The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Early surge in sales turns tide for UTI

Mumbai, Oct. 16: Drained out this time last year, the cash-strapped Unit Trust of India (UTI) has seen a torrent of cash pour in as investors bet the one-time money-making machine will find its bearings soon enough.

In the first three-and-a-half months of its accounting year —July-to- October 15 — the mutual fund major raked in Rs 277 crore. The tide has turned dramatically from July 2001 to June 2002, when redemptions had sucked out a whopping Rs 10,059 crore.

“We have significant net inflows,” UTI chairman M. Damodaran told reporters at a press conference to announce the launch of a new integrated fund management system.

Gross sales — money from schemes sold — between July and October 15 have almost matched the tally for all 12 months of the previous year, Damodaran said. While gross sales stood at a paltry Rs 2600 crore in July 2001-June 2002, it has hit Rs 2200 crore in less than four months this year.

Industry watchers say not only has UTI managed to attract funds from schemes that matured this year, but has also succeeded in getting new funds to flow into its corpus.

The new UTI Regular Income Scheme that closed last week garnered subscriptions to the tune of Rs 200 crore. This was the first plan in more than two-and-half years. Another new product, called the variable income scheme that will invest in stocks, is on the cards.

Front office

UTI said it was ushering in an integrated front office system to ensure better fund management. “We are the first fund in India to develop an integrated front-office system for fund management,” Damodaran said.

The system paves the way for a comprehensive system-driven control to ensure that all regulatory and internal investment guidelines are adhered to. It facilitates multi-level authorisation and facilitates quicker dissemination of data to front/middle/back offices over the full range of fund management activities.

The system will streamline workflow, improve information sharing between professionals involved in fund management and others who are in support functions. It will also help maintain audit trails with date and time stamping of all activities and also provides a real time status information at all stages of an activity.

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