RBI drops Axis Bank from list of authorised bullion importers

Reserve Bank of India has dropped Axis Bank from its list of authorised bullion importers even as it kept major Indian banks such as Bank of Baroda, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Union Bank, Punjab National Bank and Yes Bank in the revised list.

The list also includes banks such as Bank of Nova Scotia and the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, which takes the total number of bullion importing banks to 16.
Besides Axis Bank, RBI also dropped two other small banks — Karur Vyasa and South Indian Bank — from the RBI list.
Publication of the new list coincides the Reserve Bank of India’s directive to Axis Bank against the reappointment of Shikha Sharma as its managing director and chief executive officer for a fourth time.
The Reserve Bank authorisation is valid for a period of one year, up to 31 March 2019.
It remained unclear why Axis, India’s third-largest private sector lender,  was dropped from the list of authorised bullion traders.
The Axis Bank stock fell in trade today after Reserve Bank of India (RBI) dropped the third-largest private sector lender from a list of banks it has cleared to import gold and silver in the current financial year that began on 1 April. The stock which rose to 505 level in early morning trade hit a low of 493.10 intraday.
At 10:53 am, the stock was trading 0.43 per cent or 2.15 points lower at 496.05 on BSE. Its market capitalisation stood at Rs1,27,301 crore. The stock opened at 493.10 level today.
It was unclear why Axis, one of country's leading importers of bullion, did not feature in the list that was released late on Monday.
Meanwhile, banking sector stocks were top gainers in an otherwise falling market after RBI allowed lenders to spread provisions for bond losses in the third and fourth quarters of FY18 over the next four quarters.
The BSE bankex was up 114 points to 27,212 level. Bank Nifty too was trading 43 points higher at 24,372 level.
The Sensex was trading 75 points or 0.23% lower at 33,179 level. The Nifty was down 26 points to 10,184 level.
However, on Monday, Axis Bank fell 2.2 per cent to Rs498.20 amid reports the RBI has asked the company's board to re-consider the decision to re-appoint Shikha Sharma as its MD and CEO for a fourth term.
The company's market valuation declined by Rs2,762.83 crore to Rs1,27,853.17 crore on the BSE.
The stock dropped 2.20 per cent to end at Rs 498.20 apiece on the BSE. During the day, it lost 3.31 per cent to Rs 492.50 per share.