term loans to longer-duration benchmark rates is more appropriate to the extend that it is based on duration. But at the same time in the US, for example, mortgages tend to be fixed. Then it makes sense to link to longer term loan. In case of Citi’s home loan product, the reset is more frequent and linking to a long-term rate may not be appropriate. It is just a strategy,” said R. Sivakumar, head, fixed income, Axis Mutual Fund.

The home loan also comes with a spread. In this case, it is around 200 basis points, plus T-Bill. The 200 basis points can vary depending on your credit profile. “As of today, home loan rate linked to t-bills will be around 8.5%….If your credit profile is good, then the spread could be lower,” said Ranjan. Remember that the spread that you agree to while signing a loan agreement will not be changed till the end of loan tenure.

How T-Bill is different
The RBI has said many times that there is no transparency in the way floating interest rate on home loans is calculated, and that there is need for a benchmark rate that is market linked so that any change in policy rates can be passed on to the consumers. Usually, banks keep the rates high even in a falling interest rate regime and you don’t see an immediate impact or cut in policy rates. To understand if home loans linked to T-Bills will bring in transparency, we compared T-Bills with MCLR and base rate. If you look at both comparisons, the drop in interest rates linked to MCLR as well as base rate come with a lag. If the home loan rates are linked to T-Bills, the reflection on falling interest rate is likely to be immediate on your home loan. The movement in T-Bill yields is a result of two parameters—repo rate and liquidity. Hence, if it is a falling interest rate regime, the fall will reflect faster in your loan rates.

Currently, when your home loan is linked to MCLR, the impact on your home loan rate is also a result of the banks’ cost of funds and other parameters associated with the bank that you take the loan from.

What should you do?
The concept of linking home loans to an external benchmark rate (instead of an internal one) is a good idea, as it makes the process transparent. Typically, banks have some leeway in controlling their rates. An external rate should obviate such a possibility.

However, is it possible for banks to manipulate the external benchmark too? “It is very difficult, since the cut off rate is decided by RBI. The central bank has the ability to manipulate it but a market participant can’t since it is a big and liquid market,” said Sivakumar.

As of now, the interest rate on home loans that is linked to T-Bills and MCLR are similar, due to the spreads attached to each one of them. A Citi home loan linked to MCLR has a spread of 40 basis points while the one that is linked to the T-Bills would have a spread of 200 basis points. Experts say that interest rates linked to an external benchmark will bring transparency and hence will help you to benefit more from falling interest rates.

“The rate will fall as well as rise faster. In T-Bills you will see a decrease before the MCLR decreases. There will be periods where the rates will lead or lag each other. But over the life cycle of the mortgage, say 20 to 30 years, the difference should not be huge, assuming the spread of 200 basis points,” said Sivakumar.

Currently, there have been signals of a higher interest rate regime kicking in. Hence, you may not benefit from T-Bill rates immediately. “The experience with base rate and MCLR has been that the rates tend to fall much more slowly when policy rates are falling. The moment you have an external benchmark, and there is no bank controlling it, the loan will be far more transparent and you are better off having that— especially when rates are falling,” said Vishal Dhawan, a Mumbai-based financial planner.

But what about the 200 basis point spread? “The spread is a function of what you end up believing is the cost of running a business. Ultimately, the bank will also be raising resources, which is not necessarily linked to 3-month T-Bill rate. It will be unfair to believe that the cost of fund for the bank is only the 3-month T-Bill rate and the spread is too much. The value will become far more evident when the rate cycle turns again and rates go down—right now it may not make a big difference,” added Dhawan.

As a borrower, however, you now have an option to pick a home loan based on an external benchmark. If it doesn’t work for you, you always have the option to switch to an MCLR-linked home loan.

Source:

ATM :: Credit score high, but loan rejected? Here are 6 possible reasons

A high credit score certainly boosts the chances of your loan approval. However, if you fail to qualify on other parameters, even your high credit score will not help.
Published: March 14, 2018 4:37 PM | Financial Express

ATM

A high credit score certainly boosts the chances of your loan approval. However, it doesn’t guarantee it. Credit score is just one of many parameters used for credit approval by lenders. If you fail to qualify on other parameters, even your high credit score will not help. Here are the some of the most common reason why loan applications are rejected despite a good credit score:

1. Minimum income eligibility: Most lending products have minimum income criteria for loan applicants. Lenders may also set varying income eligibility criteria depending on your location, i.e. metro, urban, semi-urban and rural areas. As this is often the first filter that lenders apply for processing loan applications, those who fail to meet this criterion are usually rejected outright, even without the consideration of other eligibility factors, such as credit score and EMI affordability. As this criterion may vary across lenders, visit online lending marketplaces to find out the loan options available to you basis your monthly income.

2. Age: Most lenders cap the age of loan applicants at 60 years. This is because monthly incomes usually dip after retirement, which increases of the risk of default. Some credit products may also cap the age by which the repayment has to be completed. For example, most lenders require the borrowers to complete their home loan and loan against property repayment before they turn 70. Those who fail to meet these requirements may have their loan applications rejected. If you too are approaching your retirement age, improve the chances of loan approval by making your spouse or employed children your co-applicants.

3. Frequent job changes: Nowadays it is quite common to frequently change jobs for better career prospects and higher income. However, frequent job changes is considered as a sign of an unstable career and hence, job hoppers are regarded as less creditworthy, especially for longer tenured loans like home loans and loan against property. If you too are planning to avail a longer tenured loan, avoid job changes for some time.

4. Guarantor of other loan: Whenever you become a guarantor to someone else’s loan, you become equally liable for its repayment. Hence, during fresh loan application, lenders will reduce your loan eligibility by the amount of outstanding loan guaranteed. This might lead to the rejection of your loan application. As banks do not allow changes in guarantor(s) unless requested by the borrower himself, ask the primary applicant of the loan to find another guarantor as your replacement.

5. High FOIR: Fixed obligation to income ratio (FOIR) is the proportion of your total income which goes out as EMIs (including the EMI for the new loan application) and other repayment obligations like house rent, insurance premiums, etc. As lenders prefer to lend to those with FOIR of 40-50% or lower, those exceeding it may have their loan application rejected. Hence, those with higher FOIR should prepay their existing loans in whole or part to increase their loan eligibility. Alternatively, opt for lower EMI for the new loan if that contains your FOIR within 40-50%.

6. Job and employer’s profile: Many lenders also consider your job description and/or your employer’s profile while processing your loan application. Lenders prefer government employees and those working with top corporates and MNCs the most due to their higher job certainty, whereas those working with lesser-known or financially-strained companies are less preferred. Employees with hazardous job profile have lower loan approval chances. Consider loans from NBFCs if banks reject your loan application due to your job or employer’s profile.

(By Naveen Kukreja, CEO & Co-founder, Paisabazaar.com)

Source: https://goo.gl/ZaicHf

NTH :: Have they changed the name of your favourite mutual fund scheme? Here’s what you should do

To ensure that all schemes launched by mutual funds are distinct in terms of asset allocation and investment strategy, SEBI proposed categorisation and rationalisation of mutual fund schemes.
Nikhil Walavalkar | Mar 16, 2018 02:24 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

NTH

Mutual funds are busy changing the names of their schemes. Securities Exchange Board of India’s (Sebi) directive on the rationalisation and categorisation of mutual fund schemes has made mutual funds to drop the fancy names and fall in line. The idea is to simplify the process of understanding the mutual fund offerings and choosing schemes for investments by investors. But as the names change, there are some investors who may start worrying about their investments. If the investment you have invested into has disappeared or renamed do not get worked up. Do read on to understand how it impacts you.

What happened?

To ensure that all schemes launched by mutual funds are distinct in terms of asset allocation and investment strategy, SEBI proposed categorisation and rationalisation of mutual fund schemes. The SEBI prescription allows fund houses to offer schemes in 10 types of equity funds, 16 categories of bond funds and 6 categories of hybrid funds. Fund houses are also allowed to launch index funds, fund of funds and solution oriented schemes.

“SEBI has clearly defined norms and the asset allocation and the norms that will specify each category,” says Rupesh Bhansali, head of mutual funds, GEPL Capital. For example, a large cap fund must invest at least 80% of the money in large cap stocks. Large cap stocks are defined as top 100 companies in terms of full market capitalisation. “By introducing these norms the regulator has ensured that the apple to apple comparison of mutual fund schemes is possible,” says Bhansali.

The mutual fund houses too have started responding with change in names and investment strategy of the schemes, wherever applicable. For example, DSP Blackrock Focus 25 Fund is renamed as DSP Blackrock Focus Fund. Analysts used to treat it as a large cap fund so far. However, going ahead it will be placed in Focused Fund category.

The process of aligning with the SEBI norms will go on for a while and more fund houses will make necessary changes. The process however should not stop you from investing in mutual funds.

“Investors should first understand the category of mutual funds as each one of these has distinct characteristics,” says Swarup Mohanty, CEO of Mirae Asset Mutual Fund. Find out where your scheme is going to be placed and see what kind of investment strategy it will employ.

“If the scheme’s investment strategy and portfolio construction changes, then there is a very high possibility of changes in risks and returns associated with investing in that scheme,” Renu Pothen, head of research, FundSuperMart.com. For example, if a fund that was a primarily large cap scheme is shifted to a large and mid-cap scheme, then the risk associated with the scheme goes up as the fund manager invests minimum 35% of the money in mid cap companies. Possible higher returns come on the back of higher risks.

“The investor must assess the risk-reward in the light of his financial goals and his risk appetite before investing in that scheme. If there is a mismatch between the investor’s risk profile and the risk-reward offered by the scheme, the investor will be better off selling out his existing investments. He can look for better options elsewhere,” says Renu Pothen. While exiting a mutual fund scheme, there are implications such as exit loads and capital gains, which investors should not ignore.

“When there is a change in fundamental attribute of the scheme, the investors are given exit option without any exit load,” points out Bhansali. This exit option is not at all compulsory and should be availed if and only if there is a mismatch between your expectations and the offering. However, the capital gains will be payable in case of redemption in bond funds. Though the exits in current financial year from equity funds will lead to no tax on long term capital gains, the same will attract 10% tax after April 1, in case the gains exceed Rs 1 lakh.

Changes in regulatory framework and volatile markets may add to worries of mutual fund investors. However, mutual fund investors must take this opportunity to relook at their investment plans, say experts. If you do not understand the fine nuances of equity funds, better stick to multicap funds and let the fund manager decide what asset allocation should be within equity as an asset class.

“It is time to reassess your risk profile. Do not get carried away with high returns over last couple of years. Instead be realistic with your return expectation while building your financial plans and use short term volatility to your advantage by investing through systematic investment plan,” advises Mohanty.

Source: https://goo.gl/6FXbMV

Interview :: Home loan rates likely to go up marginally, says HDFC MD

Don’t see property prices going up for now: Renu Sud Karnad, Managing Director, HDFC
ANIL URS | Published on March 14, 2018 | The Hindu Business Line

BENGALURU, MARCH 14

Renu Sud Karnad, Managing Director, HDFC, in an interview with BusinessLine, explains how the realty and home-loan sectors are shaping up as the new regulatory regime sets in. Excerpts:

How is the property market doing pan-India?

Apart from New Delhi and Chennai, where we see slow offtake, the market is good in other major cities. By good I mean, we are doing good business.

How do you see property prices moving?

As I see it now, I don’t see any increase in property rates happening.

What about interest rates, especially in the wake of rising bond rates?

Yes. Interest rates are rising a little bit. But let me put it this way. I don’t think the rates are going to come down. I think next year we will see a quarter to 1 per cent increase in rates.

Is this rise in rates low, or how do we understand it?

A quarter to half a per cent is nothing when compared to the high interest rate days, when home loans were going at 13-14 per cent. Now they are at 8.3-8.4 per cent. So they may go up to 8.9-9 per cent.

How is HDFC’s home loan growth?

At 23 per cent, our home loan growth is excellent. We have seen good growth coming from Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Pune. In the National Capital Region (NCR) it is a little slow. Otherwise, home loan growth normally is about 15-18 per cent.

Are any banks on your radar for acquisitions?

We are always on the look out whenever an opportunity arises.

How far are you in picking up CanFin Homes?

Actually, you should ask them, because five to six people are talking to them. I don’t know what pressure of time they have and don’t know when they need to announce it. Yes, we are also talking to them.

Have you firmed up your business plan for the next fiscal (2018-19)?

We are in the process. But I can tell you we are looking at 15-18 per cent growth.

How is the borrowing by property developers?

They, I think, are now looking at new avenues. PE funds are giving them money. Banks have also started to explore. Once the sector gets used to new regulatory framework, we could see good amount of lending.

Definitely the last one year had been challenging from them. But I think in the next six months, things should settle down.

Source: https://goo.gl/6PPgEz

ATM :: Creditworthiness: Has PNB scam changed the dynamics of banking?

By Arshad Khan | Express News Service | Published: 04th March 2018 04:45 AM |

ATM

NEW DELHI: In the wake of Punjab National Bank scam and numerous other banking frauds detected in the days followed, it became clear that the process of granting loans to borrowers differs for different class of borrowers. While it becomes a nightmare of paper work for borrowers falling in the CBIL minus and CIBIL category, banks mends its ways for the people falling in the CIBIL plus category.

Banking experts say the approach of granting loan to everyone needs to be standardised. Ranjeet Mudholkar, vice-chairman and CEO, Financial Planning Standards Board India, said that banks need to make Cibil score of corporate bodies, mainly the listed ones, public, for the betterment of account and share holders. “Imagine a situation when you know in advance the credit score for Kingfisher, it will not only help rationalise the stock movement of the share holder but also bring a lot of stability in the system. The account holders will also know where their money is going,” Mudholkar said.

He adds that banks will have to become transparent in their working and there is a need to promote financial literacy among account holders. However, the two immediate requirements for a better banking system are far from international standards. In developed nations, accounts holders are much more aware as what is happening with their money, beside having easy available of CIBIL scores.

Another stark contrast is that many account holder in the India are not necessarily its share holder, hence they don’t see a need to know their bank’s working. Financial institutions, too, differentiate between an account holder and a share holder when it comes to revealing information. Even though, account holders are less likely to lose their deposit money in the whole scam episode, there is always a fear that there earning might get impacted, which, has an impact on every stake holder.

It was reported that post the illegal transfer of around $1.8 billion of taxpayers’ money from a single PNB branch in Mumbai, many account holders of the bank closed their fixed deposits in fear of the bank shutting down and they losing their money. A PNB clerk in a Delhi branch said the number of new account openings has seen sharp decline. Share price, too, continues to touch new lows.

But will things change in the way banks function. Mudholkar says that things are pretty much in place for middle class borrowers but for UHNIs, he hasn’t seen change in Bank’s approach yet. “Not taking ratings into consideration while granting loan to corporate bodies should stop and certain guidelines should be followed by banking official. In the absence of this, there will always be a crook who will try to take advantage of an outdated system,” he said.

When checked with a banking official whether they follow the standard norms while dealing while HNIs, she said sometimes they break limited norms while dealing with them as they are ‘valuable’ customers.

“A trust is built between them and bank. At the end of the day we do business and in most cases we know that the money is secured but problem comes in when there are wrong intentions,” she said.

Source: https://goo.gl/umdQBH

Interview :: 2018 is 5th year of Bull market! If you have Rs.10 lakh to invest go for direct equities

Aim to add incrementally to your portfolio over time particularly when the chips are down.
Dipan Mehta | Mar 05, 2018 10:22 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Go for direct equity with the help of an advisor or a portfolio manager because mutual funds have high expense ratio and inherent disadvantages, Dipan Mehta, Director, Elixir Equities said in an exclusive interview with Moneycontrol’s Kshitij Anand.

Q) The tables have turned in favour of bears at least in the medium term. The Indian market has become a sell on rallies kind of market. What is your assessment of the market at current juncture?

A) This the fifth year of a bull market which has been a slow steady one with very little volatility. There have been a few corrections and we are in the middle of one at present. For the long-term investor, this is still a buy on dips market.

Whether this correction will deepen or not will become evident over the next 2-3 weeks. If a lower tops/lower bottoms formation get created and broad market indices trade below their 200 DMA (which they are not at present) then we may be in for an extended sell-off or a mild bear market.

Q) What is your advise to investors who want to put Rs 10 Lakh into markets? He is in the age bracket of 35-40 years. He/she is looking at forming a portfolio with direct equities, MFs, a part of fixed income as well?

A) Go for direct equity with the help of an advisor/portfolio manager. Mutual funds have high expense ratio and inherent disadvantages. Set aside an amount of emergency plus 1 year’s salary/income into debt and put the rest into good quality stocks.

Aim to add incrementally to your portfolio over time particularly when the chips are down.

Q) What should be the ideal strategy for investors in terms of sectors? Do you think PSU banks are a good buy at current levels? What are the sectors which you think are likely to show momentum in the year 2018?

A) PSU Banks, IT and Pharma are to be avoided.

-25-35 percent should be in private sector retail banks and NBFCs.
-15 percent in auto and related ancillaries,
-15 percent in Indian FMCG stocks,
-35 percent rest in domestic consumption stocks such as building materials, appliances, aviation, retail, gaming, entertainment, media, fast food, branded apparels, and innerwear.

Q) The US Fed signalled a minimum of 3 rate hikes for the year 2018. Do you agree the global overhang is likely to weigh on Indian markets for the rest of the year?

A) No, but there will be a knee-jerk reaction whenever there is a global sell-off. With the rise and rise of domestic mutual funds, the influence of the foreign investors has reduced dramatically which means that the co-relation on a medium to long-term has weakened.

Moreover, foreigners have been investing for 2 decades and they have a more mature approach to India. We are a better-understood economy and capital market.

Q) What should be the right strategy for investors right now – sit on cash and wait for a dip or deploy cash incrementally throughout the year?

A) Nibble into the bluest of blue-chip stocks. Companies which have missed in the bull market so far must be targeted for investment. Investors must endeavour to improve the quality of the portfolio.

There are two-fold benefits. If the bull market resurges, then these will be first of the block and gain market leadership. Should a bear market evolve, then the damage will be less and investors will be able to sleep better knowing they have quality stocks in their portfolio.

Q) What will happen in the banking space given the fact that the cost of borrowing is inching higher. The RBI might keep rates on hold in its next policy but may raise rates in 2018?

A) Private sector banks and NBFCs will survive and thrive in every interest rate scenario. Growth and profitability will be temporarily impacted but the process of private sector gaining market share at the expense of PSU lenders will continue and gain traction.

Q) With Dollar gaining strength there is a higher possibility of rupee weakness. Which sectors or stocks likely to benefit the most? What is your target level for the currency?

A) Sectors which will benefit are obvious but be sure to assess the basic underlying fundamentals. No business will create value just because the currency is depreciating. Our view on the Rupee is not so negative.

Source: https://goo.gl/VM7cNE