QBiz: Merger of 4 Banks Planned; MK Jain Appointed RBI Dy Governor
Top business stories of the day.
1. Govt Weighs Merger of Bank of Baroda, IDBI Bank, Oriental Bank, Central Bank
The government is considering merging at least four state-run banks, including Bank of Baroda, IDBI Bank Ltd, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Central Bank of India, two people aware of the matter said.
If the plan goes through, the merged entity will become the second-largest bank in the country after State Bank of India, with combined assets of Rs16.58 trillion.
With the merger, the government hopes to help stem the rise in bad loans in their books at a time when poor asset quality has crippled the lending ability of some of them. The merger will also allow the weak banks to sell assets, reduce overheads and shut money-losing branches.
The four banks that are being proposed to be merged are under pressure with combined losses of Rs 21,646.38 crore in the year ended 31 March.
2. Walmart India Looks to Scale up Kirana Store Business After Flipkart Deal
Walmart India is planning to scale up its kirana store programme called Mera Kirana that helps small family-owned grocery stores modernise, while also opening a new fulfilment centre as part of a pilot run in a bid to expand its cash-and-carry footprint at a faster clip.
Walmart India has been piloting Mera Kirana over the past four years and now wants to make it part of its mainstream business, a top executive said in an interview. It is also planning to open another so-called “dark store”, or warehouse, in Lucknow over the next month or so.
Under Mera Kirana, Walmart creates zones in its Best Price wholesale stores that are designed to resemble a modern kirana store. They serve as a model for mom-and-pop (kirana) store owners to replicate when it comes to assortment and placement. The company also sends its teams out to kirana stores to work directly with them.
3. Ultratech Cement Wins Copyright Infringement Case Against Everest
UltraTech Cement Ltd has successfully secured its brand in a case of copyright infringement, winning a lawsuit against a firm selling cement brands resembling its own.
Billionaire Aditya Birla-owned UltraTech Cement had moved the Bombay high court on 21 March against Everest Industries, which was using the marks “Ultratruf” and “A One Ultratruf” that were deceptively similar to its own registered mark “UltraTech”.
In intellectual property rights law, this is called passing-off — making a false representation that is likely to induce a person to believe that the goods or services are those of another. Typically, consumer goods and pharmaceutical firms go to court to protect their brands. UltraTech said Everest was using the mark “Ultratruf-The Builders Choice”.
4. Idea Cellular Gets Telecom Department’s Nod To Raise FDI Limit To 100%
Idea Cellular Ltd. on Monday, 4 June, said the telecom department has approved raising the foreign direct investment limit in the company to 100 percent, putting its merger deal with Vodafone in the last leg of regulatory clearance.
“Idea Cellular Ltd has received approval on its application to increase foreign direct investment limit in the company to 100 percent, from the current 67.5 percent, from the Department of Telecom today,” Idea said in a statement.
The approval is for total foreign investment up to 100 percent in Idea Cellular, and total indirect FDI in its relevant subsidiaries – Aditya Birla Telecom Ltd. and Idea Cellular Infrastructure Services Ltd, it added.
5. Government Appoints IDBI Bank’s MK Jain As RBI Deputy Governor
The government has appointed MK Jain as the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India, filling a position which has been vacant since August 2017.
Jain has been the managing director and chief executive officer of IDBI Bank Ltd. since April 2017. A career banker, Jain has previously served as the CEO of Indian Bank. Since his move to IDBI Bank, Jain has been focused on cleaning up the bank’s balance sheet and has moved to divest several non-core assets to help release capital.
Jain has also been involved in risk management efforts at an industry level and has been a member of the Indian Banks’ Association committee on risk management.
6. Coal India Clocks 16% Production Growth In May; Misses Target
Coal India Ltd reported robust production growth last month boosted by low base effect but fell slightly short of the target.
The world’s largest coal producer reported 16 percent jump in output at 47.1 million tonnes as against 40.74 MT clocked in May 2017, according to a company filing to the exchanges last week.
However, the company missed its production target by nearly 8 percent. All subsidiaries, except Northern Coalfields Ltd, reported a shortfall in production. This is for the second consecutive month in this calendar year that the company has missed targets.
7. Apple Announces iOS 12, MacOS Mojave, watchOS 5 at WWDC 2018
At WWDC 2018, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the centre-stage to announce the next-generation of the software for the family of its devices including the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch, Macs, and Apple TV.
The iOS 12, which has been the much-anticipated version, was detailed by Cook at the keynote address at the San Jose McEnery Convention Centre. The iOS 12 addresses some of the most crucial things that Apple missed out in the iOS 11 – possibly leading to the backlash over the slowdowns – rather than the flashy things.
The iOS 12 has been announced with the updated versions of macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. The prime focus this time has largely been on how much time an iPhone user spends using it – with the introduction of Digital Health feature.
(Source: Financial Express)
8. Paytm Launches New Feature
Now, offline stores too can accept Paytm payments directly into their bank accounts. One97 Communications Limited, the organisation that owns the brand Paytm, on Monday introduced a new feature on its platform.
Paytm, considered to be India’s largest payments company, has launched a first-of-its-kind ‘Merchant Referral’. The new feature will accept payments from any bank account into their bank accounts at zero transaction charges.
By means of this, a customer or user will get an opportunity to contribute themselves more efficiently towards the digital payments.
(Source: Financial Express)
9. Sebi Lowers Expenses Charged by Mutual Funds to Increase Penetration
Markets regulator Sebi has drastically slashed the ‘additional expense’ charged by mutual funds to just 5 basis points to help increase the penetration of such products among investors. The move will help reduce the cost of investing in MFs and industry players believe that it may result in lower commissions for distributors.
The additional expense of 20 basis points has been reduced to 5 basis points across all MF schemes, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said in a notification dated May 29. One basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.
The regulator in 2012 had permitted MFs to charge 20 basis points of assets under management of the scheme in lieu of exit loads, or the sum mobilised from investors when they offload holdings.
(Source: Financial Express)
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