Category: News That Helps | NTH

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

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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

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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

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

Aakanksha Mathur | 30 April, 2018 | MeriNews

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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

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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

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

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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

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

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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