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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Grace Koshie appointed woman director in Federal Bank

Grace Elizabeth Koshie today joined the Board of Federal Bank as the first lady Director in the Kerala headquartered lender.

The bank becomes one of the few listed companies which had complied with the latest regulatory directions in the Companies Act, 2013, which requires a lady Director to be on the Board of Directors.

Grace Koshie, a postgraduate Economics graduate specialising in Econometrics and Monetary Economics from Bombay University, joined Reserve Bank of India in 1976 as a Direct Recruit in Grade B, a Federal bank press release said.

She also holds a PG Diploma in Higher Education and is a Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers. Before joining Reserve Bank, she had worked as a lecturer in Sophia College, Mumbai.

As Secretary to the Central Board of RBI she was responsible for central bank governance and related compliance matters, matters connected to the Meetings of the Central Board and its Committee, and other senior management meetings.

She carries with her rich and varied experience of over 36 years in RBI, the release added.

Grace Koshie has also held charge of the Foreign Exchange Department in RBI Central Office from 2001—2004 and had also served as RBI nominee Director on the Boards of Dena Bank and Corporation Bank.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Canara Bank sees further decline in bad loans in second half

Canara Bank expects its non-performing assets (NPAs) to decline in the third and fourth quarters. The bank had recorded an improvement in loan quality in the second quarter of this fiscal.

R.K. Dubey, Chairman and Managing Director of Canara Bank, said the sequential improvement in asset quality and decline in NPAs are likely to continue in the second half of the current fiscal.

In the second quarter, most of the state-run banks saw their gross as well as net NPAs rise over the first quarter as a percentage of total loan, except for Canara Bank and Bank of India, which reported a fall in both gross and net NPA ratios.

Canara Bank’s gross NPAs in the second quarter fell 27 basis points sequentially to 2.64 per cent while net NPAs dropped 18 bps to 2.30 per cent.

Monitoring recovery

“I hope that in my bank the trend of declining gross NPA is likely to continue in the third as well as the fourth quarters of this financial year…asset quality should not deteriorate further. We don’t want it to deteriorate further like in some major banks where you might have noticed it is now touching 4 to 5 per cent or even at 7 per cent,” Dubey said.

The bank was now controlling slippages by aggressive credit monitoring of existing accounts and stressing on recovery.

“We have put three general managers for recovery. With credit growth going up, recovery going up and slippages going down, I hope this trend should continue,” he said.

Dubey said the bank’s restructuring pipeline was not going to impact the asset quality in the third as well as the fourth quarters for its stringent corporate debt restructuring (CDR) norms. He said the bank had made “adequate provisioning” for bad loans.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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With no CMD for a quarter, Andhra Bank scales down 90th year celebrations

For the first time in its 90-year history, Andhra Bank is doing business without a Chairman and Managing Director for almost a quarter.

There has been inordinate delay in the appointment of a new head since the retirement of B. A. Prabhakar as CMD on August 31, 2013.

Interestingly, the lender has scaled down its 90th year celebrations scheduled for Saturday, as it doesn’t have a CMD.

The bank, established by freedom fighter B. Pattabhi Sitaramayya in 1923, had earlier planned a grand function. But now, it will be held on a simple note. “It will be entirely an internal event for us now,” said a senior official.

The uncertainty over the new chief took many turns for the last 10 months. In February, it was indicated by the Finance Ministry that M.S. Raghavan, the then executive director of Bank of India and now CMD of IDBI Bank, would head Andhra Bank. He was one of the eight executive directors identified to be the CMDs of public sector banks.

The Government later changed its mind and posted M.S. Raghavan as head of IDBI Bank .

It is now expected that C.V.R. Rajendran, Executive Director of Bank of Maharashtra, would be heading Andhra Bank and the delay in appointment is due to lack of clearance from the Vigilance which is mandatory.
Tough Time

Andhra Bank is passing through tough times with a dip in profit and mounting non-performing assets. In the second quarter ended September 30, its net profit fell 78 per cent to Rs 71 crore from Rs 326 crore a year ago. The net NPAs had gone up to 3.54 per cent from 2.16 per cent last year. The total business stood at Rs 2.30 lakh crore.

“Though we have two Executive Directors who can routinely conduct business, absence of CMD is delaying some key decisions such as recovery of loans from some big corporate customers who have defaulted,” said another senior Andhra Bank official.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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LIC to discontinue 14 policies

Country’s insurance giant Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has decided to stop selling as many as 14 policies, including Jeevan Mitra and Anmol Jeevan.

Of this 14 products, LIC has already withdrawn seven policies, including Convertible Term Assurance, Children Deferred Endowment Assurance, with effect from November 16.

As many as five policies including Jeevan Mitra, Jeevan Paramukh Plan, LIC’s Bima Account I and II will go off LIC’s shelves from November 23.

Besides, two policies New Jeevan Nidhi and Anmol Jeevan I will be discontinued from November 30.

Many of these policies are being discontinued as part of regulatory compliance, a senior official of LIC said.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) had extended the deadline for implementation of new individual product regulations for the life insurance industry by three months to December 31.

The new guidelines are aimed at making insurance policies more customer-friendly.

“All the existing group policies and all the existing individual products not in conformity with the provisions of this regulation shall be withdrawn from August 1, 2013 and January 1, 2014, respectively,” IRDA had said in a circular.

With regard to group policies, the life insurers have been asked not to enroll these policies after the immediate policy anniversary falling due after July 2013.

However, it had said, all group policies at the time of renewal of such policy shall be given an option to switch over to the modified version of the group product, if any, once introduced.

LIC has outperformed its peers in the private sector by recording a 7 per cent growth in premium collection during the first half of the current fiscal.

The company witnessed a 7.26 per cent growth in premium income to Rs 37,906 crore during the six-month period ending September.

As per the company’s website, LIC has so far withdrawn 19 other policies, including Jeevan Astha, Market Plus I and Jeevan Nischay and Jeevan Varsha.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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RBI for diluting Govt stake in public sector banks

The current level of Government shareholding in public sector banks gives it sufficient headroom for diluting its stake in many of these banks, according to the Reserve Bank of India.

The Government’s shareholding in the 21 public sector banks ranges from 55 per cent to 82 per cent.

According to the statute, the Government’s shareholding in public sector banks cannot fall below 51 per cent.

The RBI referred to the dilution of Government shareholding in the context of public sector banks requiring additional capital to implement the Basel-III capital regulation. RBI said the Basel III norms lay more focus and importance on quality, consistency and transparency of banks’ capital base.

It has estimated that the additional capital requirements of domestic banks for full Basel-III implementation till March 2018 is to the tune of Rs 4.15 lakh crore, of which equity capital will be about Rs 1.4-1.5 lakh crore while non-equity capital will be about Rs 2.65-2.75 lakh crore.

Being the majority stakeholder, the Government has been infusing capital in public sector banks. During the last five years, the Government has infused Rs 47,700 crore.

The Government has allocated Rs 14,000 crore for public sector banks. The capital infusion will ensure that banks have 8 per cent Tier-1 capital (equity capital and disclosed reserves) by the end of the current fiscal.

Banks will allot preferential shares to the Centre in lieu of the capital infusion. After capital infusion, banks will be allowed to raise Tier-1 capital from the markets in proportion to the amount infused by the Centre. This will help maintain the Centre’s level of shareholding.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Citibank’s old headquarters in Mumbai put up for sale

Citibank has decided to put its old headquarters in Mumbai on the block and has appointed the CBRE group as its consultant.

Citi Centre, an 84,000-sq-ft space in Mumbai’s prime business district Bandra-Kurla Complex, was Citi India’s headquarters until April last year. The bank had shifted to its new location First International Finance Centre about six months ago.

The new office space was bought at Rs 985 crore.

When contacted, the bank declined to comment while CBRE remained unavailable for comment.

A person familiar with the development said it makes sense for the bank to monetise its real estate assets and make efficient use of its capital. News reports pegged the possible deal size at Rs 300 crore. However, this could not be independently verified.

Of late, there has been an increase in companies stepping up efforts to monetise their realty assets. Some of the companies which have put their realty assets on the block include HUL and Standard Chartered.

Other recent office property deals closed in Mumbai’s commercial realty market include the sale of Cadbury House by Mondelez International to diamond merchant Dilip Lakhi reportedly for Rs 350 crore and sale of Express Towers by ICICI Ventures and Viveck Goenka to private equity firm Blackstone and Pune-based Panchshil Realty for about Rs 900 crore.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Allahabad Bank plans preferential issue of up to Rs 400 cr

Allahabad Bank has decided to issue equity shares worth up to Rs 400 crore to the Government of India on preferential basis.

According to a filing to the stock exchanges, the decision was taken at a meeting of the board of directors on Friday.

The bank has also decided to raise up to Rs 320 crore by way of Qualified Institutional Placement.

The issues will be made in such a way that the shareholding of the Government of India remains unchanged at 55.24 per cent.

The bank has called an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders on December 24, seeking their approval for the capital issue plan.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Union Bank raises Rs 2,000 cr via tier-II bonds

Union Bank of India said that it has raised additional capital of Rs 2,000 crore through the issue of unsecured redeemable non-convertible tier-II bonds.

The bonds carry a fixed coupon rate of 9.8 per cent per annum payable annually having a tenor of 10 years, the bank said in a statement.

At 3 p.m., the bank shares were trading at Rs 118.85, down 1.82 per cent on the BSE.

Source: thehindubusinessline
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bank of India CMD Vijayalakshmi Iyer calls on Jayalalithaa

The Chairperson and Managing Director of Bank of India (BoI), Vijayalakshmi Iyer on her first visit to Tamil Nadu, called on the Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at the Secretariat here today. Iyer took over as the Mumbai-based bank’s Chairperson and Managing Director, last year replacing Alok K Misra. Prior taking up the new role, Iyer was serving as Executive Director of Central Bank of India. The meeting between bank officials and the Chief Minister was a “courtesy call”, an official release here said. Bank of India General Manager (International relations), R A Sankara Narayanan, Chief Secretary Sheila Balakrishnan and Finance Secretary K Shanmugam were also present.
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

All SBI branches to have ATMs by March-end

State Bank of India (SBI) is upgrading a big chunk of its automated teller machine (ATM) network into self-service centers, which will include cash deposit machines and passbook printers. The bank will also install ATMs in even the remotest branch by end-March 2014.

Speaking to TOI, A Krishna Kumar, managing director, SBI, said that the bank was targeting a few thousand ATMs where the self-service kiosks and cash deposit machines would replicate most of the functions of a branch.

SBI currently has 17,804 onsite ATMs and 13,945 offsite machines. The bank has also placed an order with CMS to install 7,850 ATMs for the group. "The cost of doing a transaction in a branch is around Rs 40 while in an ATM the cost drops down to less than Rs 20," said Krishna Kumar.

The bank is the largest issuer of debit cards and has issued 12.39 crore cards. "The only accounts that do not have the cards are some of the old accounts. In almost all new accounts cards are issued at the time of account opening," he said. SBI had 15,143 branches as of end September. According to Krishna Kumar, the bank plans to add 1,000 more branches annually. Of the branches, 16% are in metros, 18% in other urban centres, 28% in semi-urban areas and 38% in rural centres.

Source: Economic Times
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