News notes

News notes
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First Published: Tue, Dec 29 2009. 12 22 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Dec 29 2009. 12 22 AM IST
It’s half-paisa per sec or 1 paisa per 2 sec
AFTER THE attractive paisa per second scheme, it’s now the turn of half a paisa per second plan to catch your fancy.
Telecom operator MTS’s hoardings have been advertising their half a paisa per second per call offer for some time now. But is it half a paisa per second or a paisa for two seconds? On the face of it, both sound the same, but there would be a technical difference in the cost.
The price for local calls under this offer is being calculated on a pulse rate of two seconds and not one second, said an MTS official. This is how it will make a difference. Going by half a paisa per second, if you make a call for 12 seconds, you will pay 6 paise. However, if your call lasts for 11 seconds, you will still pay 6 paise, instead of 5.5 paise.
However, the MTS offer is cheaper than the other 1 paisa per second offers available in the market.
Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd (SSTL), which operates under the MTS brand, recently launched its mobile telephony service in Mumbai and offers CDMA (code division multiple access) services at 1 paisa for a two second billing unit. This tariff is applicable on calls made to all other networks within Mumbai, Maharashtra and Goa regions. It also charges the same rates for long-distance domestic calls from Mumbai to MTS network in other telecom circles. Bindisha Sarang
Life, health insurance in single non-life plan
JUST LIKE life insurance companies offered you health insurance plans bundled with a life cover, now non-life companies, too, will be able to offer similar products.
The insurance regulator, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, has allowed insurers to combine pure term life insurance cover offered by life insurance companies and health insurance policies offered by non-life companies.
The combined product will be called Health Plus Life Combi Product.
The product, expected to get launched in a couple of months, will be offered to individuals as well as companies under group insurance cover. However, when a health floater policy and a term cover would be combined, the term cover will be available only to the earning member of the family, who is also the proposer (usually the person who buys it) of the health insurance policy.
These products can be offered only through a tie up between a life and non-life insurer. The health insurance component of this product can be renewed every year just like a regular health insurance policy.
Expect some interesting options and watch this space as we’ll bring you the first cut on what’s on offer and whether to buy or not. Deepti Bhaskaran
Ultra short-term funds reduce exit loads
ONE OF the lessons that mutual funds (MF) learnt during the liquidity crisis of 2008 was that mass redemption in liquid funds can cause massive losses. What did they do to avert this? One, they followed the market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (Sebi), diktat of limiting the maturity of debt papers—that liquid funds can invest in—to 90 days. Apart from that, some ultra short-term funds (erstwhile liquid plus schemes) imposed nominal exit loads on redemptions made between three and 150 days (even up to 365 days), according to mutual fund tracker Value Research. The loads prevented frequent outflows and, at the same time, enabled these schemes to invest in debt papers with a slightly higher maturity, say, up to 6-9 months to earn more returns than liquid funds.
The trend seems to be reversing now. Baroda Pioneer Treasury Advantage Fund abolished its exit load recently. Earlier, it charged 0.10% if units were redeemed before three days. IDFC Money Manager—Investment reduced its exit load on withdrawals of up to 90 days, down from 150 days earlier. A source at IDFC MF said that as interest rates are expected to rise shortly, the fund has reduced its average maturity. Hence, it doesn’t make sense to have a longer lock-in that restricts withdrawals, said the source. Kayezad E. Adajania
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First Published: Tue, Dec 29 2009. 12 22 AM IST