28 Sep 2002
STCI net profit rises 163% to Rs 207 crore in 2001-02
New Delhi: The Securities Trading Corporation of India Ltd on Friday reported a 163 per cent growth in net profit to Rs 206.56 crore for the year 2001-02 as compared to Rs 78.51 crore in 2000-2001.
AIBEA calls for strike on October 1
Kolkata: The All India Bank Employees Association has called for a one-day bank strike on October 1 in protest against the sudden closure of Kolkata branch of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and dismissal of 67 employees without any notice last month.
LIC to start operation in Sri Lanka from Nov
Nagpur: The Life Insurance Corporation is all set to spread its wings across the border by starting business in Sri Lanka from November, its chairman Sunil Behari Mathur said here on Friday.
Focus group to consider offers under GATS
New Delhi: The Government has constituted a focus group to consider on an ongoing basis offers in financial services under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The focus group will be headed by the Joint Secretary (Foreign Trade and Investment) in the Finance Ministry, Mr G.S. Dutt.
RBI relaxes forex norms
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India has said that no documents are required for obtaining foreign exchange in certain categories of transactions. These categories are, for tourism up to $5,000 in one calendar year, for business travel up to $25,000 per trip, for studies up to $30,000 per academic year, for medical treatment up to $50,000 and for gifts and donations up to $5,000 in a year, said an RBI press release.
Laser Soft launches bank automation software
Chennai: The Chennai-based Laser Soft Infosystems Ltd has launched Laser Twig, bank automation software for branches in small towns and rural areas. The company also inaugurated its third development centre in the city sixth in the country .
Trimming: What's on now
New Delhi: A Leading nationalised bank has been told by the Finance Ministry to prepare a detailed human resources plan for the next few years to justify its plea for a second VRS. Seemingly, the bank has assessed its manpower requirement for the next five years.
Dhanalakshmi Bank to pay 15 per cent
Kochi: The Thrissur-based Dhanalakshmi Bank has approved a 15 per cent dividend for its shareholders at the AGM held on Friday.
Vysya Bank ATM service in Mangalore
Mangalore: Vysya Bank operationalised its first automated teller machine (ATM) in Mangalore on Thursday. This is the bank's 12th ATM in Karnataka and the first outside Bangalore.
Union Bank deposit scheme to retain IPO funds
Coimbatore: Union Bank of India, which has just completed the allotment of shares in its Initial Public Offer, has sought to retain the funds covering the refund orders issued for the unsuccessful portion of the share allotment by floating a special term deposit scheme carrying a slightly higher interest rate.
Bank Muscat focus on retail asset takeover
Bangalore: Bank Muscat is taking over auto loans and personal loans from other banks signalling a softer interest rate regime for consumer finance. The takeover of retail assets is an indication of intensifying competition in the business.
Silverline Tech debt issue downgraded
Mumbai: Care has downgraded the short-term debt programme of Silverline Technologies Ltd (STL) from `PP1+' to `PR2'. According to a press release, the downgrade in the rating takes in to consideration the reduction in total income of STL during the 12-month period ended March 31, 2002, decline in profitability and increase in collection period resulting from cash flow mismatches.
`F1+' affirmed for Bombay Dyeing
Mumbai: Fitch Ratings India has affirmed the `F1+(Ind)' rating of the Rs 100-crore commercial paper/short-term debt programme of Bombay Dyeing.
AP urban co-op banks in a mess, says expert panel
Hydrebad: The urban co-operative banking sector in Andhra Pradesh is on shaky grounds, with a few of them getting embroiled in financial mess-ups recently.
Firms take refuge in MF plans
Mumbai: Banks and corporates have taken refuge in liquid and short-term plans of mutual funds, following measures by the Reserve Bank of India to restrict their unlimited access to the call money market.
No documents needed for earning forex: RBI
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that no documents are required to be produced by bona fide applicants for obtaining necessary foreign exchange in five categories, including $5,000 for tourism, in a calendar year.
The other cases are business travel up to $25,000 per trip, studies up to $30,000 per year, medical treatment up to $50,000 and gifts or donations up to $5,000 in a year.
But, for remittance or purchase of foreign exchange for all these eligible purposes, the payment is to be made by a cheque drawn on the applicants bank account or by a demand draft. The apex bank also said that international credit cards, ATM cards and debit cards can be used on the Internet also for any purpose for which exchange can be purchased from an authorised dealer in India.
27 Sep 2002
Irda to relax norms for health policies
New Delhi: Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority chairman N Rangachary said that the authority was going to relax the norms for riders on life insurance policy, especially if the riders relate to health policies.
BoI kicks off pilot project for inter-branch networking
Mumbai: As part of its technology drive, Bank of India has decided to launch a pilot-project in Maharashtra whereby wireless protocol will be used to connect 75 of its rural branches.
Insurers plan catastrophe, consumer protection funds
New Delhi: The insurance industry will soon approach the Union government and the regulator for setting up a Catastrophe Fund and a Policyholders Protection Fund to safeguard the interest of investors as well as ensure that unforeseen events do not affect insurers adversely.
GIC, subsidiaries to hold 70% stake in crop insurance co
Mumbai: General Insurance Corporation and its four subsidiaries will hold 70 per cent stake while RBI subsidiary Nabard will pick up the remaining 30 per cent in the crop insurance company expected to start operations by January next.
Magma Leasing to focus on retail financing
Kolkata: Following a surge in disbursements from Rs 226.29 crore (annualised) in the previous year to Rs 335 crore in 2001-02, an increase of 48 per cent, Magma Leasing Ltd has projected a business of Rs 600 crore for the current financial year.
Rules notified for NPA sale - Banks now better equipped to pursue loan defaulters
New Delhi: The Ordinance for recovery of bad debts has now been fully operationalised with the Ministry of Finance notifying the rules for taking possession and subsequent sale of assets of defaulters.
RINL to roll over CP plan for another 90 days
Kolkata: Srei Capital Markets, a member of the Srei International Finance Group, which acted as fund manager for the first phase, has taken up the rollover assignment to market the CPs to various investors.
Errant co-op banks `let off' by AP Govt
Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh Urban and Town Co-operative Banks' Association has accused the State Government of failing to act against eight urban co-operative banks on the verge of collapse and found to be indulging in malpractices.
Bandh hits banking operations in Mumbai
Mumbai: Banks wore a desolate look and clearing operations were disrupted on account of the nationwide `bandh' called for by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and backed by the Shiv Sena in Mumbai yesterday.
At 62%, foreign stake is highest in banking
Mumbai: Post deal, ICICI Bank - India's second largest bank - has now become the only bank to have a majority foreign holding. The equity placement with FIIs has hiked the combined foreign holding, including ADRs, in the private bank to over 62 per cent from 45.85 per cent.
ICICI Bank sells 16.5% equity stake to FIIs
Mumbai: ICICI Bank has sold 16.5-per cent of its equity stake, representing 10.14 crore shares, to foreign institutional investors (FIIs). The shares were placed at Rs 130 per share.
The total value of the deal, executed through a number of block deals in the market, amounted to Rs 1,318.2 crore, fetching ICICI Bank Rs 1,193.8 crore in capital gains. The bank had acquired these shares at Rs 12.27 per share.
ICICI Bank director Kalpana Morparia says the shares were acquired by seven FIIs, of whom Singapore Investment Corporation (SIC) and Hamblin Watsa Investment Counsel, an affiliate of Lombard Insurance, together account for 85 per cent of the deal.
With this deal, the foreign investment in ICICI Bank, the largest private sector bank in India, will go up to 62 per cent (FII 36 per cent and foreign direct investment 26 per cent, including American depository ratios).
The shares, which were held by ICICI Bank Shares Trust, were sold at a discount of Rs 4 to 26 September 2002s market price. ICICI Bank closed at Rs 134 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, down 2.54 per cent from the previous close.
Besides Lombard and the SIC, the third major investor is Prudential Portfolio Managers, a part of Prudential of the UK. Both Lombard and Prudential are ICICIs partners in its life insurance ventures.
Morparia says the investors have long-term strategic interests, with some of them already equity partners in other ICICI ventures. "These investments also assume significance, coming as they do at a time when the Indian economy is faced with several uncertainties and also in view of the recent
26 Sep 2002
Irda sets up committee to examine agency structures
New Delhi: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority has set up a panel to study the entire gamut of issues related to agency structures, including their commission and training, according to chairman N Rangachary.
New regulations for corporate agents by mid-Oct
New Delhi: The insurance watchdog is coming out with a slew of regulations and amendments by mid-October. It also hopes to issue the first clutch of broking licences by the middle of November.
Irda sounds alert over deluge of assured return schemes
New Delhi: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority has sounded a note of caution on the negative effects of flooding the market with assured return schemes.
SBI Life to foray into pension products market
New Delhi: SBI Life Insurance is gearing up for a debut in the pension products market, managing director R Krishnamurthy said here on Wednesday. It is also relaunching its Sukhjeevan policy to make it more attractive with riders, including critical illness benefits.
IDBI bank launches debit-cum-ATM card
Mumbai: IDBI Bank Ltd on Wednesday announced the launch of its debit-cum-ATM card in association with Visa International.
South Indian Bank lowers home loan rates
Kochi: The Thrissur-based South Indian Bank has reduced the rate of interest on housing loans to 10.5 per cent for loans up to Rs 10 lakh. The rate of loans for amounts exceeding Rs 10 lakh will be 11 per cent per annum, a fax from the bank has said.
HDFC Chubb may get licence soon
Mumbai: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) is expected to grant licence to HDFC Chubb General Insurance Co shortly while Reliance Life Insurance is likely to give be given a clearance once the group firms up it infotech plans.
`Insurance companies loading higher motor premiums'
Kolkata: Some public sector general insurance companies have allegedly started loading higher premiums on motor vehicle insurance. They are said to be loading a premium of 200 per cent in the policies of old vehicles.
TVA Help.com to offer insurance for laptops
New Delhi: Oriental Insurance Co Ltd, has signed an agreement with TVA Help.com Pvt Ltd offering insurance cover for laptops, notebooks and palmtops of various brands.
Usha Beltron NCD downgraded
Mumbai: Fitch Ratings India has downgraded Usha Beltron Ltd's Rs 50-crore non-convertible debenture programme to `A-(Ind)' from `A(Ind)'. The rating outlook is stable.
IDBI Bank plans to expand retail reach
Mumbai: IDBI Bank has outlined plans to increase its retail reach, courtesy an expansion programme that partially centres around the recent acquisition of the merchant banking business of BNP Paribas.
2 more UTI Bank ATMs opened in Kochi
Kochi: The two new ATMs are located at Penta Tower, Kaloor and Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Kalamassery. The two ATMs were opened on Wednesday.
IOB Tier-II bonds
Chennai: Indian Overseas Bank has received permission from the government to go in for a Tier-II issue of bonds, S.C. Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director, IOB said.
25 Sep 2002
CII favours next generation reforms in insurance sector
New Delhi: Confederation of Indian Industrys national council wants the government to kickstart the next generation of reforms in the insurance sector by permitting entry of specialist health insurance companies and raising the foreign direct investment limit from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.
CCIL mulls guaranteed securities settlement
New Delhi: The Clearing Corporation of India Ltd is planning to extend guaranteed settlement for all securities transactions to meet the shortage of liquidity, if any.
Dividend payment by 22 public sector banks rises 24.18 per cent in 2001-02
Mumbai: The total dividend payment of 22 public sector banks increased by 24.18 per cent to Rs 1213.92 crore during 2001-02 from the level of Rs 977.56 crore during 2000-01.
Housing finance firms to raise Rs 600 crore via MBS
Mumbai: After the Reserve Bank of India relaxed the investment norms, at least 10 companies including Citibank, CanFin Home, PNB Housing and BoB Housing are planning to raise about Rs 600 crore through mortgage-backed securities.
MoF approves ADBs $100 million nomestic debt issue
New Delhi: The finance ministry has approved a proposal by the Asian Development Bank to raise $100 million from the domestic debt market, a government official said on Tuesday.
ICICI Pru raises capital base by Rs 95 crore
New Delhi: ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company has increased its capital base by Rs 95 crore, taking the total paid-up equity capital to Rs 325 crore.
RBI looks at widening repo market base
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India is exploring the possibility of widening the base of the repo market including extending it to non-SGL account holders like CSGL account holders, according to according to H.R. Khan, CGM, Reserve Bank of India.
South Indian Bank: Confidence springs from `solid' figures
Kochi: The South Indian Bank Ltd, with a paid-up capital of Rs 35 crore and reserves and surplus of Rs 238 crore, having its registered office in Thrissur, Kerala, will continue to remain an independent entity, according to its Chairman, A. Sethumadhavan.
Kelkar meets IBA panel members
Mumbai: Low credit deposit ratio, corporate governance in banks and interest rate scenario were among the issues discussed at the meeting of Dr Vijay Kelkar, Advisor to the Finance Minister, on Monday with Managing Committee members of the Indian Banks Association.
Corpn Bank adds one more ATM
Mangalore: Corporation Bank has opened one more automated teller machine here, taking the total number of the bank's ATMs to 220. It plans to set up 500 ATMs across the country by the end of the current fiscal.
Eighth bipartite wage settlement - IBA, union talks on Oct 18
Kolkata: The talks would determine the wage structure for five years beginning November 1, 2002, for about 7,57,000 employees working in 27 public sector banks, including officers and other staff.
Kapol Co-op's net profit, deposits up
Mumbai: The Mumbai-based Kapol Co-operative Bank will be setting up branches in Surat and Ahmedabad in Gujarat shortly. The bank, which has almost doubled its net profit from Rs 1.29 crore in 2000-01 to Rs 2.18 crore in 2001-02.
24 Sep 2002
Bankers spell out priority sector concerns to Kelkar
New Delhi: Senior bankers on Monday expressed the need for a review of the priority sector for providing focused lending to such sectors at frequent intervals in pursuit of national objectives in an interactive discussion with advisor to Union finance minister, Dr Vijay Kelkar.
IFCI seeks govt help to restructure liabilities
New Delhi: IFCI Ltd has sought the governments help in restructuring its liabilities exceeding Rs 12,500 crore.
REC taps bond market to raise Rs 100 crore
New Delhi: The Rural Electrification Corporation on Monday approached the market with a bond issue of Rs 100 crore. REC proposes to use the proceeds of this issue to meet commitments for priority sector lending.
Shriram Group eyes fresh capital to boost NBFC business
Chennai: Chennai-based Shriram group is looking at fresh capital infusion from foreign funds to enhance the disbursement activities of its non banking finance company arms.
Lakshmi General rights issue fully subscribed
Chennai: Lakshmi General Finance has announced the full subscription of its rights issue. In a press release, LGF said it had issued 10,00,000 equity shares of Rs.10 each at a premium of Rs 50 per share on rights basis.
RBI cancels registration
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India has cancelled the certificate of registration issued to Chennai-based Indian Finance and Factors Ltd.
LIC targets 25% growth rate by 2005
Chennai: Life Insurance Corporation of India is planning to improve its growth rate from the current level of 20 per cent to 25 per cent by 2005, its Chairman, Mr S.B. Mathur, said.
United India to focus on personal line of insurance
Kochi: United India Insurance is planning special thrust to personal line of insurance (PLI) in the State as part of its efforts to reduce losses.
Central Bank centres for soiled notes exchange
Mumbai: CentralL Bank of India has opened centres for the exchange of soiled notes at its three branches in Mumbai. These counters will be open on Sundays to meet the public's needs.
ING, Vysya to merge operations by year-end
Bangalore: ING plans to integrate its banking operations in India with Vysya Bank by end-December, Peter Smyth, General Manager, ING Asia-Pacific, has said. The ING group hiked its stake in the private Indian bank to 44 per cent recently.
LVB to dial tele-banking from tomorrow
Karur: The Karur-based Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd (LVB) is getting ready to launch tele-banking ervice at select branches from September 25.
IFCI gets RBI nod for waivers during recast
New Delhi: IFCI Ltd has sought the Government's assistance to restructure its liabilities while at the same time asking the Reserve Bank of India to relax certain regulatory provisions during the restructuring phase.
JP Morgan offers Rs 35/share for IDBI Bank's 26 pc stake
Mumbai: International investment banker JP Morgan is understood to have offered a price of close to Rs 35 per share for a 26 per cent stake in IDBI Bank. This works out to nearly Rs 7 more than the Rs 27-28 per share offered by Sidbi.
IFCI pressing on with rejig efforts
New Delhi: IFCI is moving ahead amidst an uncertain future, but at a snail's pace. The institution's sanctions and disbursals have come down to a trickle compared to its heydays with net assistance sanctioned during the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
Strike call against bank branch closure
Kolkata: Bengal Provincial Bank Employees Association, affiliated to All-India Bank Employees Association, has given the call for one day's token strike on October 1 in Kolkata to protest against the closure of the Bank of Tokyo's Kolkata branch in August without serving notice.
Union Bank to make market debut today
Mumbai: Union Bank of India's IPO will get listed on both the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange tomorrow. The issue of Rs 288 crore, which was oversubscribed over five times, attracted heavy retail and corporate investments.
NPA Ordinance for UTI, co-op banks on hold
New Delhi: The Government has put on hold the proposal to bring Unit Trust of India (UTI) and urban co-operative banks (UCBs) under the Ordinance for recovery of non-performing assets (NPAs).
Gujarat UCBs continue the ninepin game
Ahmedabad: As one co-operative bank after the other continues to face liquidity crunch and opt out of clearing house operations with sickening regularity, surely it is time the Gujarat government and the RBI came out of their passive roles and began cracking the whip.
23 Sep 2002
Life after junk grade: we are like this only!
A day after Standard & Poors downgraded the countrys local currency debt ratings to junk, first reactions have been typical, if anything. That it is unjustified.
Unrated paper: all caught in a cleft stick
Mumbai: It is vintage Catch-22. The Reserve Bank of Indias move to make bank investments norms a notch stricter has not been operationalised yet.
Traders evince interest in short-term securities
Mumbai: Despite the rising liquidity, traders are staying away from the long-end of the market and focusing trades to the shorter end. In fact, the preference is for securities within 10 years. The reason is that these securities are generally treated as mor e liquid than the long-end securities.
United Bank posts Rs 91-cr operating profit in 5 months
Mumbai: In the first five months of the current financial year, United Bank of India posted an operating profit of Rs 91 crore as against Rs 36 crore (after taking into account the VRS cost) in the same period of last year.
Counter for note exchange
Hyderabad: Andhra Bank has announced the opening of a special counter at its Narayanaguda branch here for providing note exchange facility.
Firm up bank conversion plan, IDBI told
Mumbai: Industrial Development Bank of India has made a pitch with the Government for its conversion into a bank as part of the restructuring exercise. The restructuring is to be initiated after the IFCI package is finalised.
AP urban co-op banks sick due to mismanagement: Panel
Hyderabad: An expert committee set up by the Andhra Pradesh Government to analyse the co-operative banking sector in the State has submitted a report that points to how much the rot has set in the sector.
Bank credit rises Rs 5,719 crore
Mumbai: Bank credit rose by Rs 5,719 crore for the fortnight ended September 6 and touched Rs 6,58,239 crore. This is inclusive of food credit which dipped by Rs 223 crore and non-food credit which rose by Rs 5,942 crore.
Debt swap scheme fund to retire high-cost debt
New Delhi: The finance ministry is likely to use Rs 25,000 crore, which is expected to accrue from the proposed debt swap scheme for the states, to pre-pay small savings debt.
Seamless TPA services to take time
New Delhi: Public sector insurers are likely to offer Mediclaim customers a differential rate, once the third party administrator mechanism is put in place.
Iffco-Tokio hopes to enter life insurers club
Mumbai: IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance Company Ltd, one of the two profitable private sector players in the general insurance sector apart from Reliance Insurance, is actively looking at the possibility of entering the lucrative life insurance arena.
UTI Ordinance to be sent to law ministry soon
New Delhi: The finance ministry will soon send the draft ordinance for repealing the unit trust act to the law ministry.