24 April 2004
Rupee firms up 10 paise
Mumbai: The rupee closed at 44.05 per dollar on Friday, with a stronger closing of around 10 paise as compared to its previous closing of 44.1550.
Forwards Market- The one-month premia was at - 2.95 per cent (- 3.49 per cent), the six-month at - 0.65 per cent (- 0.77 per cent) and the one-year at - 0.32 per cent (- 0.39 per cent).
G-Secs- The 8.07 per cent 2017 traded between Rs 125.22 and Rs 125.27, while the 7.46 per cent 2017 traded between Rs 120.14 and Rs 120.18.
Call rates remained at 4.50 per cent levels in the inter-bank market.
RBI: No dividends fiesta from banks
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday decided that only healthy scheduled commercial banks would have a free hand in declaring dividends while the weaker ones would need permission from the regulator, which would be given on a case-to-case basis. Accordingly, banks that have a net NPA of more than 3 per cent of net assets will no longer be able to declare dividends without the prior permission of the RBI, according to a press release.
The revised guidelines on dividends payable by banks also prescribe that only banks wishing to pay out dividends must have a capital adequacy ratio of at least 11 per cent for the preceding two completed years and the accounting year for which it proposes. Further, they must have made adequate provisions for impairment of assets and staff retirement benefits, transfer of profits to statutory reserves and Investment Fluctuation Reserve.
Additionally, the apex bank has said it should not also have placed any explicit restrictions on the bank for declaration of dividends.
With regards to the quantum of dividends, the proposed dividend should be payable out of the current year's profit.
Banks such as State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank and, among the private banks, ICICI Bank, United Western Bank, Federal Bank and Global Trust Bank have NPA ratios above the 3-per cent mark.
HDFC Bank partners Bahrain Saudi bank
Mumbai: HDFC Bank and Bahraini Saudi Bank (BSB) have announced an alliance, which will allow Indian expatriates in Bahrain, unhindered access to HDFC Bank's complete bouquet of products and services through the BSB.
With this alliance NRI customers now will be able to affect speedy transfer of funds between Bahrain and India at affordable rates.
ABN Amro sells LeasePlan to Volswagen
New Delhi: ABN Amro has announced that it will divest LeasePlan Corporation to a consortium led by the Volkswagen Group for 2.13 billion euro. As per the terms of the agreement, of the total amount, 2 billion euro is to be paid in cash and the remaining 130 million euro as a dividend.
LeasePlan Corporation is the European market leader in operational multi-brand car leasing and one of the world's leading companies in fleet management services. It has also been operating in the Indian market for about four-and-a-half years and leads the business with a fleet size of over 6,600 vehicles.
Euronet to deploy ATMs for Citibank
Mumbai: Euronet Worldwide Inc, an electronics payment provider, has announced an ATM outsourcing and deployment agreement with Citibank India, whereby it will install 100 ATMs for Citibank across cities over the next six months.
Under this agreement Euronet will select the sites, install the ATMs and all related equipment, drive the ATMs for Euronet's operations centre in Mumbai and provide all of the day-to-day outsourcing services.
Motilal Oswal PMS scheme outperforms market
Mumbai: Stockbroking firm Motilal Oswal Securities has provided returns of 160 per cent (post-tax) for its clients under the portfolio management services (PMS) in the last financial year. The portfolio has outperformed the Sensex, which gained 80 per cent in the last fiscal. Currently, PMS has 50 clients and a corpus of Rs 51 crore. The minimum investment in the PMS is Rs 50 lakh.
23 April 2004
Rupee eases another nine paise
Mumbai: The rupee ended at 44.1550 in its value against the dollar, sliding lower from its previous closing at 44.06/07.
Forward Markets- The six months premium closed at - 0.77 per cent (-0.68 per cent) and the one-year premium ended at - 0.39 per cent (-0.31 per cent).
G-Secs- The 7.37 per cent 2014 paper ended at Rs 117.87/89, while the 8.07 per cent 2017 paper closed at Rs 125.33/35 (Rs 125.30).
Call rates- Slightly higher at 4.50 per cent.
RBI extends credit concessions in J&K to '05
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India has informed the chiefs of all commercial banks that the concessions and credit relaxations to borrowers in Jammu and Kashmir has been extended up to March 31, 2005. This has been done with a view to ensuring larger flow of credit to trade and industry in the State, the RBI has said in a circular to all scheduled banks.
Vijaya Bank announces dividend of 25 per cent
Bangalore: Vijaya Bank's net profit for 2003-04 has more than doubled to Rs 411.31 crore from Rs 196.56 crore a year back. The bank has reported total income of Rs 2,465.78 crore for 2003-04, up 22 per cent from Rs 2,016.83 crore. It has also announced a dividend of 25 per cent for the year.
Vijaya Bank expects to report a total business close to Rs 43,000 crore in 2004-05, of which Rs 28,000 crore is likely to come from deposits and Rs 15,000 crore from advances. NPAs fell by Rs 105.84 crore or 51.42 per cent during the year from Rs 205.81 crore a year earlier, pushing the NPA ratio to 0.91 per cent from 2.61 per cent.
BoBCard to launch pre-paids
Chennai: BoBCards Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of Baroda, intends to introduce two pre-paid cards, a dollar card for international use and a rupee card for local use.
22 April 2004
Global economies to perform better: IMF
Washington: In its latest World Economic Outlook the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that the global economy will expand by 4.6 per cent this year, compared to 3.9 per cent in 2003 and for 2005, it projects a global output of 4.4 per cent.
China, it says would grow by 8.5 per cent this year while Japan has been projected to grow 3.4 per cent this year. The IMF has also downgraded its forecast for a number of countries in Europe, saying that the euro will see just 1.7 per cent growth this year.
Outsourcing trends in Biotech and Pharmaceuticals
Larchmont, USA: According to the April 15 issue of GEN (Genetic Engineering News) a number of industry observers support the movement of R&D in the biotechnology sector offshore, where scientists receive wages that are a fraction of what their counterparts receive in the U.S. According to GEN, McKinsey and Co. expects off shoring to grow 30-40 per cent over the next five years.
According to the report the U.S. companies are looking at, and in some cases, actually moving manufacturing and clinical trials overseas to sites such as India, China, Singapore, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. The report says that Ireland, India, and Singapore are attracting big biotech dollars. India, Eastern Europe, and Israel are also becoming popular sites for U.S.-based CROs to conduct drug trials, and new companies are also being established in India and Israel to conduct trials.
Spansion sampling second-generation MirrorBit technology
Sunnyvale, USA: Spansion has announced that it is supplying an initial group of customers with hundreds of engineering samples based on second-generation, 110-nanometer MirrorBit technology. These stand alone and stacked multi-chip (MCP) samples enable AMD and Fujitsu customers to integrate this technology into designs targeted for production in the third quarter.
Optimized for 1.8-volt wireless designs, second-generation MirrorBit technology enables feature-rich products with simultaneous read-write operation, a high-throughput burst-mode interface, Advanced Sector Protection security features and extremely low energy consumption.
Spansion says that MirrorBit technology, which was only a specification in 2001, required just three years and two generations of development to surpass what competing MLC floating-gate solutions have achieved in seven years and four generations. As a result, manufacturers are replacing single- and multi-level cell floating-gate technology in cutting-edge mobile phones, PDAs, digital cameras, servers, television set-top boxes, printers, networking and telecom equipment, game systems and navigation devices.
IIJ Security Standard: Enhanced firewall service
Tokyo: Internet Initiative Japan Inc., one of Japan's leading Internet access and comprehensive network solutions providers, has announced that the company will enhance IIJ Security Standard, its standard managed firewall service that is targeted to the enterprise market, in June, 2004. The service will support additional features such as 'hot-standby' that enables immediate switching to the stand-by appliance in the event of a failure. The service will be especially vital for environments where a high level of reliability is required at all times, such as in data centres.
IIJ Security Standard is a managed service that provides the latest in security countermeasures, including firewall configuration, monitoring, reporting, and equipment rental. When used with IIJ's Internet connectivity services, IIJ Security Standard is a powerful network security management tool that allows customers to call only one vendor for a quick response in the event of a failure. With this service, customers can outsource the hassle of operating firewalls for a fixed monthly fee. Time-consuming problems pertaining to equipment maintenance, system failures, and reconfigurations due to security policy changes are easily avoided with IIJ Security Standard.
IIJ currently provides its five managed security services to over 1,200 corporate customers. With the growing concern about attacks on corporate networks and other security risks, building stronger network infrastructure and security measures are an important issue for all companies.
21 April 2004
Mumbai: The rupee closed at 43.95/96 in its value against dollar.
Forwards Market- The six month forwards closed at -0.41 per cent (-0.25 per cent) and the one-year closed at -0.12 per cent (-0.04 per cent).
G-Secs- The 8.07 per cent 2017 paper closed at Rs 125.43 and the 7.37 per cent 2014 paper closed at Rs 117.92.
Call rates- remained in a narrow range of 4.25 per cent with abundant liquidity in the system.
RBI puts rate cap on NRI deposits
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India has said that interest rate on fresh repatriable non-resident Indian (NRI) deposits accepted by non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) should not exceed LIBOR or SWAP rate for the US dollar, effective from close of business on April 17.
These rates would also be applicable to renewed repatriable NRI deposits after their present maturity period, said an RBI release. Other instructions relating to maturity period of deposits would remain unchanged.
FICCI concern at exchange rate fluctuations
New Delhi: According to Y.K. Modi, President, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) the recent volatility in the rupee exchange rate is a major concern and such uncertainties should be avoided.
In this context, he welcomed the new market stabilisation bond scheme, which he felt could be an effective instrument in smoothening out the fluctuations. Modi also pointed out an urgent need to further reduce interest rates on credit to help the industry reduce costs.
IDFC to pay 10 per cent dividend
Mumbai: Infrastructure Development Finance Co Ltd (IDFC) has registered a 44 per cent increase in net profit during 2003-04 to touch the Rs 259.15-crore mark, against Rs 179.95 crore in the previous fiscal.
IDFC's Board of Directors has accordingly recommended a dividend of 10 per cent, which is Re 1 per equity share.
i-flex and FRS in global pact
Mumbai: i-flex Solutions has entered into a global agreement with FRS, a unit of S1 Corporation, for promoting FRS' regulatory reporting and financial analytic solutions to banks worldwide. FRS is a global leader in regulatory reporting solutions.
i-flex provides core banking solutions to a number of clients across the world.
HDFC Bank margins up on higher retail lending
Mumbai: HDFC Bank has increased its net interest margin to 3.8 per cent in FY04, up from 3.3 per cent in FY 03. The increase in the margin is due to lower cost of funds and increased retail lending of the bank.
Total deposits of the bank for the year grew at a healthy pace of 35.9 per cent to Rs 30,409 crore up from Rs 22,376 crore in the previous year.
Higher FCNR(B) deposit rates from UCO Bank
Kolkata: UCO Bank has revised upwards the interest rates on FCNR(B) deposits from Tuesday. For deposits held in dollar, the rates have been increased to 1.3 per cent, 2.1 per cent and 2.7 per cent for the periods of one year to less than two years, from two years to less than three years and that of three years respectively.
For British pound deposits, the rates are 4.55 per cent, 4.6 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively for the periods of one year to less than two years, from two years to less than three years and three years. For deposits held in Euro the rates will be 1.85 per cent, 2.25 per cent and 2.6 per cent for the respective periods, according to a UCO Bank press release.
20 April 2004
Mumbai: The rupee closed at 43.89/90 in its value against the dollar on Monday.
Forwards Market- The six-month premium ended at - 0.25 per cent (-0.26 per cent) while the one year premium ended at - 0.04 per cent (-0.23 per cent)
G-Secs- The 8.07 per cent 2017 paper was dealt lower at Rs 125.41/43, while the 7.37 per cent 2014 paper also got dealt lower at Rs 117.87.
Call rates remained at 4.25 per cent levels in the inter-bank market.
Canara Bank: Cuts home loan rates
Bangalore: Canara Bank has cut the interest rate on home loans by 0.25 percentage point across all maturities and on fixed and floating rate options, effective as of April 1. In a release the bank has said that under floating rates the interest rate would be 7.25 per cent instead of 7.5 per cent for loans up to five years, irrespective of loan size.
For loans above five years tenure, the rates are down to eight per cent from the earlier 8.25 per cent up to a loan size of Rs 10 lakh irrespective of tenure. For loans above five years exceeding Rs 10 lakh, the new rate would be 8.25 per cent down by 0.25 percentage point from the earlier 8.5 per cent irrespective of tenure. Fixed rates applicable for the above three categories would now are 7.75 per cent (8 per cent), 8.75 per cent (9 per cent) and 9 per cent (9.25 per cent), it said.
RBI asks banks to accept coins by weight
Mumbai: The RBI has advised all the branches of public/private sector banks in Mumbai city to accept, by weight, aluminium coins of 5 paise, 10 paise, 20 paise, aluminium bronze coins of 10 paise, stainless coins of 10 paise, cupronickel coins of 25 paise, 50 paise and Re 1 denominations.
According to a release, the RBI has requested the public having stock of such coins to tender them, denomination-wise and metal-wise, over the counters in lots of 100 coins in polythene sachets. Similar arrangements also exist for acceptance of current stainless steel coins of 25 paise, 50 paise and Rs 1 and cupronickel coins of Rs 2 and Rs 5.
Dena Bank revises NRE deposit rates
Mumbai: The Dena Bank Ltd has revised the interest rates on its Non-Resident External Deposits for one, two and three year NRE deposits. T he rates have been revised to 1.35 per cent, 1.90 per cent and 2.40 per cent respectively with immediate effect, said a press release. Interest rates on NRE savings deposits for the quarter April-June 2004 has been fixed at 1.20 per cent.
AIBOC Kerala drops strike plan
Kochi: The All-India Bank Officers Confederation has called off its proposed state-wide strike in Kerala on April 20. At a meeting organised between the organisation and the Dhanalakshmi Bank management at Thrissur, it was decided that the retirement age of officers would be reverted to 60 years. According to reports the management has also agreed to reconsider the various transfers affected as a result of the strike called by the officers on April 10.
19 April 2004
Forex reserves cross $116 billion
Mumbai: India 's foreign exchange reserves have jumped by a record $3.37 billion to cross the $116 billion mark for the week ended April nine. The country's forex reserves rose from $1,12,680 million to a new peak of $1,16,060 million in the period under review, according to Reserve Bank of India 's weekly statistical supplement issued on Saturday.
Foreign currency assets also surged ahead by $3,385 million at $1,10,560 million, while gold reserves and special drawing rights remained static at $4,198 million and $2 million respectively.