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Key equity indices open in green

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Sensex

Mumbai, May 31: The key Indian equity indices opened on a positive note on Thursday.

At 9.19 a.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded at 10,661.60 points, up 47.25 points or 0.45 per cent from the previous close of 10,614.35 points.

Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had opened at 35,083.81 points, traded at 35,029.45 points (9.19 a.m.) — up 123.34 points or 0.35 per cent — from its previous session’s close of 34,906.11 points.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,152.17 and a low of 35,025.61 points.

The BSE market breadth was bullish with 870 advances and 438 declines so far.

IANS

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Govt-owned NABARD gives clean chit to Reliance Commercial Finance

Action of Indian Bank and Federal Bank is despite the Delhi High Court staying such action by the lead bank Bank of Baroda on 14th August, 2020.

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Anil Ambani

New Delhi: Government owned National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), the second largest lender to Reliance Commercial Finance Limited (RCF) with over Rs 1,100 crore of secured loan exposure has given clean chit to RCF and has removed its red flag.

NABARD is a part of the consortium of lenders and is signatory to an Inter Creditor Agreement (ICA) executed between the lenders of RCF under June 7, 2019 circular of RBI on resolution of stressed assets.

NABARD had classified the account of RCF as Red Flag on February 25, 2020. Thereafter lenders conducted a detailed forensic audit by Grant Thornton (GT).

At a meeting of the Consortium of Lenders led by Bank of Baroda, held on Friday September 25, 2020, NABARD informed the consortium of lenders that having examined the GT forensic report, it found no element of fraud and has therefore removed the red flag.

Earlier, Delhi High Court on August 14 had stayed a move by Bank of Baroda, the leader of Consortium of Bank, to classify the accounts as fraud, restraining banks from taking any other coercive action till the next hearing. Similar action of Punjab National Bank was also stayed by Delhi High Court on 11th August, 2020.

As per information reported on Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC), Indian Bank and Federal Bank have classified their exposure to Reliance Home Finance Ltd (RHFL) as a fraud account.

Indian Bank having an exposure of only Rs. 120 crore, made such classification on 29th August, 2020. The exposure of Federal Bank to RHFL is 100 crore — out of the total RHFL debt of over Rs 10,000 crore.

Action of Indian Bank and Federal Bank is despite the Delhi High Court staying such action by the lead bank Bank of Baroda on 14th August, 2020.

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Paytm Dares Google, Brings Back Cricket League With UPI Cashback

Paytm said that the cashback was being given following all rules and regulations set by the government.

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New Delhi: Home-grown financial services platform Paytm, which was briefly removed from Google Play Store for alleged policy violations earlier this month, said on Monday that it has brought back the Paytm Cricket League with UPI cashback and scratch cards.

Now, users can collect stickers of their favourite cricket stars as they pay digitally for their mobile bills, recharges, buying groceries or money transfers, Paytm said.

Once they complete a set, they can redeem it for cashback up to Rs 1,000, it added.

Every sticker collected by the user is automatically added to the cricket album. There are three different milestones to be achieved for getting cashback — 11 unique cricket players, 11 unique bowlers or 11 unique batsmen.

Whenever a milestone is achieved, the users get a scratch card with an assured cashback.

“We are excited to bring Paytm Cricket League back on our app to reward users with UPI cashback on reaching various milestones, accomplished by collecting player stickers,” a Paytm spokesperson said in a statement.

Earlier, Paytm in a blog post stated that Google mandated it to remove the UPI cashback and scratch cards campaign to get re-listed on the Android Play Store even though offering both is legal in India.

Paytm said that the cashback was being given following all rules and regulations set by the government.

The company alleged that it was “arm-twisted” by the search engine major to comply with what it called “biased Play Store policies that are meant to artificially create Google’s market dominance.”

Later, the Paytm app was restored on the Play Store after a gap of a few hours.

“We maintain that our promotional campaign was within guidelines and there was no violation. We believe that such arbitrary actions and accusatory labelling go against the laws of our country and acceptable norms of fair competition by arbitrarily depriving our users of innovative services,” the Paytm spokesperson said.

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‘Corporate vultures eying small banks, merge Lakshmi Vilas Bank with govt bank’

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Chennai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should take a prompt and correct action of merging the 93-year-old Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) with a nationalised bank, a top leader of one of the largest bank unions said.

“There are a number of corporate vultures that are circling the small-old generation private banks for a take over. These regional banks have their own tradition and culture and taking them beyond certain borders and expanding their size will result in failure,” All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam told IANS.

It is not known who brings the suitors for the south-based, regional old-generation private banks and for what purpose.

Referring to the voting out of seven Directors of the Lakshmi Vilas Bank, and the statutory auditors by a group of shareholders at annual general meeting held on September 25, Venkatachalam said it is time for the RBI to act quickly in the interests of depositors.

“The RBI should take necessary steps to merge the LVB with a public sector bank to protect the depositors, rather than looking out for suitors who may not be suited for the bank’s culture,” he said.

According to Venkatachalam, banks like the LVB, Karur Vysya Bank (KVB), Tamilnad Mercantile Bank (TMB), Karnataka Bank and others are largely regional banks steeped in their own tradition.

“Expanding them into unknown territories would result in trouble for them,” he said.

Citing the case of Kerala-based small-sized Dhanlaxmi Bank, Venkatachalam recalled that around 2008-2012, it made a loss of over Rs 850 crore as the top management brought it to serious problems in the name of modernising it.

He said with the intervention of the RBI, a change in top management, and strengthening its capital base, etc. and inducting some reputed people on the bank’s Board, Dhanlaxmi Bank turned around and earned profit.

As a part of turnaround, the bank closed down many of its branches in north Indian states, where inadequate controls landed it in problems, he said.

Venkatachalam said for the past two years, the Dhanlaxmi Bank is making profits with the profit for last fiscal being Rs 65 crore – the highest since the bank’s inception.

He pointed out the Kumbakonam-based City Union Bank, which is operating steadily, as an example of a well-run, small-sized old generation bank which was started in 1904.

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