06 November 2004
SBH to take over credit card dues
Hyderabad: The State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH) has designed a product that enables credit cardholders to obtain a loan of up to Rs1 lakh to repay their credit card outstanding dues.
Called the `Credit to Credit Cardholders', abbreviated to SBH C3, the product offers the loan at a lower rate of interest of 12.5 per cent per annum compared to 20-30 per cent per annum currently being charged by the credit card issuing banks on the outstanding amounts.
The SBH chief general manager, P Dinakara Rao, while inaugurating the `Festival Loan Mahotsav' said, "The bank expects to receive tremendous response to this novel product since it provides substantial benefit to the credit cardholders."
SBI chairman sees upward pressure on interest rates
Mumbai: State Bank of India (SBI) chairman A K Purwar has forecast an upward pressure on interest rates in the backdrop of the recent repo rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), rising inflation and fast-shrinking, liquidity in the system.
Purwar said there would be pressure on short-term deposit rates, on housing loan rates and on all sub-PLR lending rates. The sub-PLR lending rates, at which corporates borrow funds, have already gone up by 25-50 basis points. He said the SBI was examining various options and is yet to take a decision on rate raises. However, SBI's benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) would remain stable Purwar clarified.
Indian Bank first half net at Rs 154 cr
Chennai: Indian Bank has reported a net profit of Rs154.10 crore for six months ended September 30, 2004, as compared to Rs116.91 crore during the corresponding period last year.
The net profit was arrived at after making provisions towards arrears of wages (Rs110 crore), depreciation on investments (Rs129 crore), floating provision for non-performing assets (Rs85 crore) and market risk and contingencies (Rs30 crore).
MBN Rao, chairman, Indian Bank, said that the bank had, for the first time, made provisions for market risk and contingencies. He said that the bank has otherwise seen a 112.90 percent increase in operating profit to Rs545.46 crore for September, 2004 as compared to Rs256.21 crore during the same period last year.
04 November 2004
Rupee gains as sentiment improves
Mumbai: The rupee appreciated by 18 paise on Wednesday to close at 45.37/3750 per dollar on the back of improved market sentiment fuelled by various international developments. On Tuesday, the domestic currency had closed at Rs.45.55 to the dollar.
Forwards Market: The six-month premium ended at 2.75 per cent (2.80 per cent) and the premium for one-year ended at 2.25 per cent (2.25 per cent).
G-Secs: The 7.38 per cent 2015 paper traded between Rs103.15 and Rs103.28 compared to its closing levels of Rs103.20 yesterday.
Call Rates: surged high to 5.25 per cent in the inter-bank market
CBLO market:156 trades for volumes of Rs5,115 crore in the rate range of 5-5.5 took place.
State loans remain undersubscribed
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India's on tap sale' of the 7.36 per cent State Development Loan, 2014 in respect of eighteen states, for an amount of Rs6,200 crore, which closed today, was undersubscribed. The central bank received total subscriptions of Rs5,621 crore of which it has retained Rs5,084 crore, said an RBI press release.
The 'on tap sale' started for 25 State governments on Tuesday, of which the sale of seven States - Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal - were closed on Tuesday.
Tata Motors and Andhra Bank tie up for car loans
Hyderabad: Tata Motors has nominated Andhra Bank as the `preferred financier' for financing purchases of its passenger cars, as per a memorandum of understanding which it has signed with the bank.
Under the tie-up, purchasers of Tata Motors' passenger car range would be offered loans at 9.25 per cent interest rate for periods of up to 36 months, and 9.5 per cent for above 36 months.
According to the Andhra Bank top brass, the interest rates were reduced by 0.5 per cent for both tenures and would be applicable on a daily reducing balance. The bank has financed 9,000 two-wheelers and 1,000 four-wheelers during the first half of current fiscal and its vehicle loan portfolio stood at around Rs60 crore.
02 November 2004
Deshmukh sworn in as Chief Minister of Maharashtra
Mumbai: Vilasrao Deshmukh has been sworn in as Chief Minister of Maharashtra by the Governor, Mohammad Fazal, at a brief ceremony in the Raj Bhavan. The National Congress Party's, R.R. Patil, took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister.
Deshmukh later told a press conference that the other members of the Cabinet would be inducted on Wednesday. He would soon leave for New Delhi to consult the party high command.
The State Legislature will meet for a three-day session in Mumbai from November 4 to swear in the new members, elect the new Speaker and hold the Governor's address to the joint session of the Assembly and the Legislative Council. The full-fledged session will begin in Nagpur on December 6.
Presidential elections: USA votes today
USA: The United States President, George W. Bush, and his Democratic challenger, John Kerry, went through a frenzied final stretch of campaigning gunning for the top prize in a presidential election still too close to call.
New polls told a now-familiar story - it's neck-and-neck in key States, including Florida and Ohio, that could decide the election.
Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry are vying for 270 Electoral College votes in Tuesday's election. Each State is awarded a certain number of electoral votes related to their population, and in all but two States, whoever wins the most votes captures all of that State's electoral votes.
The top three prizes among battleground States are Florida, with 27 electoral votes, Pennsylvania with 21 and Ohio with 20.
Govt. looking forward to the Petroleum Regulatory Bill
Chennai: The Union Government expects the Petroleum Regulatory Board Bill to be passed in the winter session of Parliament. The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in May 2002 by the then Union Minister of Petroleum, Ram Naik. It seeks to provide for the establishment of the Petroleum Regulatory Board (PRB) to regulate the refining, processing, storage, transportation, distribution, marketing and sale of petroleum and petroleum products excluding production of crude oil and natural gas.
The Bill also intends to protect the interests of consumers and entities engaged in specified activities relating to petroleum and petroleum products, ensure uninterrupted and adequate supply of petroleum and petroleum products all over the country, promote competitive markets and related matters.
India and Uzbek set to relax visa norms
New Delhi: According to the Uzbek Foreign Minister, Dr Sodik S. Safoev, India and Uzbekistan are keen to liberalise the visa regime between the two countries in order to facilitate trade and encourage people-to-people contact. Dr Sodik S. Safoev said this while addressing industry representatives, at a meeting organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here. The Minister explained that this would be one of the key issues for discussion at the proposed India-Uzbekistan Summit early next year, informs a CII statement.
Referring to his country's inherent difficulties due to its geographical location, the visiting Minister said that plans were afoot to improve communication links with the other parts of the world, especially India.
He said, "I hope that Uzbekistan's initiative to create an international transport corridor through Afghanistan to the sea ports of the Indian Ocean will soon be materialised and break the country's dependence on the existing communication systems by connecting Uzbekistan and the large Central Asian market with India."
He was referring to the new transport corridors from Uzbekistan and Mazar-e-Sharif through Herat, Dogarun, Delaram or Milak in Afghanistan to the Iranian seaports of Chabar, Bandar-e-Abbas and further on to Ahmedabad and Mumbai in India.
Kamal Nath: 100 per cent FDI in infrastructure will be allowed
New Delhi: Speaking at the 32nd meeting of the India-Japan Business Co-operation Committees, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Kamal Nath, said that before the end of this year, his Ministry would be introducing a Bill in Parliament on special economic zones (SEZs).
"These will include bio-technology parks and free trade and warehousing zones. In all these, FDI up to 100 per cent would be permitted, including real estate development and establishment of zones," the Minister said.
Kamal Nath also said, "Close co-operation between India and Japan was a prerequisite for making the 21st century truly the century of Asia. It is for this reason that India and Japan have jointly staked their legitimate claim along with Germany and Brazil for permanent seats in the UN Security Council."
Urging a trade delegation from Japan to increase trade ties with India the Minister said, "India-Japan trade amounted to $4 billion last year, showing a growth of 18 per cent over the preceding year. But while the overall growth was good, this came after a three-year stagnancy, and also there was a marked negative balance of trade in favour of Japan."
IT.Com kicks off in Bangalore
Bangalore: Billed as Asia's largest ICT event, IT.COM 2004 kicked off on Monday with business delegations from 13 nations and over 290 companies participating.
Karnataka has seen 92 companies start operations in the first half of this fiscal, and over half of them are 100 per cent foreign equity companies.
IT.COM 2004 is the largest wi-fi-enabled space and event in the country, with a footprint of over 25,000 sq. metres, and the hotspot will enable delegates and visitors to connect whenever they want to, where ever they want to.
All visitors to the fair were enabled to watch all the events live on "the country's largest LCD screen."
Rs.390-cr hi-tech city in Bangalore soon
Bangalore: The Karnataka Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, has said that the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) will soon start work on a Rs390-crore hi-tech city which will be built for the IT and biotech companies in Bangalore.
The BDA was expected to start work on the project in a couple of weeks, and the Government would unveil a hardware policy to encourage the development of the manufacturing industry.
At the inaugural of Bangalore IT.COM 2004, Singh said the Government was committed to the orderly development of the city and would support the infrastructure needs of the industry.
Exports of IT software from Karnataka has increased by 48 per cent in rupee terms and 58 per cent in dollar terms during 2003-04. Its share of exports in the overall IT exports of the country, which was 28 per dent during 2002-03, increased to 36 per cent in 2003-04.
168 new companies were registered during the previous year, of which 110 were foreign equity companies.
The number of companies coming to Bangalore has increased during the current year with 92 new companies registered between April and September 2004.
01 November 2004
Banks to raise lending rates this week
Mumbai: State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, UTI Bank, IDBI Bank and Standard Chartered Bank are among the banks that propose to hike their deposit and lending rates on retail products rates by 25-50 basis points this week.
While HDFC Bank is likely to increase its short-term deposit rates by 25-50 basis points, the State Bank of India has also indicated that short-term deposit and lending rates were likely to go up but the bank's prime lending rate would remain unchanged for now.
IDBI Bank too has similarly indicated that the bank was closely monitoring short-term interest rate movements in the market and that it was mulling over a 25-50 basis point hike in lending and deposits rates.
The decision by a slew of banks to hike interest rates stems from the Reserve Bank of India's move to hike the repo rate by 25 basis points and the increase in the risk weight on home loans and other personal loan products.
CII to launch `India Finance Forum' this week
Chennai: The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will hold a conference on `Emerging Global Trends in Corporate Finance' this week and is branding the event as `The India Finance Forum (TIFF) 2004.'
The conference will discuss five topics - governance-driven corporate finance, accessing equity markets, emerging trends in debt financing, mergers and acquisitions and risk managements.
Eighteen experts will address the participants. Some of them are Prof. Bala Balachandran from the Kellogg School of Management, US, P. K. Choudhary, Managing Director, ICRA, S. Naganath from DSP Merrill Lynch Fund Managers, Shanthi Ekambaram, Director, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Ravi Ramu from Mphasis and R. Seshasayee, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland.
According to CII, over 200 companies had agreed to send delegates to the conference.