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23 Aug. 2016
RBI Governor need not have a rock star status to be successful and India's ratings would depend on its policies and not any specific personality, Fitch Ratings said on Sunday.
Fitch's comment comes in the backdrop of government elevating RBI Deputy Governor Urjit Patel as the Governor of the Reserve Bank.
"A central bank governor does not need to have a rock star status to be successful in reigning in inflation or cleaning up the banking sector," Fitch Ratings Director, Asia-Pacific Sovereigns Group, Thomas Rookmaaker said.
US-based rating agencies Moody's and Fitch also said that Patel as the next RBI Governor signals a likelihood of policy continuity.
"We assume continuity of the RBI's policies under the new Governor, Patel," Moody's Investors Service SVP, Sovereign Risk Group Marie Diron said.
Fitch said outgoing Governor Raghuram Rajan has set in positive transformation starting with recognition of high inflation and weak bank balance sheets problems.
Echoing similar views, Rookmaaker said: "Patel's appointment as the next RBI governor signals a strong likelihood of policy continuity."
From rating perspective, policies are more important than personalities, he added.
The positive transformation set in motion by Rajan, starting with the recognition of the problems associated with both high inflation and weak bank balance sheets, is not yet complete.
"Having served as deputy governor in the past three years, Patel is well-positioned to further institutionalise these policy changes in the period ahead," Rookmaaker said.
The government on Saturday elevated Patel as the 24th Governor of the Reserve Bank.
Springing a surprise, Rajan in a letter to RBI staff in June had announced that he would return to academia and not seek a second term. Rajan, who was often called the rock star central banker, demits office on September 4.
Diron further said two sets of policies and decisions by the Reserve Bank would be relevant to India's sovereign credit profile.
"First, efficient transmission of credible monetary policy fosters a stable macroeconomic environment with inflation at moderate levels.
Second, banking sector risk weighs on India's sovereign credit profile. The clean-up of banks' balance sheet has started and it would be credit positive from a sovereign perspective, if it led to improved bank capitalisation levels, renewed loan growth and robust risk processes," Diron said.
She said future inflation developments will provide further indications of monetary policy credibility.
"We expect inflation to remain broadly stable around recent levels although there are sources of upside risks," Diron said, adding Pay Commission award could stoke food inflation posing a challenge to RBI.

Kotak's Twitter banking: Ground breaking or gimmicky?
12th May 2016
Around this time two years ago, Kotak Mahindra Bank had announced the launch of Jifi. It allowed users to authenticate their Twitter accounts with the bank and perform regular banking transactions via the medium, in a jiffy. This was the time when Instagram had just started commercially picking up in the country and Snapchat got nary a mention in any conversation around digital. Twitter was the 'it' thing back then with brands from several categories flocking to it. They still do, and some (read: few) do it well. But most of it is centered around grievance and reputation management and broadly PR.
To offer banking services via Twitter was definitely unique and Kotak had claimed to offer 20 banking services that could be carried through the micro-blogging platform. Security issues would have been the first to put people off the service. But Jifi didn't offer fund transfers, and every request would've been routed via mobile banking, so the service did get some Tweeters valuing its ease. However, the numbers aren't great even two years after it started, admits Karthi Marshan, Sr EVP and head - group marketing, Kotak Mahindra Bank.
Was it Kotak's way of striking another medium off the laundry list then? For Marshan, it was really the fear of missing out on a potential medium, he says. "In the digital era, one has no choice but to try many things. You don't know what may click. You don't know when the network effect may kick in." Marshan takes a moment here to tell us about Finalta. It's a McKinsey solution, one of the market leaders in the financial services benchmarking space. In Finalta's June'15 benchmarking result, Kotak ranks the highest in Mobile login and mobile transaction frequency in India. On an average, the global leader gets over 11 logins on its app in a month. Kotak got nine in June 2015 highest in India and Asia. "Kotak's banking app has the highest rating (4.4) among all BFSI players on the Google Play Store. Monthly rating went up from 4.34 in Nov'15 to 4.51 in Mar'16," he further tells us.
"But just because the core banking app is doing well for the brand doesn't mean we don't do anything else," he says. And Kotak's not the only one now. Shortly after Jifi, France's second largest bank Group BPCE announced their own Twitter payment service. Back home, ICICI announced their Twitter banking facility around January last year. Called 'icicibankpay', the service allows users to transfer money via Twitter Direct Messaging. Twitter itself has been reportedly trying to venture into the payments space in a bid to look beyond advertising for revenue. But none of these developments have been able to bring about any revolution in the Twitter banking landscape. Perhaps the platform itself is not conducive for something as personal and critical as banking, feels Lakshmipathy Bhat, app-maker Robosoft's VP - corp comm, and a prolific twitterati at @bhatnaturally.
It's not even solving any fundamental problem, he points out. You have the bank's site to go to when you're on desktop, and app to use on your mobile. Why would you go on Twitter to do banking? Well, you may, if you don't want to download the app, or make the effort of logging in to the site, going through several layers just to order a chequebook. So, use cases are there. Especially for the young and the restless digitally savvy consumers who Marshan wanted to lure through Twitter in the first place. So, the challenge is to communicate how Twitter is a 'more convenient' medium for some set of users to do most of their bank-related chores. You combat that challenge and you're back from 'no show' to 'good show' on Twitter. *Hashtag You Can Win*

SEBI Chairman urges Industry to understand the intention behind new disclosure and governance norms

Its time Industry takes steps tostrengthen Capital Markets: U K Sinha, Chairman, SEBI

“Corporates should run their own Pension Funds for their non-EPFO category employees and invest funds in the equity market”, urged Mr U K Sinha, Chairman, Securities& Exchange Board of India while speaking at CII’s 5th Capital Markets Summit. Mr Sinha suggested that this would make reliable,long-term capital available for investment. He further explained that it is not easy for the Government to make drastic changes and requested industry to come forward and take steps to improve market depth.
While acknowledging regulatory hurdles to IPOs, Chairman also pointed out that reluctance on part of companies to comply with prescribed governance norms is equally responsible for the lack-lustre IPO market. He advised companies not to push back but project best practices to attract domestic and international investors.
Mr Sinha announced that SEBI is adopting measures to ensure that filing of information just once with SEBI would be adequate compliance through Annual Information Memorandum. This should be operational within three months. On adoption of other facilitative initiatives, Mr Sinha announced that KYC across the Financial Sector would be integrated with the co-operation of all other financial sector Regulators.
Mr Sinha also announced that revised ESOP Guidleines which would soon be issued by SEBI would be progressive and would resolve existing anomalies. He also mentioned that minimum public shareholding norms would be made neutral vis-à-vis ownership.
Speaking at the Summit Mr. Nimesh Kampani, Chairman, CII National Committee on Capital Markets & Chairman, JM Financial Group suggested some exclusive tax benefits be offered on mutual fund investments, instead of clubbing them under 80C. Tax exemptions that will help channelize savings into the system as well as providing long term funds should be granted.
He further added whether Investor awareness, financial literacy could be one of the constituents of the mandatory CSR that the companies now have to undertake under the Companies Act.
Ms Chitra Ramakrishna, Managing Director & CEO, National Stock Exchange, upheldthe recent Corporate Governance rules as the next stage of governance model which will help instil confidence amongst investors and said that CII and the exchanges could work together to implement the new Corporate Governance norms. Mr Ashishkumar Chauhan, Managing Director & CEO, Bombay Stock Exchange, said FTA framework looks promising and was of the view that India should haveDouble Taxation Agreements with far-east Countries will help increase foreign retail investor participation, since they have a large Indian Diaspora.

Mr.Atul Joshi, Managing Director and CEO , India Ratings & Research suggested that India should consider raising municipal bonds to deepen & widen bond markets in India.

4 June 2014 Mumbai
CII Capital Markets Summit

"Fostering Growth of the Indian Economy through Capital Markets"
Please find attached the exclusive photographs of CII Capital Markets Summit, inaugurated by Mr U K Sinha, Chairman, Securities & Exchange Board of India In Financial Capital of India – in Mumbai.

Photo Caption: SEBI Chief at CII Capital Markets Summit

Mr Ashishkumar Chauhan, Managing Director & CEO, Bombay Stock Exchange
Ms Chitra Ramkrishna, Managing Director & CEO, National Stock Exchange
Mr U K Sinha, Chairman, Securities & Exchange Board of India
Mr Nimesh Kampani, Chairman, CII National Committee on Capital Markets & Chairman, JM Financial Group

Strong reforms may not push growth to 7-8%: Moody's

NEW DELHI: Global ratings agency Moody's has said the Indian economy is unlikely to return to previous growth rates of around 7-8% in the near future even if the new government pursues a strong reform agenda due to the "depth of the issues to be addressed".
In its Global Macro Outlook for 2014-15, the agency said the growth prospects for India are hampered by a lack of reforms in recent years. It said the economy is expected to grow by 4.5-5.5% in 2014 and then to 5-6% in 2015,
"The country is also vulnerable to capital outflows given a history of sizeable current account deficits. Although the current account deficit was reduced to 0.3% of gross domestic product at the end of 2013, some of the narrowing is unlikely to be sustained once restrictions on gold imports are lifted," Moody's Investor Service said in its report.
Expectations of a stable government after the national polls in mid-May have stoked expectations of a rush in economic reforms and efforts to rebuild the faltering economy, which has seen growth slowing to a decade low of 4.5%. Several factors including policy delays have hurt growth and critics have slammed the government for mismanaging the economy. The government says the steps taken by the administration in recent months have helped revive growth prospects.
Moody's said high inflation at more than 8% in March 2014 implies that the central bank has no room to ease monetary policy in the short term and may even need to tighten further.

McKinsey pegs poverty line at Rs 1,336 per month

NEW DELHI: A Global consultancy firm pegged a new level for poverty or empowerment line — at Rs 1,336 per month per person as against the poverty line prescribed by the government at around Rs 870 per month per person.
McKinsey, in a report, said the empowerment line determines the level of consumption required for an individual to fulfill his/her basic need for food, energy, housing, drinking water, sanitation, health care, education and social security at a level sufficient to achieve a modest standard of living.
According to the report — From poverty to empowerment: India's imperative for jobs, growth, and effective basic services — 56% of the population lacks the means to meet essential needs as consumption level falls below Rs 1,336 per person per month or almost Rs 6,700 per month for a family of five. This translates to 680 million people whose consumption levels across both rural and urban area of the country fall short of this mark.
The report said India can bring more than 90% of its people above the empowerment line in a decade by implementing inclusive reforms. Steps are needed to stimulate investment, job creation, farm productivity and improve the delivery of basic services. These reforms, the report said, could potentially allow India to achieve an average GDP growth of 7.8% between 2012-22. This could lift 580 million people above the empowerment line, leaving 100 million or 7% of the population below it in 2022 and 17 million or about 1% below the official poverty line.
But, if inclusive reforms do not happen, the report said, around 470 million Indians or 36% of the population would remain below empowerment line in 2022 and 12% of the population would be languishing below the official poverty line.
If inclusive reforms are implemented, 115 million non-farm jobs would be created by 2022, which will increase the spending power of those persons who migrated from agricultural sector. The inclusive reforms will also increase the farm productivity from the present level of 2.3 tonnes per hectare to about 4 tonness per hectare by 2022.
However, the inclusive growth, cannot be realized without public spending going up substantially. According to the report, the public spending on social services must double from Rs 5.7 lakh crore in 2012 to Rs 10.9 lakh crore in 2022 to fill the critical gap in the social infrastructure.

New Code on Corporate Governance based on Consultative Paper Soon: UK Sinha, Chairman SEBI
Corporates Should Quickly Adapt to Changing Social & Political Structures: UK Sinha, Chairman SEBI

CII- Deloitte Report - ‘Global Trends in Corporate Governance – since the financial crisis’ released by Mr U K Sinha

“The world has changed dramatically in the last five years. There is a strong upsurge towards democracy, accountability and transparency. The corporate world cannot ignore these social and political happenings in the larger society because the considerations that govern the rest of society, the same guiding principles will also govern corporates,” said Mr. U K Sinha, Chairman, Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) at CII’s 9th International Corporate Governance Summit.
“Adding to this is the US financial crisis where it was found that many corporations acted recklessly took too much risk, went for short term gains, had lax monitoring and had policies not in the best interest of shareholders. These have led to shareholder impatience and the strengthening of regulatory actions against corporates,” Mr Sinha explained.
Responding to the submission by Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII that the regulations should not be framed keeping the outliers in mind, Mr Sinha responded that non-compliance was becoming quite rampant. Chairman, SEBI also pointed out that many companies are not complying with the Listing Agreement - Clause 40A on minimum public shareholding and Clause 49 on Corporate Governance and that SEBI would we well within its right to take action against them.

Mr Sinha also alluded to another trend recently visible globally; the alliance between investors, especially institutional investors and activists, which is taking up issues on a major scale.
Mr. Sinha also referred to international corporate governance practices with the intention of driving the need to be in sync with the rest of the world and for corporates to go beyond how business is done in India and adopt international best practices in a globalised world.
Mr. Sinha urged companies to be extra conscious about compliance to the Companies Act and comply in sprit rather than the letter. Mr. Sinha informed that the new set of corporate governance guidelines for listed companies are being finalized and are expected to be announced shortly.

Mr K V Kamath, Past President and Chairman, National Council on Corporate Governance & Regulatory Affairs, CII advised that corporate governance is a naturally evolving process and should be internalized. He further added that the regulatory nudge in the offing may turn out to be a hard shout to turn such practices from mere form to a due process.
A joint CII- Deloitte publication titled ‘Global Trends in Corporate Governance – since the financial crisis’ was released by Mr. U K Sinha at the summit. The paper gives an overview not only of the national trends but also global trends in corporate governance.
Earlier while welcoming Chairman, SEBI; Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, highlighted CII initiatives in the domain and suggested that the new regulations that would soon be in place under the newly legislated Companies Act, 2013 should not be implemented in a manner that would be disruptive to business.


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ICICI Home Loan Utsav

ICICI Bank Home Loan organized a Mega Home Loan Mela at the Dussehra Maidan, Bhopal.All leading property developers have participated in the show.Exclusive offers by the bank & property developers were the main attraction for the loan seekers & property purchasers.

Holding Minimum Balance Is Compulsory - ICICI
Now Corporate-Salary-Account Holders will have to maintain a minimum balance in their accounts or they will be charged with a penalty on an average 3-months basis. The ICICI is shortly going to nullify the 'Exemption from minimum balance' enjoyed by its CSAH till now.

Saving ICICI, HDFC, UTI 7 CITY BANK make Corporate-Salary-Account available without any condition for their customers. These Banks transfer their employees' salaries direct to their accounts.

The new decision of ICICI does not favour this Time-Consuming & Less-Expensive process & thus the customers are going to be troubled.

ADB grants MP Rs 1030 cr.
The ADB (Asian Development Bank) has conceded to lend MP state Rs. 1030 cr. for Water supplying Projects. All the requisite conversations have been held between MP state & ADB & only the signing the Agreement is to be made.

SBI Brings 'Prashasan Plus'

For the Central & State government officers & employees the SBI has launched 'Prashasan Plus'. The scheme provides special discounts on different kinds of loan such as Home loan, Car loan, Personal loan, Festival loan etc.
Home loan will be provided on 7.5 to 8.25 % interest for 5 to 20 years. With Home loan & Car loan there will not be charged any processing fee.

RBI orders to change grubby & torn notes
The RBI has ordered the commercial banks to exchange grubby & torn notes with new & spotless ones. For conducting the process Eighty -five branches of different banks have been marked such as- 16 of Bank of Baroda, 5 of Bank of India, 14 of Centrle bank, 6 of Corporation bank, 2 of Indian bank, 6 of India overseas bank, 3 of oriental bank of commerce, 10 of Punjab national bank, 7 of Punjab & Sindh bank, 14 of State bank & 2 of Syndicate bank.

Syndicate bank gives dividend
The Syndicate bank gave the Government of India an amount of Rs. 34.69 cr as interim dividend. The cheque of the amount was handed over to the Centrle banking secretary NS Sisodia by the President & MD of the bank Mr. Mickle Waystian in a function.

Sensex crosses 6000 points
The Indian Stock Market got a surprisingly encouraging jerk when the sensex crossed 6000 points & raised up to 6026.59 points. Before this, the sensex had gone through the highest level of 6150. 69 on February 14, 2000 though it latter fell down at 5924.31.

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