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Saturday, March 21, 2015

RBI to issue Rs. 5 coins to mark 125th Nehru anniversary

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will shortly put into circulation Rs. 5 coins minted by the Government of India to commemorate 125th birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Observe of the coin shall bear the Lion Capitol of Ashoka Pillar in the centre with Satyamev Jayate inscribed below, along with the word Bharat in Devnagri script and INDIA in English. It will also bear the Rupee symbol and denominational value Rs. 125 in the international numerals below the Lion Capitol.

The reverse of the coin shall bear the portrait of Jawaharlal Nehru and bear the inscription 125 the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru in English with the year’s figure “1889-2014″ written below the portrait in international numeral.

These coins are legal tender as provided in The Coinage Act 2011.The existing coins in this denomination shall also continue to be legal tender.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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UBI’s Rs1,300-cr QIP likely next quarter

Union Bank of India (UBI) is likely to mobilise about Rs.1,300 crore through Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) in the first quarter of the next financial year.

“We have got all approvals from the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) but are waiting for market conditions to improve,” Executive Director K Subrahmanyam told newspersons after inaugurating an industrial finance branch here on Friday.

In addition, the bank has headroom for Rs.4,000 crore additional tier-I capital. “We are also not in the immediate need of capital,” he added. When asked whether there was any increase in credit demand after the recent easing of key policy rates by the RBI, he said, “It has not picked up and things might change in the first quarter of the next financial year.” On future plans, the official said that UBI was in the process of opening a branch in Sydney and was awaiting licence. A couple of weeks ago, it opened its subsidiary in London.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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Bank of India raises Rs. 641 cr via preference shares

Public sector lender Bank of India (BOI) said it has raised over Rs. 641.99 crore by issuing shares on preferential basis to LIC and New India Assurance.

”...members had accorded their approval for issue of 2,00,00,000 equity shares to Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and 26,45,502 equity shares to the New India Assurance Company Ltd on preferential basis at a price of Rs. 283.50 per share,” the bank said in a filing to BSE.

The bank approved the fund raising plans in its extra-ordinary general meeting held on March 7, 2015.

The issue price of shares include premium of Rs. 10 per unit.

“Accordingly, upon receipt of funds from LIC and the New Indian Assurance Company Ltd, the bank has allotted the said equity shares in terms of SEBI Regulations,” it added.

Bank of India shares traded 1.02 per cent lower at Rs. 213.70 apiece on BSE.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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Friday, March 20, 2015

Axis Bank cuts deposit rates by up to 0.25 per cent

Axis Bank has reduced interest rates offered on retail deposits by 25 basis points across maturities. The cut by the country's third largest private bank comes after the Reserve Bank of India slashed its key policy rate by 25 basis points to 7.50% on March 4. One basis point is equal to a hundredth of a percentage point.

"The bank has cut its deposit rates by 25 basis points across buckets in the 18-36 months tenure," a banker familiar with the matter said. "Interest on deposits for less than 17 months has been reduced by 15 basis points to 8.50%," he added. The bank has also reduced interest rates on bulk deposits of Rs 5 crore and above by 10 basis points across maturity.

The new rates will be effective from March 11. "In the first quarter we will see deposit rates softening, which would bring down cost of funds for banks," Srinivasan Varadarajan, executive director of Axis Bank had said on March 4.

"This would bring down lending rates," he had said. The private sector lender had cut its base rate, the minimum lending rates, in October last year by 10 basis points to 10.15%. RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has been critical of bankers not transmitting lower interest rates to consumers despite lower money market rates.

Bankers are of the view that the lending rate in the system would come off with a lag once interest rates on bank deposits come down, bringing down their cost of funds. State Bank of India, the country's largest lender, had earlier indicated that it would be very difficult to have a cut in lending rates till the end of March. Earlier this month, HDFC Bank reduced its deposit rate offering by 25 basis points on bulk deposits between Rs 1 crore and Rs 5 crore

Source : Economic Times
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Service conditions to get better for bank staff; coming, leave policy

Bank employees, especially from the public sector, are likely to see service conditions improve substantially.

A host of service condition improvements are being considered by managements, including a “Leave Bank” system, privilege leave four times a year (against three times now), six months maternity leave for adoption of child (two months now), and paternity leave. This is in addition to getting a 15 per cent hike in salary under the industry-wide wage settlement agreement signed recently.

Under the ‘Leave Bank’ system, employees can voluntarily donate a part of their entitled leave to a common pool. The “Leave Bank” will sanction leave with salary to employees who are compelled to be on prolonged leave due to treatment of major diseases or accidents and other contingencies beyond their control and where such employees have exhausted all their leave.

Management approval

If the proposed improvement in service conditions are approved by bank managements under the aegis of the Indian Banks’ Association, then to avail privilege leave (PL), 15 days notice would be sufficient (against 30 days now). PL could be accumulated up to 270 days against the existing ceiling of 240 days.

Extraordinary leave for male employees (without pay) could be sanctioned up to a maximum of 720 days during the entire service as against the existing ceiling of 12 months. Employees could be granted special sick leave with salary for a maximum period of 30 days while on hospitalisation for donation of kidney or any other organ.

Maternity leave facility will be available to a biological mother in cases where the child is born through surrogacy. Employees can also get special leave for sports activities, trekking and mountaineering, among others.

According to Vishwas Utagi, General Secretary, Maharashtra State Bank Employees Federation, the bank unions and the Indian Banks’ Association want to ensure that employees have a proper work-life balance and can comfortably attend to personal exigencies.

Additional holidays

Under a deal cobbled together by bank trade unions and bank managements on February 23, employees, mostly from the public sector, will get a 15 per cent wage hike and two additional holidays a month as part of an industry-wide wage settlement.

The proposed hike will amount to a collective outgo of ₹4,725 crore a year for the 45 banks that are part of the 10th industry-wide bipartite five-year wage (2012-17) settlement exercise. Almost 8.50 lakh employees – all in public sector banks, some old generation private sector banks and a few foreign banks – are expected to benefit from the wage settlement. The revised salary will be implemented with retrospective effect from November 1, 2012.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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RBI to make public Centre’s surplus cash balance to help banks manage liquidity

To help market participants, such as banks, assess systemic liquidity better, the Reserve Bank of India will indicate the Government of India’s surplus cash balance, which will be reckoned for auction, with effect from April 6.

Officials positive

The government’s surplus cash balance with the RBI will be indicated by way of a footnote in the press release issued daily on “Money Market Operations,” the central bank said in a statement.

According to NS Venkatesh, Executive Director (Treasury) & CFO, IDBI Bank, once the information on the government’s cash balances is put in the public domain daily, liquidity management by banks will improve further.

Liquidity provision

In its role as banker to the government, the RBI’s cash management operations involve provision of liquidity to tide over temporary deficit of the government as also facilitate investment of the temporarily surplus cash balances of the government.

Government cash flows largely follow a seasonal pattern.

Typically, the government has negative net cash flows during the first quarter of a year; cash balances improve during the second quarter and remain positive during the third and fourth quarters, according to an RBI paper.

“This unevenness in cash flows mainly reflects the back-loaded revenue receipts. The government receives quarterly direct tax receipts which are usually concentrated on the last payment date (15th of June/September/December/March); higher proportion of tax is payable during the second half.

“As a result, government cash balances spike during these dates,” it said.

One-off revenues

The government also receives one-off non-tax revenues from auction of resources, such as telecom spectrum and coal.

Whenever the government’s cash balances with RBI increase/ decrease, there is a decrease/ increase in Reserve Bank’s credit to the Centre.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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Citigroup CEO Corbat earned 10% less in 2014

Citigroup Inc cut its Chief Executive Michael Corbat's annual compensation by 10.3 per cent in 2014, citing high legal expenses and the company's failure to win regulatory approval for its capital plan in last year's stress tests.

Corbat earned a total of $13 million for 2014, down from $14.5 million a year earlier, according to the compensation approved by Citi's board.

The board's compensation committee said the company's proxy statement said it had also cut compensation or held back raises for Citigroup's chief financial officer, the chief executive of its institutional business, the chief executive of its consumer bank and its head of franchise risk and strategy.

His pay package includes deferred stock of about $3.5 million under Citi's compensation plan, which was overhauled two years ago amid shareholder pressure.

Corbat was paid $14.5 million in 2014, down from $17.6 million the year before, under a disclosure format prescribed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Citi, like other big banks, has turned to cost cuts to boost profit, as low interest rates and new regulations have crimped revenue growth. But the efforts have been overshadowed by fines and higher costs for technology and compliance.

The board said its scores for paying executives were lowered by high costs last year to reposition Citigroup businesses.

The bank raised its quarterly dividend and announced plans to buy back $7.8 billion of stock over five quarters after it cleared the Federal Reserve's annual stress test last week.

Citi failed the stress tests in 2012 and 2014.

Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach's total compensation for 2014 was unchanged at $7.5 million, according to the filing. Manuel Medina-Mora, who heads Citi's global consumer banking arm but will retire in June, received $9.5 million for 2014.

The board faulted Gerspach for the 2014 stress test failure and cited Medina-Mora for control issues at Banamex, the company's unit in Mexico that last year lost more than $500 million to fraud involving a borrower.

James Forese, Chief Executive of the Institutional Clients Group, was paid $13.5 million, which was down by $500,000, or 4 per cent, from a year earlier. The board cited legal and regulatory issues with the foreign exchange business under his supervision.

Risk and strategy chief Brian Leach was paid $8.1 million, down $900,000, or 10 per cent, the proxy said. Leach was cited for his responsibility for the failed capital plan in 2014.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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Karnataka Bank launches ‘e-Lobby’

Karnataka Bank on Thursday launched the ‘e-Lobby 24X7 banking services’ at three locations in Bengaluru. A press release said that ‘e-Lobby’ provides essential banking facilities under one roof through self-service automation kiosks. P Jayarama Bhat, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, said the bank has planned to extend the ‘e-Lobby’ services to another 21 locations across India soon.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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HDFC Bank plans to open 200 branches in Kerala in next 2 years

HDFC Bank is looking at opening 200 branches across Kerala in the next two years as part of its efforts to support inclusive growth.

Dhiraj Relli, Branch Banking Head, who was here to open the 150th branch in Kochi on Thursday, said that 70 per cent of the bank’s branches in the State are in rural and semi urban areas to ensure greater participation of people in the banking system.

“Our objective is to empower more people in Kerala, by offering them our full range of banking services, including digital initiatives thus making a difference in their lives,” he told reporters after the official inauguration of the branch in suburban Kakkanad.

Asked why the bank is focusing on rural centres, he said the board has approved a policy to take 10 million households into the formal banking fold and for this reason, the bank is reaching out to rural and semi urban areas across the country.

HDFC Bank, he said, has rapidly expanded its branch network in Kerala in the past five years, as its operations in the State had started in July 1997. With a CD ratio of 112 per cent, the bank has garnered a total business of ₹16,000 crore from the State as on December 31, 2014.

According to S S Jayasankar, Zonal Head, the bank is expanding into deeper geographies with more than 75+ transactions now available on mobile under its ‘Go Digital’ campaign initiatives.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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KVB on network expansion spree

After a brief pause, Karur Vysya Bank is now expanding its network aggressively.

The bank has opened three branches in the last two days and grown its network across the country to 623.

The 335th branch of the bank in Tamil Nadu was opened at Kilpauk in Chennai. This incidentally is the 40th branch under Chennai division.

The 336th branch and 62nd under Tambaram division was operationalised on March 18.

The bank plans to open branches at Pillayarkuppam, Nadukuppam and Pootuthakku soon.

Source : Thehindubusinessline
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