21 june 2003

rupee firms up; gilts rise
mumbai: the rupee firmed up against the dollar on friday. it closed at 46.5400/5450.
on thursday, the domestic currency ended at 46.55/56.
the rupee opened higher, but shed its gains on account of purchase of dollars by state-run banks, said a forex dealer in a private bank.

strong rupee: fieo seeks rbi action
new delhi: the federation of indian export organisation (fieo) on friday urged the reserve bank of india to intervene "at this point" and bring about "parity and stability" in rupee exchange rate vis-a-vis the dollar.

changes in act soon to check home loan npas

bangalore: in a bid to pre-empt any build-up of non-performing assets (npa) in the housing loan segment, the government is expected to bring an amendment to the securitisation act passed late last year.

srei net up 26 pc; halves dividend to 10 pc
kolkata: srei international finance ltd (srei) has recorded a 26-per cent jump in net profit at rs 19.72 crore (rs 15.63 crore) for the year ended march 31, 2003.
announcing the annual results here on friday, mr hemant kanoria, managing director, said the total assets under management have jumped to rs 1,568 crore (rs 1,204 crore), registering an increase of 30 per cent. the board has recommended a dividend of re 1 per share (10 per cent) against the rs 2 per share (20 per cent) paid out last year. income from operations is up at rs 118.59 crore (rs 110.88 crore).

hudco sanctions rs 516.35 cr for n-e states
new delhi: housing and urban development corporation (hudco) has sanctioned loans to the tune of rs 516.35 crore for different infrastructure and housing schemes in the north-eastern states with assam cornering the bulk of the funding.

bajaj allianz to enter credit insurance biz
pune: bajaj allianz general insurance company ltd is planning to get into the credit insurance business, an area dominated by the export credit guarantee corporation. the company has also become the first insurance company to issue on-line issuance of marine certificates to customers from their own location itself.

om kotak's premium income up

bangalore: private life insurer om kotak mahindra said its premium income for fiscal 2003 were rs 40.32 crore, up from rs 7.65 a year ago, which was its maiden year in insurance foray.

cub keeping pace with changing trends

coimbatore: with just a couple of months to go to mark its birth centenary, the kumbakonam-based city union bank (cub) is gearing up to keep pace with the changing trends prevailing within the banking industry.
the bank, while upgrading itself on the technology front is embarking on a plan to widen its customer base and improve its market share in all areas of operation. "an image building exercise is on," mr s. balasubramanian, executive director, cub, said.

kuidfc to set up asset mgmt company

bangalore: the karnataka urban infrastructure development and finance corporation is to set up a separate asset management company from the refunds by civic agencies that had taken out loans from kuidfc. the proposed company - to be set up towards the end of the year - will use the funds for various urban development projects in the state, it is reported. about rs 40 crore of capital is already available and more is expected to accumulate once civic bodies such as the bangalore city corporation, the bmtc, the bwssb and the bda, make repayments.

20 june 2003

hdfc mf completes acquisition of zurich india schemes
new delhi: hdfc mutual fund, a joint venture between hdfc ltd and standard life investments ltd, uk, has completed the acquisition of the schemes of zurich india mutual fund. with this acquisition, hdfc mf is now one of the largest private mutual fund players in the country with a portfolio of over 19 investment products. announcing the completion of the acquisition on thursday, milind barve, managing director, hdfc mf, in a statement, said, "we will continue to focus on providing superior investment performance and customer service to investors and distributors of the erstwhile zurich india mutual fund. the new products added to our basket of schemes after acquisition will see a continuity of their investment styles." hdfc asset management company (amc) and zurich insurance company had signed an agreement in london on march 16 this year under which hdfc amc would stand to acquire the business of zurich india amc, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals.

madras hc set aside clb order in tmb case for now
chennai: the madras high court has temporarily set aside a company law board (clb) order granting veto powers to the nominee directors of central government over the other directors of tamilnad mercantile bank (tmb). however the court, in its interim order, has directed the tmb director board to seek prior permission of the clb while granting loans above rs 10 lakh.
hearing a petition filed by the nadar mahajana bank share investors forum, justice nv balasubramanian has granted an interim stay against the clb order which had stated that once the government nominees join the board of tmb, any decision taken by the board should have the consent of atleast two of the government nominees. "the direction given by the clb that two of the government nominated directors will have a veto power over the majority decisions taken by the board is 'prima facie' not sustainable," the order said. the bank should also place a resolution before the clb for granting loans above rs 10 lakh to any person whether individually or collectively after it is passed. the loan should be sanctioned after complying with the by-laws for the grant of loans without endangering the prospect of recovery of the loan, it added.

hdfc bank teams up with anb for remittance service
mumbai: hdfc bank on thursday launched an express remittance service to india in association with arab national bank (anb) of saudi arabia. this service is targetted at non-resident indians (nris) in saudi arabia, who are account holders of hdfc bank. the beneficiaries of the remittances also need to have accounts with hdfc bank. remittances will be managed through the telemoney remittence department of the anb. remittances to hdfc bank accounts in india will be credited in 24 hours, while a door-to-door remittance would be delivered within 48 hours for major indian cities, hdfc bank said in a statement. "this tie-up with arab national bank will ensure that customers get the best conversion rate and faster credit to their accounts, thereby giving customers value for their money," hdfc bank executive director harish engineer said. customers having an account with anb can transfer money through any of anb's 270 atms across saudi arabia, according to their convenience. nris residing in saudi arabia will be able to open accounts in hdfc bank through netbanking, and can use the bank's direct banking channels, such as the hdfc bank international debit card and phonebanking, to access their account from the kingdom, india or anywhere across the world, the statement said.

sbi gilts to merge with dfhi by august
kolkata: state bank of india (sbi) will merge two of its subsidiaries, sbi gilts ltd and discount & finance house of india (dfhi) by the end of august 2003, according to the sbi chairman, ak purwar. "we will merge sbi gilts with dfhi within a couple of months," purwar told reporters here on thursday. he was in kolkata to announce the annual results of the bank for the financial year to march 31, 2003. purwar said that since the operations of sbi gilts and dfhi are similar, the bank has decided to merge the two in order to take synergetic advantage of the experience and expertise of both these institutions. in 2002-03, dfhi became a subsidiary of sbi, with sbi and its other subsidiaries holding 58.8 per cent of dfhi's paid-up capital

gprs tech from idea cellular for bank atms
new delhi: idea cellular ltd has become the first cellular operator to power bank atms with 3g compatible general packet radio services (gprs) technology. according to a statement from the company, it has connected bank of punjab's automatic teller machines (atms) in delhi & ncr. currently, atm machines communicate with the bank's central computer using vsat technology, which needs interface with satellites in space. "idea gprs, on the other hand, is a wireless terrestrial technology, which is significantly more reliable and stable. under idea gprs, when a consumer uses an atm, the data is transmitted in a secure manner to the bank's central computer using idea cellular's mobile network," it states.

sbi plans new products for rib investors
kolkata: state bank of india has decided to work out new products to retain a section of those who had invested in resurgent india bonds (rib) which are expected to mature in the near future. the bank hopes to keep back around 30-40 per cent of the outgo which, inclusive of interest, is slated to stand at around rs 26,000 crore, said a. k. purwar, chairman of sbi. "we are looking at ways to attract a sizeable number of rib investors'', he told presspersons after declaring the bank's financial results for 2002-03. "this will be done with the help of certain new products, the details of which have not been finalised," he added. the country's largest commercial bank currently puts a premium on treasury operations, which have accounted for a critical part of its overall profitability. in fact, profits from such operations (which stand at rs 1,715 crore in 2002-03, up from rs 332 crore recorded in the previous year) are expected to grow in the years to come.

ifc to fund l&t's overseas growth plans
new delhi: the international finance corporation (ifc), the private sector lending arm of the world bank, has decided to provide a loan of $50 million to larsen & toubro (l&t) to facilitate its ongoing plans for expanding business in overseas markets, especially in africa, south-east asia and west asia. according to dimitris tsitsiragos, ifc's director for south asia, this financing "will establish a strong relationship between l&t and ifc and lead to long-term co-operation in a range of projects in different sectors, including infrastructure, oil and gas". on the larger impact of the loan, he said: "l&t's expansion plans will promote south-south co-operation and support regional economic development." commenting on the maiden loan from ifc for the purpose, y.m. deosthalee, chief financial officer (cfo) of l&t, said that the loan was a first step towards developing a long-term relationship with ifc, which is a "means to achieving our goal of becoming an indian multinational."

chamber plea for softer approach to export credit
new delhi: the phd chamber of commerce and industry (phdcci) has suggested that banks should not insist on collateral security while granting export credit to genuine exporters with confirmed letter of credit. in a discussion paper for the forthcoming `bankers-borrowers meet', the chamber has said that exporters with confirmed export orders backed with irrevocable letter of credit (l/c) are experiencing "serious impediments" in getting export credit from banks, both at pre-shipment and post-shipment stage, if such exporters are not giving any collateral to the banks. "banks should adopt positive and flexible approach in export finance and should have soft corner for new entrepreneur/ssi units in the interest of export promotion," the phdcci paper said.
further, the chamber said that ssi units should not be charged a pre-shipment or post-shipment export finance rate of over libor+1 per cent.

icici bank ties up with trinethra
hyderabad: keeping in view the increase in the use of co-branded credit cards the world over, icici bank is exploring ways to launch such cards joining hands with several service providers. the bank, which offers co-branded cards in association with hpcl, bpl mobile and amway, has tied up with trinethra super market, which has a chain of 62 retail outlets across andhra pradesh, to unveil its fourth co-branded card. the fact that 25 per cent of all the credit cards in circulation globally were co-branded showed how significant the concept was, v. vaidyanathan, senior general manager and head (retail asset product group), icici bank, said. addressing a news conference after launching the card, he said of the 1.2 million icici bank's credit cards, about 3.5 lakh were co-branded. the co-branded card launched on thursday is a variant of the bank's international sterling silver card.

19 june 2003