By Staff | July 8, 2008 | Last updated on July 8, 2008
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(July 8, 2008) Standard Life Mutual Funds has announced the launch of several new offerings, including a new T-series of funds, two new wrap funds and the Standard Life India Equity Focus Fund.

“The Standard Life India Equity Focus Fund is an excellent way to participate in [India’s] extraordinary growth. The fund can leverage Standard Life Investments’ global expertise in fund management and its established partnership in India,” said Denis Berthiaume, senior vice-president, retail markets, of Standard Life.

The fund will be managed by Standard Life Investments Limited in the U.K., which has appointed its joint venture company in India, HDFC Asset Management Company (AMC), as its investment advisor. The fund will focus its investments in 20 to 50 companies.

Ten of the company’s funds will be available in a T-series option, enabling investors to receive predictable, tax-efficient monthly income, with minimum initial investments of $1,000.

Standard Life added two new funds-of-funds — Dividend Growth & Income Portfolio and Global Portfolio — to its Portrait Portfolio program, bringing the number of available portfolios to six.

“The launch of these new funds complements Standard Life’s ability to provide advisors with an integrated range of products to help them meet the retirement planning needs of their clients,” said Berthiaume. “Grow, protect, live and transfer assets — these are the ultimate objectives of our suite of wealth management products to ensure a better retirement for clients.”

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BoC liquidity program to expire

(July 8, 2008) In what could be read as a signal that credit markets are easing, the Bank of Canada has announced it will not extend the measures it took to provide liquidity to financial markets.

“Conditions in Canadian markets have improved since the end of April, including funding conditions out to three months,” the Bank explained in its announcement. “Indicative measures of bank funding costs have remained relatively stable in recent weeks and remain well below those in a number of other major currencies.”

Those “indicative measures” include the spread between the three-month Canadian Deposit Offering Rate and the expected overnight rate as measured by three-month overnight index swaps.

The Bank did offer to review the purchase and resale agreement program in the future, but for now, the PRA program will expire July 10, 2008.

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New bankruptcy laws go into affect

(July 8, 2008) There’s never a good time to go bankrupt, but if your client’s finances are hurting, amendments to Canada’s bankruptcy law will make the pain a little less severe.

On Tuesday, the federal government implemented the changes to the bankruptcy laws that were passed in December. Starting now people who file for bankruptcy, but owe student loans, will have them discharged if the loans are more than seven years old. Previously, this would only happen if the loans were at least 10 years old.

“This change will impact tens of thousands of former students who are currently experiencing a crushing burden of debt,” says Ted Michalos, a trustee in bankruptcy with Hoyes, Michalos & Associates.

The second amendment to the law allows bankrupt Canadians to keep their RRSPs, excluding contributions made in the year before the filing.

(07/08/08) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.