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What are liquid funds? Find more

What are liquid funds? Find more

Liquid funds are also debt funds that lend for a period of up to 91 days. These are the safest funds among all other schemes, being short-term. It is appropriate for putting money aside for emergencies. There is negligible risk of loss if one invests for minimum one month. These are known for giving up to 50% and at times even 100% higher returns than the savings bank account. These have low annual fee ranging from 0.30%- 0.70%


Portfolio with liquid funds fetches:

No Lock-in Period – By the name, it suggests they have no lock-in period and give quick access to cash by redemption.

Quick Withdrawals – Liquid fund withdrawals can be made within 24 hours.

Lowest Interest Rate Risk – These funds mainly invest in fixed income securities which have a short maturity period, hence have one of the lowest rate risk as compared to others.

Tax Benefits – Liquid Funds offer valuable tax benefits.

Comparatively Good Returns – Liquid funds offer an average return of about 8% per annum.

For instance,

Franklin India Liquid Fund is presently giving a return of +7.04% p.a.

Tata Liquid Fund is presently giving a return of +6.91% p.a.

Edelweiss Liquid Fund is presently giving a return of +6.86% p.a.



Comparing and Contrasting:

Current Fixed Deposit Rates are ranging from 3.00%-6.75% p.a. covering all classes of investors.

Comparing these with the previously mentioned Credit Risk Fund and Liquid Fund, we can learn that these funds give more returns as compared to the Bank FDs.



Credit risk funds. Should you invest?



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Credit risk funds. Should you invest?

Credit risk funds. Should you invest?

Credit risk funds are debt funds that lend not less than 65% of their portfolio in the lower rated instruments (less than AA rated papers). The borrowers have to shell out higher interest charges to compensate for their lower credit rating, which translates into a higher risk for the lender due to an increased possibility of default. Although, these funds lend mostly for short duration. They are still one of the riskiest in the category.

These funds are ideal for an investment horizon of at least 3-5 years. There is a high probability of incurring losses if held for short term.These funds tend to deliver higher returns than Bank Fixed Deposits thereby involving higher risk.


Portfolio with Credit Risk Funds fetches:

Higher Return : These funds take high risks and invest that money in the low risk instruments and the returns generated are higher as compared to other funds.

Tax Benefits: These funds are tax-efficient as the Long Term Capital Gains (LTCG) is flat 20% where as if the assessee is in 30% slab still LTCG will be taxable at 20%.

Extended Supervision: In these funds, fund managers play a very significant role in obtaining remarkable returns. Credit rating alone is not the only basis of decision making. There are various parameters such as the company’s scope of expansion, its potential and business model.

For instance,

ICICI Prudential Credit Risk Fund is presently giving return of +8.64% p.a.

Kotak Credit Risk Fund is presently giving return of +7.44% p.a

HDFC Credit Risk Fund is presently giving return of +7.55% p.a



Debt, hybrid mutual funds see large outflows in April

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India's borrowing target now raised to Rs 12 lakh crores

India’s borrowing target now raised to Rs 12 lakh crores

From the estimated amount in the budget of 7.8 lakh crores, the government has increased the gross market borrowing target to Rs 12 lakh crores for the financial year 2020-21. It attributes nearly 54% increase to deal with the problem of illiquidity during the economic crisis due to corona virus pandemic.


The circular:

The government issued a circular on 8th May 2020, which said that the gross borrowing target has been raised from the budgeted Rs 7.8 lakh crores to Rs 12 lakh crores. In a statement given on Friday, the Finance ministry said that an increase in the borrowing targets has been done after consultations with the RBI and has been inevitable during this covid-19 pandemic crisis.


Increase in budgeted borrowings:

A few days ago, a package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crores was announced. It is expected that there will be additional packages and programs introduced in the days ahead to have fiscal support. This is because of the expected reduction in the tax revenue from the lock down. It is expected that the revenue shortfall would be same as the additional borrowings of Rs. 4.2 lakh crores in this financial year. The recent surge in the fuel prices will generate an additional Rs 1.4 lakh crores but still cannot reduce the revenue shortfall.

A senior government official communicated with the media that there will definitely be a revenue shortfall in this financial year. It is because many of the industries are shut down amid lock down in the month of April. For now, they are focusing on the expenditure side. If the situation improves in the second half of the year, then the government will scale down the estimated borrowings. He added that the RBI has not taken any call for monetizing the deficit. A stimulus package will be announced very soon and the government is working on it.


Borrowing Plan:

The government plans to borrow an amount of Rs 7 lakh crores in the first half of this financial year than the earlier of plan of Rs. 4.88 lakh crores. So it means that the government can borrow at the most Rs 6 lakh crores by the end of September. The government can borrow an average of Rs 30,000 crores per week according to the current plan as compared to the earlier plan of borrowing Rs 19,000 – 21,000 crores. This will leave a balance of Rs 5 lakh crores which can be borrowed in the second half then the earlier plan of Rs 2.92 lakh crores.


Benefits of additional borrowings:

The additional market borrowings would lead to an increase in the bond yields and would also ensure adequate liquidity in this system. According to the report given by finance ministry, the surplus liquidity in the banking system is Rs 6.07 lakh crores currently.



Debt, hybrid mutual funds see large outflows in April


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Debt, hybrid mutual funds see large outflows in April

Debt, hybrid mutual funds see large outflows in April

The financial market is undergoing a major liquidity crisis in Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) sector. This net outflow in debt fund is due to intense credit issue floating in the market.


Reason for Huge outflow in Debt Mutual Funds:

On 23rd April 2020, Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund discontinued 6 of its Debt mutual funds. They stated the reason for discontinuing six of its debt mutual funds to be the illiquid situation floating in debt market due to the unusual wake of COVID-19. They mentioned this step took by the company is for the safeguarding the interest of customers and to protect their money invested with us.

Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund abruptly discontinued the trade of Systematic transfer plan (STP) and Systematic withdrawal plan (SWP) and some of their debt schemes. This created panic among all the potential investors of this category. The decision took by Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund is adversely affecting the entire debt mutual fund category.


Outflow observed in different schemes:

The highest outflow observed is in the Credit risk fund amounting to ₹19,238.98 crore in April 2020. The second highest outflow is observed in Low duration fund of total ₹9,841.07 crore for the same time period. Further various schemes observed outflows viz. Ultra Short Duration fund, Money market fund, Short Duration fund of total ₹3,419.32 crore, ₹1,210.35 crore, ₹2,309.05 crore respectively. There are few more firms which observed unforeseen outflows.


Schemes which stood strong despite of crisis:

Liquid fund did not observe any outflow. On the contrary, it observed inflow of ₹68,848.01 crore in April 2020. Further various schemes which observed inflows viz. Long Duration fund, Banking and PSU fund, and Gilt fund of total ₹301.94 crore, ₹6,561.20 crore, and ₹2,515.61 crore respectively.


Scenario of Hybrid Funds:

Hybrid funds refers to funds which invest in both equity & debt. These funds are also critically damaged. Arbitrage fund in the category of hybrid funds is the only fund which observed Inflow of total ₹6,587.05 crore in April 2020. Funds viz. Equity saving, Multi Asset allocation, Dynamic Asset allocation/Balanced Advantage, Balanced Hybrid Fund/Aggressive Hybrid Fund, and Conservative Hybrid Fund in the category of hybrid fund observed a huge outflow in April 2020.


Views on this unexpected scenario:

The decision taken by Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund devastated the entire financial market. In this time of crisis, an ordinary investor will genuinely think to safeguard his\her money and no other option is left with them besides grabbing their money back into the pocket.



Startups offer Esops to help employees


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Startups offer Esops to help employees

Startups offer Esops to help employees

Incidental to economic distress invited by COVID-19, some of India’s top startups are rendering additional stock options to their employees in order to retain them even after having performed reduction in salaries mandatorily or voluntarily both. Among others, one is Zomato, a well known food delivery chain. Other is “On Your Own Rooms” popularly known as the Oyo Rooms, next is Grofers, the grocery delivery startup, Bounce, known for offering dock-less scooters enhancing mobility, Paytm an e-commerce payment and shopping application.

Zomato was seen initiating a voluntary salary reduction scheme in April, offering those employees add on stocks in order to compensate their decreased pay cheques. According to the estimates, around 2,700 employees undertook voluntary pay cuts empathizing with the company’s situation.


Why Esops?

This decision is a rational one. Companies resorting to pay cuts will not remain appealing to employees who previously worked on high salaries, retaining the talent is a skill, during these tough situations, Esop can be the best possible option to engage employees if not for life but at least for a fixed tenure. According to the sources, Zomato is already having pool of untouched shares with it which they can now use to offer its employees. While others are managing from their founder’s holding in the organizations.

Grofers is backed by Soft Bank, helping it to increase the Esop pool. It is planning to enhance pool by an addition of $25 million, summing up to make it raise $60-70 million. Further, Paytm, Zomato and Oyo are known to have Esop pools ranging around 2.6% – 5.5% of their overall shareholding.

The companies are still deciding as to what ratio of compensation will be granted and what can be the best articulated Esop plan that they can come up with, for instance lower price or shorter lock-in periods since they are being issued in compensation to liquid cash. Paytm, has earlier announced that it is willing to offer Esop linked appraisal scheme this year. For which, it will keep aside Rs 250 crore in Esops to be offered to the target achievers, sincere and honest employees, high performers and fresh joinees of their organization.



SBI CARDS Q4FY20 Result Highlights

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Franklin Templeton receives prepayments from bond issuers

Franklin Templeton receives prepayments from bond issuers

On April 23, Franklin Templeton India’s 6 debt funds, which closed due to illiquidity and redemption pressure amid the COVID-19 turmoil, have received around ₹2,000 crore in repayments/prepayments from underlying bonds. Investors who have contributed are Xander Financial  and Hero Solar Energy. Some energy sector and renewable sector organizations have also contributed in the same.


The recent scenario:

Franklin Templeton has borrowed capital from banks to manage the remittance pressure for these 6 schemes that we are talking about. Hence, the total amount received has been directed towards settling these bank liabilities. Recovery can be seen in the dynamic accrual fund and the amount of ₹100 crore received from Hero Solar Energy has been received under this fund only. Soon the ultrashort term fund will also become cash positive.

According to Franklin Templeton, they will be receiving such continuous inflow regularly and all maturities and other commitments will be met by their portfolio securities, as per predefined timeline. Adding, they are optimistic with respect to further decrease in borrowing levels throughout these funds. They will be receiving funds through coupons, scheduled maturities and prepayments.

The funds that wound up had total assets under management (AUM) amounting ₹25,856 crore. While few investors have made payments and/or advances with Franklin, the matter of concern is that many of the debt funds are still lacking enormous liquidity. Around 88-100 percent of the portfolio ranks below “AA-” along with no or low trading. As per the guidelines laid by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), before any repayment to unit holders, every scheme must clear its total liabilities. Once the liabilities are cleared, Franklin plans to reach out to investors for their approval via electronic mode.


Clearing the misconception:

There is a misguided judgment that the borrowing decreases the AUM of the respective scheme and that on repayment of the same it takes away value from the investors. Whereas, in the beginning only the borrowing is regarded as a liability and its adjustments are taken care of while computing AUM. Viably, the portfolio value is kept much higher than the AUM that is revealed. Therefore, repayment of borrowing keeps the AUM intact.


The second reason for shutdown of Franklin’s 6 debt funds:

Another cause for closing down these schemes is the recent SEBI guideline, which forbids funds from investing more than 10% of their assets in unlisted bonds. In India, anything rated below AAA- is considered non-venture grade since high return market is extremely immature in these categories. Franklin’s six funds had a lot of similar kind of private debt. In October 2019, when SEBI announced the new rule saying that any investments in unlisted instruments should be less than 10%, this gave a double blow to these 6 schemes of Franklin. As a result, it could not hold more than 10% nor it could be traded as there were not many buyers and the guideline was not allowing exchanging. This stranded around 33% of its assets.



SEBI turns down proposal on easing QIP pricing norms

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SEBI turns down proposal on easing QIP pricing norms

SEBI turns down proposal on easing QIP pricing norms

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) scrapped the proposal requesting loosening of pricing norms for the Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP). Relaxing the pricing norms would have made it easier for companies to raise capital amid turmoil caused by the pandemic. Therefore, a plea was made to SEBI by merchant banks to permit companies to offer a 10% discount on the floor price.

The present market fluctuation is forbidding the companies under existing norms to price their offerings more alluringly. Therefore, they are facing acute shortage of funds. As per prevailing rules, it is mandatory that the issue price in a QIP to not be less than the average of weekly high and low for 2 weeks preceding the relevant date. Bankers have now requested a discount to be increased from 5% to up to 10%. This will offer a great relief to the companies and will aid institutional investors to raise money.


The market scenario:

The capital markets regulator said that the share prices are already at their lowest and demand of further discounting is not justifiable. As compared to previous years, market is already at its low. From the day the news of corona virus was out in February till present, there has been huge declines. Nifty went down by 24%. Similarly, mid cap and small cap witnessed a decline by 27% and 26%. The losses could have been further high if the markets would not have recovered in the past weeks.

Money raised from QIPs between 2015 to 2019 by corporate India amounts to ₹1.31 trillion. To emphasize further, organizations have raised around Rs 51,216 crore through QIPs in FY20. According to 2020 data, capital amounting to ₹20,360 crore has been raised from QIPs.


SEBI proactively extending relaxations amidst pandemic:

Since the beginning of the lock down, SEBI has been proactively giving genuinely necessary relaxations to help listed entities and indirectly to the public shareholders supporting them to face the economic turmoil invited by the pandemic. In March, RBI proposed to relax the compliance of the compulsory 6 months gap between 2 back to back QIP issues. This was after the requests of companies wanting a waiver on the requirement of the cooling off period between two back to back QIP issues. Further, raising funds via rights issues and initial public offerings have already been made easier for companies. The recent request is much in line with relaxations. The regulator has granted relaxations for making ways easier for the companies to raise money from the market.


How will this relaxation help companies?

Investment bankers mention that lower floor prices in QIP issues will provide better access to capital by the companies. Moreover, QIP provides a fast track way that allows organizations that are listed to raise funds through equity or equity-linked instruments. Changes in QIP norms will improvise access to equity capital. Increasing the discount on floor rate to 10% will provide a larger stretch to companies to raise equity capital in a highly volatile and risky market scenario. This may lead to higher dilution, but the capital may be critical for survival and supporting business.

Undoubtedly, this will concern the capital markets regulator. According to bankers, there is not much scope of malpractices. The issue of QIPs does not allow promoters to take part. In case of dilution, it will affect not only shareholders but promoters too, hence keeping a natural check on pricing and sizing of a QIP issue.


Post lock down Scenario:

When the economy and markets begin recouping post the lock down, QIPs could rise as a significant raising support for organizations. So a relaxation on the pricing norm as discussed earlier will have a great positive impact.



States impose higher taxes to raise revenue

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States impose higher taxes to raise revenue

States impose higher taxes to raise revenue

After 40 days, the government has decided to heave the lock down in some areas where no COVID-19 cases exist. The decision comes with some additional norms. On May 4, liquor shops were opened across the country. Currently, all states are struggling for funds due to lock down measures taken to overcome this pandemic. This has resulted in halt of all economic activities. In terms of revenue, taxes on alcohol play very crucial role in earning tax revenue. Around 10-15% tax revenue is earned from alcohol and 15-20% from petroleum products.


How much tax is increased?

To raise revenue, the state governments has increased the sales taxes on liquor and excise on fuels. Almost 13 states have increased taxes. Delhi has put a 70% tax on all types of liquor. The Andhra Pradesh government has increased the tax to 50% on liquor. Earlier, the tax rate was 25% in Andhra Pradesh which has now increased. Rajasthan and West Bengal have also increased the tax on liquor by 15% and 30% respectively. Fuel prices are also hiked by the states. Rajasthan had already increased prices on 22nd March by Rs. 2.2 per litre. The prices was raised again by 0.5-1.1 per litre. The Delhi government raised VAT on both diesel and petrol to 30%.


Importance of liquor sale to states:

Alcohol sale support states to earn more revenue than from other commodities. Revenues are earned from taxes on commodities like country spirits such as malt liquor, country fermented liquor, foreign liquor and spirits such as medical and toilet product which contain alcohol, commercial and denatured spirits, Indian made foreign liquor which are sold to canteen stores and other drugs which contains alcohol. Other than this, income is also earned by confiscating, licensing and penalties imposed on alcohol products.
According to the Indian ratings and research firm, more than 20% revenue of states and union territories such as Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Karnataka is earned only through sale of alcohol. Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh earn 15-20 %. Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Haryana earn 10-15% and rest of the states earn less than 10%.


Budget 19-20 report of RBI:

On an average, states shares 46% in total revenue receipts and the same is contributed to the central. According to this report, five revenue heads such as property and capital transaction tax, vehicle tax, Value added tax (VAT), SGST and state excise tax contribute 90% to the SOTR (state own tax revenue).



HDFC eyes up to raise capital amid pandemic

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HDFC eyes up to raise capital amid pandemic

HDFC eyes up to raise capital amid pandemic

It’s been speculated that HDFC has been planning to raise an amount of Rs 8000 crores to increase the capital buffers and maintain liquidity for future uncertainties. It is due to the outbreak of corona virus which has lead to severe economic disruptions.


Options considered:

India’s top financial services company is having discussions with several Investment banks regarding how to raise capital. The options considered by HDFC limited are sale of shares to institutional investors or a right issue or sale of warrants. A person with knowledge of the subject matter communicated with the media that in the current scenario, it is better to be overcapitalized. In this economic turmoil, profits and increase in net worth cannot be expected soon. He added that the plan to raise capital is in its early stage.

The board is likely to consider the plan and take a decision after declaring the quarterly earnings of its subsidiaries. The plan is to raise nearly Rs. 8000 cross using a dual tranche of QIP, rights issue or warrant issue. The amount of capital raised will be used by the company to deal with higher costs and for expansion purposes. It is due to the current situation that has led many businesses to sell majority of their stakes at cheap valuations. Money mortgage lenders will have an adverse effect on their home sales. There would be a significant impact on the financial health of their borrowers. It is because many businesses cutting jobs and finding it difficult to make payments during this economic slowdown.


The Stress Test on investors:

HDFC Bank Limited, a subsidiary of HDFC Group recently conducted a stress test on its investors. The result showed an increase in the bad assets of lenders. 1.52% of HDFC is owned by mutual funds, 70.88% by foreign portfolio investors and 8.06% by insurance companies.

The current market price of the HDFC Ltd is Rs 1,727 per share. Rs 8,000 crores comes around 2.7% of stake of HDFC Limited.



Investors get relief with standardized digital KYC process

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Investors get relief with standardized digital KYC process

Investors get relief with standardized digital KYC process


Know Your Customer (KYC) process generally contain heaps of paper work regarding customer identity and customer acceptance policy. All this makes the KYC process very lengthy and tedious. However, e-KYC is the option available to users but, for e-KYC stock brokers and various online mutual fund platforms didn’t have any standardized or unique set of procedures. E.g. In Person Verification (IPV) is completed by allowing customers by sending their recorded video to the concerned broker while some send their representative to the client’s home for the completion of In Person Verification (IPV).


New standard and unique procedure for Digital KYC:

Due to the unusual wake of Covid-19, the Indian government and Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) came up with standard and unique procedure for Know Your Customer (KYC). Media reports noted that Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) fetched responses from various brokers about how the KYC process is executed presently and then they released new standardized norms of how digital KYC should be executed.


Details regarding Aadhar based KYC:

A notification was published by Finance ministry of India on 22nd April 2020, regarding KYC process to be completely digitized for transactions through some institutions. Notification states that 9 institution’s viz. Link Intime India Pvt Ltd, CDSL Ventures Ltd, Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), CAMS Investor Services Pvt Ltd, Central Depository Services (India) Ltd, and National Stock Exchange (NSE) can now undertake Aadhar based e-KYC. Notification noted that all the 9 institutions follow all the standards of privacy and security under the Aadhaar Act 2016.


Details regarding Online KYC:

Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI), clarified the KYC process and its functioning. SEBI notified various online services that Mediators can practice for completion of KYC process.


Some of online KYC are followed:


Aadhaar eSign

Aadhaar eSign is the method recommended by government, in which we can digitally sign a document using Aadhaar. It will be equivalent to the normal sign we do, i.e. physical sign using pen. This will be completed using One-Time Password (OTP).



Digilocker is an initiative of Central government. It allows an individual to store their personal documents online using cloud storage provided by Digilocker. It provides free upload of documents up to 1 GB. Users can store their PAN card, Driving Licence and other important documents. Digilocker is fully secured, while creating an account. The 12 digit Aadhaar number is compulsory and further every time you login to Digilocker, a 4 digit One-Time Password (OTP) will be sent on the linked mobile number with Aadhaar. Digilocker allows you to sign digitally through their platform. Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI), allowed verification of documents for KYC process using Digilocker. Documents uploaded on Digilocker can be treated as original documents.


In Person Verification (IPV)

In Person Verification (IPV) can be done effortlessly by using mediator’s portal or application. For IPV, a representative from the mediators can connect client through video call and ask some relevant questions. Investor can complete their In Person Verification (IPV) by presenting their original documents on video call.



The complete procedure of KYC:

The complete KYC procedure will be executed online as per SEBI norms by using broker’s application and online portals. They can cross verify clients by name and all the personal details uploaded by them on Digilocker with digital sign. IPV using video call will ensure all the proofs provided by client are genuine. Aadhaar authentication will be done by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) whereas PAN authentication will be done by the database available in Income tax department.

Provision made to check the authentication of bank account is very simple. ₹1 will be deposited in a client’s bank account to verify all the details. This is termed as “Penny Drop” mechanism. Once all the verification is done, clients can download all the documents, do E-Sign on each document and upload it back to the portal. Another way customer can follow is to print all the documents, sign them, and upload the scan copy of it in the portal. Due to all this new measures started by government, investing online is an easy-going task.



Pre-GST CENVAT credit available till 30th June revised