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Sahara buys First India Mutual fund

Mumbai, Nov. 15: Sahara India Financial Corporation, a residuary non-banking company, has acquired Chennai-based First India Asset Management. The company’s proposal has been approved by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

Sahara can now act as a sponsor of the First India Mutual Fund and it has signed a memorandum of understanding with A. C. Muthiah, former sponsor of the fund, to acquire his holding.

SIFCL is touted as one of the leading public deposit mobilisation company in the private sector and was recently granted the certificate of registration by the Reserve Bank of India.

The buyout marks Sahara’s foray into asset management business. The company will now offer a wide range of products and services along with deposit mobilisation such as mutual fund, housing finance and depository participant services.

Sahara has chalked out aggressive plans to launch a number of debt, equity and specialty products (subject to Sebi’s approval) in the near future.

To reflect the change in the sponsors, Sahara said that the name of the AMC, its investment manager and of the schemes will be changed to “adequately reflect the new sponsor’s identity”.

First India Mutual Fund had launched its first open-ended scheme in 2002 and has assets under management of more than Rs 233 crore as on October 31, 2003.

The fund manages six schemes — First India Income Fund, First India Short Term Plan, First India Liquid Fund, First India Gilt Fund, First India Growth Fund and First India Tax Gain.

The key personnel in First India would continue with their present responsibilities and the team shall be strengthened further.

Sahara India Pariwar cliams to have a combined workforce of over 6.9 lakh members, across 1707 establishments, serving 5.1 crore depositors and its estimated asset base is over Rs 32,000 crore.

Sahara's business activities straddle parabanking, infrastructure & housing, media & entertainment & aviation.

The company’s forthcoming ventures include consumer products, information technology, tourism — Sundarbans project, hospitals and jute projects. Sahara India Pariwar is now venturing into the field of life insurance, mutual funds and housing finance.

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