Govt to soon bring corporate governance norms at state-owned banks

Source: Business Standard, Jan 19, 2018

New Delhi: The government is planning to refresh the corporate governance norms for state-owned banks. The changed rules could be announced even before the Union Budget is presented, it is learnt.Improving the quality of credit appraisal at these banks is among the likely changes. The governance reforms, as an official put it, would bring in measures to track the performance of the executive-rank employees of the banks, intensively. The proposed steps would also respond to Moody’s criticism that reforms needed for efficiency and better operating performance were absent at public sector banks. Without such reforms, ‘’the sector would continue to represent a contingent liability to the sovereign’’, the second largest rating agency in the world had said last November. “From now instead of a hands-off approach, we intend to be hands-on,” said another officer, aware of the developments. According to him, other than wilful negligence, neglect of human resources had brought the state-run banks to their present state, especially in credit appraisal.

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Govt cuts additional borrowing target from Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore for this fiscal

Source: The Economic Times, Jan 17, 2018

The government will borrow only `20,000 crore extra in the last quarter of the current fiscal against Rs 50,000 crore announced in December, indicating an improvement in government finances that should calm fiscal worries.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes, in a statement later, said provisional net direct tax collection as on January 15, 2018 showed a growth of 18.7% at Rs 6.89 lakh crore over the corresponding period last year.

Following the announcement, bond yields dropped sharply and the BSE Sensex crossed the 35,000-mark for the first time as bank stocks rallied following the news.
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FDI push likely to give further boost to Rupee

Source: ETRetail.com, Jan 12, 2018

MUMBAI: The Indian rupee, which climbed 6 per cent last year amid record fund flows from overseas, is set to appreciate further against the dollar this year, with traders expecting foreign direct investments (FDIs) to accelerate after New Delhi eased ownership rules in industries as diverse and capital-intensive as retail, civil aviation, and realty.

“The relaxed rules will give an additional push to the rupee, which is likely to gain this year,” said Anaindya Banerjee, currency analyst at Kotak Securities. “Although the rupee is underperforming other emerging markets at the beginning of this year, it is expected to gather strength after the Budget. Rising FDI inflows will also cushion the local unit in case global risk-aversion triggers capital outflows from financial assets in emerging markets.”
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Venture capital exits jump 56% to $2.77 billion in 2017

Source: LiveMint.com, Dec 26, 2017

Mumbai: This year saw Indian venture capital () funds reap exits worth around $2.775 billion across 56 deals, a sharp 56.2% jump from the $1.777 million venture capital firms gained from 74 exits last year, data from private deal tracker Venture Intelligence shows.

The year witnessed big exits such as Tiger Global Management’s $800 million part-exit from India’s largest online retailer Flipkart when it sold shares to Japanese telecom and internet conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp.

Tiger Global scored another $500 million exit in ride-hailing company Ola, again selling its shares to SoftBank.

“The venture capital environment is pretty good. Earlier exits used to be a challenge but now multiple modes of exits have come in. Early-stage investors have made significant returns. Exits would help people invest even more,” said Harish H.V., partner at Grant Thornton India. Read the rest of this entry »

Govt to invest Rs 25,000-cr to link highways to international trade points

Source: Business Standard, Dec 25, 2017

New Delhi: To facilitate trade with bordering countries like Nepal and Bangladesh, India will link its major highway corridors to international trade points at a cost of Rs 25,000 crore, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said.

About 2,000 kms of highways will be constructed under the plan.

“About 2,000 kms of highways will be constructed to link major highways corridors to international trade points,” the road transport and highways minister told PTI. Read the rest of this entry »

Rs 8,000-crore fund to help milk co-ops expand capacity

Source: The Economic Timrs, Dec 26, 2017

NEW DELHI: The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development will soon get going on a Rs 8,000-crore fund that the finance minister announced in this year’s budget to support the dairy sector. Under the Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund, Nabard is the nodal agency to finance projects over a period of three years.

It targets to sanction proposals to create new milk processing capacity of 27 million litres per day in the cooperative sector this year. “This year, 39 projects by various cooperative dairies will be cleared under the dairy processing and infrastructure development fund, entailing an investment of Rs 600 crore to Rs 1,000 crore,” Nabard chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala said. “With this investment, the milk processing capacity (in the cooperative sector) would increase from the current 66 million litres per day to 92.6 million litres per day. Further, the bulk milk-chilling capacity would go up from 48 million litres per day to 63 million litres,” said Bhanwala. Read the rest of this entry »

Foreign exchange earnings from tourism up by 16% in November

Source: Business Standard, Dec 19, 2017

Foreign exchange earnings (FEEs) from tourism in November this year registered an increase of 16.7 per cent as compared to that of last year, the tourism ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry, which records FEEs every month, said the earnings in November, 2017 stood at Rs 16,640 crore as compared to Rs 14,259 crore in November 2016 and Rs 12,649 crore in November 2015.

“The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms in November 2017 over November 2016 has increased to 16.7 per cent, compared to 12.7 per cent in November 2016 over November 2015,” the ministry said.

FEEs during the period January-November 2017 were Rs 1,60,865 crore with a growth of 16.9 per cent over the same period of previous year.

Whereas, the FEEs during January-November 2016 were Rs 1,37,588 crore with a growth of 13.7 per cent over January- November, 2015.