Bank

28th meeting of GST council held

28th meeting of GST council held
The 28th meeting of GST council was held in New Delhi on 21st July 2018 under the Chairmanship of Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs. Refrigerators, washing machines, Lithium-ion batteries, Vacuum cleaners were reduced from 28% to 18% tax rate. Sanitary Napkins, Coir pith compost, Rakhi were exempted from tax slab from previous 12% tax slab.

J&K’s 1st all women branch at J&K Bank

J&K’s 1st all women branch at J&K Bank
First Lady Usha Vohra inaugurated the 1st All-Women Branch of Jammu & Kashmir Bank at the Sher-i-Kashmir centre. The bank also launched products designed exclusively for women clients which included Pink Gold Saving Scheme, Pink Platinum Saving Scheme, Special Loan Facility for Women Entrepreneurs. J&K Bank started on​ Oct 1 1983, was the 1st bank in India to emerge as a state-owned bank.

BoB inks pacts with ten companies

BoB inks pacts with ten companies
Bank of Baroda signed agreements with 10 companies promote micro and small business entrepreneurs. These companies are from e-commerce, logistics, service providers and traditional small business which contribute 31% to GDP and 45% of exports and employ over 100 million. These MoUs with will help enhance the bank’s footprint in the MSME eco-system.

Jana Small Finance Bank launches operations

Jana Small Finance Bank launches operations
Jana Small Finance Bank announced the commercial launch of its banking operations to convert itself into a small finance bank (SFB), 3 years after the RBI gave its in-principle approval. The bank was earlier called Janalakshmi Financial Services and weathered huge losses on account of demonetization. Ajay Kanwal is managing director and chief executive officer of Jana Small Finance Bank.

India fastest growing economy in Asia:ADB

India fastest growing economy in Asia:ADB
Led by India, South Asia will continue to be the fastest growing economic area despite new trade tensions in Asia and Pacific region, Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a new report. The report titled “Asian Development Outlook” is published by ADB. The ADO published in April had said that India’s economic growth will rise to 7.3% this fiscal and further to 7.6% in the next financial year

RBI to launch new 100 rupee note

RBI to launch new 100 rupee note
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would soon issue new Rs 100 notes, with a base color of violet. According to the new policy on theme-based currency notes, the new Rs 100 note will have the impression of Gujarat’s Rani-ki-Vav (Queen’s stepwell). The new Rs 100 note will be slightly bigger than the Rs 10 note and weigh less than the old note & will be printed by Dewas-based Bank Note Press.

Govt announces capital infusion in 5 PSB’s

Govt announces capital infusion in 5 PSB’s
The government has announced an infusion of Rs 11,336 crore in five public sector banks as part of its Indradhanush scheme. The five banks are Punjab National Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Andhra Bank, Corporation Bank & Allahabad Bank. Indradhanush is a scheme for recapitalization of PSBs, with a view to make sure they remain solvent & comply with the global capital adequacy norms, Basel-III.

Goldman Sachs names David Solomon as CEO

Goldman Sachs Group Inc named David Solomon as its next chief executive officer. Solomon to succeed CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who was the CEO since June 2006 and will be retiring on 1st October. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in New York City. Solomon previously worked for Irving Trust and Drexel Burnham.

PNB opens centralised loan processing centre

PNB has announced opening of second centralised loan processing centre, in a Mumbai branch. The centre aims to strengthen the bank’s internal systems and processes. Under this, the bank will focus on profit maximisation, improvement of asset quality & recovery, and increasing productivity among others. PNB’s first CLPC is located at Connaught Place branch in New Delhi.

Transformation Series Challenge by YES Bank

YES Bank, through partnerships with tech giants such as Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and Adobe has unveiled the 7th edition of ‘Transformation Series Challenge’. The Theme of the event is ‘tech for urban development’. The issues identified include over-utilisation of plastic and declining air quality in cities. Rana Kapoor is Managing Director and Chief Executive of YES Bank.

World Bank report on Malala Day

In a report of world bank ‘Missed Opportunities: The High Cost of Not Educating Girls’, not educating girls or creating barriers in their school education globally costs between USD 15 to USD 30 trillion. According to the report,132 million girls around the world below 17 are still not in school. The report was released on 12 July 2018, on the eve of United Nations Malala Day.

India muscles past France in WB ranking

According to updated World Bank figures for 2017, India has become the world’s sixth-biggest economy, pushing France into seventh place. India’s gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to $2.597 trillion at the end of last year, against $2.582 trillion for France. According to the IMF, India is projected to generate growth of 7.4% this year and 7.8% in 2019.

ADB approves USD 503 mln lining project

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 503-million lining project of the Son canal in Shahabad-Bhojpur region of Bihar. This project will bring immense benefits to the agriculture sector of Shahabad Bhojpur region of Bihar. The estimated cost of this project is USD 503 million out of which USD 352 million is being provided by ADB.

PSU banks plan to raise over 50,000 cr

Public sector banks are planning to tap the markets to raise more than Rs 50,000 crore this fiscal. Out of 21 public sector banks, 13 have already taken the approval of their boards or shareholders for raising capital through the equity market. Capital is very much required for these banks as they are saddled with non-performing assets (NPAs) of about ` 10 lakh crore.

Most valuable bank in the emerging market

HDFC Bank has gone past Russia’s Sberbank to become the most valuable bank in the emerging market outside China. HDFC Bank was one of the top performing major banks globally in 2017. The Bank’s current market capitalization is $78.4 billion. Globally, America’s JPMorgan Chase is the most valuable with a market cap of $353 billion, followed by Bank of America at $282 billion.

Union Bank of India to raise equity capital

Union Bank of India will raise equity capital of ` 1500 crore. The proposal was approved at its annual general meeting by the bank’s shareholders. The bank said that this capital raise will be in addition to the capital support which has been granted by the government.

ICICI’s mortgage portfolio crosses 1.5 tn

ICICI Bank has announced that its mortgage loan portfolio crossed the Rs 1.5-trillion milestone. This made it the largest private player in the segment, and the lender is targeting to grow it to Rs 2 trillion by FY20. At Rs 1.5 trillion, the mortgage loan-book is half of the bank’s overall retail loan portfolio of around Rs 3 trillion.

Oil prices: Main risk to Indian economy

According to MOODY’s survey Oil prices, Pace of Banks’ balance sheet clean-up and investment are the main risks to the Indian economy. These issues were raised at MOODY’s 4th annual India credit conference held at Mumbai and Singapore in June 2018. Banks have not been able to raise capital from equity market as planned under government’s recapitalization mesurer.

IFC invests $100 mn in M&M arm

World Bank Group members IFC has invested $100 million in Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd. This would enable the Mahindra group company to augment its growth by extending loans to individuals along with financing small and medium enterprises. The investment will be through secured non-convertible debentures.

60.5 Lakh shares to be sold by Dena Bank

Dena Bank would be selling 60.5 lakh shares in three entities, which also includes SIDBI. It would be requesting for quotation for purchase of equity shares in three public sectors. The bank will sell 1.563% of the total paid-up equity capital in NSDL E-Governance.

The committee on NPAs submits its report

The Sunil Mehta committee formed to tackle Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) & creating credit capacity submitted its report. The Sunil Mehta panel presented project ‘Sashakt’ and has recommended a five-pronged strategy. The plan will result in creating additional jobs by reviving businesses and will bring in credible long term external capital to limit the burden on the domestic banking sector.

Recommendations for the post of MD in PSB

Bank Boards Bureau has recommended names of 15 officials for the posts of MD and CEO in several public sector banks. The bureau has recommended Anshula Kant, the current deputy managing director of SBI for the post of MD in the bank. The post was vacant following the resignation of B. Sriram as the MD of the bank. The other 14 names recommended include 6 current DMDs of SBI.

World Bank to aid $480 million to Rohingyas

The World Bank decided to provide $480 million in aid to Bangladesh to address the needs of Rohingya refugees. The aid would include health, education, water & sanitation and other spheres. Nearly 7 lakh Muslim Rohingya have taken shelter from violence in Myanmar in Bangladesh, making it the world’s fastest-growing refugee camp. There are nearly 40000 Rohingya refugees in India as of 2017.

ICICI Bank gets new part-time chairman

ICICI Bank has appointed former bureaucrat Girish Chandra Chaturvedi as its non-executive part-time chairman. Chaturvedi is a 1977-batch IAS officer, who retired as the Oil Secretary in January 2013. The term of M K Sharma, the current chairman of ICICI Bank, ends on June 30.

PSB’s account for 85% of bank fraud cases

Public Sector Banks accounted for a staggering 85% of nearly 6,500 fraud cases, amounting to more than Rs 30,000 Cr. Top 10 banking frauds in 2018 alone lead to a financial loss of ` 10,000 Cr. Banks had reported nearly 5,000 frauds amounting to ` 20,000 Cr in the fiscal year 2017. The PSB’s have a disproportionate share of over 85%, exceeding their business share of about 65% to 75%.

India is the largest borrower from AIIB

With the total project portfolios of US$4.4 Billion, India has been the largest borrower of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) since the time the Bank started its operations. The report was released in 3rd AIIB Meet 2018 in Mumbai whose focus was on infrastructure, innovation collaboration. AIIB has committed to provide $200 million for road & energy infrastructure to India.

PM to inaugurate 3rd AIIB Annual Meeting 2018

The Department of Economic Affairs & Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will host the 3rd Annual AIIB meeting on June 25-26, 2018 in Mumbai. The theme for this year’s meeting is – Mobilizing Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration. The AIIB is a development bank with a mission to improve socioeconomic standards. Its HQ is in Beijing & started operations in Jan 2016.

ICICI Bank Names Sandeep Bakhshi As COO

The ICICI Bank board has appointed ICICI Prudential Life Insurance CEO Sandeep Bakhshi as whole-time director and chief operating officer (COO). It is a new top position at India’s second largest private bank, to steer all its businesses. Chanda Kochhar, ICICI Bank’s managing director and CEO will remain on leave until a committee investigating allegations of impropriety completes its work.

BBB recommends for promotion of 22 PSB GMs

The Banks Board Bureau (BBB) has recommended 22 general managers to be elevated as executive directors at various public sector banks. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by PM will take the final decision in this regard. BBB was set up in February 2016 as an autonomous body– based on the recommendations of the RBI-appointed Nayak Committee. It was the part of Indradhanush Plan.

WB approves $700 mn to Bangladesh

The World Bank has approved $700 million to help Bangladesh achieve its education for all vision by improving the primary education sector. The Quality Learning for All Program (QLEAP) will cover more than 18 million children studying in pre-primary level to grade 5. It will also finance implementation of the government’s Fourth Primary Education Development Program (PEDP4).

Fitch revises Axis Bank outlook to negative

Fitch Ratings affirmed the long-term issuer default ratings (IDRs) and viability ratings of ICICI Bank and Axis Bank at ‘BBB-’ and ‘bbb-’, respectively. IDRs refers to the relative vulnerability of a company to default on its financial obligations. The global rating agency also revised the outlook on Axis Bank to negative from stable but maintained ICICI Bank’s outlook as stable for now.

BBB recommends elevation of 22 GMs at PSBs

Banks Board Bureau (BBB), the advisory body formed by the government for selection of candidates for top level board appointment, has recommended 22 general managers to be elevated as executive directors at the various public sector banks. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet will take the final decision in this regard. This is the first major exercise undertaken by the BBB.

Omar Al-Razzaz sworn in as Jordan PM

Former World Bank Economist Omar al-Razzaz was sworn in as Jordan’s Prime Minister after King Abdullah issued a decree approving the new government. The 58-year-old, who studied at Harvard University, was tasked with reviewing the country’s disputed tax system. Omar succeeded Hani al-Mulki who resigned following mass protests over price hikes and other government economic policies.

Fed Reserve raises rates

15 : In raising its benchmark overnight lending rate a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 1.75% to 2%, the Fed Reserve of US marked a milestone in the U.S. central bank’s shift in monetary policy. After the rate-setting, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that the US economy is doing very well. The rate hike marks a shift in US policies used to battle the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Share capital of HDFC Bank to increase

Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for grant of permission to M/s. HDFC Bank Ltd. to raise additional share capital of up to a maximum of Rs. 24,000 crore. The composite foreign shareholding in the Bank shall not exceed 74% of the enhanced paid-up equity share capital of the bank. The proposed investment is expected to strengthen the capital adequacy ratio of the bank.

Guidelines to enhance loan for large borrowers

In a move to enhance credit discipline among larger borrowers, the RBI proposed a “minimum level of loan component” of 40 percent for borrowers having an aggregate fund-based working capital limit of Rs. 150 crores and above from the banking system. It will be proposed to be effective from October 1, 2018. The 40 percent loan component will be revised to 60 percent from April 1, 2019.

PSBs suffered losses of over ` 87,000 cr

The combined losses posted by public sector banks (PSBs) in financial year 2017-18 were over Rs. 87,357 crore. Scam-hit Punjab National Bank (PNB) topped the list with a hit of nearly Rs. 12,283 crore followed by IDBI Bank. Out of 21 state-run banks, only two — Indian Bank and Vijaya Bank — posted profits during the year under review.

SBI NPAs Surpass Rs 1 Lakh Crore In FY18

11 : State Bank of India, recorded its highest non-performing asset (NPAs) of Rs. 1.1 lakh crore in 2017-18, almost equal to what it had registered in the decade before. This is available through RTI and the bank’s annual report. The gross NPAs of the bank went up from Rs. 1.12 lakh crore in 2016-17 to Rs. 2.23 lakh crore in the last fiscal.

Committee to set up Asset Reconstruction Comp

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced setting up of a committee to give recommendations on formation of an Asset Reconstruction Company. The committe will give recommendations in two weeks for faster resolution of stressed accounts. The committee will be formed under Sunil Mehta, non-executive chairman of Punjab National Bank.

HDFC Bank increases lending rate by 10 bps

HDFC Bank , the second largest private sector lender of the country, increased its marginal cost of fund-based lending rate (MCLR) by 10 basis points (bps) across various loan tenures. As a result, its one-year MCLR is now at 8.4%. The move comes after all major banks, including State Bank of India (SBI) and ICICI Bank, increased MCLR by an equal amount.

Fitch downgrades PNB on credit profile

Fitch Ratings has downgraded the Viability Rating (VR) of Punjab National Bank to ‘b’ from ‘bb-’ and maintained negative ratings. The two-notch downgrade is a reflection of the significant deterioration in its standalone credit profile. Fitch said the deterioration in its core capitalisation was caused by a sharp increase in its non-performing loans (NPLs).

BBB to hold interviews for MDs and EDs

Newly constituted Banks Board Bureau, headed by former DoPT Secretary B P Sharma, will shortlist candidates for about 30 top-level vacancies in the public sector banks. The BBB has its genesis in the recommendations of The Committee to Review Governance of Boards of Banks in India, May 2014. The Bureau started functioning from April 01, 2016 as an autonomous recommendatory body.

India, World Bank signed $500 million loan

India has signed a USD 500 million loan pact with World Bank to provide additional financing for PMGSY rural road projects. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana will build 7,000 km of climate resilient roads, out of which 3,500 km will be constructed using green technologies. World Bank has supported PMGSY since its inception in 2004 & so far it has invested over $1.8 billion in loans & credits.

Yes Bank inks MoU with SIDBI

Yes Bank has entered into an agreement with SIDBI under which it will act as a preferred financial institution for giving loans to the small and medium enterprising customers. This will facilitate smooth flow of credit in a hassle-free manner to MSME customers availing term loan facility from SIDBI. Small enterprises will also be entitled to use Yes Bank’s varied banking solutions.

India signed loan agreement with World Bank

India has signed a loan agreement with the World Bank for USD 21.7 Million for strengthening the public financial management in Rajasthan project. The project aims to contribute to improved budget execution, enhanced accountability and greater efficiency in Revenue Administration in Rajasthan.It also involves strengthening of expenditure & revenue systems and project management among others

MD Mallya appointed as independent director

ICICI Bank has appointed MD Mallya as an additional independent director on the board. Mallya in the past has served as the managing director & chairman of Bank of Baroda. Mallya’s tenure is for a period of 5 years, it is subjected to the approval of shareholders. Mallya was also engaged extensively with the government as Indian Banks’ Association chairman.

Yes Bank empanelled as ‘Settlement Bank’

Yes Bank has received approval from National Stock Exchange to be empanelled as Settlement Bank for National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC), a wholly owned subsidiary of NSE. NSCC is responsible for clearing and settlement of all trades executed on NSE. The Bank is already an empanelled Clearing Bank for BSE, NCDEX & MCX.

Direct funding facility to VLEs in CSCs

Small Industries Development Bank of India has signed an MoU with Common Service Centres Special Purpose Vehicle for providing financial support to CSCs. SIDBI will extend financial support to Village Level Entrepreneurs of CSCs, with minimum 1 year of operation, under the Direct Financing Window of SIDBI. The MoU aims to bring more citizens under the ambit of financial inclusion.

Anubrata Biswas appointed as MD & CEO

Airtel Payments Bank has announced the appointment of Anubrata Biswas as its Managing Director & CEO. Anubrata will be responsible for driving Airtel Payments Bank’s mission of taking convenient and innovative digital banking services to the doorstep of every Indian. Airtel Payments Bank was the first payments bank to start operations in India.

Bank credit grows 12.64%, deposits at 7.61%

According to an RBI data, Banks’ credit grew by 12.64% year-on-year to ?85,51,099 crore in the fortnight ended May 11, 2018. Banks’ deposits grew by 7.61% to ?1,13,92,165 crore in the fortnight ended May 11, 2018, compared with ?1,05,86,083 crore in the fortnight ended May 12, 2017. Bank credit is the aggregate amount of credit available to a person or business from a banking institution.

BNPM to increase bank note paper production

The government’s Bank Note Paper Mill India (BNPM) has received green signal to increase the production of bank note paper at its Mysuru unit in Karnataka. The production of bank note paper has been increased from 12,000 tonnes per annum to 16,000 tonnes per annum. The raw material used for manufacturing of currency paper is 100% cotton sourced from neighbouring countries.

NDB plans to launch Americas regional office

New Development Bank (NDB), formerly referred to as BRICS Development Bank, is planning to launch its Americas Regional Office in Brazil. It will increase operational capabilities of NDB and facilitate identification & preparation of bankable projects in Brazil. NDB is mandated to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS & other emerging economies.

NABARD sanctions Solar street lighting system

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development has sanctioned LED Solar Street Lighting system for Arunachal Pradesh under its Rural Infrastructure Development Fund with a grant of Rs 87.83 lakh. It would be implemented in 4 districts of the state Tirap, Longding, Namsai & Tawang. The scheme was launched by Chief Minister Pema Khandu in presence of NABARD Chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala.

World Bank extends $300 million credit

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a $220 million loan and an $80 million (Rs 544 crore) guarantee for the India Energy Efficiency Scale-Up Program. The Program will be implemented by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). This will help scale up the deployment of energy saving measures in residential and public sectors, strengthen EESL’s institutional capacity.

Action for removal of Allahabad Bank CEO

Govt has initiated action for removal of Allahabad Bank CEO Usha Anantha-subramanian & 2 executive directors of Punjab National Bank following CBI’s first charge sheet in the $2 billion fraud at PNB. The Allahabad Bank board has also been asked to divest Anantha-subramanian of all powers and initiate further action. Ananthasubramanian was the MD & CEO of Punjab National Bank from 2015 to 2017.

Lending, deposit curbs on Allahabad Bank

RBI has imposed restrictions on Allahabad Bank, including on expansion of risky assets, creation of non-banking assets and accessing/renewing wholesale/costly deposits. RBI has also asked the bank to reduce exposure to unrated and high-risk advances. The RBI directive comes in the wake of the bank’s common equity tier-1 breaching the minimum regulatory requirement of 7.37% in March 2018.

India-dedicated investment fund

China’s largest bank, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China has launched country’s 1st India-dedicated publicly offered investment fund. The fund will invest in exchange-traded funds listed on more than 20 exchanges in Europe & US that are based on Indian market.The bank said that the Indian market offers the best opportunity for Chinese investors due to the prospects of double-digit growth.

Barclays seeks patents around e-currency tech

Barclays has filed two patent applications relating to the transfer of digital currency and data storage with the Indian Patent Office. The bank has filed a patent application titled ‘secure digital data operations’ & it is a method and system for transferring digital currency from a payer to the recipient. The other patent filed is ‘data validation and storage’ & is about cryptography.

Paytm introduced automatic recurring payments

Paytm has introduced automatic recurring payments, a new feature that lets users configure the payments app to pay for periodic recurring expenses automatically. Similar to standing instructions for bank accounts, the ‘My Payments’ feature can be used for high-value payments for a variety of cases.Company expects the feature to significantly boost bank-to-bank transactions on the Paytm app.

Fino Payments Bank to offer net banking

Fino Payments Bank launched a suite of digital products that can be accessed online and through mobile phones. Fino had launched its mobile banking app BPay in 2017. The latest initiatives include Unified Payments Interface (UPI), BHIM app- using which customers can access UPI and make P2P payments.

World Bank agrees to a grant for Bangladesh

14 : The World Bank (WB) is going to provide Bangladesh with a grant to meet the basic needs of around one million Rohingyas who fled from Myanmar. A WB team will be visiting Bangladesh to discuss the issue with the government. As per the WB’s conditions, the entire fund that the WB has finally agreed to provide Bangladesh with will have to be spent for the Rohingyas only.

RBI puts Dena Bank under corrective action

RBI has initiated prompt corrective action against Dena Bank in view of high non-performing assets, restricting the bank from giving new loans & new hiring. Prompt Corrective Action comes after Dena Bank posted a loss for the third year in a row with net NPA’s close to 12%. Though several banks are under the PCA framework currently, Dena Bank is the first lender to have fresh lending curbed.

YES Bank to launch water-security programme

YES Bank is all set to roll out a capacity building project with farmers in Haryana and Rajasthan under its ‘Livelihood and Water Security’ CSR initiative. The overall focus of the programme would be on sustainable agricultural practices and digital literacy. The programme would be rolled out initially across 15 districts (eight districts in Haryana and seven in Rajasthan).

NITI Aayog seeks World Bank’s help

The NITI Aayog has sought World Bank’s assistance to provide it with information and expertise on fraud detection and prevention. It will ensure no embezzlement of funds takes place in the Centre’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM). The World Bank assistance is being taken as it has expertise from its international experience.

ADB projects India’s growth at 7.3% in 2018

Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao has noted that India’s growth in 2018 would pick up to 7.3%. The Bank has also projected that India will remain the fastest growing Asian nation with 7.6% growth in 2019-20. The size of India’s economy is about USD 2.5 trillion currently, making it the sixth largest in the world.

Informal meeting of SAARC FMs held in Manila

The twelfth informal meeting of SAARC Finance Ministers was held in Manila, on the sidelines of the 51st Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank (ADB).The meeting was chaired by the Finance Minister of Nepal Yuba Raj Khatiwada. The Finance Ministers/Heads of Delegation briefed the meeting about the current status of economic progress achieved by their countries.

ICICI Bank named Nair as Independent Director

Former IRDAI member Radhakrishnan Nair has been appointed to ICICI Bank’s board as an Additional (Independent) Director. His appointment will be for a period of five years and is subject to shareholders’ approval. He is already an independent director of 3 subsidiaries of ICICI Bank — ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company, ICICI Prudential Trust and ICICI Securities Primary Dealership.

HDFC Bank launched humanoid IRA 2.0

HDFC Bank has announced the launch of IRA 2.0, its interactive humanoid in Bengaluru.IRA will interact with customers, answer bank-related queries, frequently asked questions, and guide them inside the branch with voice-based navigation. HDFC Bank also launched its virtual assistant ‘EVA’ on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The first version of IRA is currently stationed in Kochi.

India to grow at 7.5% in 2018-19

According to a Deutsche Bank report, the Indian economy is likely to clock a GDP growth of 7.5% this financial year.The report noted that higher global oil prices, risk of an earlier than anticipated rate hike cycle from RBI are some of the factors that pose downside risk to its baseline GDP estimate. According to the report, a $10 increase in oil prices can shave off growth by about 10 bps

Axis Bank posts first loss since 1998

Axis Bank has reported a net loss of Rs 21.88 billion for the quarter ended March 2018.This is the first time the bank has posted quarterly loss since its listing in 1998. The loss has been attributed to higher provisioning for bad loans. The lender substantially raised its provisioning to cover for bad loans and contingencies during the quarter to Rs 71.79 billion.

Government makes an agreement with World Bank

The government has entered into a legal agreement with the World Bank for financing the research towards early development for bio-pharmaceuticals. The aim is to make India a hub for design and development of novel, affordable and effective bio-pharmaceutical products. This mission will mark the beginning of a new partnership between the Department of Biotechnology & the World Bank.

India signed pact with World Bank for MP roads

India has signed a USD 210 million loan agreement with the World Bank to improve rural connectivity in Madhya Pradesh.The project will cover 10,510 km stretch of rural roads in Madhya Pradesh that fall under the Chief Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (CMGSY) programme. The project is expected to improve the durability, resilience and safety of the gravel surfaced rural roads.

India, World Bank sign agreement

25 : The World Bank signed a loan agreement with India for IBRD credit of $125 million for the “Innovate in India for Inclusiveness Project”.The objectives of the project are to nurture indigenous innovation, foster local product development. The project would support consortia of the public, private, and the academic institutions to overcome the key market failures.

BoI inks pact with NeSL

Bank of India has entered into an agreement with National E-Governance Services (NeSL) for Information Utility arrangement under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.As per the agreement, BoI will avail NeSL service to expedite corporate insolvency resolution process. In September 2017, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India registered NeSL as the first Information Utility.

ADB to give ` 1,700 crore aid to U’khand

The Asian Development Bank has agreed to give an aid of Rs 1,700 crore to Uttarakhand.The aid will be given for the creation of infrastructural facilities, sewer treatment plants and water supply facilities in urban areas of Uttarakhand. This was conveyed to Chief Minister of Uttrakhand by the country director of ADB’s India Regiment Mission.

Axis Bank picks Egon Zehnder to find new CEO

Axis Bank has appointed global recruitment firm Egon Zehnder to find a successor for MD and CEO Shikha Sharma.In December 2017, the bank’s board had approved the reappointment of Ms. Sharma for three years, but early this month she said that she would step down in December 2018. Axis Bank is the third largest private-sector banks in India.

Paytm Payments Bank registers 100M KYC wallets

Paytm Payments Bank claims that it now has over 100 million KYC -registered wallets which includes both complete & minimum KYC.This development comes even as there have been indications in digital payments industry of a sharp fall in mobile-wallet users as customer authentication did not take off. Paytm Payments Bank is owned 51% by Paytm founder Vijay Sharma & 49% by One97 Communications.

India topped the remittances chart for 2017

According to World Bank, India has retained its position as the top remittances receiving country with its diaspora sending about USD 69 billion back home in 2017. Remittances to India picked up sharply by 9.9% to USD 69 billion in 2017, reversing the previous year’s dip. Remittance inflows improved in all regions and top remittance recipients were India with followed by China & Philippines.

ICICI Bank launched digital form

ICICI Bank has introduced a ‘digital form’ which will help open current accounts in a few hours in comparison to an industry average of a few days.Bank officials would now be able to capture information about customer & business digitally & verify KYC documents in real-time. Digital forms are expected to help bank secure more clients & help increase bank’s market share.

World Bank approved $13bn increase in capital

World Bank Group has endorsed a package of measures that include a $13 billion increase in paid-in capital.The package approved by Development Committee of Board of Governors consists of $7.5bn paid-in capital for IBRD &$5.5bn paid-in capital for IFC. World Bank Group will now be able to support drivers of long-term sustainable growth, including investments in human capital & resilience.

First bank to roll out AI-run voicebot

Kotak Mahindra Bank has launched the country’s first artificial intelligence-powered voice-bot ‘Keya’ in the banking sector.Keya uses automatic speech recognition, natural language understanding and text-to-speech technology. The voice-bot uses natural language understanding to navigate the customer directly to the destination where he can get his issue resolved.

IOB inked information utility pact with NeSL

Indian Overseas Bank has entered into an agreement for information utility services with the National E-Governance Services Limited. With this agreement, the IOB branches will be able to provide high-quality, authenticated information about debts and defaults. The NeSL became India’s first information utility for bankruptcy cases under the ‘Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code 2016’ in October 2017.

1st meet of BRICS FMs & Central Bank Governors

First meeting of BRICS Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors was held on the sidelines of IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington D.C.Main issues that were discussed were related to enhancing project pipelines of NDB evenly across member countries & expansion of NDB’s membership. Issues related to BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement as well as BRICS Bond Fund were also discussed.

RBI makes Aadhaar key to KYC compliance

Reserve Bank of India has amended its ‘Know Your Customer’ guidelines, making Aadhaar compulsory by banks & finance companies.RBI has also done away with sections relating to use of other “officially valid documents” by lenders for address and identity proof. The norms have been revised because the government had amended laws on prevention of money laundering.

PNB impounds passports of wilful defaulters

Punjab National Bank has impounded passports of 150 wilful loan defaulters who are not repaying loans.This is the first such revelation made by any bank, following govt’s instructions to banks on seeking passport copies of all those who have borrowed more than ` 50 crore. PNB has already declared 1,084 wilful defaulters & has published photos of 260 such defaulters in newspapers.

India: World’s 2nd largest unbanked population

According to World Bank, India has 19 crore adults without a bank account, making it the world’s 2nd largest unbanked population.India’s adult population with a bank account has more than doubled to 80% since 2011. Jan-Dhan Yojana has brought an additional 310 million Indians into formal banking system by March 2018. China has world’s largest unbanked population, followed by India & Pak.

Standard Chartered ties up with Zoho

Standard Chartered Bank has announced an alliance with Zoho to offer solutions to enhance corporate banking experience. Bank’s business account holders can now pay their suppliers & automate reconciliation right from Zoho Books. The collaboration with Zoho offers clients a revolutionary experience, enabling them to interact seamlessly, resulting in simpler reconciliation & faster payments.

RBI imposed restrictions on City Co-operative

RBI has placed restrictions on business activities of City Co-operative Bank till such time as its financial position improves.Customers of the bank will not be allowed to withdraw more than Rs 1000 of the total balance held in their accounts. Bank will have to take prior approval from RBI before it can disburse loan, make any investment, borrow funds or accept new deposit.

SBI India’s most trusted bank

According to the TRA Brand Trust Report 2018, State Bank of India is the most trusted bank (both public and private sector) in the country.SBI topped the chart of BFSI super-category despite seeing a dip in its overall brand trust index rankings from 13th in 2017 to 21st this year. The leader among the private banks is ICICI Bank, rising nine ranks in overall ranking.

Yes Bank launches overdraft facility for MSMEs

Yes Bank recently announced the launch of ‘YES GST’, an OD (over draft) facility for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).Through this first-of-its-kind, industry first initiative, an MSME can avail OD up to Rs. 1 crore, based on their annual turnover, backed by GST returns. This OD facility can be availed by a MSME against mortgage of residential or commercial property.

World Bank forecasted 7.3% growth for India

The World Bank forecasted a growth rate of 7.3% for India in 2018 and 7.5% for 2019 and 2020.Growth is expected to accelerate from 6.7 in 2017 to 7.3% in 2018, the World Bank said in its twice-a-year South Asia Economic Focus. In its report the World Bank said, India should strive to accelerate investments and exports to take advantage of the recovery in global growth.

Kotak Mahindra became 2nd most valuable bank

Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd beat India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) for the first time to become the second most valued bank in the country.HDFC Bank Ltd remained country’s most valuable bank with a market capitalization of ` 5.04 trillion. Kotak Mahindra Bank has a market capitalization of ` 2,22970.40 crore.

WB to fund community-led landscapes mgmt

A loan agreement worth USD 48 million for the “Meghalaya Community – Led Landscapes Management Project (MCLLMP)” was signed between India and the World Bank.The objective of the project is to strengthen community-led landscapes management in selected landscapes in Meghalaya. The project will help manage the depleting resources, by strengthening the communities and traditional institutions.

WB approves $55 mn For Bangladesh Project

The World Bank has approved $55mn to expand the use of clean renewable energy in rural areas of Bangladesh where grid electricity cannot reach easily.Project will install 1,000 solar irrigation pumps, 30 solar mini-grids and about 4mn improved cooking stoves in rural areas. The project will enable about 10mn people living in villages and islands to access electricity.

World Bank Approves $55mn for Bangladesh Project

The World Bank has approved $55mn to expand the use of clean renewable energy in rural areas of Bangladesh where grid electricity cannot reach easily. The additional financing to the Second Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development (RERED II) Project will install 1,000 solar irrigation pumps, 30 solar mini-grids and about 4mn improved cooking stoves in rural areas. President of the World Bank- Jim Yong Kim. Headquarters of World Bank: Washington, DC.

NERL Brings in ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank as Repository Participants

National E-Repository Limited (NERL), a group company of National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX ), has brought in ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank on board as the repository participants for pledge finance. NERL has signed the agreement with both the banks where they will offer pledge finance against eNWRs created on NERL’s repository platform commodities stored in warehouses registered with Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA).

Bhanu appointed Banks Board Bureau chairman

The government appointed Bhanu Pratap Sharma as the new Chairman of Banks Board Bureau, which primarily recommends senior executive appointments in state-run banks.Sharma will replace former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai, whose term ended on March 31.Notably, Sharma is the former Secretary of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

AIIB decides to invest in India

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a $140 million loan for enhancing rural connectivity in Madhya Pradesh.The project, co-financed with the World Bank, aims to improve the rural road connectivity and management for residents of about 5,640 villages. The project will benefit around 1.5 million rural residents through improved livelihood, education and mobility.

RBI imposes Rs 30 million fine on IDBI Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a Rs 3 crore penalty on IDBI Bank for not following the central bank’s rules on classification of loans.IDBI bank did not adhere to RBI’s norms on Income Recognition and Asset Classification. RBI said that this action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance.

New norms for global projects

The Central Vigilance Commission has drawn up a new set of guidelines for projects funded by international agencies such as the World Bank, IMF and Asian Development Bank.The new guidelines will put an end to existing practice of government departments and agencies adhering to the guidelines of foreign donors. The new guidelines also draw a distinction between grants-in-aid and loans.