Peerless arm gets SEBI nod to launch mutual fund

Peerless Funds Management Co Ltd (PFMCL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kolkata-based The Peerless General Finance & Investment Co Ltd, yesterday disclosed having received final regulatory approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India to launch its mutual fund business in the country.

It is the first mutual fund to be headquartered in the Eastern region in Kolkata, the company said in a statement from New Delhi. PFMCL now aims to launch its first set of products in early 2010 on approval of the appropriate authorities.

''We have received SEBI's final approval. The asset management industry in India is amongst the fastest growing financial services businesses across the globe. With a growth rate of over 30 per cent CAGR during the last six years in India, the mutual fund business presents an interesting opportunity,'' Peerless managing director S K Roy said in the statement.

The statement added that chartered accountant A C Chakrabortti, former president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and former managing partner of Ernst & Young, has been appointed chairman of PFMCL, while S B Ganguly, former chairman of Exide Industries Ltd, is the chairman of Peerless Trust Management Co. Ltd.

The Peerless General Finance & Investment Co Ltd, which has a strong retail base, will focus on creating solutions for the existing retail customer base along with solutions for the entire investing universe.

''Low retail penetration levels in mutual fund industry and a large institutional appetite only add to the tremendous opportunity that our country presents. We hope to capture this growth and participate in the development of the mutual fund industry'', said Akshay Gupta, chief executive officer of PFMCL.

''A very balanced and strong fund management team has been put in place with special focus on consistency and risk-management to ensure that delivery of performance is in accordance with objectives stated,'' Gupta added.