Legal but unethical "rounding off"

I usually like the solutions posted by Sucheta Dalal on Money Life. Now check out this absolutely amazing and shocking trick used by Tempelton Mutual Fund (One of the most respected MF in India).

This article really shows that even a little maths can bring a huge difference. The essence of the article is that the Tempelton Fund is making money by just "rounding off" the percentage entry load (2.25%). This rounding-off is entirely legal since the offer document mentions it, but it really amounts to duping the investor. I do try to read the offer document, but never thought that such tiny clauses are used to make crores of rupees.

Check out this from the article

Masrani applied to its New Fund Offering - the 'Templeton India Equity Income Fund' paying Rs. 1,02,250.00 calculated as Rs. 1,00,000.00 for 10,000 units @ Rs. 10.00 per unit plus the entry load of Rs. 2,250.00 at the rate of 2.25%. He received the fund statement for May 18, 2006, which shows an allotment of 9,995.112 units instead of the 10,000 he had applied for - in effect five units less.
On studying the statement in detail he discovered that the units were priced at Rs 10.23 and NOT Rs 10.225 each, which was supposed to be the cost at 2.25 % entry load to the unit price of Rs 10. A call to the toll free number (1-800-424-4255) fetched a response from Ms. Dimple who clarified that the price had been rounded off to two decimal points and this was mentioned in the offer document.
Now consider this. Masrani has a letter from Franklin Templeton's President Vivek Kudva to unit holders which says that 390,000 investors responded to the Templeton India Equity Income Fund offer and it collected over Rs 2,000 Crore.
At Rs 10 a unit, this breaks down to 200 crore units allotted. Now add Rs 0.005, which was rounded off to the correct price of Rs. 10.225 and it adds up to a whopping difference of Rs. 1 crore.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:56 AM

    Please note that the Franklin Templeton Call Center number is not toll-free...