Personal Finance

Money Alerts

BL Research Bureau | Updated on August 06, 2011 Published on August 06, 2011

No gifts at AGMs

Do you look forward to the AGM season for the goodies it brings? Many investors religiously attend the Annual General Meetings of companies for sheer entertainment value. So what if the stock is doing badly, you can still collect a neat gift hamper of the company's products and have some snacks and tea at the company's expense. Now, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has taken a rather grim view of companies luring shareholders with such gimmicks and has proposed a ban on distribution of food coupons and gift items at AGMs. Stating that this “diverts” shareholders from the true purpose of the AGM, the Ministry is proposing to levy penal action on companies distributing gifts. How's that for a wet blanket?

No guaranteed return

The insurance regulator IRDA has finally withdrawn its stipulation that pension products from insurance companies must offer a guaranteed return of 4.5 per cent per annum. Introduced in September 2010, this stipulation had practically stopped the launch of new pension products by insurance companies, who saw the ‘guarantee' requirement as a big hurdle. Returns from pension products will now be market linked, says the regulator. The 4.5 per cent return requirement forced insurers to invest in safe (but low yielding) options such as government securities to ensure the above return. Now they will be free to choose more lucrative options like say, stocks. But will they manage to generate returns that are in the 10-15 per cent range to make up for inflation? That's what investors may be interested in.

Shareholders' privilege

If you hold shares in HDFC, its not just dividends or stock appreciation you could benefit from! HDFC has come up with exclusive offers for its shareholders investing in the company's deposits. The NBFC will offer 50 basis points more for shareholders who invest either in the regular deposits or Platinum deposits compared with the rates normally offered for regular investors. An additional 25 basis points is available for senior citizens. For instance, the HDFC Platinum deposits cumulative plan would offer 10.25 per cent per annum for a 15-month plan under the shareholder exclusive offer. which is available up to August 16.

Deposit rate cut

It's not only rising interest rates on your borrowings which you have to worry about. Moving against the flow, Lakshmi Vilas Bank has reduced interest rates on short-term deposits, effective August 1. The bank has cut the rate on 91-180 day and 181-270 day deposits by 1 percentage point to 8 per cent and 8.25 per cent respectively. On deposits with a period of 271-364 days, the cut has been lower, by 0.8 percentage points to 8.5 per cent. At the same time, it has increased its base rate to 10.9 per cent.

Income tax at ATMs

Thought the frenzy over anything related to income tax returns has finally died down? Not quite. HDFC Bank has added yet another payment service option at its ATMs. HDFC Bank debit card holders can pay their income tax through the bank's ATMs. For the service, customers will have to get themselves registered first; the ATM payment service will be activated immediately. An account holder can also register two PANs with a single debit card.

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