BANKING - 2017 November

November 1

AIIB grants Rs. 13,000 cr loan to Andhra Pradesh
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) approved USD 2 million loan (Rs. 13,000 crores) for five project in Andhra Pradesh.
Months ago, the state government had sent proposals to the Union Government seeking aid for five projects which includes two roads and buildings department, one each for rural safe drinking water department, municipal and urban development department and Panchayat Raj department.
The Union Government then recommended those proposals to Asia Infra and Investment Bank for further help and clearance.

SBI cuts benchmark lending rate by 0.05 pc across maturities
The country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) slashed benchmark lending rate by 0.05 per cent across maturities.
With the reduction, the MCLR for one year has come down to 7.95 per cent from 8 per cent. The new rate would be effective November 1.
The reduction in marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) came after a gap of almost 10 months. The bank had last cut the rate on January 1. The move by the SBI will trigger rate cut by other lenders.

November 2

Yes Bank unveils BHIM Yes Pay payment wallet service
YES BANK, India’s fifth largest private sector Bank unveiled a superior payment wallet service, BHIM YES PAY by fully integrating the application with all the IndiaStack APIs and NPCI Products.
YES BANK has over 5.5 lakh registered users on BHIM YES PAY and more than 2 lakh users have already availed either UPI or Virtual Card Services to carry out P2P payments and online shopping. Since launch we have witnessed over 2 million transactions valuing close to INR 700 million.

ICICI Bank launches voice-based international remittance service
ICICI Bank, the country's largest private sector bank by consolidated assets, has launched voice-based international remittance service on its Money2India application.
This would enable a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) customer of ICICI Bank to send money to any bank in India via just a simple voice command to Apple's virtual voice assistant, Siri, on his/her Apple iPhone/iPad.
A first-of-its-kind cross border remittance service by a bank in the country, it improves customer's convenience significantly as it replaces a five step process, which was required to initiate a remittance to India earlier.
ICICI Bank is the first bank in the country to leverage on Apple's virtual voice assistant to enable cross border remittances.

November 3

RBI asks large borrowers to obtain unique code from banks
The RBI announced that corporate borrowers having exposure of Rs 5 crore and above will have to mandatorily obtain 20-digit Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) from banks, a move that is aimed at improving risk management.
Coming out with timeline for implementing the LEI, the borrowers with fund and non-fund exposure of Rs 1,000 crore and above will have to get the unique code by March 31, 2018.
Those having exposure between Rs 500 crore and Rs 1,000 crore have to obtain the LEI code by June 30 and those having between Rs 100 crore and Rs 500 crore by March 31, 2019.

Yes Bank signs MoU with government for Rs 1,000 crore financing
Yes Bank signed an agreement with the government to provide Rs 1,000 crore financing for food processing projects. The funding will be provided to around 100 food processing projects with an average ticket size of Rs 10 crore each.
Focus will be on projects across backend infrastructure, cold chain creation of new processing units, expansion of existing units, forward linkages and food processing clusters in various locations in India, amongst others.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) amid the ongoing three-day World Food India being organised by the Food Processing Ministry.

AU Small Finance gets scheduled commercial bank status
AU Small Finance Bank has received Reserved Bank of India (RBI) approval to operate as Scheduled Commercial Bank. This bank's name has now been included in the Second Schedule of Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
Post acquiring scheduled commercial bank status, AU Small Finance Bank will be able to do borrowing and lending with RBI under Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) and Marginal Standing Facility (MSF).
Also, it will help AU Small Finance Bank to acquire business from public sector undertakings (PSUs), corporates, banks, mutual funds, insurance companies and other market participants which can transact with scheduled banks only to comply either regulatory or internal guidelines.

November 4

India Posts Payments Bank to have nationwide operations by April
According to communications minister Manoj Sinha, India Posts Payments Bank (IPPB) services are expected to be available across the country by April.
India Posts Payments Bank branches will be opened across 650 districts by around April. All these branches will be linked to rural post offices. This will be largest banking network in the country.
The IPPB branches are operational in Raipur and Ranchi. It will use post offices for its operations. There are 1.55 lakh post offices in the country. In the private space, Airtel Payments Bank, launched in January this year, started operations with a network of 2.5 lakh merchants.

Government panel to study merger of weak DCCBs with MSC Bank
The Maharashtra state government has formed a committee to study the feasibility of merging financially weak District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) with the Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank.
The panel headed by former NABARD chairman Yashwant Thorat. In the three-layered cooperative lending structure, the DCCBs disburse crop loans to village level Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS), which in turn lend to the farmers.
The state has 31 DCCBs, which lend to more than 21,000 PACS. The MSC Bank is the apex bank of all the DCCBs. Over the years, the share of these primarily rural banks has gone down to around 40 per cent of the outlay but they lend to almost 60 per cent of the farmers in the state.

Paytm unveils 'Inbox' messaging platform for Android
Popular mobile-based digital payment platform Paytm launched 'Inbox', a messaging service that will allow consumers to chat with friends and family, and send and request money at the same time.
The messaging platform is encrypted end-to-end, and users can initiate private conversations and create group chats. They can also send photos and videos instantly, share live location, capture and share moments with the built-in camera. There is also a feature allowing users to recall their messages using 'Delete for All'.
Apart from the messaging service, Paytm Inbox also includes Notifications, Orders, and Games. Under 'Notifications', users can see all cashback offers available across all categories; under 'Orders', they can view their order and transaction updates; and 'Games' will have engaging Cricket and trivia-based games.

November 5

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development inks pact with International Solar Alliance for cooperation in solar energy
The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed a Joint Financial Partnership Declaration with the objective to deepen their cooperation on renewable energy.
ISA is working for deployment of over 1,000 GW of solar energy and mobilising more than $1,000 billion into solar energy by the year 2030. The collaboration will provide an opportunity to EBRD to support solar energy investment in the least developed countries, especially in Africa. This will also help funding of solar projects both in African and other countries.
The deceleration for the promotion of solar energy was signed by Upendra Tripathy, Interim Director General of ISA and Nandita Parshad, Managing Director of EBRD for energy and natural resources.

November 6

HSBC pledges $100 bn of finance by 2025 to combat climate change
HSBC Bank has pledged to provide $100 billion in financing and investment by 2025 to help combat climate change.
It will facilitate financial flows to help boost support for clean energy and lower carbon technologies. This will involve direct lending, bonds and project finance, alongside new products in asset management.
Over recent years, HSBC has helped develop standards for issuers of green bonds and has issued its own 500 million euro ($580 million) green bond. ($1 = 0.8624 euros).

November 7

HDFC Bank makes RTGS, NEFT online transactions free from November 1
HDFC Bank has made online transactions through RTGS and NEFT free of cost from November 1, with an aim to promote a digital economy. On the other hand, various charges for cheque-related transactions as well as request for additional leaves will get costly from early next month for non-managed savings and salary accounts.
According to the revised fees and charges for savings and salary accounts, customers will not have to pay any charge for doing online transactions through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and the National Electronics Funds Transfer (NEFT) from November 1, 2017.
Earlier, customers were levied Rs 25 each for Rs 2-5 lakh online transaction via RTGS and Rs 50 each for such money transfers over Rs 5 lakh. Online NEFT transactions attracted a fee of Rs 2.5 for less than Rs 10,000, Rs 5 for Rs 10,001-1 lakh and Rs 15 for above Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.
For NEFT transactions of over Rs 2 lakh, there was a fee of Rs 25. However, any NEFT or RTGS transaction carried out at the bank branch will be payable.

Paytm now allows users to pay through BHIM UPI on its platform
Digital payment platform Paytm introduced payments using BHIM UPI on its platform, using which users can create their own Paytm BHIM UPI ID on the app, which will be issued by Paytm Payments Bank.
Also, Paytm users can link any of their savings bank account with this unique Paytm BHIM UPI ID and start sending and accepting money.
With Paytm BHIM UPI, users can now make seamless and instant money transfers directly between two bank accounts, with no waiting time to add beneficiary.
They will also not have to share their bank account details and IFSC code with anyone to receive money. This will enable a larger pool of Paytm users to transact digitally with more choices, greater ease and convenience.

November 8

India inks $119 mn loan pact with World Bank for Odisha's education scheme
India singed a loan agreement with World Bank for USD 119 million to improve the quality of students' equitable access to selected institutions in Odisha.
The financing agreement for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan equivalent to USD 119 million is for the Odisha Higher Education Programme for Excellence and Equity (OHEPEE) Project.
The objective of the project is to improve the quality of students' equitable access to selected institutions and enhance governance of the higher education system in Odisha. The closing date for the project is November, 2022.

Bank of China begins operations in Pakisthan, opens first branch in Karachi
The Bank of China formally launched its operations in Pakistan as it opened its first branch in the country's commercial capital Karachi. The inauguration ceremony was performed in the capital Islamabad by President Mamnoon Hussain.
Bank of China Chairman Chen Siqing, State Bank of Pakistan Governor Tariq Bajwa and China's Acting Ambassador to Pakistan Zhao Lijian were also present on the occasion.
China has emerged as a major investor and partner for Pakistan with great prospects of materialising the possibilities of development in both countries.
The opening of the bank indicated that the benefits of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would soon start reaching the masses.

Syndicate Bank forms human chain to create awareness to fight corruption
Syndicate Bank has formed a human chain to create awareness among the public to fight corruption. The bank's Managing Director and CEO, Executive Directors, Chief Vigilance Officer, General Manager and also other General Managers, Regional Managers and staff all took part in it.
Earlier in September, the bank launched a mega awareness drive simultaneously from 25 major parks in Bengaluru as a part of its ongoing festival season campaign. The programme was aimed at highlighting the bank's various services such as cashless banking, Aadhar seeding, MUDRA, digital banking, and loan products.

Bankruptcy board strengthens norms for resolution plan approval
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI amended its corporate insolvency resolution process regulations under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC). Stricter rules are in no place for the approval process of resolution plans submitted under the insolvency law.
It will ensure that as part of due diligence, prior to approval of a resolution plan, the antecedents, credit worthiness and credibility of a resolution applicant, including promoters, are taken into account by the committee of creditors (CoC), the government stated in a notification.
With a view to ensure that the corporate insolvency resolution process results in a credible and viable resolution plan, IBBI has carried-out amendments to the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP).

November 9

HDFC Bank launches SmartUp Zones for start-ups in Kochi
HDFC Bank has announced the launch of its SmartUp Zone in Kochi, an exclusive area inside the branch dedicated for start-ups.
In the first phase, SmartUp Zones will be set up at two branches in the city at Infopark and Kakkanad. The SmartUp Zones were inaugurated by Srikumar Nair, Zonal Head, HDFC Bank, and Shilen Sagunan, Chief Executive, SS Consulting.
Through these zones, specially trained bank staff will offer tailor-made banking and advisory solutions to entrepreneurs. This initiative is part of a larger effort by HDFC Bank to create an ecosystem to nurture the spirit of innovation and enterprise in the start-up space.
Nationally, there are over 47,000 start-ups doing business in India. SmartUp Zones will be launched in over 65 branches in 30 cities across India, including tier 2 and 3 cities that are emerging as start-up hubs.

Fino Payments Bank ties up with Mother Dairy and Gokul Dairy
Fino Payments Bank has tied up with Mother Dairy and Gokul Dairy to digitalise payments of milk pourers. To facilitate digital payments for milk pourers of Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of National Dairy Development Board, the bank will open accounts and provide instant RuPay debit cards.
The same will be done for milk pourers affiliated to Maharashtra-based Gokul Dairy. Post account opening, the payment due to milk pourers will be directly credited into their accounts. They can withdraw money from the milk collection centres or from any ATM using RuPay debit card.
as the largest milk producing nation with over 160 million tonnes of output annually, India has over 15 million milk producers associated with more than 150,000 village dairy cooperatives.

SBI's economic report on oil price hike, impact on CAD released
The Economic Research Department of State Bank of India (SBI) has released a report on oil price hike and how unlikely it is to impact the Current account deficit (CAD) and how inflation could stretch fiscal.
The report is authored by Dr. Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser of SBI.
The Government is walking a very delicate balance between managing fiscal deficit amidst slowing revenue. The only silver lining is the Government has mobilised small savings worth Rs 54,404 crores during the first six months of this fiscal.
The report further states that with this rate and assuming oil price tapers down to reasonable levels, the Government could thus receive budgeted Rs 1 lakh crore in small savings in FY18, and thus would be able to do a buyback of Rs 75000 crore.

IDFC Bank partners MobiKwik to launch co-branded virtual Visa prepaid card
IDFC Bank, MobiKwik and Net1 have partnered to launch a co-branded virtual prepaid card on the Visa platform to customers of MobiKwik.
The partnership marks IDFC Bank's biggest foray into the prepaid card segment and enhances MobiKwik's wallet acceptance across Visa's network. Net1 is a partner and a strategic investor in MobiKwik.
With this, around 65 million users of the MobiKwik will gain access to an IDFC Bank virtual card embedded within the app. MobiKwik users can generate a 16-digit Visa virtual card through the app and use it for online transactions.

Dubai bank Emirates NBD begins operations in India
Emirates NBD, the UAEs second-largest lender, have started operations in India with an aim to invest USD 100 million capital into its Indian operations. The Mumbai branch, marks the banks fifth international branch outside of its UAE network.
The branch will offer a range of services to corporate, SME and institutional clients including trade finance, treasury services, bilateral and syndicated loans in addition to supporting NRI (non-resident Indian) customers looking for cross-border wealth management solutions.
The bank plans to invest USD 100 million capital into its Indian operations. The banks 60 second online funds transfer service to India, DirectRemit, has facilitated nearly a billion dirhams of NRI remittance flows this year.

November 10

Provide doorstep banking to those above 70 by Dec 31: RBI
The RBI asked banks to provide doorstep banking facilities to senior citizens of more than 70 years of age and differently-abled persons by December this year.
Banks have been directed that senior citizens and specially-abled persons, including the visually-impaired, should be provided basic services like pick-up and delivery of cash, chequebooks and demand drafts at their residence.
In view of the difficulties faced by senior citizens of more than 70 years of age and differently-abled or infirm persons (having medically certified chronic illness or disability) including those who are visually impaired, banks are advised to make concerted effort to provide basic banking facilities. Including small finance and payments banks.

Federal Bank gets RBI nod to open offices in Kuwait, Singapore
Federal Bank has obtained RBI approval to open representative offices at Kuwait and Singapore. The bank has been the preferred banker for NRIs and the NRI friendly measures have resulted in increasing inflow of foreign remittances.
Last financial year, the bank had handled around 15 per cent of the total personal inward remittances to India.
While the full spectrum of digital products keeps customers connected with the bank from any part of the world, opening up of these representative offices will facilitate liaising with NRIs for catering to their various financial requirements.
The bank already has its representative offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and it has tied up with 110+ overseas banks/remittance partners. It has already received approval from RBI for opening a branch in DIFC, Dubai and a representative office in Bahrain, the setting up of which is under process.

New outsourcing norms for NBFC released by RBI
Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) cannot outsource core management functions like internal audit, strategic and compliance functions for your Know Your Customer (KYC) norms, the sanction of loans and management of investment portfolio.
As per notification number RBI/2017-18/87 on RBI’s website, Access to customer information by the staff of the service provider shall be on ‘need to know’ basis i.e., limited to those areas where the information is required in order to perform the outsourced function. These norms must comply within 2 months.
NBFC’s must ensure that service providers are able to isolate and clearly identify the NBFC’s customer information, documents, records, and assets to protect the confidentiality of the information.
In case of any percolation of confidential customer related information should be reported to the central bank immediately. NBFCs would be responsible to its customers for any damages.

FEMA norms eased to spur investment from overseas
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has simplified the Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of Security by a Person Resident outside India) Regulations, by putting all the 93 amendments under one notification, a move that will significantly make it easier for foreign investors to invest in the country.
The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), introduced in 1999, was amended 93 times.
Anyone who wants to invest in India, from this notification, he will know in which company he can invest, who can invest, how they can invest, how the money should come in, what the reporting is everything is there,” a banker, who did not wish to be identified. “Earlier it was in a very disjointed manner in various places.”
The new notification combines two regulations on foreign investments — one which is popularly called investment in an Indian company or a partnership, or in a limited liability partnership, or FEMA 20, and the other — FEMA 24, which is investment in a partnership firm.
Another significant change is the introduction of a late submission fee that could allow an investor to regularise any contravention due to non-reporting, by paying the fee.

November 11

PNB MetLife in distribution pact with Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait
Private sector life insurer PNB MetLife has inked a corporate agency tie-up with Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK) to sell retail and group insurance products of the company to the foreign banks customers in India.
As a part of this tie-up, PNB MetLife will offer its wide array of best-in-class and innovative insurance solutions to BBKs India customers spread across its branches.
Bancassurance tie-up forms an important part of the PNB MetLifes growth strategy and the company has forged many successful alliances, to enhance its distribution footprint in the country.
PNB MetLife will offer its products across protection, health, savings, wealth and rural plans to the customers of BBK.

Nitin Gadkari announces Rs 6000-crore World Bank-backed irrigation scheme
Union minister Nitin Gadkari announced World Bank-supported Rs 6,000 crore scheme to improve the irrigation facilities and water accessibility capacity in several states, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
A proposal Rs 6,000 crore project has been sent to the World Bank from ministry and this scheme will start very soon in these states.
The other states which will benefit from the scheme are Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.

November 12

Air India gets Rs 1,500-cr loan from Bank of India
Air India has received a loan worth of Rs 1,500 crore from Bank of India to meet urgent working capital needs less than a month after floating a tender in this regard.
For the second time in recent months, the flagship carrier has received loans from a public sector lender.
Battling multiple headwinds, the disinvestment-bound airline has been working on ways to reduce its debt, including by way of selling non-core assets and expanding operations.
The airline has received Rs 1,500 crore loan from Bank of India after the tender for the amount was floated last month in order to meet "urgent" working capital needs.

November 13

Sidbi, Crisil to launch sentiment index for MSME sector
Sidbi and Crisil joined hands to launch sentiment index for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), which will indicate the current state and expected outlook on the sector every quarter.
The index, named as CriSidEx, is expected to provide crucial insights into employment, business environment and foreign trade in the MSME sector.
The index is designed to do exactly that because it will gather real-time, ground-level information directly from the MSMEs.
The index will allow stake-holders, especially policy makers, to take timely, even proactive steps, including those based on early warnings thrown up by the survey.

November 14

RBI will not pursue proposal to introduce Islamic banking in India
The Reserve Bank of India has decided not to pursue a proposal to introduce Islamic banking in India. Islamic or Sharia banking is a system of finance in which interest is not charged.
Taking into account the wider and equal opportunities available to all citizens to access banking and financial services, it has been decided not to pursue the proposal [to introduce Islamic banking] further.
The proposal to introduce Islamic banking was first made by a committee on financial sector reforms, chaired by former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, in 2008. Certain faiths prohibit the use of financial instruments that pay interest.
The non-availability of interest-free banking products results in some Indians, including those in the economically disadvantaged strata of society, not being able to access banking products and services due to reasons of faith.

Paytm to buy start-up cos Little, Nearbuy for around $30 million
Online commerce and payments company Paytm, operated by One97 Communications Pvt. Ltd, is expected to acquire two startups called Nearbuy and Little for about USD 30 million. Nearbuy and Little Internet provide online discount coupons for restaurants and salons, and commercial establishment deals.
The latest acquisitions would enable Paytm to cross sell products and on its platform and push users to transact higher number of times. Having established its network of offline merchants, the company can use the deals platform to boost sales across various products like travel, movies, and restaurants among others.
Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC and Paytm are the current shareholders in Little Internet that runs the app called Little. In 2015, the startup had raised USD 50 million.
Gurugram-headquartered Nearbuy, which broke away from its Groupon Inc. in 2015, had sold some of its majority stake in Nearbuy to Sequoia India—which spent $20 million for the acquisition—as part of an organisational re-shuffle.

November 15

Finance Ministry asks state-owned banks to submit fund-raising roadmap in a month
As part of Rs 2.11 lakh crore recapitalisation exercise, the finance ministry has asked state-owned banks to submit their board-approved roadmaps for raising funds and strengthening core activities in about a month.
The government had last month unveiled a whopping Rs 2.11 lakh crore two-year programme to strengthen the NPA-hit public sector banks (PSBs), which includes recapitalisation bonds, budgetary support and equity dilution.
Banks should follow responsive and responsible banking, each board should decide in a month or so before recapitalisation actually takes place as to what are the future areas they would like to work on.
They should look at their portfolios, stressed assets, non-core activities, fund raising from market and the core competencies. This will help in better utilisation of the money that the government intends to provide to them.

Govt to launch Bharat 22 ETF, seeks to raise Rs. 8,000 crore
The government will launch the ‘Bharat 22’ exchange traded fund (ETF) managed by ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, targeting an initial amount of about Rs 8,000 crore. The new fund offer will be open for subscription till 17 November and a discount of 3% is being offered to all categories of investors.
The ETF is part of the government’s overall disinvestment programme, and mirrors the S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index, which comprises select companies from the CPSE (central public sector enterprises) universe, stakes held under the Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (SUUTI), and state-run banks.
While 39% of the index is in private sector companies, 61% is in government companies.
The S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index has a diversified representation in six BSE sectors—industrials, finance, utilities, energy, fast-moving consumer goods and basic materials.
The index follows a free float adjusted market cap weighing methodology, with weighting of each individual index constituent capped at 1,5%, while weighting of each BSE sector is capped at 20%.

Uttar Pradesh Tops in Mobilising Jan Dhan Accounts
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), which was launched in 2014 to further the financial-inclusion process in the country, seems to have gathered momentum in some northern States post demonetisation.
With its area and size of population, Uttar Pradesh tops in opening new PMJDY accounts after demonetisation. In fact, one-fifth of the more than five crore new PMJDY accounts in the Indian banking system came from Uttar Pradesh alone.
Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal cumulatively added another 2.2 crore new accounts in the last one year.
While the total number of PMJDY accounts crossed four crore and three crore in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, respectively, the number crossed the one-crore mark in Assam, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Karnataka during the year.

November 16

Paytm introduces 'buy now-pay later' option for users
Digital payments platform Paytm has introduced 'buy now-pay later' option which allows users to pay within 45 days of making the purchase. The option will offer the "loan" ranging from ₹3000 to ₹10,000 without charging any interest.
Paytm has partnered with ICICI Bank for the loan which depends on a user's Paytm transaction history, credit history and the bank's policies.
Users will need to provide PAN, Aadhar and other details to set up this account, called Paytm Postpaid, and Paytm will be up and running in 2 minutes. Customers can subsequently use this account to buy items through Paytm.

Yes fintech collaborates with innovation centre denmark india (icdk india) to create fintech innovation ecosystem in denmark and india
YES BANK, India’s fifth largest private sector bank, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Innovation Centre Denmark India (ICDK India), a partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science to bring Fintech innovations and startups from Denmark to India, and facilitate entry of Indian startups to the region.
The partnership aims to build bridges to promote innovation and assist fintech companies in India and Denmark to expand into each other’s markets.
Denmark, known as a design and innovation hub has been steadily gaining reputation as a fintech hub and is known to have the most evolved regulatory sandbox. YES FINTECH organized an India – Denmark Fintech Mission with ICDK India and Copenhagen Fintech.

November 17

IFC, HDFC join hands for $800 mn affordable housing fund
International Finance Corporation, the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank, has teamed up with mortgage lender HDFC to create an $800 million (about Rs 5,185 crore) fund dedicated to affordable housing in India.
IFC will pump in $200 million through masala bonds that will be listed on the London Stock Exchange while the rest would come from HDFC.
The fund will support affordable housing projects under the central government’s Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna, which aims to achieve Prime Minister Modi’s vision of ‘Housing for All’ by 2022.

Paytm, ICICI Bank Collaborate to Give Users Short Term Digital Credit
Paytm, a digital wallet app, and ICICI Bank, a private sector bank, have collaborated to announce an all-new initiative where users can get interest-free short-term digital credit. Called Paytm-ICICI Bank Postpaid.
The new offer will let Paytm customers get instant credit for various use-cases like paying for movie tickets, bill payments, flights, as well as physical goods.
As per the new Paytm-ICICI Bank Postpaid offer, customers can get digital credit account with instant activation without documentation or branch visit, and the activation will be online.
Customers will be offered digital credit based on their credit-score and can be offered up to 45 days interest-free credit limit. The credit limit will range from Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 10,000 and will be extendable up to Rs. 20,000 based on the repayment history of the customer..

RBI panel proposes list for hedging commodities in global markets
A Working Group of RBI made a case for a "positive list" of commodities comprising metals, energy and agro products which can be hedged in the overseas markets by domestic traders.
Exposure of Indian entities to commodity price risks has been accentuated by growing integration of the economy with the rest of the world and rising volumes of cross-border trade.
As of now, most hedging activity is in base metals though a reasonably wide variety of products are hedged offshore by Indian corporates.
The Reserve Bank had set up a working group to review the guidelines for hedging of commodity price risk by residents in the overseas markets during the development phase of the domestic commodity derivative market.
The proposed list includes gold, silver, zinc, tin, crude oil and its derivatives, coal, natural gas, tea, coffee, sugar and cocoa.

November 18

RBL Bank opens all women branch in Chennai
Private sector RBL Bank has set up an all women branch. The branch at R A Puram would be managed by eight women and offer all products and services across liability and assets.
This is a full service branch offering a range of products and services”, RBL Bank, Branch and Business Banking. The women branch is a testament to the bank’s efforts in encouraging gender equality.
RBL Bank currently serves 3.54 million customers. It has 246 branches and 389 ATM services across the country.

PNB, Action Construction Equipment tie up for farm machinery financing
Public sector lender Punjab National Bank and Action Construction Equipment Ltd (ACE) have tied up for financing of farm machinery through the bank's branch network across the country.
The tie-up between the two largest players in their respective fields will enable PNB to facilitate the availability of quality farm machinery equipment to its huge farmer base at very low rate of interest i.e., at present 9.20 percent.
For ACE, the tie-up will enable it to tap into PNB's huge network and customer base and thus further strengthening its presence in India.

Reliance General inks bancassurance agreement with YES Bank
Reliance General Insurance Company Limited (RGI), a subsidiary of Reliance Capital, has signed a comprehensive Bancassurance - Corporate Agency agreement with YES Bank with the objective to distribute multiple general insurance products to the customers of the bank.
With its network of 1040 branches across all 29 states and 7 union territories of India, YES Bank will enable Reliance General Insurance to reach a large base of retail and MSME clients.
This is the first partnership signed by the bank since the open-architecture norms under the Corporate Agency regulations were introduced by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) in April 2016.

November 19

Government sets Rs 10,000 min balance in bank accounts as rural poverty measure
The government will now look at the bank accounts of families in a rural set up to determine the level of poverty in a gram Panchayat. The minimum amount in such accounts has been set as Rs 10,000.
This threshold is one of several metrics that will be used to measure the economic condition in a village. The more the number of families with such a minimum balance, the better a panchayat's chance of being on the positive list of the poverty index.
Under Mission Antyodaya, there are 21 parameters to measure the economic status of any gram panchayat. The aim of the mission is to create 50,000 poverty-free panchayats.

United Bank of India plans to raise Rs 500 cr via Basel III compliant bonds
United Bank of India (UBI) plans to raise up to Rs 500 crore to comply with the global standard Basel III banking norms by March 2019.
The board of directors of the bank proposes to consider and approve by circulation, issuance and allotment of Basel III compliant listed additional tier-I debt instruments in the nature of bonds.
The bonds with face value of Rs 10 lakh each, with or without greenshoe option, is to aggregate up to Rs 500 crore. Banks globally have to comply with the Basel III norms so as to improve and strengthen their capital planning processes.
These norms are being implemented to mitigate concerns on potential stresses on asset quality and consequential impact on performance and profitability of banks post the global sub-prime crisis of 2008 that hit the banking industry hard.

Banks allowed to hire machines, staffers for Aadhaar card enrolment
The UIDAI has provided some "relaxation" to banks in procurement of enrolment machines and hiring private data entry operators for their Aadhaar centres.
The Aadhaar-issuing body, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), has allowed banks to hire private data entry operators and enrolment machines and expects the relaxation to speed up the opening of Aadhaar enrolment and updation centres at bank premises.
But the reprieve has been granted with the condition that banks will have to ensure proper supervision of enrolment and updation process within their premises. It is done in hopes that the banks will offer such services at stipulated 10 per cent of the branches "at the earliest.

November 20

Government sets Rs 10000 min balance in bank accounts as rural poverty measure
Central Government has set Rs 10000 minimum balance in bank account as one of the 21 parameters to assess poverty in gram panchayats under ‘Mission Antyodaya’.
Union Rural Development Ministry’s ‘Mission Antyodaya’ aims to create 50000 poverty-freegram panchayats.
The goal is to converge, all existing government initiatives and schemes in these 50000 gram panchayats so that every household within these panchayats is benefited which shall consequentially lead to elimination of poverty.
50000 gram panchayats will be grouped together in 5000 clusters. State wise list of gram panchayats selected for this mission has already been finalised.

Government seeks Rs 13,000-cr surplus from RBI
According to Economic Affairs Secretary, Subhash Chandra Garg, that Central Government has only sought Rs 13,000 crore of surplus which Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has and has not asked it to pay any ‘special dividend’.
The fiscal year for RBI is June-July. For 2016-17 fiscal, ending in June 2017, RBI’s profit was about Rs 44,000 crore.
Out of this 44000 crore, in August 2017, it had paid a dividend of Rs 30659 crore and retained remaining amount of profit to contain risks and build reserves.

November 21

Mastercard, Mswipe tie-up to strengthen digital payment acceptance in India
Mswipe, a domestic maker of Point of Sale (PoS) terminals, has partnered MasterCard to digitise merchant acquisition and can now enable a shopkeeper anywhere in India to acquire a card swipe machine.
At present, merchants need to sign physical agreements and, in some cases, open new current accounts to become part of a credit card network.
Mswipe will enable a merchant to complete the ‘know-your-customer’ (KYC) requirement using a mobile application that will scan documents and use complex software to compare these with government databases, including the income tax department’s Permanent Account Number (PAN) database and the Shops and Establishments database.

India, World Bank ink $100-million loan agreement for solar parks
India and the World Bank signed a $100-million loan and grant agreement for increasing solar power generation capacity in India.
Fund procured through this loan for “Shared Infrastructure for Solar Parks Project” will be deployed for financing solar parks across India.
The agreement comprises a $75-million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), a $23-million loan from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and $2 million as interest-free grant from CTF.
Funding through these loans/grants will be instrumental in executing Indian government’s plan to install 100 gigawatt (GW) of solar power out of a total renewable energy target of 175GW by 2022.

November 22

Hike partners with Airtel Payments Bank mobile wallet
Messaging app Hike announced that it has entered into a tie-up with Airtel Payments Bank for its mobile wallet product.
Through this tie-up, users of Hike messenger will now have access to Airtel Payments Bank’s vast product line including merchant and utility payments.
From Airtel Payments Bank’s perspective, this tie-up will be beneficial as it will get access to over 100 million users on Hike. Hike Messenger, which is backed by SoftBank, registered 30 per cent month-on-month growth for its wallet service.

Axis Bank and Mumbai Police Launch new Campaign #MuhPeTaala
During the International Fraud Awareness week (12 – 18 November 2017), Axis Bank in association with Mumbai Police has launched its latest campaign #MuhPeTaala to promote safe banking.
The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness about how to keep oneself safe from falling prey to fraudulent calls asking information such as pin code, CVV, OTP etc.
The video features, Mumbai police officers explaining the important practice one must observe while online banking and if asked for personal banking details by strangers.
It also informs that one must not disclose details such as OTP, CVV, passwords even if the caller claims to be a bank employee. It cautions the viewers that no bank will ever ask for any of these details.

BRICS Bank approves $400 million loans for India, Russia
New Development Bank (NDB) floated by BRICS nations has approved two infrastructure and sustainable development projects in India and Russia with loans of $400 million.
In India, funds procured by means of NDB loan will be used to rehabilitate the Indira Gandhi canal system.
In Russia, loan amount will be used to build a toll transport corridor connecting M-5 federal highway to Ufa city centre.
These projects are in line with NDB’s primary objective to provide financial support for infrastructure and sustainable development in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).

November 23

Royal Bank of Canada joins the global ranks of banks deemed ‘too big to fail’
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has become the first Canadian bank to be added to the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB’s) list of global systemically important banks (G-SIB) deemed ‘too big to fail’.
Financial Stability Board (FSB) is an international body based in Basel, Switzerland which co-ordinates the work of national financial authorities and international standard-setting bodies.
FSB has added RBC and has removed French bank Groupe BPCE from the list. Currently, there are 30 institutions on Financial Stability Board’s (FSB’s) list of global systemically important banks.

United Bank of India gets SEBI approval for Rs 1,000 crore equity issue via QIP
United Bank of India (UBI) has received SEBI’s approval for issue of equity shares worth Rs 1,000 crore by way of institutional placement.
Union Bank of India (UBI) in January 2017 planned to raise up to Rs 1,500 crore through Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP), rights or public issue.
UBI had raised Rs 127.49 crore through sale of shares to qualified institutional investors in May 2017. It approved allotting over 5.49 crore shares to qualified institutional buyers at issue price of Rs 23.22 per share.
UBI had earlier plans to raise up to Rs 500 crore of Basel III-compliant listed additional tier-I debt instruments in the nature of bonds.

November 24

SBI launches YONO, an integrated app for financial services
State Bank of India (SBI) unveiled ‘YONO’, India’s first integrated lifestyle and banking app. YONO was launched by Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley. Abbreviation YONO stands for ‘You Only Need One’.
YONO is the first digital banking platform which not only has a range of banking and financial services but also provides customised products and offers from over 60 e-commerce companies by using advanced analytics.
YONO will have offers for 14 service categories including booking and renting cabs, dining out, entertainment, travel and stay.

RBI relaxes 26% debt-equity conversion cap for ARCs
Reserve Bank issued a notification which relaxed norms capping asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) shareholdings at 26 per cent in the borrower firm under reconstruction.
However, this relaxation is subject to the condition that the net-owned funds are maintained at Rs 100 crore on an ongoing basis.
As per earlier provisions, ARCs could convert a portion of the debt into equity of the borrower company only to the extent of 26 per cent of the revamped equity capital.
Beside, all ARCs with at least half of the directors (including independent directors) have also been exempted from the 26 per cent shareholding cap in the borrower firm.

Kotak Mahindra Bank launches “Smart Banking 24×7” e-Lobbies
Kotak Mahindra Bank (Kotak) launched “Smart Banking 24X7” e-lobbies, in the Mumbai suburbs of Juhu and Powai.
“Smart Banking 24×7” e-Lobbies gives customers the freedom to complete banking transactions at any hour of the day as per their convenience.
It offers 24×7 access to a range of banking services such as cash withdrawals, cash deposits and cheque deposits. These e-lobbies have been structured to give an easy and non-intrusive banking experience.

Canara Bank rolls out Canarites app and digital library
Canara Bank celebrated its Founder’s Day by rolling out several initiatives and benefits for its staff. Canara Bank was founded on July 1, 1906, by late Ammembal Subba Rao Pai, at Mangaluru.
Several initiative including a Canarites app, a digital library, a field recovery mobile app, a retail loan (vehicle) – tracking system, and a regulatory guidance tracking system were launched on this occasion.
Currently, Canara Bank has a clientele base of over eight crore.

President approves ordinance to amend Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code
President Ram Nath Kovind gave his consent to an ordinance to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). This ordinance will now be presented in the upcoming Winter Session of Parliament. The provisions of this ordinance are aimed towards preventing misuse of IBC by unscrupulous, undesirable persons.
Wilful defaulters, whose accounts have been classified as non-performing assets (NPAs) for one year or more and are unable to settle their overdue amounts including interest will be considered ineligible to be a ‘resolution applicant.’
As per the official statement, sale of property to a person who is ineligible to be a resolution applicant has been barred and violations of this norm will attract fine ranging from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2 crore.

November 25

Axis Bank launches blockchain-based international payment service
Axis Bank has launched an instant international payment services using RippleNet Ripple’s enterprise blockchain technology solution.
This facility is currently available for Axis Bank’s retail customers in India to receive payments from the UAE-based Rak Bank.
Axis Bank’s corporate customers in India can also use this facility to receive payments from Standard Chartered, Singapore.
RippleNet is referred to as world’s only enterprise blockchain solution for global payments. It connects banks, payment providers, digital asset exchanges and corporates for enabling seamless experience to send money globally.

JM Financial gets NHB nod for home finance arm
Financial services firm, JM Financial has received certificate of registration from the National Housing Bank (NHB) for carrying out housing finance activities through its subsidiary JM Financial Home Loans.
While announcing the results for fiscal 2016- 2017, management of JM Financial would enter the affordable mortgage segment along with a property brokerage.
Currently, services offered by JM Financial include investment banking, broking, institutional equity sales, wealth management and asset reconstruction among others.

November 26

Billdesk-Backed Cryptocurrency Exchange Coinome Launches In India
The largest US-based derivative exchange CME Group has announced plans to launch Bitcoin futures, one of the leading Indian payment gateways Billdesk-owned Hatio Innovations has recently launched a cryptocurrency exchange Coinome in India. Coinome currently offers the trading of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
Headquartered in Mumbai, Coinome allows users to be onboarded via an instant e-KYC process. Under the process, a user needs to register his/her Aadhaar number, post which an OTP is sent for the verification and activation of the account.
With Billdesk being the promoter of the exchange, Coinome will have an easy window to build trust and deal with cybersecurity threats, which are currently the key concerns of cryptocurrency exchanges across the world.

November 27

Bank of Baroda launches Digital supply chain finance solutions
Bank of Baroda has launched a supply chain finance solution to offer working capital loans to small and medium enterprise and large corporate clients.
The solution will cover pre and post shipment products - dealer or channel finance, vendor finance and payable finance.
The design and framework of technology and processes for the supply chain finance product will augment the growth drivers for both large corporate and MSME clients.

November 28

Asian Development Bank to provide USD 150 mn loan to Nepal for urban development
The Asian Development Bank will provide a USD 150 million loan to Nepal to improve its urban infrastructure. The ADB is ever ready to collaborate with Nepal in the implementation of Nepal Governments national urban development strategy.
The Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Nepals Ministry of Finance signed the loan agreement in Kathmandu.
The ADB has pledged to provide a loan assistance of USD 150 million, around Rs 15.4 billion, to Nepal for the implementation of Regional Urban Development Projects.
Shankar Prasad Adhikari, Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, and ADB country director Mukhtor Khamaudkhanov signed the agreement for investment that will cover eight municipalities located in southern Terai and far west of Nepal.

Asian Development Bank to extend $20 billion loan to India over 5 years
Asian Development Bank (ADB) will raise annual funding to India up to $4 billion from existing $2.7 billion, from next year. To accelerate inclusive economic transformation of India, ADB has decided to provide loans up to $4 billion on annual basis including non-sovereign debt during 2018-22.
India, the largest recipient of ADB, will get about $20 billion over a period of 5 years. As part of the country strategy 2018-22, annual sovereign funding will increase from $2 billion to $3 billion while private sector funding would be doubled to $1 billion.
The India programme will focus on boosting economic competitiveness to create more and well paid jobs, improved access to infrastructure and services, and addressing climate change and improving climate resilience over these five years.

DBS bank lowers india's fy18 gdp growth to 6.6% over gst roll-out
Singapore’s DBS Bank lowered India’s GDP growth forecast for current fiscal to 6.6 per cent from the previous 6.8 per cent, citing that businesses were “still adjusting” to the new GST regime and there were “limited room” for fiscal support.
The Bank, however, expects that Indian economy will recover in fiscal 2019 and achieve a growth rate of 7.2 per cent.
The Indian government will play a balancing act between reviving growth whilst maintaining its macro-stability credentials in fiscal 2019.
The recent rating upgrade from Moody’s was a big boost to sentiment and is likely to lower offshore borrowing costs for Indian companies.

November 29

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launches Paytm Payments Bank in Delhi
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley formally launched Paytm Payments Bank in Delhi. This expands the horizon of financial inclusion in the country.
Paytm Payments Bank is the country’s largest mobile-first, technology-led bank. By virtue of reaching every nook and corner of the country, it will be able to bring the large un-served and under-served population to the mainstream economy.
Paytm has invested ₹5000 crore in payments and financial services space (excluding commercial side) in the last two years. In the next two years another ₹5000 crore will be invested in the same segments.

ADB to provide $500 mn loan to improve rural roads in five states
Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a $500 million loan to improve rural road connectivity in five states, including Assam and West Bengal.
The board of directors of ADB has approved the multi-tranche financing facility for the ‘second rural connectivity investment programme’ to improve rural roads in five states of India.

Karnataka Bank, BCG tie up for transformation initiatives
Karnataka Bank has partnered with Boston Consulting Group (India) for its transformation initiatives. The transformation project KBL Vikaas was launched in Mangaluru.
The project is aimed at total transformation of the bank by repositioning it as a ‘relevant and significant bank’ by focusing on technology and keeping intact its core values and identity.
The bank has identified seven major intervention areas for this project. These are: aspiration and strategies to achieve growth; rationalisation of service outlets, including digital channels; human resource management structure and strategy; stakeholders’ value enhancement initiatives; efficiency enhancement strategy; corporate branding and repositioning; and partnering and collaborating with financial technology companies and start-ups.

November 30

Yes Bank sets up $1 billion debt programme to raise money
Yes Bank Ltd’s board approved the setting up of a $1 billion medium-term note (MTN) programme, enabling the bank to raise funds in one or more tranches.
Under the MTN programme banks can sell debt securities, usually maturing between 5 and 10 years, in the overseas market and secure cheaper funding.
Yes Bank is among the many Indian lenders that have tapped the overseas market for funds, including borrowings from commercial banks and multilateral agencies.
Earlier this month, Yes Bank raised a total of $400 million through two syndicated loan transactions in Japan and Taiwan.

RBI asks cooperative societies not to use word Bank in names
The RBI has asked co-operative societies not use the word Bank in their names as it violates the Banking Regulation Act.
RBI has also "come to the notice" that some co-operative societies are accepting deposits from public which tantamount to conducting banking business in violation of the provisions of the Act.
It has come to the notice of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that some co-operative Societies are using the word "Bank" in their names. This is a violation of Section 7 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

SBI raises rates on bulk deposits by 100 basis points
State Bank of India has raised its rate on all bulk term deposits by one per cent (100 basis points). The revision comes after about a year and also signals the end of a rate easing cycle, which had begun in the second quarter of 2015-16.
Bulk deposits are those where amounts kept are at least Rs 1 crore or above. Senior officials at the country's largest bank interest rates offered on bulk money raised from companies and institutions were below those offered by competing banks.
This was affecting corporate relationships, with SBI losing in bids sought by those entities for parking their surplus funds. SBI has seen an outflow of over Rs 70,000 crore from bulk deposits in a year.

South Indian Bank raises Rs 490 crore via bonds
Kerala-based South Indian Bank announced raising of funds of Rs 490 crore by way of private placements of Basel III compliant Tier 2 Bonds.
Besides augmenting Tier 2 capital, this exercise would further strengthen bank's Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) to support the targeted business growth.
The infusion of fresh capital would improve the CAR by 108 bps, which will take care of the capital requirement for the coming year at the targeted business growth of 18 per cent.

Lupin Foundation aims to open 2 lakh bank accounts by 2020 in Rajasthan
Lupin Human Welfare and Research Foundation, part of pharma major Lupin, will facilitate opening over 2 lakh bank accounts through its financial inclusion programme in rural areas by 2020.
As part of the initiative in partnership with State Bank of India, the company will provide banking solutions to the poor and farmers at its kiosk centres spread across Rajasthan.
Since 2010, the foundation has opened 2.4 lakh SBI bank accounts by sending its banking correspondents to about 495 villages.



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