WEEKLY FINANCIAL SNIPPETS-26/05/2018

1. GOVERNMENT BEGINS WORK ON MERGERS OF INSURANCE COMPANIES: The Finance Ministry has started the process for appointing a consultant to take forward the merger of three general insurance companies – National Insurance Company, United India Insurance Company and Oriental India Insurance. The consultants thus appointed will prepare a road map and then the government will invite bids. But merger and listing would not be possible in this fiscal as mergers of such huge scales take a long time.
2. INDIA NOW IS THE SIXTH WEALTHIEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD: According to a report by Afr-Asia Bank Global wealth Migration Review, India is the sixth wealthiest country in the World with a total wealth of $ 8,230 billion. United States of America is the wealthiest country in the world with a total wealth of $ 62,584 billion. China stood second with $ 24,803 billion and Japan was at the third position with $ 19,522 billion. Other countries in the top 10 wealthiest list include United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Canada France and Italy.
3. FINANCE MINISTRY TIES UP WITH 40 ENTITIES TO EXTEND MUDRA FUNDING: The Finance Ministry has announced that it has tied up with 40 entities including Flipkart, Swiggy, Patanjali, Make My trip, Zomato Meru cab, Muthoot, Edelweiss, Amazon, Ola, Big Basket and Amul etc, for extending loans to small entrepreneurs under Mudra Scheme. Under the scheme these companies will identify small entrepreneurs who need loans and underwrite them and will extend loans to them under the Mudra Scheme.
4. OVER 2,100 COMPANIES SETTLE Rs 83,000 CRORE BANK DUES: The fear of losing control over their companies and assets has prompted promoters, who have defaulted on repayment of loans to banks, to settle their dues of around Rs. 83,000 crores involving around 2,100 companies before action was initiated under the newly enacted Insolvency &Bankruptcy Code ( IBC).
5. HDFC BANK ACHIEVES Rs. 1,000 CRORE THROUGH DIGITAL LENDING: HDFC Bank has clocked Rs. 1,000 crore per month through digital platforms across products and expects it to go up further with its launch of an online platform for loan against mutual funds. The bank has launched this new product offering loan against mutual funds in association with CAMS, which controls 65% of market share. The bank has an approved credit limit of Rs. 10,000 crore on loans against mutual funds and insurance policies. The digital alternative will reduce the time taken to pass the loan to just three minutes as against the current the current time of up to 6 days.
6. DIRECT TAX COLLECTION FOR FY 2017-18 SEES 19.3% GROWTH: The government’s direct tax collection has gone up by 19.3% to 6.95 lakh crore. Net Direct tax collected so far represents 69.2% of the total revised direct taxes. Gross collections (before adjusting for refunds) have increased by 13.3% to Rs 8.21 lakh crore during April 2017 to January 2018.
7. SBI REPORTS RECORD LOSS OF Rs. 7,718 CRORE IN MARCH QUARTER: State Bank of India reported a loss of Rs. 7,718 crore ($ 1.1 billion) in January-March quarter of FY 2017-18. This is because of the provisions made for bad loans after a change in banking regulations. SBI had posted a loss of Rs. 2,416 in December quarter.
8. INTEREST ON PROVIDENT FUND FIXED AT 8.55% FOR 2017-18: The government has fixed 8.55% as the rate of interest for PF accounts for 017-18, the lowest rate since 2012-13 fiscal. Around 5 crore PF account holders will be affected by this. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had provided 8.65% interest for 2016-17, 8.8% in 2015-16 and 8.75% each in 2013-14 and 2014-15. In 2012-13 it was 8.5% , thus at 8.55% for 2017-18, it is the lowest since FY 2012-13.

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WEEKLY FINANCIAL SNIPPETS – 18/05/2018

  1. PNB POSTS BIGGEST EVER QUARTERLY LOSS: Punjab National Bank (PNB) reported Rs 13,416 crore loss in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 as against a profit of Rs 262 crore in the same period last year. As a result of this, PNB posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 12,282.82 crores against a profit of Rs 1.324 crores last year. The significant reason for this huge loss was the rise in provisions to Rs. 20,353.51 crore in quarter ended March 2018. PNB’s Non-Performing Assets grew to a whopping 86,620 crore in the quarter and the gross NPA ratio rose to 18.38%.

 

  1. RBI ISSUES FINAL NORMS ON NET STABLE FUNDING RATIO (NSFR): RBI has issued final guidelines on Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR). The concept of NSFR emerged in the aftermath of global financial crisis proposed by Basel Committee on Banking Supervision to make banks more resilient. NSFR ensures banks have sufficient stable sources of funding to finance their activities over long run. The ratio can be defined as the amount of available stable funding (ASF) in relation to the amount of required stable funding (RSF). ASF is the portion of capital and liabilities expected to be realisable over a year.

 

  1. SBI CARD BASE GROWS 20% IN 6 MONTHS: SBI card has been increasing its card numbers at a compounded annual growth rate of 40%. Small cities are driving the growth rate for SBI Card. It took SBI cards one year to increase the card base from 4 million in September 2016 to 5 million in September 2017. But since then, the card base has grown to 6.3 million in March 2018, an increase of 1.3 million cards in 6 months. The market share of SBI cards in number of cards is now 16%.

 

  1. COMBINED FOURTH QUARTER LOSS OF 4 PSU BANKS IS $1.74 BILLION: Four Public Sector Banks reported huge losses in the fourth quarter of FY 2017-18 which amounts to  a combined net loss of       $ 1.74 billion ( Rupees 117.29 billion). This is due to a jump in bad loan provisioning following tightening of the RBI rules in respect of NPAs. Out of the four banks, Canara Bank posted a net loss of Rs.48.6 billion, Allahabad Bank reported a net loss of Rs. 35.10 billion, UCO Bank Rs. 21.34 billion and Dena Bank Rs.  25 billion Net loss.

 

  1. NO GST FOR FREE BANKING SERVICES, INCLUDING ATM WITHDRAWAL: Free banking services like cheque book issuance, ATM withdrawals are likely to remain out of the ambit of GST. The revenue department is likely to instruct the financial services department that GST will not be levied on free banking services. The Indian Banks Association (IBA) on behalf of the management of all banks too had made representation to tax authorities.

 

  1. ALLAHABAD BANK BOARD DIVESTS ITS CEO FROM FUNCTIONAL POWERS: After the government initiated removal of Allahabad Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ms Usha Ananthasubramaninan following a CBI charge sheet in Nirav Modi scam, the bank’s board divested her of all her functional responsibilities. After similar government action against 2 Executives of PNB, K V Brahmaji Rao and Sanjiv Sharan, the PNB board too has divested them of their financial and executive powers.

 

  1. RBI PUTS FRESH LENDING RESTRICTIONS ON ALLAHABAD BANK: Reserve bank of India has placed additional restrictions on Allahabad Bank, which is already under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) since January this year. RBI has debarred the bank from high risk lending and raising high cost deposits. The RBI has also restricted the bank from creation of non-banking assets and has advised it to restrict from accessing or renewing wholesale or costly deposits. The bank’s board has already taken note of the same.

 

  1. CENTRE MAY ASK RBI TO EASE PCA FRAMEWORK: The government may ask RBI to ease the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework so that a complete restriction on fresh lending does not affect credit flow to business, particularly to Small and Medium Enterprises. This was decided after the Ministry held a review meeting with 11 PSU banks which are under PCA.

WEEKLY FINANCIAL SNIPPETS – 12/05/2018

  1. HDFC BANK POSTS RECORD PROFIT OF Rs 4,799 CRORE FOR Q4: HDFC Bank Ltd posted a record 4Th quarter net profit of Rs. 4,799 .28 crores, a 20.27% year-on-year growth. This is also driven by stable asset quality. Net Interest Income (NII) increased to 17.70% and Asset Quality remained stable, as percentage of gross Non-Performing assets (NPAs) were at 1.30% against 1.29% as compared to last year. The consolidated net profit for the year ended March 2018 was Rs. 18,510 crores, up by 21.4% as compared to last year. When most of the banks (both public and private sector) are reeling under the bad loans scenario, HDFC Bank has come out successfully in these difficult times as well because of its business mantra of “Retail Banking” all along.

 

  1. BANKS UNDER TAXMAN SCANNER FOR GST REFUND ON ATM TRANSACTIONS: The Indirect Tax Department is scrutinising the 100% input GST credit availed by most of the banks on taxes paid by their ATM vendors. The scrutiny started when banks started claiming 100% input tax credit on the amount paid to ATM vendors who are responsible for maintenance and cash supply to the machines. These vendors charge per transaction and add GST to the bills. The tax officials believe that since banks don’t charge on many ATM transactions which are free to customers, 100% input credit cannot be claimed by them.

 

  1. LENDERS FIND RESCUE PLAN FOR STRESSED POWER ASSETS: Lenders to the power sector led by SBI have decided to float a fund to take over 14 stressed power plants. The decision is aimed to prevent power generation plants from going in to liquidation, receiving better valuations and securing speedy resolution. It was decided that lenders will have to make investments according to their share of exposure in each power plant.

 

  1. GOVERNMENT LIKELY TO WITHDRAW TAX NOTICE ON FREE BANKING SERVICES: The tax department is likely to withdraw the show-cause notice issued to several banks asking them to pay service tax on “free services” provided to the customer. Following the Finance Ministry’s instructions, the Department of Financial Services (DFS) has presented its views and is likely to withdraw the notice.

 

  1. GST DIGITAL DISCOUNTS MAY COST Rs. 15,000 CRORES TO THE GOVERNMENT: The government has estimated that the centre and states may lose up to Rs. 15,000 crores by offering discounts of up to Rs.100 on GST for every digital transaction, including those done using credit and debit cards or mobile wallets. This figure is arrived at, based on the average ticket size of each transaction being Rs. 1,400 and a 2% discount being proposed on it.

 

  1. PNB BANKS ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TO CHECK FRAUDS: Punjab National Bank has said it plans to rely on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for reconciliation of accounts and incorporate analytics for improving audit systems as it seeks to clean up the process. The bank has also discussed its road map with a target of reaching a total business of Rs. 12,000 lakh crore.

 

  1. MONTHLY GST RETURN SYSTEM TO BE IMPLEMENTED: The GST council has finally approved the single monthly return with an aim to boost collections and compliance. The new system is scheduled to be implemented in next six months. Though the council has approved the new system but the software will take six months to get fully operationalized. However the new system will be implemented in 3 phases.

        8. NBFCs HIRE TALENT FROM BANKING INDUSTRY AMID RISING GROWTH:                     Non- Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) are recruiting candidates from                           banking industry. According to industry estimates, 60 to 70-% of the NBFCs hiring               pertains to the candidates from banking industry. While banks are struggling to                 come out of bad loan mess, NBFCs are in a comfortable position. By hiring these                 candidates from banking industry they tend to get experienced hands.

WEEKLY FINANCIAL SNIPPETS-05/05/2018

  1. TCS IS THE FIRST INDIAN IT COMPANY TO TOUCH 100 BILLION DOLLAR MARKET VALUE: Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) is the first Indian IT Company to touch 100 billion dollar (Rs 6.49 lakh crores) in market capitalization. Reliance Industries (Energy-Telecom) is the only other Indian Company to reach $100 billion mark in the year 2007. It is also heartening to note that TCS gave its employees 120% payout of target variable pay (bonus).

 

  1. GROWTH IN BANK DEPOSITS FALLS TO FIVE DECADE LOW: Bank Deposit growth fell to a five decade low in fiscal year ended March 2018. Data from RBI website shows aggregate deposits in the banking system grew a mere 6.7% in 2017-18, the lowest since fiscal year 1963. There was huge influx of bank deposits during demonetization but now due to low interest rates, people have started saving in mutual funds and insurance which has eroded banking competitiveness.

 

  1. NPAs HIT MONETARY POLICY TRANSMISSION IN INDIA: Bad loans have impaired Monetary Policy transmission in India as Banks were unable to increase  their lending rates  and protect Net Interest Margin (NIM—means the difference between the yield the bank earns on loans and that it pays on deposits). This is as per a research report by RBI. The report says that as gross NPAs of banks rose, they were unable to increase interest rates due to competitive pressures. Gross NPAs in banks rose from 3.4% in 2013 to 9.9% in 2017.

 

  1. PNB TIGHTENS OFF-SITE CREDIT MONITORING RULES TO AVOID FURTHER FRAUDS: Punjab National Bank has tightened bank’s credit underwriting norms and has put in place an off-site monitoring to identify risks. The process has been divided into four components with different employees focussed on sourcing, appraisal, processing, documentation, disbursal and recovery. Internal Audit process has been strengthened to give higher weightage to off-site credit  monitoring mechanism.

 

  1. REGIONAL RURAL BANK EMPLOYEES TO GET PENSION AT PAR WITH NATIONALISED BANKS: A Supreme Court verdict has paved way for Regional Rural Bank (RRB) employees to draw pension at par with nationalised banks. About 27,000 RRB employees are set to gain from this verdict. Currently there are 56 RRBs spread across the country with a work force of 95,000.

 

  1. GST MONTHLY REVENUE TOUCHES Rs. 1 LAKH CRORE: The GST revenue for the month of April 2018 has crossed Rs. 1 lakh crore. This is for the first time that GST collections are crossing the Rs. 1 lakh crore mark since GST was rolled out. The Finance Ministry has announced that the total Gross GST revenue collected in April 2018 is Rs. 1,03,458 Crore.

 

  1. NBFCs TOOK 40% OF ALL NEW CORPORATE LOANS BY BANKS: Loans to Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) accounted for nearly 40% of the total new corporate loans disbursed by banks in financial year 2018. The quantum of increase of loans to corporate sector was Rs. 2.68 Lakh Crore of which Rs. 1.05 lakh Crore (around 39.3%) was availed by NBFCs.

 

  1. GST COUNCIL MAY SOON ANNOUNCE CASH BACKS TO BUSINESSES FOR DIGITAL TRANSACTIONS: The GST council may soon announce cash backs to businesses and price benefits to consumers who are paying through digital mode. Consumers paying through digital mode would be offered a discount over maximum retail price. Businesses will get cash back based on the quantum of turnover through digital mode.