13 March 2004
The rupee closed at 45.2550/26 per dollar on Friday as against Thursday's closing of 45.28.
Forwards Market - The six-month premium closed at 0.34 per cent (0.45 per cent), while the one-year premium closed at 0.44 per cent (0.47 per cent).G-Secs - The 5.64 per cent 2019 was up at Rs 99.80/90. The 8.07 per cent 2017 went up to Rs 123.50/60
Interest rates on small savings to remain unchanged
Mumbai: According to government officials there will be no change in interest rates on small saving instruments for the time being. Subsequent to a meeting of the advisory panel chaired by Dr Rakesh Mohan, Reserve Bank of India, Deputy Governor the officials further indicated that the Market Stabilisation Fund was in the final stages of approval and the first tranche would be included in the Union Government's borrowing programme during the first quarter of the next fiscal. They indicated that the fund would be a combination of bonds and treasury bills and the exact amount would be finalised along with the calendar for government's borrowing programme.
SBI-Canara Bank joint venture in Russia
Bangalore: The Commercial Bank of India, a joint venture entity of the SBI and the Canara Bank will come into existence in Russia and is expected to begin operations by next month. According to bank officials both the banks had already remitted the capital for the purpose. The joint venture is capitalised at $20 million, of which SBI has provided $12 million. Both the banks had so far functioned through representative offices in Russia. The board of the bank would have two directors each from the SBI and the Canara Bank and representatives from the Russian Government.
SBT branches linked to ATMs nationwide
Thiruvananthapuram: The State Bank of Travancore (SBT) has announced that all its branches in Thiruvananthapuram are now linked to the State Bank ATM network. Customers with savings bank or current accounts at any of the bank's branches in Thiruvananthapuram will now be offered ATM cards free-of-cost. With their ATM cards, these customers will be able to access over 3,200 ATMs of the State Bank Group across the country, the release adds.Besides, SBT customers with ATM cards can also make withdrawals from the ATMs of UTI Bank and HDFC Bank.
12 March 2004
Rupee down 6 paise
The rupee, at 45.28, closed six paise weaker in value to the dollar on Thursday.
Forwards Market - The six-month forwards ended at 0.45 per cent (0.41 per cent) while the premium for one year ending was at 0.47 per cent (0.48 per cent).
G-Secs - The 8.07 per cent 2017 closed at Rs 122.85 (Rs 122.75), while the 7.37 per cent 2014 closed at Rs 116.77/80 (Rs 116.70).
SCILL's debt plan gets top rating
Mumbai: Standard Chartered Investments and Loans (India) Limited's (SCILL) proposed short-term debt programme of up to Rs 200 crore has received the highest rating of `P1+' from CRISIL.
HSBC has appetite for more home loan portfolios
Mumbai: HSBC today launched `Smart Home' a savings-linked home loan product. Subscription to this scheme necessitates that the customer open a current account with HSBC with the EMI varying from month to month depending on the balance maintained in the account. The feature of the scheme is that although one earns no interest on the balance maintained in the current account, the customer, according to the bank, can save up to 50 per cent on interest expenses of the loan. The loan comes at a floating interest rate of 7.5 per cent with a maximum tenor of 20 years.
Highest safety rating for GAIL bonds
New Delhi: ICRA has assigned a `LAAA' rating, to the Rs 1,000-crore non-convertible bonds (NCD) programme of GAIL (India) Ltd. The rating indicates the highest safety. The highest safety ratings, according to an ICRA statement, take into account GAIL's strong market position in the gas transmission and distribution business, its strong financial position arising out of its healthy profitability resulting in strong cash generation from operations and low gearing. GAIL is primarily engaged in the natural gas transmission business with a market share in excess of 90 per cent
KYC guidelines: RBI to review progress
Mumbai: A senior official of the Reserve Bank of India has said that it will soon review the progress made by banks in implementing the `Know Your Customer' (KYC) guidelines. Under these guidelines the banks are supposed to keep a tab on money laundering activities by its customers.
The central bank had set a timetable in December for banks to adhere to KYC procedures for customer accounts, including individuals and corporates. The detailed regulations and norms relating to monitoring of money laundering are soon to be released by RBI and according to the official the bank expects the system to be in place by December 2004.
11 March 2004
Rupee ends higher
The rupee on Wednesday closed higher at 45.2250, from Tuesday's close of 45.2375 in its value against the dollar.
Forwards Market - The six months forward closed at 0.41 per cent (0.35 per cent) and the one-year closed at 0.48 per cent (0.47 per cent).
G-secs - The 8.07 percent 2017 paper rose 24 paise to 122.85 at the close of trading. The yield fell 2 basis points to 5.56 percent.
Redemption of March papers
Bangalore: The Government is poised for the redemption of securities maturing during the next few months. Two securities, the 11.57 per cent 2004 and the 12.50 per cent 2004, have already been notified for redemption by the Reserve Bank of India. These securities, issued in 1998 and 1994, respectively, mature on March 23 and March 25, 2004.
StanChart sets up SCILL
Mumbai: Standard Chartered Bank has announced the establishment of the Standard Chartered Investments and Loans (India) Ltd SCILL, a 100 per cent subsidiary. The newly set up SCILL will venture into the domestic debt market shortly.
SCILL will be a corporate-focused, non-banking finance company, which will not accept public deposits.
Stan Chart says that it plans to raise commercial papers, non-convertible debentures and inter-corporate deposits in the local debt market. SCILL will start with an equity capital of $7.5 million, which will be scaled up to $50 million over 18 months. For the Standard Chartered group, India is the third largest market in Asia after Hong Kong and Singapore. For the year ended December 2003, the Indian unit earned $186 million profit before tax.
Nabard Capital Gains Bonds
Thiruvananthauram: Nabard (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) has decided to close subscriptions to the Nabard Capital Gains Bonds issue at the existing rate of 5.00 per cent per annum from the close of business on March 13, 2004.
The issue will remain closed from March 15, 2004, to March 31, 2004 (both days inclusive) and shall reopen for fresh subscription on April 1, 2004. Interest rate for the fresh issue shall be announced later.
AIBEA asks candidates to declare dues
Chennai: The AIBEA has written to the Election Commission, asking the Commission to publicize the bank defaults of all the candidates contesting in the current Lok Sabha elections. As per a Supreme Court judgment from 2003, the candidates are required to declare their financial liabilities and dues to banks to the EC.
Corporation Bank Foundation Day celebrations
Mangalore: Corporation Bank will celebrate its 98th Foundation Day on March 12. As part of the celebration, the Director of National Judicial Academy, Bhopal, Dr N.R. Madhava Menon, will deliver a lecture on "Law and economic development in a globalised environment" at the corporate office of the bank.
SBT branches get ISO
Thiruvananthapuram: Four more branches of the State Bank of Travancore have received the ISO 9001:2000 recognition. The bank says that it has achieved 100 per cent computerization and is aiming to achieve ISO certification for more branches.
10 March 2004
Mumbai: The rupee on Tuesday closed higher at 45.2375, up from Monday's close of 45.2400/2450 in its value against the dollar.
Forwards market - The six months forward closed at 0.35 per cent (0.36 per cent) and the one-year closed at 0.47 per cent (0.44 per cent).
G-secs- The ten-year benchmark, the 7.37 per cent 2014 paper closed at Rs 116.65 with an yield of 5.22 per cent.
ICICI Bank ties up with Microcredit Foundation
Chennai: ICICI Bank intends to tie-up with micro-finance organisations all over the country and has taken the first step through a tie-up with Microcredit Foundation of India (MFI), founded and run by Dr K.M. Thiagarajan, former Chairman of Bank of Madura.
Under the arrangement, MFI would facilitate formation of self-help groups(SHGs) and help them acquire capability to generate income for the group. Later, MFI would provide finance for the income generating activities. In all these areas, ICICI Bank would back MFI with the funds needed. The MFI was already involved with some 10,000 SHGs in Tamil Nadu and expects the number to go up to 50,000 in the next three years.
Syndicate Bank: Designated to collect taxes in AP
Hyderabad: The Syndicate Bank has announced that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has designated 38 branches of the bank in Andhra Pradesh for collection of direct taxes. The bank has urged the public and corporate bodies to avail of the services for remitting their corporate, income, wealth and other direct taxes including tax deducted at source.
DCB ties up with Visa
Bangalore: The Development Credit Bank has tied up with Visa International and aims to disburse close to 2,50,000 debit cards in the next 12 months.
Andhra Bank: Securitises home loans
Hyderabad: Andhra Bank has informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that it plans to securitise part of its housing loans by issue of pass through certificates amounting to approximately Rs 42 crore. Its housing loans portfolio has been assigned an `AAA (SO)' by Crisil.
9 March 2004
Rupee up 5 paise
Mumbai: The rupee on Monday closed at 45.2400/2450 per dollar - five paise higher than the previous close of 45.2975. G-Sec - The 7.40 per cent 2012 paper closed at Rs 114.52/55 and the 8.07 per cent 2017 paper closed at Rs 122.55/60.
Tata AIG launches unit-linked InvestAssure
Mumbai: `InvestAssure' is a new unit-linked insurance plan, launched by the Tata AIG Life Insurance, which intends to combine the security of a life insurance policy with the opportunity of earning high returns on the premium. InvestAssure offers investors the flexibility of choosing the investment fund and also of topping their investments (single top-up premium or regular top-up premium) at any time during the life of the plan.The company has entered into an agreement with Franklin Templeton Investments (India), which will lend Tata AIG, non-discretionary investment advisory services, under the portfolio management services licence.
India is growth market for ABN Amro
Mumbai: Netherlands-based, ABN Amro Bank N.V has identified India as one of the growth markets, worldwide, for its working capital business. The bank plans to venture into vendor financing by December 2004 as part of its working capital initiative. Other than India the growth markets include China and Taiwan in Asia and Turkey, Russia and Brazil worldwide.
IDBI Flexibonds issue for Rs 500 cr
Mumbai: IDBI is to tap the market with the Rs 500-crore `IDBI Flexibonds 21' issue. It will remain open for subscription between March 9 and March 29. The issue has a target amount of Rs 500 crore with a greenshoe option to retain an additional Rs 500 crore. IDBI Flexibonds-21 have been rated `AA+ (Rating Watch with developing implications)' by CRISIL, "AA+(ind) (Outlook on Rating is stable)" by FITCH Ratings and `LAA' by ICRA.
Visa promotion plan for travellers to Singapore
Mumbai: The Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Visa International have launched the `Visa for VISA' promotion plan for Visa Platinum and International Gold cardholders. The programme offers benefits and discounts on airfares, visa and other facilities when cardholders purchase Singapore Airlines tickets over the Internet. The scheme is valid in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai. The programme has been designed for Visa Platinum and International Gold cardholders along with their immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children below 21 years of age).
The promotion includes free health screening worth $200 for all Visa Platinum cardholders and special offers on health screening packages for all Visa International Gold cardholders, in collaboration with Parkway Group Healthcare, a healthcare provider in Singapore. Travellers can also avail themselves of facilities such as obesity and weight management, body contouring and lip sculpture. The promotion is valid for tickets issued at www.singaporeair.co.in up to April 30. Passengers must travel from India to Singapore by April 30 and return travel must be within the validity of the ticket (three months for economy class and one year for raffles class).
ING sale of Asian equities business
Bangalore: ING has sold its Asia equities business to the Australia-based Macquarie Bank Ltd. The sell-off included Asian cash equities sales, trading, research and equity capital market operations in 10 countries in Asia and key locations in Europe and the US.
All its existing business In India would continue which would include its operations through ING Barings. ING Barings is a registered foreign institutional investor. ING's product profile in the country includes equity derivatives, mergers & acquisitions advisory, debt capital markets, fixed income trading, sales and research, treasury, structured finance, syndicated loans, securitisation, foreign exchange, money markets and derivatives and trade & commodity finance.
Assocham seeks better credit flow
New Delhi: In a note submitted to the Reserve Bank of India, the President of Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), Mr M.K. Sanghi, has said that inadequate credit to agriculture and small medium enterprises and the lack of long-term development financing will limit future growth prospects. According to the Chamber, the RBI should take definite policy measures to reduce risk aversion of the bankers and develop a mechanism for project financing as securitisation has not yet caught on in India.
Mr Sanghi has pointed out that while now bank lendings were done on an asset-based model, it was now time to look at moving onto a receivables-based model with a view to addressing the credit disbursement problem, especially in the services sector. From the point of view of commodity exchanges, the RBI has been urged to consider allowing banks to take up membership with the exchanges, which would help farmers to route their futures contracts through banks, which act as aggregators.
8 March 2004
India Unlimited: Investors conference in Singapore
Mumbai: Disinvestment minister Arun Shourie will address representatives of 120 global funds who have signed up for India Unlimited, ICICI Securities' annual investor conference at Singapore. The success of the largest ever disinvestments of government undertakings will be the theme of the third edition of the conference.
Over 120 global funds have signed up for 'India Unlimited', The fund brigade will be led by the Capital Group, Government of Singapore, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, UBS, Temasek, Fidelity and others. 40 Indian companies, which account for almost 60 per cent of the Bombay Stock Exchange market capitalisation, will also be present. The Indian companies would include the Tatas, Reliance, Hindustan Lever, Infosys, Wipro, Mahindra & Mahindra, State Bank, ONGC, GAIL and others.
RBI: Transparency in interest rates
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India, Governor Y V Reddy has asked banks to be more transparent on interest rates charged to borrowers which should be based on individual credit risk assessment rather than deal with them on a category-wise basis. He has also asked banks to provide priority to customer service and to reduce their transaction costs as well as procedural inconveniences to the customers as a matter of priority.
RBI: Relationship managers for banks
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India is considering appointing relationship managers, would deal with queries that the bank may have and co-ordinate with the regulator to address them. The project would be taken up on a pilot basis. The apex bank is also considering developing a mailbox concept to store clarifications given by it to individual banks so that other banks could access the same, a press release issued by the RBI has said.
The RBI Deputy Governor, Ms K.J. Udeshi, has expressed concern over banks sharing customer data with associates and banks offering to sell products through lottery-like schemes.
With reference to the Basel committee on Banking Supervision Ms Udeshi stated that the bigger and internationally active banks should consider investing in technology and develop skills to meet the challenges of the new Basel Accord. The Basel II norms are due to be implemented by the end of 2006. These norms are intended to strengthen the capital structure of banks round the world.
BOB: A+ rating for Tier II subordinate bond issue
Mumbai: According to a press release CARE has assigned a `CARE A+' to the proposed Tier II subordinate bond issue of Bharat Overseas Bank Ltd for Rs 40 crore. It has also assigned a `PR1+' rating to the short-term deposit programme for Rs 50 crore. The rating takes into consideration the longstanding profitable overseas operations of the bank, stable return on assets driven by steady revenue streams, relatively low NPA levels and strong capital adequacy.