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Latest News - 18th December 2019

18.12.2019: Today's Banking / Financial News at a Glance

🍒 Retail loans to double to ?96 trillion in next five years: Report : A new report by ICICI BANK and Crisil has estimated that the retail loan book of. Financiers will double to ? 96 trillion in the next five years from ?48 trillion as on March 31, 2019. The findings come at a time when the economy is slowing down and there are concerns about private consumption and demand.The report however, predicts that growth will be on the back of increased demand for private consumption for home, car, consumer durables, credit cards. Other contributors would be willingness of consumers to take loans, improved usage of data analytics and regulatory intiatives for growth in low cost housing loans and MSME. - Business Line

🍒 Budget 2020 may ease merger burden for 10 state-run banks, capital infusion likely: Report : Ten public sector banks (PSBs), which are involved in a mega merger, are likely to receive capital infusion from the government in Budget 2020 to supplement their provisional requirements, Business Standard reported. All 10 banks involved in the PSB mega-merger have fast-tracked their due diligence to meet the December 31 deadline. The findings would be used to ascertain the allocation of capital, the article quotes a source as saying.Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.Merger related costs would reflect in Q3 and Q4 FY20, and banks thus expect another round of capital infusion after consolidation, the report stated. The banks – Punjab National Bank (PNB), Union Bank of India, Canara Bank and Indian Bank, are the anchor banks for six smaller nationalised banks. PNB and Union Bank hired Deloitte, Canara Bank hired PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Indian Bank appointed KPMG to conduct the exercise, which was announced in September. “We are expected to furnish the findings by January next year and also state the additional provision anchor banks and the merging banks would require,” the article quotes a banker in a major PSB as stating. The difficulties in assessment have arisen as many PSBs are working on loan accounts with inter-creditors agreements, and where resolution is expected in at least 50 percent cases, a banker said. - Live Mint

🍒 Fitch affirms Bank of Baroda's IDR at 'BBB-'; VR off rating watch negative : Global rating agency Fitch today took Bank of Baroda (BOB) off the Rating Watch Negative and said that public sector bank's asset quality has remained broadly stable in the six months since its merger with two other state-owned banks, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank. The three had merged in April 2019. Fitch affirmed BOB’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BBB-' and its Viability Rating (VR) at 'bb'. The outlook is stable. BoB’s core capitalisation has moderately improved following capital support from the state in the fourth quarter of the financial year ended March 2019 (FY19) and more recently in Q2FY20. - Business Standard

🍒 Uday Kotak best suited to acquire Yes Bank, says two top bankers : Two of India's top bankers on Tuesday opined that Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) is best suited to acquire smaller and capital-starved rival Yes Bank. Yes Bank's capital buffers have dipped on accelerated non-performing assets recognition under new chief executive Ravneet Gill earlier this year.The private sector lender's capital raising plan is also passing through uncertainties and there are speculations on whether Yes Bank is an acquisition target, which has been denied by its management."I think Uday (Kotak) is the best candidate to acquire Yes Bank. You need deep pockets, Uday has that," SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar said at Times Network's India Economic Conclave here.When the same question was posed to third-largest lender Axis Bank's Managing Director and CEO Amitabh Chaudhry, it was answered with the same suggestion. - Live Mint

🍒 Customer complaints at RBI offices surge 20 percent in 2018-19 : Customer complaints received by the Reserve Bank of India’s banking ombudsman offices (Bos) have surged nearly 20 percent to 1.95 lakh complaints in 2018-19, on the back of nearly 50 percent increase in ATM and debit card related grievances and a 75 percent rise in mobile banking complaints, data from RBI’s annual ombudsman report released on Tuesday showed. While 36,539 ATM and debit card related complaints were registered which accounted for 18.65% of the overall complaints, customers reached out to RBI on 14,794 instances to grieve about mobile and electronic banking issues. The resolution rate of during this period came down to 94.03 percent as against 96.46 percent in 2017-18. “This is largely due to rise in volume of complaints with resource remaining the same,” RBI said in the report. The average cost of handling a complaint came down from Rs 3,504/- in 2017-18 to Rs 3,145/- in 2018-19. - economic times

🍒 Banks get $7.6 billion boost from India bankruptcy recovery : India’s banks are set for a $7.6 billion earnings windfall this month as the country’s bankruptcy court has made sudden progress in clearing a backlog of large cases. The lenders are expected to benefit from the recovery process from four failed companies - Essar Steel India Ltd., Prayagraj Power Generation Co., Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd. and RattanIndia Power Ltd. - which should be completed in December, according to people familiar with the matter. The gains will be welcome news for banks, which are facing a further increase in their $130 billion pile of bad loans thanks to India’s shadow banking crisis and the slowdown in the economy. Many lenders are expected to set aside additional provisions in their earnings reports for this quarter. The total proceeds from the bankruptcy cases should total Rs 54,000 crore ($7.6 billion), according to Karthik Srinivasan, group head of financial sector at ICRA Ratings, the local arm for Moody’s Investors Service. The banks should be able to use a large part of it “to step up provisioning as bad loans continue to rise,” Srinivasan added. - economic times

🍒 Banks likely to take more loan write-offs due to weak recovery prospects : Banks are likely to take significantly more loan write-offs against the backdrop of rising provisions and weak recovery prospects. State-run banks account for a dominant share (around 90 per cent) of the impaired loan stock, and have cumulatively written off nearly $30 billion in bad loans over the past three years. What is also to be borne in mind is that in the case of state-run banks, their average core equity ratio (CET-1) ratio (it was 10 per cent in 1HFY20) is 300 basis points lower than that of private banks. This implies that systemic stress would deal a significant setback to recovery. Resolution delays coupled with rising provision cover on large legacy bad loans (nearing 90 per cent) could mean that loan write-offs will continue to be high, particularly for state-run banks. Write-offs were higher than recoveries and upgrades for nine out of 14 such banks reviewed in 1HFY20, while it was the reverse for private banks. - Business Standard

🍒 FinMin sets Rs 1.1 lakh crore monthly GST collection target : Amid talks of the government likely to miss tax collection target this fiscal, the Finance Ministry has set a Rs 1.1 lakh crore monthly GST mop-up target for the remaining four months of 2019-20 financial year, ministry sources said. Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey had a video conference meeting with top tax officials and impressed upon them to step up measures to achieve direct and indirect tax collection target. Officers have been particularly urged to ensure that during field enforcement drive and visits, no taxpayer is overreached or troubled, the source said. - economic times

🍒 BSNL eyes Rs 1,300 crore savings this fiscal after VRS becomes effective: CMD : State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) said on Tuesday that as many as 78,569 employees have opted for VRS, and added that it expects to save Rs 1,300 crore in wage bills this fiscal after the scheme becomes effective in January. "On the VRS (voluntary retirement scheme), on January 31, 2020, it will be effective. Our goal is that people who have applied for VRS, their application should be considered and approved..." BSNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Purwar told reporters.On merger with MTNL, Purwar said discussions have started and boards of both the companies have met on a common platform."Our goal at this stage is network integration and operational synergies on which discussions have started," he said.Since VRS will start on January 31, 2020, the savings of Rs 1,300 crore will accrue to BSNL, for the remainder of this financial year. On the statutory dues of the corporation arising out of the recent SC verdict on adjusted gross revenue, Purwar said, "We have asked the government that given financial stress scenario, the government can think of either reconsidering the dues or infusing equity of equivalent amount in BSNL to facilitate the payment." - economic times

🍒 Women bought 36 per cent of life insurance policies sold in 2018-19: IRDAI : More women are buying life insurance than ever before thanks to their growing financial independence as well as financial inclusion and awareness about social security. Of the 2.86 crore life insurance policies sold in 2018-19, 36 per cent or 1.03 crore policies were bought by women. In contrast, women bought 32 per cent of the new policies sold in 2017-18, data in the IRDAI Annual Report 2018-19 reveals.Similarly, women subscribers accounted for 37 per cent of the first year premium of Rs 97,690 crore collected in 2018-19, as against 32 per cent in 2017-18. “Women constitute roughly 48 per cent of the country’s total population. Their contribution to economic activity is significant and is increasing everywhere,” the report noted in a study on women’s share in the life insurance business. - Business Line

🍒 Complaints against private sector life insurers declined in FY2019: Report : The number of complaints as a percentage of new policies sold in FY2019 edged up in the case of state-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) but declined for private sector life insurers. In the case of LIC, the number of complaints increased to 0.48 per cent of new policies sold against 0.36 per cent in FY2018 and 0.15 per cent in FY2017, as per Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India’s (IRDAI) annual report for 2018-19. In the case of private sector life insurers, the number of complaints declined to 0.84 per cent of new policies sold against 1.13 per cent per cent in FY2018 and 1.42 per cent in FY2017. In FY2019, LIC sold 2.14 crore new policies (against 2.13 crore in FY2018 and 2.01 crore in FY2017). Private life insurers sold 72.54 lakh policies (68.60 lakh in FY2018 and 63.25 lakhs in FY2017). - Business Line

🍒 India starts round-the-clock payments for banks to manage funds : India this week joined a select club of countries offering fund transfers around the clock, a move that will give banks more flexibility to manage their liquidity requirements, the central bank said. The National Electronic Funds Transfer sees transactions worth $11.3 billion daily and the round-the-clock service is expected to boost online transactions for customers and will go a long way in bolstering digital payments, according to the Reserve Bank of India. Banks have been directed to waive NEFT transfer fees from January 1 for savings-account customers who use the service. - Business Line

🍒 Kotak Mahindra Bank best suited to acquire Yes Bank, say top bankers : Two of India’s top bankers on Tuesday opined that Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) is best suited to acquire smaller and capital-starved rival Yes Bank. Yes Bank’s capital buffers have dipped on accelerated non performing assets recognition under new Chief Executive Ravneet Gill earlier this year. The private sector lender’s capital raising plan is also passing through uncertainties and there are speculations on whether Yes Bank is an acquisition target, which has been denied by its management. “I think Uday (Kotak) is the best candidate to acquire Yes bank. You need deep pockets, Uday has that, SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar said at Times Network’s India Economic Conclave here. When the same question was posed to third-largest lender Axis Bank’s Managing Director and CEO Amitabh Chaudhry, it was answered with the same suggestion. - Business Line

🍒 SBI plan to list general insurance arm may take 3 yrs or more: Chairman : SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar on Tuesday said it will take up to three years more to list its general insurance arm. The bank will list its asset management company before SBI General Insurance, Kumar said while speaking at the India Economic Conclave organised by Times Network here.SBI had last year listed its life insurance arm and the proceeds came in handy to fight difficulties in asset quality. It is also planning to part-sell its stake in SBI Cards.SBI General Insurance, which is a joint venture with Insurance Australia Group, has to "mature" and will await the valuation to touch Rs 50,000 crore, Kumar said."We are discussing but if you ask me sequentially then it will be AMC first then SBI General because. We believe that still it is about 2-3 years away before SBI General matures," he said. - Business Standard

🍒 Reliance, BP to own 5,500 petrol pumps under brand name Jio-BP : Reliance Industries (RIL) is planning to expand its fuel retail business with British energy major BP. The joint venture will be called Jio-BP that will have a network of 5,500 petrol pumps. These pumps will be increased from the 1,400 at present, Reliance Industries said on Monday. RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani said, "We believe that together we will bring solutions that will benefit the fast-growing Indian market." - Business Today.

🍒 Pricing power of banks could continue to diminish: Ind-Ra : With limited differentiation on the product side, the pricing power of banks, especially large banks, could continue to diminish, according to India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). Similar pressure can be witnessed on the liability side, it added. The credit rating agency observed that with deposit yields being largely comparable, the key differences lie in the rates offered for different tenors. "Once the economy settles, the credit costs are also likely to stabilise. In that environment, operating costs could play a major differentiator among public sector banks (PSBs) and private sector banks and, to some extent, within those groups," said Jindal Haria, Director, Ind-Ra. - Business Line

🍒 Rupee settles flat at 70.98 against US dollar : The rupee pared early morning gains to settle 2 paise down at 70.98 against the US currency on Tuesday amid lack of any major triggers on the domestic front.

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Latest News - 17th October 2019

PSBs had 'worst phase' under Manmohan Singh, Rajan: FM Nirmala Sitharaman : Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the Indian public sector banks had the "worst phase" under the combination of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. Delivering a lecture at the prestigious Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs here on Tuesday, Sitharaman said that giving all the public sector banks a lifeline is today her primary duty. "I'm taking a minute to respond I do respect Raghuram Rajan as a great scholar who chose to be in the central bank in India at a time when the Indian economy was all buoyant, Sitharaman said during the lecture organised by the Deepak and Neera Raj Centre on Indian Economic Policies of the Columbia University. - Business Standard

🍒 Banks may press for commitment fees on unutilised credit limits from large, mid-sized corporates : Banks are likely to press for commitment fees on unutilised credit limits from large and mid-sized corporates as they are utilising only about a third of their sanctioned credit limit in the current scenario of low credit appetite, say bankers. While banks may not realise the commitment fees from AAA-rated corporates and central public sector undertakings classified as maharatnas, navratnas and some miniratnas for fear of losing business, others will have to pay it if they don’t utilise the sanctioned credit limits.“Banks usually charge between 0.50-1 per cent of the unutilised credit limit from companies as commitment fees,” said Union Bank of India MD and CEO Rajkiran Rai G, on the sidelines of HR conclave organised by the Indian Banks’ Association. - Business Line

🍒Shaktikanta Das faces board heat on RBI's inability to detect financial frauds : Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das came under duress at the apex banks' board meet last week, as two external directors questioned the apex bank as to how a series of scams that came to light since 2018 remained unnoticed. The two directors cited the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, the IL&FS scam and the very recent Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank case. "These incidents differ from each other and are not exactly related, but a few members were quite vocal about it. The governor explained the information-sharing system and collection of data by the RBI. In some cases, the data itself - even the audited numbers - were either inadequate or fudged," a source told the Economic Times. The source in the know of the proceedings added: "Perhaps, it wasn't an entirely fair question, but it was apparent that the RBI officials felt awkward. Maybe it was not expected." - Business Today

🍒 SBI sees sharp decline in working capital loans : Banks in India are facing sharp decline in demand for loans despite interest rates falling by 135 bps between February and now. Referring to working capital limits drawn by large and mid-sized Indian companies, Rajnish Kumar, chairman, State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, said only 31% of the sanctioned limits are utilised by those companies. He said while term loans like home and auto loans were showing growth, it was the corporate sector where demand had substantially slowed down. “The fact is, on year-on-year basis there is a growth in term loans, 15% growth. So, this means there is a loan to housing sector, vehicles, anything which is payable over a period of time. [But] there is a sharp decline in the sanctioned working capital limits,” Mr. Kumar said at an event organised by Bloomberg. According to latest data released by Reserve Bank of India, credit growth has fallen to single digit during the fortnight ended September 27, for the first time in the current financial year. - the hindu.com

🍒 Bank of Baroda executive directors to handle functions of MD, CEO : : Bank of Baroda on Wednesday said financial, administrative and other functions of its MD & CEO is to be looked after by respective executive directors till the appointment of new head. P S Jayakumar ceased to be the bank's MD & CEO with effect from October 12, 2019 upon expiry of his term.The bank's board of directors and the management committee, as the case may be, may entrust to look after financial and administrative powers and functions of the MD & CEO to respective executive directors till such time appointment to the post of the bank's MD & CEO is made by the government, it said in a regulatory filing."Accordingly, the board through circulation on October 16, 2019 approved that the financial and administrative powers and functions of the MD & CEO shall be exercised by the respective Executive Directors pertaining to the verticals in which they are in-charge," it said.The government has already invited application through the Banks Board Bureau (BBB) to fill the vacancy. - economic times

🍒 Bank of Maharashtra files complaint with Pune Police & Cyber Cell against circulating fake news : Bank of Maharashtra has lodged a complaint with Pune Police and Cyber Cell against circulating fake news and spreading of rumours about Bank’s financial health on WhatsApp, news site and other social media platforms. This complaint is filed against maligning the image of Bank of Maharashtra in various social media platforms. The details of news portal and Twitter handle are informed to authorities.Bank of Maharashtra said it has requested the authorities to detect the origin of the fake news and take stern action against the persons behind this act. The Bank is well capitalized and having a strong loyal customer base of more than 27mn customers and it is growing from strength to strength.The published wrong information about Bank of Maharashtra is misguiding the public in general with an ulterior motive. The news appearing in social media is not correct and inferences are drawn without knowing the facts. - IndiaInfoline.

🍒 IOB in pact with Magicbricks to e-auction over 500 properties in 14 cities : Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has entered into an agreement with Magicbricks, an online property marketplace, for the e-auction of more than 500 re-possessed properties worth more than ₹800 crore. The e-auction will be carried out in two phases - on October 21 and October 30.Of the 500 plus properties, the majority are located in Chennai and Coimbatore and the rest are spread across 12 major cities — Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Nagpur, Ranchi, Meerut, Lucknow, Ludhiana and Bhopal.“The property buying process is now significantly impacted by digital engagement. With growing internet penetration, the trend towards e-auctions of properties has picked up speed in India. We are excited to share a new partnership with Magicbricks,” said K Swaminathan, Executive Director, Indian Overseas Bank. - Business Line

🍒 Former SBI chief calls for special cadre of bank officers for risk management : Arundhati Bhattacharya, the former chairman of State Bank of India, on Wednesday said there is a need to create a special cadre for compliance and risk management at every banks, given the issues lenders are facing and rued that "unfortunately" HR is the most neglected side of banking. The comments come at a time when banks' lending practices have been repeatedly put to question in many alleged scams, an increased attention from the regulator and investigating agencies and very high quantum of dud loans. "The time has come for us to create a special cadre for risk and compliance," Bhattacharya, who headed the nation's largest bank between 2013 and 2017, said at an event organised by sectoral lobby IBA. - Live Mint

🍒 PNB Housing to raise up to Rs 10,000 cr by issuing bonds in tranches : PNB Housing Finance will raise up to Rs 10,000 crore by issuing bonds in tranches, the company said on Wednesday. The company's board will meet on October 24 to declare quarterly earnings for the second quarter of this fiscal and will also consider proposal to raise fund, the bank said in a regulatory filing.The board will consider the issuance of secured and unsecured non-convertible debentures aggregating up to Rs 10,000 crore in tranches, PNB Housing Finance said.Shares of the company were trading 13.24 per cent lower at Rs 379.20 on the BSE in the post-noon session. - Business Standard

🍒 Federal Bank Q2 net profit up 56% : Private sector lender Federal Bank posted a 56.6 per cent rise in net profit at ₹416.70 crore in the second quarter of the fiscal, led by strong growth in income and lower bad loans. Its net profit was ₹266.04 crore in the same period a year ago. For the July to September 2019 quarter, its total income grew by a robust 19.02 per cent at ₹3,675.15 crore, against ₹3,087.81 crore in the same period a year ago. The bank earned a net interest income of ₹1,123.77 crore for the quarter ended September 30, which was a near 10 per cent increase from ₹1,022 crore a year ago. Net interest margin at 3.01 per cent, as on September 30, was slightly lower than the 3.1 per cent a year ago. “This has been the highest-ever net profit,” said Shyam Srinivasan, Managing Director and CEO, Federal Bank. - Business Line

🍒 SBI seeks FinMin's intervention for DHFL resolution : State Bank of India has approached the Department of Financial Services, seeking its intervention to end the impasse over a resolution plan for home financier Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd., three people with direct knowledge of the matter told ET. “There is lack of coordination among regulators, which is causing an obstacle for the resolution plan going through,” said one person. “SBI chairman has written a letter to the DFS highlighting relevant points on the matter for speedy process.” India’s largest bank is said to have become apprehensive over a systemic risk if ongoing efforts to finalise the resolution plan for the indebted home financier do not go through. While non-banking lenders have taken a hit on their advances to DHFL, banks have yet to mark such credit as non-performing assets. NPAs require additional provisions, denting lenders’ profit margins. -economic times

🍒 PMC Bank assures to protect depositors interest; meets RBI : Amid instances of deaths and also a suicide, of depositors, troubled PMC Bank's administrator met RBI brass including Governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday. "It was assured that the bank will make all efforts to safeguard the interests of depositors and other stakeholders," the statement from J B Bhoria, who was placed as the administrator last month by RBI, said.It also informed that the bank is in the process of recasting its balance sheet to present a "true and fair picture", according to the press release from Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank's administrator Bhoria.The meeting with Das, deputy governor and other senior officials of the Central bank came after police authorities confirmed the death of one more depositor, Fattomal Punjabi (61) due to natural causes. - economic times

🍒 PMC Bank scam: Mumbai Police to investigate how RBI audit missed the fraud : The Mumbai Police will investigate as to how the Reserve Bank of India missed the ongoing at the PMC bank. Interacting with over 100 depositors of PMC, Sanjay Barve, Commissioner of Police, said, "Audit by RBI should have revealed discrepancies. We are looking at why it did not show in the forensic audit of RBI. The loans are in different names. We are looking at why the loans were not revealed. We will not spare independent auditors, cooperative auditors, and RBI auditors. No one will be able to leave the country." - Business Line

🍒 Banks to rope in auditors to calculate exact fraud amount : Lenders led by State Bank of India (SBI) have taken a call that, in instances of fraud, rather than report the entire loan amount as a fraudulent one, banks will only report that portion that is illicitly obtained or misappropriated. To identify this amount, banks will immediately appoint forensic auditors who will certify the extent to which there has been a divergence from lawful borrowing. In a recent meeting, SBI is understood to have proposed this to other banks. This follows the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) slapping penalties on a dozen banks for delays in reporting fraud. Announcing the penalty, the RBI had said that banks were advised to report fraud immediately when the borrowings are under investigation by enforcement authorities. However, these banks continued to classify the loans as business defaults. - Times of India

🍒 More sad news: Jewellery industry stares at dark Diwali : The jewellery industry is looking at a dark Dhanteras and Diwali as the sector expects sales to decline at least 30% over last year in spite of the ongoing price corrections. The industry’s only hope is in falling prices, which had scaled a record of `4,000 a gram last month, to get better footfalls. Currently, the metal is trading at around `3,800 to a gram.In 2018, the industry managed to close with flat sales over 2017 Diwali season.“Gold prices have soared to `40,000 per 10 gram last month, just in the beginning of the festival season and still remains high. This has further dampened the already weak consumer sentiment.“But if prices continue to correct during this week there may be some improvement in retail demand. However, the overall business will still be 30 percent lower than last year,” All-India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council chairman Anantha Padmanaban told PTI on Tuesday. - Financial Express

🍒 Slowdown in bank credit indicates a build-up of risk aversion in the system: SBI Report : The sharp slowdown in bank credit indicates a build-up of risk aversion in the system, according to a report by the economists at the State Bank of India. Bank credit grew at single digits- 8.8 per cent by end September’19 compared to 12.5 per cent a year ago, according to the latest RBI data. Incrementally credit contracted by Rs 412 crore compared to Rs 3.56 lakh crore in the same period a year ago. Slowdown in credit offtake is an indication of a “ We believe though the sharp decline in credit flow to commercial sector do indicate heightened risk aversion in the system”, said S K Ghosh, group chief economist, SBI in a research note. - economic times

🍒 RBI slaps ₹3-crore monetary penalty on SBM Bank (India) : The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of ₹3 crore on SBM Bank (India) for non-compliance by SBM Bank (Mauritius) with certain provisions of its directions on ‘time-bound implementation and strengthening of SWIFT-related operational controls’ and ‘cyber security framework in banks’ The Indian undertaking of SBM Bank (Mauritius) was amalgamated with SBM Bank (India) on November 30, 2018. The central bank, in a statement, said: “This penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in the RBI under the provisions…of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, taking into account the failure to adhere to the aforesaid directions issued by the central bank.” - Business Line

🍒 Mastercard to up its game on ‘contactless’ cards in India : Mastercard, a technology company in the global payments industry, will soon up its game on ‘contactless’ (tap and go) cards in the Indian market, a top official said. “You will soon see bit more action on ‘contactles’ cards,” Manasi Narasimhan, Vice-President, Marketing and Communications, Mastercard, told BusinessLineon Wednesday.To begin with, the focus will be on getting more retail chains, including big supermarkets, adopt contactless cards, she said.“Contactless (will be a focus area for us in the Indian market. The reason we are investing in thisis that given our global experience in other markets, we believe that once contactless becomes a behaviour changing tool, it will transform the ecosystem. It may take two years, three years or even five years, but eventually we will get there,” she said. - Business Line

🍒 Rupee settles 11 paise up at 71.43 against dollar : The rupee recovered from initial losses to settle 11 paise higher at 71.43 against the US currency on Wednesday, tracking gains in domestic equity markets and softening crude oil prices. Foreign fund inflows also supported the local currency, forex trader said.At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened at 71.60 against the US dollar. During the day, the domestic unit fluctuated between a high of 71.36 and a low of 71.71. On Tuesday, the domestic unit had settled at 71.54.

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