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EPFO to invest Rs 22,500 crore in ETFs in 2017-18
Retirement fund body the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation plans to pump in Rs 22,500 crore in exchange traded funds in 2017-18 following the go-ahead from the central board of trustees of EPFO to increase the equity investment from 10% to 15%.

Government hikes gold bond investment limit to 4 kg per fiscal
The Cabinet today raised the annual investment limit in Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGBs) to 4 kg per individual from 500 gm and relaxed other norms to make them more attractive to buyers. The ceiling will be counted on financial year basis and will include the SGBs purchased during trading in the secondary market, an official statement said after the Cabinet meeting here.

MFs build second line of fund managers amid top-level exits
The mutual fund (MF) sector is grooming newer talent to become lead fund managers, amid a spate of recent high-profile exits. Given the robust inflow from domestic investors and a positive growth outlook, the Rs 19 lakh crore asset management sector is trying to ensure a second line of fund managers. There 40-player MF sector has seen its assets under management double in three years. It has also seen inflow of Rs 7 lakh crore in this period, about Rs 2.5 lakh crore in equity.

Motilal Oswal launches robo advisory for MF investors
Motilal Oswal Securities has launched an automated and personalised financial planning tool Target Investment Plan (TIP) that uses robo advisory to understand client’s future goals and accordingly make calculated suggestions regarding the right investment portfolio suited for them in mutual funds. TIP offers end-to-end solutions from goal profiling, to making recommendations, registration, investment, tracking and portfolio re-balancing. It can be accessed from Motilal Oswal’s mobile and web platforms. The product also allows the user to opt for dynamic investment plan instead of the regular SIP plans.

Redefining the basics of goal-based investing
Financial advisers look at investments as a way to achieving goals rather than chasing returns. Recently, at the second Wealth Management Conference in Mumbai, hosted by CFA Society India, Jean LP Brunel, managing principal of Brunel Associates LLC, a US-based firm that serves ultra-high net worth individuals and their advisers, said, “The single most important retirement goal that individuals have is that they don’t want to change their lifestyle, in a way that (my) neighbours will notice.”

Regulators team up for financial inclusion
Banks, insurance companies, mutual funds and pension funds will now chip in to create a common strategy to further the government’s financial inclusion agenda in a targeted manner and based on a customer’s need. A national strategy for financial inclusion is almost ready and soon all financial entities would be directed to coordinate with each other to introduce products step by step. They might even have to customise offerings based on the financial inclusion journey of a customer, Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor S S Mundra told Business Standard in an interview.

Closed-end funds meant only for seasoned investors
Mutual funds are once again launching closed-end schemes. Axis Mutual Fund and ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund are running new fund offers that end on Friday. Reliance Mutual Fund and UTI Mutual Fund have also filed applications with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to launch one and three closed-end equity schemes, respectively. Wealth managers say investors who are in the process of constructing their portfolios should stay away from closed-end funds.

Irdai tells insurers to put unclaimed money in special fund for elderly
Insurance accruals lying unclaimed for a period of over 10 years as on September 30 will have to be deposited into a fund meant for senior citizens by March 1 next year, an Irdai order said on Tuesday. "All insurers having unclaimed amounts of policyholders for a period of more than 10 years as on September 30, 2017 need to transfer the same to the Senior Citizens' Welfare Fund (SCWF) on or before March 1, 2018," it said.

Large state-run banks may be added to ETF basket
State-run lenders such as State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank and Bank of Baroda(BoB) may be included in the new exchange traded fund (ETF) the government is setting up. A senior finance ministry official said large banks could be in the basket of stocks, making the ETF offer more attractive.

Why RBI should fix inflation forecasting model now
When Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian expressed his angst at the Monetary Policy Committee for not reducing interest rates at its June meeting, he didn’t stop at criticising the stance, but questioned the very fundamentals on which the panel rested its decision – the Reserve Bank of India’s inflation forecasting model.

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