PFC Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving: Review, Analysis & Calculation for Effective Returns

This article covers the details about PFC Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving (Long Term Infrastructure Bonds from Power Finance Corporation Limited. Calculations for Tax saving in PFC Infrastructure Bonds as per the different income tax brackets is also covered..
The market is now seeing a buzz for Long Term Infrastructure Bonds. There are Infrastructure Bonds from IDFC, IIFCL and L&T already available in the market and currently open for subscription, and now Power Finance Corporation or PFC has also come out with its issue of PFC Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving. So what's the difference between the bonds already available from other organizations and the one now offered by PFC? Bascially nothing except the interest rates offered and the organization which is offering them.
You can read more about the details we covered for IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds and IDFC infrastructure Bonds, as they too are good option available for investments.

Review of PFC Long term Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving

All the investors should note that the basic working of all these various infrastructure bonds offered by these various organizations like PFC, IIFCL, IDFC, L&T, etc. remain the same. General details and working of the infrastructure bonds is covered in the article: Tax Free Infrastructure Bonds Details: Save Tax On Investments in Infra Bonds - that article covered the basic details of working of Long Term Tax Free Infrastructure Bonds and the benefits available to the investors both in terms of returns as well as saving of taxes. PFC Infrastructure Bonds
The basic working of these bonds from any issuer, whether it is PFC or L&T or IDFC or IFCI, remains the same. Here are the examples of the calculations including tax benefits for investments in Infrastructure bonds :Calculations and Returns in Infrastructe Bonds Investments.
Now, once you are clear about the fundamental details, let's see the PFC Infra Bonds for Tax savings in more detail:

The bonds are being offered in 2 different series - basically meaning that investors have 2 choices/options for investments:

Series 1 - is for 10 year long bonds paying an interest rate of 8.3% per annum

Series 2 - Is for 15 year long bonds paying an interest rate of 8.5% per annum

The bonds will be listed on BSE and can be traded after the minimum lock in period of 5 years - the lock in period if for gaining the tax benefit

However, as per the rule of tax-saving investments under section 80CCF of the IT Act, tax savings will be allowed only on a maximum of 20,000 Rs. irrespective of the amount of investments made in the PFC Infrastructure Bonds.

Including tax surcharge saving, the maximum tax saved by an investor who falls in 30% tax bracket will be Rs. 6180 (on the 20K investment) - as claimed in the newspaper ad by PFC for there infrastruture bonds.

What differentiates PFC Infrastructure Bonds from the other issues like IDFC Infrastructure Bonds which are currently open?
The difference is in the interest rate or coupon rate offered on PFC bonds.

What is the security rating for the PFC Infrastructure Bonds ?
CRISIL has given a AAA Stable rating, ICRA has given LAA+ (Stable Outlook) rating to the PFC Infrastructure Bonds.

How much will I effectively save by investing in PFC Infrastructure Bonds ?
The calculations will be similar to what we covered for IDFC Infrastructure Bonds. Please see IDFC Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving: Calculations, Review and Details

What are the investment dates and period for PFC Infrastructure Bonds ?
The PFC Infrastructure Bonds subscription date was opened on 24th February and will close on 22nd March 2011. This will give last minute tax savers a good option to go for tax savings at the last hour. Moreover, as the budget comes out on 28th Feb, investors can get more clarity about government's direction on these tax saving schemes.

All Tax Saving Infrastructure Issues open Now:
IDFC Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving

IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving - Closing 4th March 2011

PFC Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving - Closing 7th March 2011

SBI Bonds 2011: Review Analysis & Details for investment in SBI Bonds

It is being termed as a once-in-a-lifetime offer for safe investments - yes, the SBI Bonds or State Bank of India Bonds are here and the period of subscription is now open.
And why not, the offer is from an institute which has shown consistent profitable performance for more than 100 years. Coming from such institution, these bonds have the backing of the government as the bank is a public sector bank. These bonds will also offer a high rate of return which makes them more attractive. This article, provides review, analysis, details, expert opinion and risk factors of investments in SBI Bonds 2011

SBI Bonds 2011: Review Analysis & Details for investment in SBI Bonds

Let's start with some basic details first:
What are the subscription or application dates for the SBI Bonds 2011? SBI Bonds
The application period or subscription period for SBI Bonds 2011 is open on 21st February and will close on 28th February 2011.

Will the SBI Bonds be available only in demat form?
Yes. The bonds will only be available in demat form. So investors who are still with the pen-and-paper format cannot apply for these bonds. And this has caused a major problem. Due to the nature of these bonds issued only in demat form, the applications for subscription to these SBI bonds are limited to only 126 branches of SBI bank across the country. This has a major setback for small investors from small towns where the SBI branches are not equipped to handled demat applications. Ultimately, many common and small investors will miss out on this issue.
Interestingly, although demat account it mandatory for investing in SBI bonds, one has to submit paper based applications at the designated 126 branches. That means, even if a person sitting in a small town in Maharashtra has a demat account, he can only apply for these SBI bonds by travelling to the nearest SBI Bonds application collection branch (there are 7 in Mumbai) and then get to apply for these bonds.
This is going to be a major bottleneck for investments in these SBI Bonds.

What are the different options available for investing in SBI Bonds 2011?
There are 2 options for investments:
1) 10-year SBI Bond at 9.75% - Series 3
2) 15-year SBI Bond at 9.95% - Series 4

with call options on both the above types of SBI bonds.

Is there any reservation of allocation for SBI Bonds as per the investor category?
Yes, 50% of the issue is for retail investors, rest is split between HNI and investment institutions.
There is also a green shoe option of Rs 10,000 crore and that is only for retail category.

Which exchanges will trade these SBI Bonds?
Both NSE and BSE will trade the SBI bonds

Lead Managers to SBI Bonds?
Citigroup, Kotak SBI Capital market are the lead managers to the issue. Datamatics financial services are the registrar.

Any tax benefit available from SBI Bonds?
Please note that these SBI bonds dont offer any tax savings or tax benefits

Final Thoughts about the SBI Bonds?
The SBI Bonds are one of the safest options available in the Indian Debt Market. The bank itself is owned by Government of India and has been a profitable organization since more than 100 years consistently. That takes away the risk part of these bonds, which have been rated "CARE AAA" by CARE rating agency, which indicate these bonds as a safe investment.
Offering an attractive rate of return almost 10% is something which is another benefit for investor. Overall recommendation is that investors must apply for these debt instruments from the safest organizations in India.
The only bottleneck is the paper based application procedure at very few selected branches across the country and the first-come-first-serve allotment method, which does not guarantee sure shot allotment for each application.
Although there are unconfimred news - but that too is a healthy sign for investors - that these SBI bonds are trading at a big premium of upto Rs. 320 per bond in the grey market. Taking the face value of these bonds at 10,000, that is 3.2% already. Investors who are looking for a safe investments and can apply for these bonds conveniently, are highly recommended for investment

Budget Date 2011 India: Expected on 28 February 2011: Railway Budget to follow

Most of the people, especially the stock market traders and investors, as well as the retail consumers are desperately waiting for the budget date as the budget declaration will have some or the other effect on their lifestyles and economic status. India Budget
In this article, we cover details of Indian Budget Date for the year 2011 for the general annual union budget for year 2011-2012. We also cover details for dates of Railway Budget for India for the year 2011-2012

General Union Budget 2011 Date India:


As per the information available, it is expected that the National Annual Union Budget for India for the year 2011-2012 will be coming out on date 28th February, 2011. The budget session will start at around 11 AM on 28 Feb 2011, and the Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee will read out the General Union Budget for India on that date.

Railway Budget 2011 Date India:


The railway budget for India is usually announced a bit in advance as compared to the General Union Budget, but seems like this year things will be different. It is learnt that the Railway Budget of India for the year 2011-2012 may be presented shortly after the General Union Budget, which is expected to be declared on 28th February 2011.

In terms of the general expectations from the Budget, here is the list:
- Inflation Control, yet Growth sustainability with monetary policy
- New banks allowed to get banking licences
- Reforms are high on agenda
- Tax reduction

Trade Chinese Yuan Options for Forex Hedging

This article discusses the yuan options trading introduced by China for forex hedging and the restrictions on yuan options trading. It also covers details of advantages and disadvantages of yuan options trading
It was recently we covered details about the expected rise in the Chinese Yuan to USD Exchange rates in the article: Chinese Yuan Exchange Rates rise Expectations. It seems that the Beijing is going further for bolder initiatives to offer more hedging products for Forex by opening up newer products focussed on hedging. SAFE or State Administration of Foreign Exchange which governs the foreign exchange market activities in China, has come out with China Yuan Options Trading. Yuan Options Derivatives

As per the news recently came in, it is learnt that China has decided to launch Yuan options trading, to enable more flexible markets for forex currency hedging thereby making way for easing the business sceanrio.
This move from Beijing will have many folds impact:
- It will help develop the currency derivatives (expecially Yuan currency Derivatives) Trading market
- It will offer more flexibility in hedging to exporters, traders as well as various other market participants
- The Forex market, which till now has been only an OTC or over the counter market, will now be regulated and more importantly, will have a centralized reference for forex rates

But hold on, there are a few restrictions for the Yuan Options trading in the initial phase of launching this trading.
What are the restrictions in China Yuan Options Trading?
First and foremost, the options market is opening up and this will be its first phase. So the regulator does not want any speculative trading going on in Options market which might impact the Yuan Currency. So to begin with, the onshore options trading will have a restriction which allows only firms and banks to use it exclusively for hedging only.
Then, there will be only CALL options available for trading on Yuan Currency Options Market. There will be NO PUT options trading allowed. The aim is to use Options market only for hedging, rather than speculations.

When will the China Yuan Options Trading start (on which date)?
It is learnt that China Yuan Options Trading will start on date 1st April 2011 onwards.

What will be the option type for Yuan Options Trading?
In the beginning the Yuan Options will be of European type, meaning you cannot exercise them prior to expiry date.

What will be the advanatges and disadvantages for Yuan Options Trading?
More and more flexibility is expected to come in the market for Yuan Derivatives Trading, which will surely be advantageous. It will also provide a regulated market for hedging rates determination, which till now has been an OTC market.
On the flip side, the market participants can anytime become speculators and start hammering the prices. However, with the initial level of regulations in place, it seems to be difficult for speculators to goof up with the Yuan Options Trading market

Better Options for IT Engineers in India: Consider these careers

Being someone from the IT industry of India, I am sometimes seriously puzzled to know what to do and what is going on. Here I try to look for some options which can make an alternate choice for IT engineers like us :)
The IT industry in India has really boomed. It has provided millions of jobs to Young Indians, giving them fat pay packages compared to other sectors. However, as nothing in this world comes for free, so have been the tensions that these high end high paying IT jobs for the young generation.
We had earlier captured the essence of Indian IT industry and their dilemma through a picture in this article: Truth of the Indian IT industry?
Most of the young IT engineers come from their native middle and small towns of India. However, the IT jobs are not available in the same middle and small towns. They are forced to move to bigger metro cities, where cost of living is high. Despite that high cost of living, the fat pay packages allow these engineers to meet up their needs. But when it comes to settling down, there is a big problem. High cost of real estate, high cost of recurring expenses even after buying a property.
Typically, let's take the case a fresher from a middle size town. He has worked hard to get admission into an engineering college. Majority of these colleges are private, which take "high payments" and offer "Payment seats". Elderly parents dont understand the whole scenario - all they know is that an engineering degree of their son will open the gates of properity for them. So they make big payments (by self accumulated funds or taking loans) and get their kid admitted to an engineering college/MAC college. The kid is responsible, knows the hard earned money spent by his parents, works hard during his course to get good results and then finds a job for himself as a fresher.
Typically, the fresher salary starts in the range 10K per month to 25K per month (leave aside the real outliers).
For this salary, he works all day and night for the whole year, then comes the so called appraisal process.

How do I define the appraisal process?
It's basically multi-staged "fooling process" where the following stages go on:
Stage 1: Victim is forced to work all round the year
Stage 2: Then he is asked to "prove that he has actually worked" by filling in the self appraisal sheet
Stage 3: The appraisal discussion, where he has to display his fighting and convincing skills to prove that he really should get "5 on 5" for point appraisal points 1 and 3 and he can settle for "4 on 5" for point 2 and 5, while point no. 3 is forced onto him as "2 out of 5". This is the most lively stage.
Stage 4: The Decision Stage - where the new increments and bonuses are distributed. Irrespective of what you worked for, what you fought for, what you justified, you always get something around an "average"

End Result - More and more dissatifaction comes in.
So what to do? Haven't you ever heard some of the IT engineers saying that they want to leave this stream? At some point in time, everyone vents that anger.

More problem comes when these IT engineers have to face the public and the markets.
If you are an IT engineer, the auto-wallahs will charge you a premium.
If you are an IT engineer, be prepared to shell out more money for simple tasks like getting an affidavit, stamp paper, rent agreement, etc.
If you are an IT engineer, you will be expected to pay more to your maids, to the gas delivery boys, at the vehicle service stations, etc.
If you are an IT engineer, you cannot travel anything less than AC class in the train.
And if you happen to buy a property or apartment, then the builder will quote a "wallah".... IT guys have the money, let's take it.

So whatever one earns, goes off.
But what are the other options which are better paid then the high paid IT jobs? Consider these:
Being an IT engineer myself, I really envy these professios:)

1) Become a porter at a metro city railway station (Bangalore/Pune/Hyderabad/Delhi) :
Irrespective of the government fixed rates, a porter (and his union members) can demand whatever they wish. 2 suitcases carrying will cost as follows:
2nd AC: 250 Rs
3rd AC: 150 Rs.
Sleeper: 100 Rs.

Even at minimum 100 Rs. per ferry, just ferry 5 rounds per day, and hey you make a cool 500 Rs. per day or 15,000 Rs. per month (same as an average freshers salary)

2) Puncture Repairer in any metro city:
Some bikes/cars will come to you naturally. For increasing profits, you can throw 2-3 nails everyday on the streets and force increase your customers.
Develop "puncture increasing skills" - pull out the tube from the tyre so that it gets torn, or use hidden wires and nails to create more holes in the tube while checking for puncture.
Keep an assitant. When the vehicle owner is looking at the tube, the assitant can rupture the tyre.
Now, you replace the tube, stick some "high end rubber patches" to fix the tyres and charge heavily. Tube cost will be 200-250 Rs., the patch however small and cheap can be charged 100-300 Rs. per patch.
Daily turnover - atleast 2000 Rs. (Can IT engineers match this?)

3) Vehicle Service Station Mechanics/Supervisors:
Whether its an authorized service center of an automobile brand, or a local garage, these guys really know how to make money.
All you need to do is find faults and problems by talking highly automobile-intensive technical terminology and prove to the customer his vehicle really has many problems. Even if the problem can be fixed by tightening a screw instantly, never do that. Always say that "You will have to leave the vehicle for a day" - that increases the complexity and customers get the confidence that there is really something wrong.
Never go for repairing, always go for replacements. Repair cost is less. Replacement gives you the profit for selling new parts plus the labour charges.
You get a share of what you sell and repair. Another high paying job.

4) Plumber/ Electrician in metro city:
Another high paying job. WIth high end electric systems with conceled electric wiring/ conceled pipe systems in high end apartments, you are the king. Any fault that comes up, you have the command, both on repairs, replacements as well as the price.

5) Auto Rickshaw Driver:
How can this be left out? There are two options:
1) Charge as per government fixed rates - earnings will be low, and lot of hardwork
2) Charge as per your wish - work/ferry less, earn more

Pickup some unique spots in the city. Say from Railway Station to an IT park outside the city limits. Other rickshaw walas will not ferry there. You take the charge, ferry the needy passengers at your own rates. No options for the passengers forces them to pay you as you demand. Make 3-4 trips per day, and tease the educated IT guys

Reliance Gold Savings Fund-NFO: Review Analysis & Details of Reliance Gold Savings Fund

This article contains info about Reliance Mutual Fund Gold Savings FundNFO, Review, Analysis, Details & Opinion. One more NFO or New Fund Offer from one of the largest mutual fund houses of India - Reliance Mutual Fund - has come through. As the name suggests, this is a fund focussed on Gold as an Investment stream. There have been a lot of other Gold Based Investments schemes from other fund houses and now Reliance Mutual Fund has added another product to its portfolio of offerings and this is specific to Gold Investments.
In this article, we will analyse how good is this Reliance Gold Savings Fund NFO, whether this Reliance Gold Savings Fund offers anything new or unique for the investors and whether the investors should invest in Reliance Gold Savings Fund.

Reliance Gold Savings FundNFO: Review Analysis & Details

Let's begin with some basic details about Reliance Gold Savings Fund.

What are the NFO dates for Reliance Gold Savings Fund?
The NFO period for Reliance Gold Savings Fundwill open on February 14th, 2011 and will close on 28th February 2011. So investors interested in applying for this Gold based Fund from Reliance have 14 days. Reliance Gold Savings Fund

What is so unique about this Reliance Gold Savings Fund?
Investors must understand this thing very clearly that this is actually a Gold based Fund of Fun scheme (What's this? Fund of Funds Explained).
What this Reliance Gold Savings Fund will do is it will collect money from common investors and instead of buying physical gold, it will actually invest in other Gold Based ETF Funds (like Reliance Gold ETF). This Reliance Gold ETF will then in turn invest your money in physical gold. So your invested money in Reliance Gold Savings Fund will ultimately reach Reliance Gold Exchange Traded Fund.

What's so unique about this kind of 2 level investment setup in Reliance Gold Savings Fund?
Well - these are the claims by the Reliance Gold Savings Fund managers:
1) This Reliance Gold Savings Fund offers SIP investments as little as 100 Rs. This appears to be advantegous since you cannot buy physical gold for just Rs. 100. Even the Gold based ETF units will cost more than that. Hence this Reliance Gold Savings Fund offers a good option for small investors who want to invest in gold.
2) Why invest in ETF? Why not physical gold?
Well - this is a passively managed fund. So what Reliance Mutual Fund is doing is using its already available Gold Based ETF for investment, so that they dont end up offering 2 similar competitive products. An ETF is an ETF - it trades like a stock and prices fluctuate and can go high. Here is an Example of Nifty based ETF. ETF may not be offering you a SIP facility. Hence Reliance Gold Savings Fund is offering a gold based passively managed mutual fund to let investors invest small amounts through SIP in Gold.
This being a mutual fund, it does not require demat account. While for ETF trading, one surely needs demat.

Standard options for investments like any other mutual fund:
Growth and dividend plan. The dividend plan offers dividend payout and reinvestment option.
The minimum application amount for Reliance Gold Savings Fund is Rs. 5000 and afterwards in multiples of Rs. 1.

Reliance Gold Savings Fund Entry Load: Nil
Reliance Gold Savings Fund Exit Load: 2% if exit within 1 year; Nil After one year

However, since this is a fund of fund scheme, there might be ETF expense charges that one needs to you. As per SEBI, this charges can be a maximum of 1.5%. Investors should be aware of this while investing in Reliance Gold Savings Fund.

What are the other competitor products available in comparison to Reliance Gold Savings Fund?
Kotak Gold Savings Fund-NFO: Review - an exact replica of the Reliance Gold Saving Fund - NFO Open from 4th March 2011 to 18th March 2011

There are a lot of Gold based ETF's and Gold based Mutual Funds available:
List of Gold ETF India available for trading on NSE

Recently, HDFC came out with HDFC Gold ETF NFO: Review Analysis & Details

Then there is the good old Quantum Gold Fund (Gold ETF)

and ICICI Prudential Gold ETF, then SBI GETS-SBI Gold ETF NFO Review: SBI Gold Exchange Traded Scheme

If you are interested in looking at how Gold prices have performed historically, see Gold ETF: Historical Performace of Gold ETF

Final Thoughts about Reliance Gold Savings Fund?
Being a passively managed Mutual Fund focussed on Gold, that too investment will be only in Reliance Gold ETF, this product might be suitable for investors who just want to dump their money into Gold based products and let the fund managers play with their money. However, still I have the opinion that gold based ETF's - both for long term investments and short term trading - offer a lot better option.
The only good point I see here is that this Reliance Gold Savings Fund offers SIP for a very low amount - which might be effective option for small investors. At the same time, investors should also cross-check the same option for investing in their own SIP investments in available ETF's

Shariah compliant Islamic Banking & Investments: Trade Invest following Shariah Principles

There has been a recent interest in Islamic Banking and Shariah Compliant Investments. The market is huge and so is the potential, because it is learnt that there is a large community which is still away from the investments business because the conventional investments and business schemes are not considered to be Shariah compliant. Hence, the new concept of Shariah compliant Islamic Banking and Investments is gaining interest. Is this article, we discuss the Shariah compliant Islamic Banking & Investments and also cover the details about the investment products, mutual funds, etf's available for Shariah compliant Islamic Investments
- Aligarh Muslim University recently started a course focussed on Islamic banking Islamic Investments
- Many western countries including UK and USA have Islamic Banking

- Few selected Indian Banks operating in regions like Gulf and Middle East have Sharia Banking operations for the respective clients

Shariah compliant Islamic Banking & Investments

If interest prohibited, how do Sharia Compliant Islamic Bank make profit?
Interest is prohibited, but service charges offer a way to make profits. The Islamic Banking systems enables debit card and personal credit lines system, so the charges for them.

What are the financial products available under the Sharia Compliant Islamic Banking
There are a lot of products available under Islamic Banking system: Islamic Banking

- Islamic Shariah Compliant Equity Investments and Islamic Mutual Funds/Sharia Mutual Funds: These are the investments in Equity shares of companies which are compliant with Shariah Laws. See more details on Islamic Mutual Funds: Sharia Mutual Funds

- Islamic ETF or Shariah ETF Exchange Traded Funds: These are ETF or Exchange Traded Funds which track an index which is Shariah Compliant. BSE recently launched the TASIS Index which is Shariah Compliant, see details BSE TASIS Shariah 50 Index: India's Shariah Index for Islamic Investments

- Islamic Debt Instruments: They have some assets as a backup and are generally available as bonds

- Islamic Convertible Bonds: Bonds which are based on investments in Shariah compliant company shares

- Shariah Compliant Islamic bonds: These are bonds which follow the Shariah laws for investments. Last year, one major development happened in this space in Europe as Germany issued 5 year long Islamic bonds on a floating rate basis. The government owned real estate and properties act as a collateral for these bonds and since interest is prohibited in Islamic Bonds, the investors are paid "rent" for investments in these Islamic Bonds.

What Shariah compliant Islamic Investments are available in India? Shariah Investments
Benchmark Asset management company has recently lauched the Shariah Bees - its an ETF or Exchange Traded fund which tracks are tries to match the performance of the underlying index called the S&P CNX Shariah Nifty Index. This index is from NSE and the Shariah BeeS ETF is listed and can be traded in real time on NSE. (See Shariah Bees ETF India: Review: Trade as per Shariah Principles
There are also a few shariah compliant mutual funds available from the following asset management companies:
- UTI Asset Management
- Reliance Mutual Fund
- Way2Wealth
- Edelweiss Mutual Fund
See Islamic Mutual Funds: Sharia Mutual Funds
The market for Shariah compliant investment or islamic banking is big. There lauch of indices like S&P CNX Shariah Nifty Index and BSE TASIS Shariah 50 Index and the corresponding ETF's and mutual funds based on Shariah principles shows the growing interest and the market opportunities which exist for this stream.

Shariah Bees ETF India: Review, Analysis & Details: Trade as per Shariah Principles

A lot of Indian Investors and traders were waiting for this product - a financial product that can allow traders and investors to trade or invest in Shariah compliant companies and based upon Shariah compliant indices. The Benchmark Asset Management Company, known for being the pioneer in introducing the Exchange Traded Funds or ETF products in the Indian Financial Markets, has once again been the front runner in offering an ETF or Exchange Traded Fund, which is compliant on Shariah laws and principles. The name of this ETF product is Shariah Bees.
This article discusses the Shariah Bees, its reviews and trading and investment strategy for Shariah Bees ETF or Exchange Traded Fund.

Shariah Bees Review Analysis & Details

This is a new ETF from Benchamark Asset Funds. Shariah BeES ETF
For those of you who are not familiar with ETF and the way an ETF works, it is recommended that you first read An example of Nifty 50 based ETF and Nifty Junior ETF with returns calculation. To broaden the horizon of your ETF understanding, you can also optionally go through Gold based ETF's See list of Gold Based ETF's available in India

Once you are clear about ETF working, let's focus on the Shariah Bees ETF which is the primary topic of this article.
So the Shariah Bees ETF focuses on offering investors and traders in India a financial product which is liquid enough to be traded like a stock on the stock exchange and also offers the benefit of spreading the risk across multiple stocks like a mutual fund tracking an index. The additional and unique thing that Shariah Bees ETF offers is that invests only in companies which are Shariah compliant - i.e. the companies whose business and revenue generation models are not against the laws of Shariah. The Shariah BeeS ETF will track the performance and invest your money in stocks of the companies covered under the NSE listed S&P CNX Shariah Nifty Index which is a free float market index. Shariah Islamic Investments Although few days back, BSE also launched a similar Shariah Index called the BSE TASIS Shariah 50 Index: India's Shariah Index for Islamic Investments, there are no financial products tracking that index as of now.
To read more about Shariah compliant investments and their underlying principles, please see Islamic Mutual Funds: Sharia Mutual Funds

Basic Details about Shariah BeeS ETF:
This Shariah BeeS ETF will have its underlying index as the S&P CNX Shariah Nifty Index
It will have 1% annual expense ratio, Zero Entry Loan and Zero Exit Load
Shariah BeeS ETF will be traded on NSE or National Stock Exchange of India as well as BSE with NSE symbol as SHARIABEES and BSE symbol as 590109
Fund Manager for Shariah BeeS ETF is Mr. Vishal Jain

Thoughts and Recommendations about Shariah BeeS ETF
Shariah Bees ETF is the first Shariah compliant ETF product to be made available for trading in India. Being an ETF or Exchange Traded Fund, it offers the unique advantage of liquidity in terms of easy trading like a stock, and the benefit of a mutual fund, where your risk is spread across the basket of stocks. Being Shariah compliant, the investments will only be made in the companies which are as per the Islamic Shariah Laws and Principles.

Investors and Traders who are looking for a financial product for both short term trading as well as long term investments in Sharia Compliant stocks and indices can trade or invest through this ETF.

What are the risks of trading and investment in Shariah BeeS ETF?
The same risk as are with any other ETF.
Remember that the price of the ETF tracks the performance of the underlying index. The same will be true for this Shariah BeeS ETF. If the majority of the companies in the underlying index show negative performance, then the returns from this index will also go down.
Although there are minimum charges for trading in ETF, but that should also be considered as a cost.
And as we have observed recently in internation ETF markets, it is not necessary that the performance of underlying index is perfectly matched by the ETF. Here is an example of what's happening with Egypt Bsaed ETF - the ETF was seeing huge price fluctuation even though the underlying index was not changing as the stock market was closed due to political problems. And here is another example about how two ETF's - which track the same index - give different returns - ETF giving different returns - prices do matter
So its a matter of time, how your selected ETF and its underlying index, performs and what kind of returns does it offer

Inflation Problems? Majority of Indians should not worry

Usually the opposition targets Dr. Manmohan Singh - the PM of India, and his cabinate, for problems of inflation and economic issues going out of control. The justification that comes from the government is that things are driven by markets, things are driven by demand and supply, things are driven by international prices and hence there is not much the government can do about it.
There are a lot of examples that shows that government has been unable to tackle the increasing costs - be it sudden rise in the onion prices (as well as the prices rise of other vegetables), the cost of pulses, the hike in petrol rates, etc.

However, on the front of inflation, I am with the government and will completely take their side - especially for the justification that inflation has increased because people are earning more and more. Inflation
Unfortunately, we all see small clips of the statements made by government ministers on news channels. What is lost in these small clips is the context of the entire statement. We all know how well the Indian media behaves and what all is cooked up for breaking news (see example here - of "Responsible News" covered by Indian Media)
In this article, I attempt to highlight the cause of inflation in India and how it can be attributed to the increase in earnings of the individuals
First of all, we need to understand the various "financial stratas (layers)" that exist in the Indian society. Indian society is not a clear 3 layer society where you can clearly define people in 3 categories - poor, middle class and rich.
Indian society has many layers in financial terms - extra poor, very poor, poor, lower middle class, middle middle class, upper middle class, richer middle class, rich, richer, extra rich, super rich, really rich and so on.
Depending upon the (undefined) category you belong to, you have your spending power.

What the government ministers are trying to convey, and not being understood by the people, is that the earning power 9and hence the spending power) of countrymen has increased and hence the demand has increased and so the inflation is going up.

Let's understand this with a simply example.
A family of 4 lives in Mumbai in a 2 BHK rented flat. Father is around 45, works in a govt job and has a fixed salary. Mother is a housewife - no income for her. Son has just completed his engineering and has started earning - no plans to marry for atleast 4 years. Daughter is completing her 12th and looks forwards to getting into medical/engineering college. Typical Indian middle class family and here is how things progress.

Son has just started earning. Before that, the family was able to meet all the expenses from the father's fixed salary. So this salary income of son is "extra". What to do with this extra income now?
Spend or invest. The son has seen his parents toiling hard throughout their lives. He knows how they brought him up. So being a good son, he wants to keep his parents happy. Now with his salary income, he might start buying things for them. First it will be the necessities - clothes, mobiles, a new two wheeler - but this time a lot better. Why better? because he has extra surplus money. But better comes at a premium - at a bit higher cost. However, with the surplus income, he or the family doesnt mind paying extra.
The same family which used to buy clothes from local retail cloth shop, has now started visiting high end supermalls. The shirts for which cloth was purchased for 200 and stichting would cost another 200, making it a total of 400 Rs. for a shirt, are now being purchased from Shopper Stops, Lifestyles, Westsides or Pantaloons at a premium of 1200 to 2000 Rs. The grocery which used to be earlier purchased from local kirana shop with some bargaining, is now being purchased from Reliance Fresh and More, again at a premium. The vegeatbles which were purchased from the local subji mandi at lower prices with bargaining, are now being purchased from Fresh and More. So basically, the spending power has increased. With extra money, family is spending (and willing to spend) more, for the same commodities.

After these necessities (say after 2-3 months of salary), what to do now with the extra income?
Time for some big investments. How about buying a car? If few months salary is not sufficient, then there is car loan available.

Have been living in a rented apartment. The service of son has made him eligible for taking a big amount of home loan. Why not book a bigger flat on loan and move to a better high-end living?

The family which use to have problems with just 2 Rs petrol price hike, is not minding even if the prices are shooting up 5 times in a year.

This is what typically happens when earnings increase. The above example talks about only one family. We all know very well that today, every tom, dick and harry walking on the streets, is able to secure an engineering or mca degree and able to get a job in atleast a BPO. Am not implying anything in lack of skills or hardwork, but am mentioning the ease of getting educated (getting a degree), getting a job, and getting salary and hence extra pay leading to extra spending.

Why are the airconditioned supermalls running successfully? Because there are customers who are willing to pay extra for the same stuff which is available for cheap at a retail shop. Still, people want to buy from the supermalls at high price.
Why are the vegetables and grocery retail chains running fine? Again people are willing to pay more
Petrol and diesel prices are increased several times - do you see any fall in car sales or bike sales? No - infact, the sales have increased. Why? the people have more earnings, more money, and hence more purchasing power. Dont you know that many two wheelers and four wheelers have waiting periods for months? Because the demand is high.

Go to any Reliance Fresh or More store in a bit late evening. The IT and BPO workforce returning from the offices will be there. Even if the gates are going to be closed, they will beg for an entry at 9 or 9:30 PM at night. Even if the left over potatoes are not of good quality, they will pick up the best of the worst from the leftovers in these stores at the closing time. However, the same people will not buy good quality potatoes from a roadside vendor for the reason unknown to them - probably buying leftovers at high prices from a a/c superstore is a status symbol, but buying good quality stuff from roadside vendor at cheaper price is not.

Right from the small daily commodities like potatoes to high end luxuries like cars and houses, the demand is more and more.
This is what leads to high demand. And when the demand is high and supply is limited, the prices are bound to rise. And that leads to inflation.
Now think about it for a moment and ask yourself what can the government do for such price rise.
Honda Activa, the famous scooter has a waiting period of more than 6 months - Why? because people are willing to line up for that - high demand. Even after you buy it, to get it serviced in a metro city, you need to take an appointment 4 days in advance. Still people are willing to go for it. People will not be willing to purchase the readily available Scooty, Wego, Rodeo. Why blame the government for price rise?
The problem is with perception - we need high income, but we can't accept high cost. The same guy will not mind going to a movie in a multiplex for a ticket costing 300 per seat, snacks at Rs. 150, parking charges at Rs. 50. But if the housemaid working in his house at salary of Rs. 1000 asks for 100 Rs. raise, the same person will be upset.
It is for us to understand and accept that nothing in this world comes for free. The growth in income which we have seen, will lead to price rise. No point in complaining. Rather we should feel happy to be able to live such lavish lifestyles, despite high cost, just because of our high incomes

L&T Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving: Review, Analysis & Calculation for Effective Returns

This article covers the details about L&T Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving. Calculations for Tax saving in L&T Infrastructure Bonds as per the different income tax brackets is also covered..
High on the heels of IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds and IDFC infrastructure Bonds, the L&T or Larsen and Toubro group has also come out with its set of infrastrucutre bonds to collect money from investors and provide them with the juicy option in the name of tax savings. One can read more about the details we covered for IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds and IDFC infrastructure Bonds, as they too are good option available for investments.

Review of L&T Long term Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving

One this all the investors should note is that the basic workinfg of all these various infrastructure bonds offered by these various organizations like L&T, IIFCL, IDFC, etc. remain the same. General details and working of the infrastructure bonds is covered in the article: Tax Free Infrastructure Bonds Details: Save Tax On Investments in Infra Bonds - that article covered the basic details of working of Long Term Tax Free Infrastructure Bonds and the benefits available to the investors both in terms of returns as well as saving of taxes.L&T Infrastructure Bonds
The basic working of these bonds from any issuer, whether it is L&T or IDFC or L&T or IFCI, remains the same. To learn about the underlying concept, and how tax savings will work, please read the article Tax Free Infrastructure Bonds Details: Save Tax On Investments in Infra Bonds. What differes is the rate of returns, the period of investments, the coupon rate and hence the effective interest payment and tax free calculations. Here are the examples of the calculations including tax benefits for investments in Infrastructure bonds :Calculations and Returns in Infrastructe Bonds Investments.
Now, once you are clear about the fundamental details, let's see the L&T Infra Bonds for Tax savings in more detail:

The issue size of L&T Infrastructure Bonds is 100 Crore Rs.

The bonds are being offered in 2 different sereis - basically meaning that investors have 2 choices/options for investments:

Series 1 - Is for 10 year long bonds with a buyback option at 5 years and pays an ANNUAL interest rate of 8.2%

Series 2 - Is for 10 year long bonds with a buyback option at 5 years and 7 years and pays an CUMULATIVE interest rate of 8.3%

The bonds will be listed on NSE and can be traded after the minimum lock in period of 5 years (as they offer tax benefit)
Minimum investment required is Rs. 5000 and maximum is open to the choice of investors.
However, as per the rule of tax-saving investments under section 80CCF of the IT Act, tax savings will be allowed only on a maximum of 20,000 Rs. irrespective of the amount of investments made in the L&T Infrastructure Bonds.

Including tax surcharge saving, the maximum tax saved by an investor who falls in 30% tax bracket will be Rs. 6158 (on the 20K investment).

What differentiates L&T Infrastructure Bonds from the other issues like IDFC Infrastructure Bonds which are currently open?
The difference is in the interest offered on these bonds.

What is the security rating for the L&T Infrastructure Bonds ?
CARE has given AA+ rating and ICRA has given LAA+ rating to the L&T Infrastructure Bonds.

However, for all the investment series, there will be a lock-in period, as the bonds will give tax benefit.

How much will I effectively save by investing in L&T Infrastructure Bonds ?
The calculations will be similar to what we covered for IDFC Infrastructure Bonds. Please see IDFC Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving: Calculations, Review and Details

What are the investment dates and period for L&T Infrastructure Bonds ?
The L&T Infrastructure Bonds subscription date was opened on 7th February and will close on 7th March.

All Tax Saving Infrastructure Issues open Now:
IDFC Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving

IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving - Closing 4th March 2011

PFC Infrastructure Bonds: Review - Closing on 22nd March 2011

More information can be obtained by calling the L&T Infra Bonds TOLL FREE NUMBER:1800 102 2131

Trade Andean ETF: Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF for Large Cap Latin America Stocks of Chile Peru & Colombia

For investors who have been looking for investing into the emerging market economies, especially in the latin american region, there comes a good option to invest through ETF or exchange traded funds. In this article, we cover the Andean region ETF which will focus on investing in stocks specific to the South American countries under the Andean region. One such ETF is the Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF focussing on top 40 large cap stocks of Chile Peru & Colombia stock exchanges. This article provides a review of such Andean ETF (Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF)

Investments today is not bound by geographical locations or countries. Anything that happens in Egypt not just affects Egyptian Investors (Trade Egypt ETF Carefully: Egypt ETF Trading despite Egypt stock exchange closure), but affects the US, European investors equally. Investors and traders are now willing to make more cross-border investments and for USA & Europe, Latin America or South American continent countries and their stocks exchanges and companies provide a good investment option. Image Sourced from screen-shot at www.globalxfunds.com site and edited by FTT. Global X Andean AND ETF

Hence, to capitalize on this trading and investment in the Latin American region, the NewYork based Global X investment firm has decided to launch a large cap ETF specifically focussed on Large Cap Latin America or South American Stocks of Chile Peru & Colombia.

What is the basis for selecting only these 3 countries for Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF?
It is because of a pending agreement between Chile, Peru & Colombia, where they have planned to merge their stock exchanges and offer a common trading platform across the 3 countries. Most likely, once this agreement goes through, the joint stock exchange formed by the merger of these 3 countries will be the second largest stock exchange in the South American region. The largest will still be Brazil. Third placed will be the Mexican stock exchange, which is expected to be just half the size of the joint 3 stock exchange.
This will mean all the stocks currently listed in any of these 3 stock exchanges of Chile, Peru & Colombia can be traded through one single bourse or exchange entity. Common exchange is expected to provide a lot of synergy for trading and investments not only to these 3 countries as well as to the rest of the world, who may like to invest through this combined entity.

Another reason is that these 3 countries are known to be top ranked for doing business in the South American region, so expectations of growth is positive.

See Related: Largest ETF List: Low Prices do matter for ETF selection

What will be the trading Symbol for Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF?
Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF will trade on NYSE Arca exchange with the Symbol AND - for Andean region.

What is the underlying index for Global X FTSE Andean 40 AND ETF?
It will track the FTSE Andean 40 Index - this is a free-float-adjusted index modified capitalization-weighted index. As the name suggests, this takes only the largest 40 stocks of most liquid companies in Chile, Colombia and Peru. The Andean ETF from Global X (AND ETF) will track and attempt to replicate the performance of this underlying index.
Hence, this Andean AND ETF will provide a good option for investors who are looking for investment and trading in the large cap stocks of these 3 countries combined.

What are the annual charges for AND ETF - Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF?
The company will charge a 0.72% fees annually.

One more thing to note is that the AND ETF will have more weightage towards Chile based companies, as around half of the capital will be allocated to Chile based comapnies, while the remaining half will be for rest of the two countries - Colombia and Peru

IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving: Review, Analysis & Calculation for Effective Returns

This article covers the details about IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving. Calculations for Tax saving as per the different income tax brackets is also covered..
It was recently we covered the general details of the recently introduced Tax Free Infrastructure Bonds Details: Save Tax On Investments in Infra Bonds - that article covered the basic details of working of Long Term Tax Free Infrastructure Bonds and the benefits available to the investors both in terms of returns as well as saving of taxes.

Review of IIFCL Long term Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving

The government owned IIFCL or Indian Infrastructure Finance Company, has opened up its Tax Saving Infrastucture Bonds Issue Scheme with an aim to collect around 1,200 Crore Rs. from the market with a long term investments points of view and offering tax savings. This scheme is very similar to the one currently open from IDFC: See IDFC Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving: Calculations, Review and Details. However, the difference lies in the interest rate offered by IIFCL bonds. IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds

The basic working of these bonds from any issuer, whether it is IIFCL or IDFC or L&T or IFCI, remains the same. To learn about the underlying concept, and how tax savings will work, please read the article Tax Free Infrastructure Bonds Details: Save Tax On Investments in Infra Bonds.
Now, once you are clear about the fundamental details, let's see the IIFCL Infra Bonds for Tax savings in more detail:

The issue size of IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds is 1,200 Crore Rs.

Minimum investment required is Rs. 5000 and maximum is open to the choice of investors.
However, as per the rule of tax-saving investments under section 80CCF of the IT Act, tax savings will be allowed only on a maximum of 20,000 Rs. irrespective of the amount of investments made in the IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds.

Including tax surcharge saving, the maximum tax saved by an investor who falls in 30% tax bracket will be Rs. 6158 (on the 20K investment).

What differentiates IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds from the other issues like IDFC Infrastructure Bonds which are currently open?
The difference is in the interest offered on these bonds.

What is the security rating for the IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds ?
Although no rating info is available, but the bonds are considered to be safe. The IIFCL company is government owned and hence the investments in IIFCL bonds is backed by the government, so investors can safely park their money in these bonds.

What are the investment options available for IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds ?
The IIFCL bonds are being launched in multiple series:
First and second series will be for 10 years long bonds and promises a return of 8.15% interest rate per annum
Third and fourth series will be for 15 year long bonds and gives a 8.3% return.

However, for all the investment series, there will be a lock-in period, as the bonds will give tax benefit.

How much will I effectively save by investing in IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds ?
The calculations will be similar to what we covered for IDFC Infrastructure Bonds. Please see IDFC Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving: Calculations, Review and Details

Other Issue Open Now: L&T Infrastructure Bonds for Tax Saving - Closing 7th March 2011

PFC Infrastructure Bonds: Review - Closing on 22nd March 2011

What are the investment dates and period for IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds ?
The IIFCL Infrastructure Bonds subscription date is currently open and will close on 4th March

Natural Gas ETF List: Trade Natural Gas through ETF Exchange Traded Funds

This article contains details about Natural Gas ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) which are available for trading and investments, for traders willing to trade on natural gas price fluctuations and investors who want to invest in natural gas as a commodity. A list of Natural Gas ETF's is also provided Natural Gas ETF
Increasing energy demands from across the globe has forced us to look for alternative sources of energy other than diesel and petrol. Among the alternative sources of energy, Natural gas has emerged as one of the cleanest and environment friendly source of fuel and energy. Hence, whenever someone talks about investments in the Alternative Energy segment, the Natural Gas Investment surely comes into discussion because of its clean and environment friendly nature.
Some details about advantages (benefits) and disadvantages (risks) of investments in the Natural gas commodity are covered in the article Natural Gas Commodity ETF.
Going further, let us explore a list of Natural Gas Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) available for trading and investment. The list provided here is not complete in the sense we do not cover every single natual gas based ETF available in the market, but this list will provide good options for investors to explore in the natural gas investment space.

However, majority of the ETF's offering in the natural gas space are a mix of oil and gas - i.e., they provide a mixed exposure to oil and gas. Hence, we provide a clear categorized list for pure natural gas ETF and combined (natural gas + oil) based ETF.

Natural Gas ETF's which are solely in natural gas space (does not include Oil):

- United States Natural Gas Fund ETF (UNG):
Pure Natural gas based fund, bets and attempts to benefit from the percentage changes in the futures contracts prices and spot prices on NYMEX and Henry Hub, Louisiana respectively.

-ETFS Natural Gas (NGAS):
ETFS Natural Gas (NGAS) is not an ETF, but it is an ETC - Exchange Traded Commodity which attempts to replicate the performance of the DJ-UBS Natural Gas Sub-IndexSM on a total return basis. Another option for investors and traded for Pure natural gas based ETF.

-iPath Dow Jones-UBS Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN (GAZ):
This is a natural gas based ETN or Exchange Traded Notes, and tracks the performance of the underlying Index - Dow Jones-UBS Natural Gas Subindex Total Return Index. Trades with ticker GAZ on NYSE ARCA Exchange.
On the info sheet (PDF, they provide a performance graph which shows the monthly returns are highly volatile compared to S&P 500 index. (Image sourced as a screen-shot from the above info-sheet PDF): Natural Gas ETF Performance

-First Trust ISE Revere Natural Gas ETF (FCG):
This ETF actually tracks an underlying index called the "ISE-REVERE Natural Gas Index" - it comprises of 30 companies which are in the business of exploration and production of natural gas. Another option for pure natural gas based ETF, but focused on exploration and production business of natural gas.

-Claymore Natural Gas Commodity ETF (GAS ETF) (FCG):
Claymore Natural Gas Commodity ETF is another good option for investment and trading in Natural gas. However, it is a Canadian ETF which tracks the NGX Canadian Natural Gas Index


Now, we head on to the category which offers a mix of Natural Gas and Oil Investments.
Natural Gas ETF's which are both in natural gas as well as Oil space:

-SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP):
This ETF tracks and attempts to replicate the performance of the underlying index of the oil and gas exploration and production companies (Index derived from the United States total market composite index). Mainly companies in the Exploration & Production of Oil and Natural Gas.

-ishares Dow Jones U.S. Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Index Fund ETF (IEO):
It tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Select Oil Exploration & Production Index.

Now enough of Exploration and Production :-)
Here is another variety of Natural Gas & Oil based ETF's which are from the sector Oil & Gas Equipment & Services

-SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF (XES):
From StateStreet, this ETF tracks the index which inturn is derived from the oil and gas equipment and services segment of a United States total market composite index.

-PowerShares Oil & Gas Services Portfolio ETF (PXJ):
Tracks the performance of the underlying index - the Dynamic Oil Services Intellidex Index. This underlying index follows a fundamental analysis for stock selection criteria ion the Oil and Gas services space.

Dont want to replicate the point by point - want some leverage in trading natural gas ETF's?
Here are your leverage ETF options:

-ProShares Ultra Oil & Gas ETF (DIG):
Attempts to generate 200% of the daily returns of the underlying Dow Jones U.S. Oil & Gas Index.

-ProShares UltraShort Oil & Gas ETF (DUG):
Attempts to generate short returns i.e. -200% of the daily returns of the underlying Dow Jones U.S. Oil & Gas Index. A good way to trade on inverse of the underlying index

Buy Most Efficient Solar Cells In UK: SANYO HIT Photovoltaic Cells

It was in October 2008, when there was this news about high efficieny generating solar cells claiming to be having efficiency ratio of 40% (See details: Low cost PV Solar Cells & Solar Panels: High Efficiency of 40%). However, it appears that there was no further development on that. But now, Sanyo has come out with what might be termed as the most Efficient Solar Cells to be made available in the United Kingdom by Sanyo, which will be from the HIT series of Photovoltaic Solar Cells. SANYO HIT Photovoltaic CellsPhoto sourced from http://solar.sanyo.com/hit.html

What is the claimed efficiency rate in the Most Efficient Solar Cells?
It is reported that the solar cells of the HIT series from Sanyo will have the efficiency rate of around 21.5%, which is learnt to be the highest among all those currently available.

What makes this an important development at this time is that the HIT series photovoltaic cells have managed to pass the MCS accreditation.
This MCS accreditation, is a kind of certificate that is given to small scale companies which are in the technology for generating thermal energy or electrical energy from renewable sources of energy like solar power, wind power, etc. This MCS accreditation is also a mandatory requirement for companies before they can start marketing such products in the UK markets for common consumers.
Another benefit for the MCS accreditation is that there is a FIT scheme (called Feed In Tariff scheme) popular in Europe (not just UK), which offers monetary incentives for using power generating setups from renewable energy resources. The HIT photovoltaic cells can now be used under the FIT scheme and the monetary benefits can be claimed by the users.

What are the other benefits of the SANYO HIT Photovoltaic Cells?
Sanyo has the benefits listed on their website. The following benefits are the ones which can be thought about:
These cells are claimed to be far more efficient than the common photovoltaic cells. They have high efficiency rate of around 21.5%.

Since they are having high efficiency ratio, they can generate more energy using less no. of cells. So the first benefit is less no. of cells are required to produce more or same amount of power generation (see related Solar Panels Energy: Angle of Solar Panel Tilt Correlation: Google Experiments)

Secondly, since less no. of cells are required, the amount of space required for installing the solar panels is comparatively less which makes it other major benefit

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