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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2002

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First India's Tax Gain turns open-ended

Our Bureau

KOLKATA, Nov. 11

FIVE years after it launched a close-ended equity linked savings scheme, First India Mutual Fund has turned it open-ended, discarding its 1997 tag and mandating CAMS (Computer Age Management Services) as its registrar and transfer agent. The R&T function was so far being done in-house.

First India Tax Gain, the continuous offer for which gets going from today, is expected to be seen by new investors as a tax-saving tool, one that invests in a diversified basket of stocks chosen from a number of sectors.

The conversion move is in sync with the fund's plan to have a range of open-ended products, suited to various needs of investors, according to Mr R. Balakrishnan, Head of First India MF.

"Investments in it will be locked in for three years, and this will provide us the opportunity to retain money for a fairly long period. The chances of performing well, therefore, are better," he said.

Incidentally, for the existing unit holders (who have moved out before the record date), there is no exit load for the units allotted under the scheme.

Fresh subscribers cannot redeem, transfer or pledge their units before the completion of three years from the date of allotment.

First India Tax Gain '97 (as the scheme was called in its close-ended format) has invested in a variety of sectors, according to its latest portfolio. Its performance is to be benchmarked against the BSE 200 index.

As on October 31, the sectors of its choice include IT consulting & services, pharma, banks, auto and metals. The first three of these accounted for 27.3 per cent, 16.7 per cent and 5.7 per cent respectively as on that date.

Of this, top holding Infosys contributed to 7.8 per cent. There was a cash component of 13.9 per cent as well.

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