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Rupee gains against US dollar for fourth day

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Mumbai, July 4 : Signalling its current strength, the Indian rupee gained for the fourth consecutive session of trade in the currency markets, appreciating five paise to close on Monday at 67.27 against the US dollar, from its previous close of 67.32.

The rupee climbed on Monday on the back of sustained selling of the American currency by banks and exporters. It had closed 20 paise higher on Thursday at 67.32 to the US dollar.

According to dealers, a higher opening in the domestic equity market amidst hopes of pick-up in foreign capital inflows, and a weakening of the US dollar against other currencies added to rupee gains.

Meanwhile the US dollar has been declining against most major currencies after soaring for two sessions on Britain’s vote on June 24 to leave the European Union.

Healthy monsoon rains, coupled with positive inflow of foreign funds and appreciation in crude oil prices buoyed the Indian equity markets on Monday, while the rupee has emerged as one of the most stable currencies on the back of improved macro-economic indicators.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 27,314.44 points, closed at 27,278.76 points — up 133.85 points or 0.49 per cent from the previous close at 27,144.91 points.

The Sensex regained the 27,000-mark on Friday to close at 27,144.91 points – up 145.19 points or 0.54 per cent from its previous close at 26,999.72 points.

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ICICI Bank sets up presence in Nepal

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ICICI Bank

Mumbai, Dec 3: Lending major ICICI Bank on Thursday launched its operations in Nepal, via a representative office, to become the first Indian private sector bank to set up its presence in the country.

The bank opened a representative office in Kathmandu which will closely work with the domestic banks in Nepal to facilitate investment, trade, payments and treasury business between the two countries.

According to the bank, the current foray has expanded its global footprint to 15 countries including India.

“India and Nepal have significant trade and investment links between them. We believe that ICICI Bank’s on-ground presence through the new representative office coupled with its strong business partnerships with banks in Nepal, will help us further our participation in the economic flows between the two countries,” said Sriram H. Iyer, Head – International Banking Group, ICICI Bank.

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RBI asks HDFC Bank to temporarily stop issuing new credit cards

Furthermore, the filing said that these measures shall be considered for lifting upon satisfactory compliance with the major critical observations as identified by the RBI.

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HDFC Bank

The Reserve Bank has asked HDFC Bank to temporarily stop all launches of the ‘Digital Business generating activities and sourcing of new credit card customers.

The RBI’s order dated December 2 comes after outages in the bank’s online facilities or payment utilities occurred over the past 2 years, including the recent incident in the internet banking and payment system on November 21, 2020 due to a power failure in the primary data centre.

In a regulatory filing, HDFC Bank on Thursday said: “The RBI vide said ‘Order’ has advised the Bank to temporarily stop i) all launches of the Digital Business generating activities planned under its program – Digital 2.0 (to be launched) and other proposed business generating IT applications and (ii) sourcing of new credit card customers. In addition, the Order states that the Bank’s Board examines the lapses and fixes accountability.”

Furthermore, the filing said that these measures shall be considered for lifting upon satisfactory compliance with the major critical observations as identified by the RBI.

“The Bank over the last two years has taken several measures to fortify its IT systems and will continue to work swiftly to close out the balance and would continue to engage with the Regulator in this regard.

“The Bank has always endeavoured to provide seamless digital banking services to its customers. The Bank has been taking conscious, concrete steps to remedy the recent outages on its digital banking channels and assures its customers that it expects the current supervisory actions will have no impact on its existing credit cards, digital banking channels and existing operations.”

In addition, the bank said these measures will not materially impact its overall business.

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Petrol, diesel become dearer after OMCs raise retail prices

The pump price of petrol increased by 17 paisa per litre on Thursday to Rs 82.66 a litre in Delhi from a level of Rs 82.49 a litre a day earlier.

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Oil Price

Oil marketing companies on Thursday increased the prices of petrol and diesel after keeping the retail prices unchanged for the past couple of days.

The pump price of petrol increased by 17 paisa per litre on Thursday to Rs 82.66 a litre in Delhi from a level of Rs 82.49 a litre a day earlier.

Similarly, the diesel price increased by 19 a litre to Rs 72.84 a litre in the national capital as compared to Rs 72.66 per litre on the previous day.

The prices of auto fuel have also increased across the country but the level of rise has been different depending on the taxation structure in each state.

In the past 14 days, due prices have risen 11 days with petrol prices rising by Rs 1.60 per litre and diesel by Rs 2.38 a litre.

The increase has been primarily on account of firming up of global oil and product prices following news of successful coronavirus vaccine.

Petrol prices had been static since September 22, and diesel rates hadn’t changed since October 2.

Though retail pricing of petrol and diesel has been deregulated and oil marketing companies were following a daily price revision formula, the same was suspend ended for almost two months to prevent volatility in international oil markets from impacting fuel prices regularly during the pandemic.

But with crude on the boil again on news of a successful coronavirus vaccine launch soon, the patience was lost by OMCs who finally resorted to price increase to cover for their under recovery on the sale of two petroleum products.

The benchmark Brent crude has crossed $48 a barrel on Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) lately. It has remained an over $44 a barrel for most part of November.

OMCs need almost 40 paise per litre increase in retail price of petrol and diesel to cover for $ 1 increase in crude.

Going by this yardstick, product prices would have to be increased by upto Rs 2 per litre to cover under recovery on its sale.

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