Paytm Said to Seek RBI Licence to Start Money Market Fund

Paytm has applied for a licence to set up a money market mutual fund that will enable the company to expand its financial offerings to consumers.

According to sources, Paytm has applied to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to start the fund in the coming months, a move that will enable the company to increase revenues from financial services.

When contacted, Paytm declined to comment.

The primary objective of a money market fund is to invest in short-term securities.

The Alibaba and SoftBank-backed company had, last month, started its payments bank operations in the country and aims to garner 500 million customers by 2020.

Paytm Said to Seek RBI Licence to Start Money Market Fund

The company has earmarked an initial investment of Rs. 400 crores to build its banking network over two years.


Also, it launched ‘Digital Gold’ in April this year to allow its over 200 million users to buy and sell gold through its platform.

At the time of launch, Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma had said it was “the first step in Paytm’s journey in wealth management”.

Paytm seems to be drawing inspiration from its investor, Alipay that set up Yu’e Bao in 2013 that allows Alipay customers to convert the money in their accounts into units of a money market fund, offering them higher interest rates.

According to reports, Yu’e Bao had over $165 billion (roughly Rs. 1,06,565 crores) under management, making it one of the biggest money market funds in the world.

Mutual Fund Managers Continue To Snap Up Banking Shares

New Delhi: Mutual fund managers continued to be bullish on bank shares, with their allocation to the sector reaching an all time-high of over Rs. 1.44 lakh crore at the end of May, mainly due to cheaper valuations. In comparison, the figure was Rs. 90,014 crore at the end of May 2016.

Banking continues to be the most preferred sector with the fund managers as they cannot afford to take a bearish call on banking stocks, given the high weightage attached to the index.

“MFs have been adding exposure to the financial sector, especially banking stocks because of lower valuations due to price corrections and growth in corporate lending. Besides, bank’s NPA (non-performing asset) problem is getting sorted out,” said Kaustubh Belapurkar, Director Manager Research, Morningstar Investment Adviser.

Banking continues to be the most preferred sector with the fund managers

Further, experts expect that bank stocks would continue to be in focus in coming months as markets regulator Sebi yesterday eased its takeover norms for restructuring listed companies with stressed assets.

The relaxation, which will exempt investors from making a mandatory open offer subject to shareholders’ nod and some other conditions.

Sebi’s decision on restructuring in stressed firms comes against the backdrop of the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stepping up efforts to tackle the menace of bad loans, amounting to more than Rs. 8 lakh crore. Overall, the deployment of equity funds in bank stocks stood at Rs. 1,43,704 crore at the end of May 2017, compared to previous high of Rs. 1,34,596 crore in the preceding month, latest data available with Sebi showed.

Mutual funds are investment vehicles made up of a pool of funds collected from a large number of investors. They invest in stocks, bonds, money market instruments and similar assets.


Animal Welfare Activism Could Help Fund Education

Love for animals and support for their well-being can be personally enriching in and of itself – animals’ love and companionship are priceless. But advocating for animal welfare – and recruiting others to the cause – can also help students pay for their education.

A number of organizations believe animal rights and love and compassion for animals are reasons enough to award scholarships. Here are several such opportunities for animal-rights activists and aspiring veterinarians.

The Humane Education Network, for example, partnering with the Animal Welfare Institute and with support from the Palo Alto Humane Society, offers the annual A Voice for Animals contest. Students ages 14-18 can win one of multiple awards totaling as much as $5,900 for winning essays, videos or photography. The network is against animal cruelty and works to develop solutions to stop animal suffering.

The 2017 competition is closed, but the 2018 deadlines will be announced in December. Entries must be submitted via an online form, typically between January and March.

High school seniors passionate about animal welfare can apply for the Pet Lifestyle and You organization’s annual $1,000 Scholars Helping Collars Scholarship. Applicants must write a 500- to 1,000-word essay about their volunteer efforts to help animals and how this has changed their life or their views of animal welfare. They should also include two to three photos of them volunteering.

Portrait of an attractive young woman sitting with her pets on the sofa

Winners are chosen based on their description and consistency with the overarching theme of animal welfare as well as on their punctuation and grammar. This year’s award period opens Aug. 1. Applications are due by Feb. 15, 2018.

College students passionate about animal care and well-being can also earn scholarships to fund their education. The AKC Humane Fund annually awards five John D. Spurling OBE Scholarships, totaling $10,000, to undergraduates enrolled full time in a curriculum that advances responsible pet ownership, including veterinary medicine and technology, physical therapy, animal care and behavior, and grooming and training.

 Applicants must attend an accredited U.S. institution and use the award for tuition. Winners are chosen based on their academic record, experience with responsible pet ownership and two letters of recommendation.

Winners must agree to the AKC Humane Fund reporting process. The deadline to apply is July 1.

Pet Insurance U offers a $500 Animal Compassion Undergraduate Scholarship to an undergraduate veterinary student enrolled in degree programs at Western Association of Schools and Colleges-accredited schools. In addition to financial need, applicants must have strong academics, plans to pursue veterinary graduate studies and have demonstrated community outreach in animal advocacy and anti-cruelty programs.

Students may submit photos of their volunteer efforts along with their applications, which are due by June 30.

Oxbow Animal Health, which sells products for small and exotic animals, offers scholarship opportunities to students at various education levels who are seeking careers in either the pet industry or in animal nutrition and health.

These scholarships are $500 for high school seniors in Nebraska; a $1,000 award to current undergrads; a $1,000 veterinary medicine scholarship for students enrolled in veterinary school who show interest in exotic and small animal medicine; and two $500 veterinary technology awards to students pursuing careers as veterinary technicians, particularly caring for small and exotic animals.

Application requirements vary per scholarship but include essays and letters of recommendation. The 2017 award period closed on March 2. Keep an eye on the website for announcements for the 2018 cycle.
Scholarship opportunities extend beyond aspiring veterinary students. Law student members of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund who are committed to animal law may apply for the Advancement of Animal Law Scholarships. The ALDF awards three $5,000 scholarships to the first-place winners as well as $1,000 for each second-place finisher, the number of which varies every year.

Applicants should be active in their student ALDF chapter and plan to remain actively involved in animal defense following graduation. The scholarship also promotes leadership, and applicants should be interested in taking on leadership roles within their ALDF chapter if they receive the award.

To apply, current 1L and 2L students – or 3Ls in a four-year program – must submit two letters of recommendation, including one from a law school professor; a current academic transcript; and an updated resume. They must also answer several animal-welfare questions. The 2017 application cycle is closed, but check the website for updates on the 2018 submission deadlines.

Finally, the Catological Society for the Promotion of Animal Welfare awards a $1,000 scholarship for the best 500-word essay from a current undergraduate or graduate student on the habits people should adopt to bring about positive results for animal welfare. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled or enrolling at a U.S. institution. The deadline to apply is Aug. 1.

 These are by no means the only scholarships that can help animal activists fund their education, but they are a good starting point for students.