Amplus Energy Solutions announced entering into a pact with private sector lender Yes Bank for a strategic tie-up to co-finance projects in the solar energy space in India.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed at International Solar Alliance pavilion at the World Future Energy Summit, Abu Dhabi.
India’s most-valued lender HDFC Bank Limited crossed Rs5 trillion capitalization action for the first time, making it only the third Indian company to achieve this milestone.
In intraday trade, the stock touched a fresh record high of Rs1,53.75 on the BSE, up 3.31% from its previous close.
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) are the other two companies which crossed market capitalisation of Rs5 trillion.
Digital invoice discounting marketplace - Invoicemart has tied up with state-run lender Bank of Baroda to discount invoices for MSMEs.
Buyers and sellers registered in the marketplace will now be able to access funding from Bank of Baroda.
Invoicemart is a joint venture between Axis Bank Ltd and junction services ltd. Bank of Baroda had recently announced that it was stepping up its focus on supply chain financing.
TReDS is an online mechanism that helps MSMEs unlock working capital without the hassle of applying for loans.
Federal Bank entered into a strategic partnership with Hedge Equities Ltd for providing Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS) services to NRIs.
A formal agreement was executed in which Jose K Mathew (EVP & Head Retail Business, Federal Bank) and Alex Babu (MD, Hedge Equities Ltd) exchanged the MoU announcing the tie-up.
Federal Bank is authorized by the RBI to issue permission letter to NRIs on behalf of the RBI to transact in the secondary market.
India emerged as a top borrower from the China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with USD 1.5 billion worth of loans last year and USD three billion more in the pipeline.
India's Ambassador Gautam Bambawale met AIIB President Jin Liqun in Beijing and held in-depth talks on deepening India's engagements with the bank.
Next, to India, Indonesia has emerged as the second largest borrower with about USD 600 million loans.
IDFC Bank and Capital First approved a merger of Capital First with IDFC Bank.
Pursuant to the merger which is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, IDFC Bank will issue 139 shares for every 10 shares of Capital First.
The deal values Capital First - owned more than a third by private equity firm Warburg Pincus - at Rs. 938.25 a share based on the two companies' price and giving the company a market value of Rs. 9,278 crore ($1.46 billion), Reuters calculations showed.
India has emerged as a top borrower from the China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with USD 1.5 billion worth of loans last year and USD three billion more in the pipeline.
Next to India, Indonesia has emerged as the second largest borrower with about USD 600 million loans.
AIIB President:- Jin Liqun
IndusInd Bank and Dynamics Inc. at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) announced plans to introduce the first battery-powered, interactive payment cards to the Indian market in 2018.
The new IndusInd Bank card from Dynamics has multiple buttons that let the consumers use a single card to pay in multiple ways. With a touch of a button, consumers can select credit, points or monthly installments as the payment option.
A different color light will activate based on the selected payment option.
Flipkart’s payments arm PhonePe partnered mobile wallet company FreeCharge to allow the latter’s customers pay for transactions at PhonePe’s partner merchants.
According to the deal terms, PhonePe has now enabled its users to link their existing FreeCharge wallets to the PhonePe app.
Once linked, PhonePe customers will be able to spend their FreeCharge wallet balance at all online and offline merchant outlets that accept payments via PhonePe.
Paytm set up a new entity called Paytm Money Ltd that will offer investment and wealth management products and will invest close to $10 million upfront in the new entity.
Paytm Money is the fourth product from One97’s stable after Paytm Mall, Paytm Payments Bank and Paytm wallet.
It will be available as a separate mobile application to users.
World Bank projected India’s growth rate at 7.3 percent in 2018 and 7.5 for the next two years.
According to the 2018 Global Economics Prospect release, despite initial setbacks from demonetization and Goods and Services Tax (GST), India’s economy is estimated to have grown at 6.7 percent in 2017.
India’s growth potential will be around 7 percent for the next 10 years. In comparison with China, which is slowing, the World Bank is expecting India to gradually accelerate.
The provisional figures of Direct Tax collections up to December 2017 show that net collections are at Rs. 6.56 lakh crore which is 18.2% higher than the net collections for the corresponding period of last year.
The net Direct Tax collections represent 67% of the total Budget Estimates of Direct Taxes for Financial Year 2017-18 (Rs. 9.8 lakh crore).
Gross collections (before adjusting for refunds) have increased by 12.6% to Rs. 7.68 lakh crore from April to December 2017.
An amount of Rs. 3.18 lakh crore has been received as Advance Tax up to December 2017 reflecting a growth of 12.7% over the Advance Tax payments of the corresponding period of last year.
The growth in Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Advance Tax is 10.9% and that in Personal Income Tax (PIT) Advance Tax is 21.6%.
China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is planning to issue its first US dollar-denominated bond with the minimum worth of $1 billion by June 2018.
The earliest issuance window of the bond will be toward the end of first half of 2018 with the time required for certain procedures, including Board of Governors’ approval of AIIB’s 2017 financial statements as well as borrowing and swap documentation.
The minimum size of the issuance will be one billion dollars, but as demand for the first bond issue may increase AIIB anticipates of having to issue a larger size.
According to Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s foreign exchange (Forex) reserves have scaled to a fresh record high of $409.366 billion as on December.
The forex is reserve assets held by a central bank in foreign currencies. It acts as a buffer to be used in challenging times and used to back liabilities.
Almost all countries in the world, regardless of the size of their economy, hold significant foreign exchange reserves.
The components of India’s FOREX Reserves include Foreign currency assets (FCAs), Gold, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and RBI’s Reserve position with International Monetary Fund (IMF). FCAs constitute the largest component of Indian Forex Reserves.
Paytm Payments Bank partnered Induslnd Bank to introduce a facility to create a fixed deposit (FD) when the customer balance exceeds Rs. 1 lakh at the end of the day.
Paytm Payments Bank customers can redeem their deposits instantly, anytime without paying any pre-closure or miscellaneous charges and can earn up to 6.85 percent annual interest.
The Indian economy will expand by 6.5% in 2017-18, according to the new data of the government’s Central Statistics Office (CSO).
It had released its first advance estimate for India’s GDP growth rate in the current financial year.
The economy had grown by 6.3% in the September quarter, after slumping to a three-year low of 5.7% GDP growth in the June quarter as the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetization took their toll.
The Indian economy grew at 7.1% in 2016-17.
The Reserve Bank of India will shortly issue Rs10 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series.
The new denomination has the motif of Sun Temple, Konark on the reverse.
The base color of the note is Chocolate Brown. The dimension of the banknote will be 63 mm x 123 mm.
The Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank (APGVB) operationalized its first desktop ATM in Telangana.
The mini-ATM within the branch premises will facilitate customers to withdraw small amounts.
At the same time, regular bank account holders can withdraw money and do other banking activities. With these ATMs, there will be no need for separate ATM rooms, so there is no security issue.
This initiative is the biggest under the SBI and among the best regional rural banks (RRBs).
The Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) and India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) signed an agreement for the training of employees of the latter in the area of payment banking.
Under the agreement, IICA has been entrusted with the key responsibility of capacity building of IPPB through training of its officials/employees besides providing research support by instituting Research Chairs in the emerging area of payment banking.
HDFC Bank announced a partnership with Rajasthan Government to promote and nurture startups in the state.
Under this partnership, HDFC Bank will team up with the state government to provide end-to-end solutions like current accounts, credit cards and other solutions to startups under its SmartUp programme.
According to the Finance Ministry, RBI Bonds Scheme closed but the interest rate on such papers lowered to 7.75 percent.
The 8 percent Savings Bonds Scheme, also known as RBI Bonds Scheme, is not being closed but is being replaced by 7.75 percent Savings Bonds Scheme.
These taxable bonds are meant for individual other than Non-Resident Indians with no maximum limit for investment.
Pakistan allowed Chinese currency Yuan for exports and financing transactions.
According to Pakistan, external affairs ministry, both public and private sector enterprises of Pakistan and China are free to choose Yuan for bilateral trade and investment activities.
As per current foreign exchange regulations, Chinese Yuan is an approved foreign currency for denominating foreign currency transactions in Pakistan.
The State Bank of India reduced the base rate and benchmark prime lending rates by 30 basis points each, which will benefit nearly 80 lakh customers on the old pricing regime.
SBI revised down the base rate to 8.65 percent for existing customers from 8.95 percent, while the benchmark prime lending rates are down from 13.7 percent, to 13.4 percent.
The one-year MCLR of the bank stands unchanged at 7.95 percent.
Markets regulator SEBI stated that cross-holding in credit rating agencies (CRAs) will be capped at 10 percent and also decided to raise the minimum net worth requirement to Rs 25 crore from the current Rs 5 crore.
Also, the board of Sebi has approved a slew of measures for tightening the financial and operational eligibility of the promoters of CRAs, besides greater disclosure requirements for them.
Bank of Baroda entered into MoU with POORTI Agri Services Pvt. Ltd to enable the farmers to purchase agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, seeds etc. provided by POORTI.
This is a Platform for Online Ordering & Rural Transformation of India known as “POORTI”.
Poorti is a well-established company providing multi-party mobile commerce platform for easy ordering of fertilizers, pesticides, seeds by farmers with loans given by banks.
Tourism is a major engine of economic growth and an important source of foreign exchange earnings in many countries including India.
However, as the tourism is flourishing, the country's economy is also getting a massive hike. Notably, Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) during the period January-November 2017 were 90.01 lakh with a growth of 15.6% while Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) during the period January-November 2017 were Rs.1,60,865 Crore with a growth of 16.9% over same period of previous year.
India's rank in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), 2017 has also shown 25 places jump from 2013.
The Rank of India in TTCI Report of 2017 was 40th as compared to 52nd in 2015 and 65th in 2013.
An agreement for IBRD Credit of USD 40 Million from World Bank for “U.P. Pro-Poor Tourism Development Project” was signed between India and the World Bank.
The programme size is approximately USD 57.14 million, of which USD 40 million will be financed by the Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded out of State Budget.
The programme duration is 5 years.
The Project Objective is to increase tourism-related benefits for local communities in targeted destinations. The major districts under attractions in Uttar Pradesh are Agra, Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana and Govardhan in the Braj region.
India's largest mobile-first financial services platform, Paytm announced that its app crossed the 100 million milestones on Google Play Store in the second week of December 2017.
This makes Paytm the country's first payments app to cross the 100 million downloads mark.
Smartphone manufacturer Samsung launched its 'Bill Payments' on its flagship payments service, Samsung Pay in partnership with Axis Bank.
With the introduction of 'Bill Payments', consumers will be able to pay their utility bills seamlessly through Samsung Pay, set reminders and search favourite biller based on their current location.
The Government of India and the World Bank signed a $318 million loan agreement for the Tamil Nadu Irrigated Agriculture Modernization Project to promote climate resilient agriculture technologies to improve water management practices and increase market opportunities for small and marginal farmers.
About 500,000 farmers, of which a majority are small and marginal, are expected to benefit from improved and modernized tank irrigation systems.
The $318 million loan from the IBRD has a 5-year grace period and a maturity of 19 years.
Agri service solutions provider Sohan Lal Commodity Management (SLCM) having operations across India and Myanmar has tied up with HDFC Bank and IndusInd Bank to provide collateral management services.
This tie-up will not only help improve the farmers' access to post-harvest credits at affordable interest rates, it will also provide easy access to scientific storage facilities leading to a fair price discovery of their products in the market.
SBI Card, the credit card issuer and Bharat Petroleum, the leading petroleum company in India announced the launch of the BPCL SBI Card – the most rewarding fuel co-branded credit card in the country.
The BPCL SBI Card will offer up to 70 litres of free fuel per year to cardholders.
The Cardholders can earn rewards and save on fuel at 14000 Bharat Petroleum fuel stations across the country, making the BPCL SBI Card the only fuel co-brand card with such an extensive reach. It has been launched on the Visa platform.
Banking Affairs HDFC Bank its board had given nod to raise Rs 24,000 crore through a preferential issue of shares to its promoter HDFC Ltd and by issuing shares and depository receipts to fund the bank's growth plans.
The general meeting on February 19 to seek approval of its shareholders. "For this purpose, the board has authorized a special committee to decide terms and conditions," said the statement. According to the bank's fundraising plan, around Rs 8,500 crore worth of shares of the face value of Rs 2 each will be issued to mortgage lender and promoter HDFC Bank.
YES Bank and the European Investment Bank will co-finance $400-million funding for renewable power generation in the country. The new financing programme will streamline financing for a range of renewable energy projects being built and operated by leading Indian corporations and private sector developers.
Of the $400-million, the EIB will fund $200 million, while the rest will be supported by YES Bank, the project promoters, and other financial institutions. The EIB loan of $200 million has a tenor of 15 years.
ICRA Management Consulting Services (IMaCS), an arm of ICRA, launched a set of four fixed income indices including one on corporate bonds. It aims to create more depth in the Indian debt market.
ICRA Gilt Indices, ICRA Liquid Indices, ICRA Corporate Bond Indices and ICRA Composite Debt Indices, the four indices launched, would help asset managers and financial services companies make an objective analysis and provide comprehensive benchmarking of debt portfolios.
The GST Goods and Service Council decided to implement the e-way bill mechanism throughout the country by June 1st after reviewing the readiness of the IT network. Under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, the waybill is replaced by an e-way bill.
It aims at mitigating the problems caused by waybill compliance. E-way bill is an electronic way bill for movement of goods which can be generated on the GSTN portal. The decision was taken in 24th meeting of the GST Council via Video-Conferencing.
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is in talks to invest $300 million in the US-based dog-sitting app Wag, according to reports.
This comes months after the startup was slammed for allegedly losing customers' pets under its care.
Founded in 2014, Wag gives on-demand access to dog handlers, who can be hired by the users for dog walking and dog sitting.
Since 1980 India led to substantial increase in inequality so much that top 0.1% of earners has continued to capture more growth than all those in the bottom 50% combined, according to the World Inequality Lab in its World Inequality Report 2018.
In 2014, the share of national income captured by India's top 1% of earners was 22%, while the share of top 10% of earners was around 56%.
The State Bank of India introduced a loyalty program for its valued customers.
This program is called as State Bank Rewardz, the program gives the customers several opportunities to earn reward points and earn many times faster at Max Get More partner outlets.
Thus, one can become a member of the State Bank Rewards Loyalty Program and earn points every time one spend.
The Eleventh World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC11) took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Conference was chaired by Minister Susana Malcorra of Argentina. Indian Delegation was led by Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu.
OBOPAY announced that the company has secured a licence for Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to operate a semi-closed loop wallet in the country.
The company would also be using the licence to increase business in its B2B (business-to-business) operations by co-branding the prepaid instrument with a partner brand.
South Korea banned its financial institutions from dealing in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, as the cryptocurrency soars in a bubble fuelled by retail speculators, many of them from the country.
There are many of them small-time investors, are estimated to own Bitcoins and demand is so high that prices for the unit are around 20 percent higher than in the US, its biggest market.
The hyper-wired country has emerged as a hotbed for cryptocurrency trading, accounting for some 20 percent of global Bitcoin transactions about 10 times its share of the world economy.
About one million South Koreans, many of them small-time investors, are estimated to own Bitcoins, and demand is so high that prices for the unit are around 20 percent higher than in the US, its biggest market.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) approved its first loan to China, its largest shareholder, to reduce its dependence on coal by over 600,000 tonnes annually by building a natural gas distribution network for villages.
The USD 250-million-loan will fund a project to connect 216,750 households in approximately 510 villages to the natural gas distribution network.
With an authorized capital of USD 100 billion, China is the largest shareholder with 26.06 percent voting shares.
India is the second largest shareholder with 7.5 percent followed by Russia 5.93 percent and Germany 4.5 percent.
US President Donald Trump signed a 692 billion dollar defence budget, which among other things gives funding to provide legislative authority to implement his South Asia strategy and authorises critical missile capabilities to confront threats posed by North Korea.
The National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) authorises 626 billion dollars of the base budget resources for the Department of Defence and the national security programs of the Department of Energy, providing an additional 66 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations.
In a relief to IT companies, the union government set aside a 10,000 crore rupee service tax demand notices on IT companies.
The Finance Ministry, as a result, apprehensions about the negative effects on the software industry are without basis.
The government's move came a day after IT companies raised the issue of tax demand with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the pre-budget consultations.
The tax department had slapped service tax demand notices on about 200 information technology and IT-enabled services companies.
The Union government fixed Rs 2,890 per gram as the price of new series of sovereign gold bonds (SGBs).
The government, in consultation with the Reserve Bank, has decided to offer a discount of Rs 50 per gram to investors applying online and making payments digitally.
Earlier, Government had floated Series III of Sovereign Gold Bonds 2017-18, for the period from October 09, 2017 to December 27, 2017.
Under the scheme, the bonds are denominated in units of one gram of gold and multiples thereof. Minimum investment in the bonds is one gram, with a maximum limit of 500 grams per person, per financial year.
BSE's India International Exchange (India INX) received approval from the capital market regulator SEBI on the framework for the listing of debt securities.
The move will enable Indian and foreign issuers to issue masala bonds, Eurobonds, and foreign currency bonds from India INX at International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) at Gujarat International Finance Tech (GIFT) for the first time.
Uma Shankar, chief general manager (CGM) in charge of the Reserve Bank of India's financial inclusion and development department has taken over as executive director (ED) in the central bank.
He has been elevated after Meena Hemchandra the executive director in charge of the central bank's supervision department retired recently.
The State Bank of India (SBI) changed names and IFSC codes of nearly 1,300 of its branches post-merger of its five associates.
The bank has close to 23,000 branches.
The changes were made for the branches located in major cities including Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Lucknow, among others. The bank has put up the list of branches with old and new names and IFSC codes on its website.
In April this year, SBI merged its five associate banks State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore and also Bhartiya Mahila Bank into itself.
Current affairsTo boost Digitisation, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken a crucial step revising merchant discount rates (MDR) charges on Merchants. Now even small businesses will start accepting payments from your Debit card through Scan and Pay.
DR is the rate charged to a merchant by a bank for providing debit and credit card services. As per the new rules, merchants with revenue of less than Rs 20 lakh, the MDR would be 0.4% for Rs 200 and 0.9% for Rs 1,000.
These charges will come into effect from 1 January 2018.
For accepting payments via QR (quick response) code based transactions, the charge will be 0.30 percent subject to a cap of Rs 200 per transaction.