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India Money Top Today

Half of existing ATMs likely to shut by March 2019

Nearly half of country’s approx 2.38 lakh ATMs face closure this fiscal, after service providers find the running of these outlets nonviable.

Most of the ATMs considered for pull-back are non-urban.

If it happens financial inclusion programme of millions of beneficiaries under govt’s Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) will be affected. Also long ques at banks will once again return as norm.

Also thousands of job that ride on the facility will now be lost with the move.

The Confederation of ATM Industry (CATMI) said the decision for closure comes following recent regulatory guideline for ATMs hardware and software upgrades, recent mandates on cash management standards and the Cassette Swap method of loading cash.

The revenues from ATM services are not growing at all due to very low ATM interchange and ever-increasing costs, it said, adding that unless banks compensate ATM deployers, the scenario could get still worse.

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Money Top Today

Bitcoin falls below $5,000; Hits fresh 13-month low

Bitcoin slipped below $5,000 for the first time this year tanking to fresh 13-month low on the Bitstamp platform, on 19 Nov.

The descend was led by huge sell-off in cryptocurrencies, that began last week and continues to gather momentum.

The cryptocurrency is presently trading around $4,848.

According to analysts the sell-off is sentiment driven after fears over Bitcoin split up into two different currencies.

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Kerala Money Top Today

Yusuf Ali acquires 4.99 percent stake in ESAF Bank

Kochi : Malayali billionaire Yusuf Ali has purchased 4.99 percent shares of ESAF based in Thrissur. Ali shelled out Rs 86 crore for the acquisition.

With this, the Lulu Group chairman co-owns all banks headquartered in Kerala.

Ali’s other share holdings stand at 5 percent in Federal Bank, South Indian Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank and Dhanlaxmi Bank.

ESAF Small Finance Bank was established in 2017. Post the deal, Ali said Small Finance Bank could be helpful in backward areas of the society and has good potential for expansion.

 

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India Money Top Today World

US allows India, 7 other countries to buy Iran oil; Waives Sanctions

In a big relief, US has exempted India along with 7 other countries, from sanctions it is set to impose on Iran Oil from next week.

India, South Korea and Japan, which rely heavily on Iranian oil, were named by White House while the remaining beneficiaries are unclear.

The United States is preparing to impose new sanctions on Iran’s oil, after the country withdrew from a nuclear deal between Tehran and other global powers, earlier in the year.

Global fuel prices soared to a four-year high above $85 per barrel on fears that Washington might cut Iranian oil exports to zero.

According to sources China and Turkey are in discussions with Washington, expecting a waiver similar to India, though there was no comment forthcoming from White House.

Incidentally, Indian officials, in their discussions with their US counter parts had pointed out how, Indian refineries are configured to work with Iranian crude. Iran still offers better credit, insurance and freight terms to Indian oil companies, our side had conveyed.

 

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India Money Top Today

IMF monitoring Centre-RBI rift: Says govt should not interfere with apex bank autonomy

The International Monetary Fund(IMF) said Thursday that it was monitoring the situation in India referring to feud between the government and Reserve Bank of India. The world body was against governments interfering with central banks, it added.

IMF director of Communications Gerry Rice told PTI ““I’ve said this before standing here that we support clear lines of responsibility and accountability. And, international best practice is that there should be no government or industry interference that compromises the independence of the central bank and financial supervisor.”

Head of RSS’s economic wing had said yesterday “RBI government should work with the govt” or quit.

There were also reports of Centre mulling to invoke never-before-used Sec 7 of RBI Act, whereby govt can issue directives and force the governor toe in line.

The backdrop
The govt and RBI has been fighting it out on a few issues for a while. While govt believes the central bank should ease lending rules for the 11 banks under prompt corrective action(PCA) framework, RBI stands its ground that such flexibility would undo clean-up efforts done so far.

It all started with IL&FS default on loans from non-banking financing companies(NBFCs)  sending the sector clamouring for liquidity. Though the lenders approached RBI for eased liquidity, the apex bank maintained that the banking system did not witness any spike in borrowing costs and the market was just repricing risk in an evolving situation.

The feud came to light when Deputy Governor Viral Acharya gave a speech saying eroding the independence of central banks would ignite “economic fire”. And that governments that do not respect central bank autonomy will eventually incur wrath of financial markets.

 

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India Money Top Today

Highhandedness : RBI governor should work with govt or quit, says RSS

New Delhi : In an aggressive call to toe in line, RSS said that that governor of autonomous apex bank should work in sync with the government or quit the post.

It is the latest outburst over friction brewing between the Centre and Reserve Bank of India for some time.

The head of economic wing of RSS made the remark during an interview on Wednesday. He elaborated saying,  the RBI governor has to support govt in its efforts towards economic growth.

Urjit Patel, should also “restrain his officials from making differences public” RSS office bearer Ashwani Mahajan said.

RSS has been largely critical of RBI’s hawkish stance and its wary of foreign trained economists including former RBI governor Rahuram Rajan and former chief economic advisor at the finance ministry Arvind Subramanian.

There were reports earlier of Centre mulling to invoke never-before-used Sec 7 to issue directions for governor to act on.

The backdrop
The govt and RBI has been fighting it out on a few issues for a while. While govt believes the central bank should ease lending rules for the 11 banks under prompt corrective action(PCA) framework, RBI stands its ground that such flexibility would undo clean-up efforts done so far.

It all started with IL&FS default on loans from non-banking financing companies(NBFCs)  sending the sector clamouring for liquidity. Though the lenders approached RBI for eased liquidity, the apex bank maintained that the banking system did not witness any spike in borrowing costs and the market was just repricing risk in an evolving situation.

 

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India Money Top Today

Govt invokes never-used powers; RBI governor set to resign

Following increased friction between govt and Urjit Patel, the RBI governor is on verge of stepping down, according to latest reports.

The govt has flexed muscle invoking never-before-used powers under RBI Act, whereby it can issue directions to the central bank chief on matters of public interest.

There has been growing rift between the executive and Patel on issues pertaining to liquidity for NBFCs, capital requirement for weak banks and lending to SMEs’.

As if in anticipation, deputy governor Viral Acharya last week warned the Centre of disastrous consequences if the regulator’s autonomy is impinged upon.

Section 7 of the RBI Act allows government to consult and give instructions to the governor to act on certain issues that the government considers serious and in public interest.

However the  Section had never been used in independent India till now. It was not used even when the country was close to default in the dark days of 1991, nor in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis.

The impact of the aggressive move is not clear as it would be the first time experiment.

The backdrop
The govt and RBI has been fighting it out on a few issues for a while. While govt believes the central bank should ease lending rules for the 11 banks under prompt corrective action(PCA) framework, RBI stands its ground that such flexibility would undo clean-up efforts done so far.

It all started with IL&FS default on loans from non-banking financing companies(NBFCs)  sending the sector clamouring for liquidity. Though the lenders approached RBI for eased liquidity, the apex bank maintained that the banking system did not witness any spike in borrowing costs and the market was just repricing risk in an evolving situation.

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Money Top Today

Red Ahead : IMF warns greater turbulence for Indian economy

The International Monetary Fund has forecast rough times ahead for Indian economy, in its latest review of global financial scenario.

The review titled World Economic Outlook maintains that expansion seen since  mid-2016 will continue this year and the next, but warns of growth becoming less balanced and rising downside risks.

Key risks for 2018- 19 is listed as rising trade tension, reversals of capital flows from emerging markets, tightening financial conditions led by US Federal Reserve and overall policy uncertainty.

According to the review, the global economy is expected to register 3.7 percent growth in 2018 and 2019.

The report expresses concerns about resilience and credibility of emerging markets, which it warns could trigger more capital outflows and lead to sharp asset market corrections.

Indian market is already reeling under tightening global liquidity and capital flow reversal though some steps have been taken to address that vulnerability.

The rupee presently stands depreciated over 13 percent against dollar and by over 11 percent against ta basket of currencies(based on RBI’s 36-country trade weighted REER index).

Also the country’s trade deficit in July – Sept widened to $49.4 billion from previous $ 45 billion.

Govt’s flagship GST collections are running below their monthly target or Rs 1 lakh crore and could lead too overall shortfall in taxes

In short the situation at present calls for greater vigilance on the policy front, the review warns India.

 

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India Money Top Today

Paytm founder’s secretary arrested for blackmail, Rs 20 crore

New Delhi : Police arrested Sonia Dhawan, long-term secretary of Paytm founder, for allegedly blackmailing him with personal data extracted from his laptop. She allegedly demanded Rs 20 crore, threatening to leak information on hand.

Sonia, who has worked with Vijay Sharma’s company for over ten years, handled corporate communications and allegedly had access to Mr Sharma’s laptop, mobile and office computer.

She allegedly pulled off the crime with a colleague, Devender Kumar, her husband Rupak Jain and a fourth man Rohit Chomal.

After allegedly extracting personal data from the laptop, she passed it on to Rohit Chomal, who made the extortion call to Sharma’s brother, Ajay Shekhar Sharma who is senior Vice President with the company.

The call  threatening to cause the firm losses and tarnish its public image was allegedly made on 20 Sept, said the police adding that, Chomal demanded Rs 10 crore against the stolen data.

Chomal, a resident of Kolkata has gone missing following Sharma’s complaint with the police for alleged blackmail by his secretary and her aides.

Sharma in his complaint stated that a total of Rs 20 Crore was asked of him to prevent leakage of extracted information.

Sonia is presently in police custody and has been charged with theft, extortion, cheating, criminal breach of trust and conspiracy apart from Information Technology Act.

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India Money Top Today

Former SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya joins Reliance

Arundhati Bhattacharya, a formidable female name in country’s banking sector, has joined the board of Reliance Industries(RIL) as independet additional director, the Mukesh  Ambani-led conglomerate said in a regulatory filing.

The former SBI Chairman’s appointment is subject to shareholder approval and is stinted for five years beginning 17 Oct. 2018.

Arundhati joined SBI in 1977 as probationary officer and went on to become the first woman t head the bank as its Chairman in 2013.

After heading the group for five years, she retired last October.