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Financial Services :
    Financial Services: Mutual Funds
  General Introduction to Mutual Funds
  Mutual Funds & Asset Management Companies in India.
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A Brief about Mutual Funds:

Mutual funds have been a significant source of investment in both government and corporate securities. It has been for decades the monopoly of the state with UTI being the key player, with invested funds exceeding Rs.300 bn. (US$ 10 bn.). The state-owned insurance companies also hold a portfolio of stocks. Presently, numerous mutual funds exist, including private and foreign companies. Banks--- mainly state-owned too have established Mutual Funds (MFs). Foreign participation in mutual funds and asset management companies is permitted on a case by case basis.

UTI, the largest mutual fund in the country was set up by the government in 1964, to encourage small investors in the equity market. UTI has an extensive marketing network of over 35, 000 agents spread over the country. The UTI scrips have performed relatively well in the market, as compared to the Sensex trend. However, the same cannot be said of all mutual funds.

  All MFs are allowed to apply for firm allotment in public issues. SEBI regulates the functioning of mutual funds, and it requires that all MFs should be established as trusts under the Indian Trusts Act. The actual fund management activity shall be conducted from a separate asset management company (AMC). The minimum net worth of an AMC or its affiliate must be Rs. 50 million to act as a manager in any other fund.

MFs can be penalized for defaults including non-registration and failure to observe rules set by their AMCs. MFs dealing exclusively with money market instruments have to be registered with RBI. All other schemes floated by MFs are required to be registered with SEBI.

In 1995, the RBI permitted private sector institutions to set up Money Market Mutual Funds (MMMFs). They can invest in treasury bills, call and notice money, commercial paper, commercial bills accepted/co-accepted by banks, certificates of deposit and dated government securities having unexpired maturity upto one year.

Source: India
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