Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Save tax by investing in Mutual Funds


Mutual Fund – Substantial Returns

A collective investment in the form of mutual fund is professionally handled fund and investing in it could maximise the savings as well as receive substantial returns. As an investor, one needs to identify the needs and goal for the investment which could be in funding for a child’s education or retirement or a secondary income. In identifying the goal one could opt for the most appropriate investment options and reap the benefits. Tax savings mutual funds are known as Equity Linked Saving Schemes – ELSS wherein the main objective of these funds tends to provide a tax rebate of the Income Tax Act under section 80C and are also exempted from taxes for long term capital gains. Tax rebate from one lakh INR to 1.5 lakhs in 2015 had been increased by the Government of India. For ELSS, the minimum investment tenure is 3 years and if the fund tends to do well it could offer benefits of around INR 1 lakh. ELSS funds are offered 13% to 22% returns annually averaging to around 17.5%. Due to these reasons ELSS seems to be one of the topmost tax saving mutual funds of 2015. Besides this, other popular tax saving investment comprise of –

  • Tax Saving Fixed Deposit wherein one could benefit up to 1 lakh INR though the interest which is earned from fixed deposits tend to be taxable 
  • National Savings Certificate – NSC – which enables investments as low as INR 100 with a rate of interest of 8.5% for a period of 5 years and 8.8% for 10 years wherein one could save around INR 1 lakh with this scheme. 
  • Home Loan Principal – under section 80C, principal amount on home loan qualifies for a maximum deduction of INR 1.5 lakh. However the same is not applicable for properties under construction as well as commercial properties. 
  • Rajiv Gandhi Equity Saving Scheme – RGESS is a good choice for first time investors since it tends to offer tax savings of around 50% on the invested amount for the first year. Maximum deduction is INR 50,000 which can only be claimed by those whose annual incomes falls below INR 10 lakhs.

ELSS – Long Term Investment

ELSS seems to be a better investment plan due to its comparatively minimal lock in period of 3 years over Public Provident Fund – PPF which tends to be locked in for a period of 15 years. National Savings Certificate – NSC on the other hand is locked in for a period of 6 years and fixed deposits are locked in for 5 years. Moreover, ELSS could offer enhanced returns over the long term since it is an investment in equity markets. Prior to investments one needs to be well informed on the risks and expenditures associated with mutual funds. Some insight could be beneficial to the investors such as –

  • Considering the prevailing financial situation of the market intending to invest in 
  • Select an experience fund manager who is well versed in delivering good results, one who will keep you informed on the anticipated trends as well as prospects of the fund in the market 
  • The prevailing performance of the mutual fund need to be investigated to lessen probable risks and look out for premium, mutual fund rates as well as consistency of the fund in the market 
  • Match the returns of the fund with the other tax saving investments 
  • Discover hidden expenses like the fund manager’s commission, marketing expenses and the other expenses.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

China Money Market Stabilises After PBOC Injections; Investors Eye More Easing


Medium-Term Lending Facility – MLF Eased Market

China’s main money rates had been mixed recently as the confidence of the investors in the market seemed to recover a bit followed by huge fund injections by central bank earlier this week. Liquidity situations seem to be tightened over the last 10 days though traders had informed that they are speculating on another major easing move soon, by the central bank.

One trader has commented at a city commercial bank in Shanghai, that that they have experienced a difficult week. Mostly it is impossible to purchase overnight repos in the first two days. The medium-term lending facility – MLF and injection achieved to ease the market and these movements relieved investors and major banks, Some of the major banks have begun providing funds

The outcome of China’s surprise yuan devaluation on August 11, market viewers are concerned of the investors moving quickly out of yuan assets and into dollars, forcing yuan liquidity as well as the money market. Constricted liquidity could have also been a factor in the large equity market sell-off.

Central Bank – Address Liquidity Concerns

Trailing after a partial recovery earlier in August, benchmark of China’s CSI 300 equity index had fallen down by 11% on the week by The volume weighted benchmark seven day repurchase agreement –repo rate, considered the best indicator of short term liquidity conditions in China, increased by 11 basis points from August 11 to August 20 eventually hitting 2.58% on Thursday afternoon.

The central bank moved to address liquidity concerns on Wednesday and Thursday by lending 110 billion yuan to 14 banks through it medium term lending facility as well as injecting 120 billion yuan in money markets through the operation of open market. Central bank’s open market injection this week of 150 billion yuan was the largest since early February.

The repo of seven day eventually responded on Friday with trading at 2.5475 percent late morning with a modern fall of 3.26 basis points from the earlier day’s closing average rate. However, liquidity was yet under pressure owing to client dollar demand as well as real borrowing rates remaining high further down the yield curve. Traders are anticipating easing measures to come up soon.

Push Down Long Term Rates/Dissuade Borrowers – Short Term Money

A trader had mentioned that the central bank is subtle and they have to take into consideration the potential yuan devaluation as well as economic pressures in the next half year and once the direct injections is not capable of offsetting the liquidity shortfall adequately, central bank would have to cut interest rates.

One day repo had gone up by 0.99 basis point at 1.82% against Thursday’s closing and the 14 day repo was up, 1.75 basis point at 2.71%. The Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate – SHIBOR, for same tenor increased to 2.5990 percent up 1.30 basis point from the earlier close.

 In order to decrease speculation and guide more funds in long term productive investment, central bank has been making efforts to push down long term rates and dissuade borrowers from easy short term money. However a shaky stock market tends to keep it under pressure in keeping short term rates low in order to support share prices.

Long term rates on safe haven government debt and policy bank bonds seem to have fallen severelysince equity modification in late June and yields on corporate debt have scarcely shifted.

How to Stop a Foreclosure with a Short Sale

When you take out a home loan, you agree to make regular payments over 10 years or longer until you pay off both the original loan and the interest the lender charged on that loan. If you experience a medical problem, lose your job or go through other lifestyle changes, you may find that you can no longer pay off your mortgage. This gives the lender the right to foreclose on your home. Before a foreclosure ruins your credit, find out how you can recover with a short sale.

What is a Short Sale?

Many homeowners turn to companies like Realty ONE Group because they aren't sure what a short sale is or if a short sale is right for them. A short sale is essentially an agreement between you and your lender that allows you to sell your home before the lender forecloses on the property. You may have several months or up to one year to find a buyer for your home. Lenders often prefer going through a short sale than foreclosing on a home because it gives the bank more money.

Benefits of a Short Sale

Though a short sale will still appear on your credit report, many find that it impacts them less than a foreclosure does. A foreclosure will remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, which will make it difficult for you to obtain another home loan or any other type of loan. Depending on the agreement you work out with your lender, you may have the chance to walk away free and clear too. Some banks will agree to accept a set amount to pay off your total mortgage. As long as you sell your home for that amount, you won't owe the bank any additional money.

Before Putting Your House on the Market

Before you decide to go the short sale route and put your home on the market, you need to get some help from professionals like Kuba Jewgieniew and others. Those professionals can help you with everything from making arrangements with your bank to finding a qualified buyer and closing on the house. Professionals can also help you determine if you qualify for special programs like the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program. These special programs can help you sell your home quickly without damaging your credit report or score.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Oil Prices Fall Again as U.S., Asia Demand Looks Set to Weaken


Oil Prices Dropped in Asian Trading

Oil prices dropped again in early Asian trading recently as traders speculated lowering refinery consumption after the US summer while the weakening economies of Asia and the high global production showed concern on the oversupply. The US crude futures had been trading at $41.84 a barrel each at 0014 GMT, which was around 3 cents below their last settlement and not more than six years low touched earlier this week.

Brent futures had been at $48.61 per barrel, down by 13 cents though the same is still some way from their 2015 low of $45.19. Both crude oil benchmarks have more than halved in value from the last year. They had rallied earlier in the year though are now almost a third below their last year rise in May.

Data have conveyed that several speculators have taken on large bets on further likely falls lying ahead. The reason for the change being twofold, one is the weak demand in several countries due to dull economic growth together with surging US production. Beside this is the fact that the oil association OPEC is unwavering in not cutting production as a way to prop up the prices.

Speculating Rise in U.S, Stockpile

According to ANZ bank it was commented that the `fundamentals suggest downside risk still tends to remain in key markets, especially iron ore and crude oil, in the months ahead’, speculating a rise in U.S. stockpile in the forthcoming months as refiners reduce operations for the purpose of maintenance as the summer driving season tends to come to an end thereby reducing the demand for US crude.

A subsidiary of Fitch Ratings, BMI Research had stated that the market could have an overshot to the downside, hoping in a modest recovery in the prices towards the fourth quarter. BMI Research analyst had commented that `the downward move had been largely speculative driven by the Iranian nuclear accord, economic uncertainties surrounding China and bearish re positioning in the futures market’.

Several oil traders have been positioning themselves to earn profit from an additional drop in U.S. prices. With regards to betting on further outright falls, the traders have become aggressive in taking up put options, an option which tends to sell a contract once the price begins to fall to a certain level, at a price as low as $35 and probably $30 a barrel.

Long-Term Outlook Seems to Remain Bearish

One broker had informed that the amount of queries that they had recently received with regards to leveraging bets on further price falls, have been quite surprising. Underlining the bearish sentiment, money managers as well as hedge funds cut their net long holdings of Brent crude futures for a fourth straight week, according to exchange data shown recently.

Long-term outlook also seemed to remain bearish with BMI Research guessing `oil prices probably to remain fixed till 2018’. They had stated that `the return of Iranian oil to the market, coupled with strong project pipelines in North America, the Middle East, West Africa and Kazakhstan would see global supply growth exceed the growth in global consumption for the next two years’. It was forecasted by the firm, that Brent would average to $56 and $55 in 2016 and 2017 respectively with U.S. crude averaging $53 in both the years.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Apple Feels the Pain of China's Yuan Move


Apple’s Discomfort on China’s Yuan Move

U.S. companies relying greatly on sales to China which includes Apple as well as fast food chain Yum Brands are feeling the discomfort of China’s move to weaken its currency. On Tuesday, in reply to the country’s economic slowdown, China’s central bank undervalued the nation’s tightly controlled currency, the Renminbi – RMB or the Yuan.

The 1.9% cut, its biggest one-day drop in decade,was called as a onetime adjustment by the People’s Bank of China though the surprised move had moved the stocks down together with concerns that it would affect U.S. companies, like Apple which have been on the rise selling their products to the world’s most populated nations. China had become Apple’s leading revenue source under CEO Tim Cook, after its Americas region, including the U.S.

The iPhone maker, in the latest financial quarter ending June had stated that China had made up around $13.2 billion of its overall $49.6 billion by way of revenues. This was up by 112% from the same quarter of 2014, when China had made up just around $6.2 billion of the overall revenue of Apple.

Several Companies Deprived of Huge Percentage

Yum Brands also had broad exposure to China owing to the popularity of its KFC fast food chain and about 52% of its revenue came from China as per Goldman Sachs. Mead Johnson Nutrition, the baby formula maker, in the meanwhile developed 31% of its revenue from China and Tesla; the electric car maker had been moving to sell in China after the nation had broken a record for car sales in 2013.

 Wynn Resorts that runs hotels as well as casinos gained a massive 83% of its sales to China, according to Goldman. Several of the chipmakers together with other tech companies too derived a huge percentage of their revenues from China as per Goldman Sachs which included:

  • Chipmaker Qualcomm with 61% of its revenue exposed to China 
  • Chipmaker Nvidia got 54% of its revenue from China 
  • Chipmaker Intel Corp that got 36% of its revenue from China

Negative Effect on Sales – Offset of Lower Production Cost

The negative effect on sales could be the offset of lower production cost for some of the companies, according to Adolfo Laurenti, chief international economist for Mesirow Financial in Chicago.

Apple for instance assembles several of their products in China and hence could benefit from the cheaper Yuan. Laurenti also mentioned that companies having strong brands, such as Apple could not be rejected as badly as the less popular products since wealthy Chinese consumers would be willing to spend more to have those brands name.

He further added that `Chinese consumers in particular preferred American brands especially marquee products and so the adjustment in price would not deter them much’. The major apprehension is what the devaluation move would recommend about the larger economy of China, according to senior economist with Morningstar Investment Management, Francisco Torralba and his main concern is that the depreciation of the RMB is construed by markets as a sign that Chinese economy tends to be weakening more than what they contemplated. He adds that should it occur, sales to China will be affected by more than just currency cost.