1. Rs 1.2 Lakh Crore Gone in 1 Year! PSU Banks NPA Write-Offs Surge Over Massive Loss In FY18
Public sector banks have written off bad loans worth a whopping Rs 1.20 lakh crore, an amount that is nearly one-and-a-half times of their total losses posted in 2017-18, according to official data.
This is a double whammy for the struggling PSBs as they had massive write-offs as well as huge losses in the last financial year. This is for the first time in a decade that banks have made huge write-offs of bad loans along with booking of hefty losses.
Till 2016-17, 21 state-owned banks made combined profit while in 2017-18, they posted a staggering loss of Rs 85,370 crore, as per the data.
2. Reliance Investing in India’s First Carbon Fibre Unit
Reliance Industries is investing in setting up India’s first carbon fibre manufacturing unit to cater to aerospace and defence needs, the company said in its annual report.
The owner of world’s largest oil refining complex will also make low-cost and high-volume composite products like modular toilets, homes and composites for windmill blades and rotor blades.
Without giving investment details, Reliance in its latest annual report said it has developed capabilities for 3D printing of wide-range of plastic and metals products.
3. Surging Losses Make a Good Case for Ola-Uber Merger
Ola, India’s largest cab-hailing service, reported a sizeable jump in losses in fiscal year 2017 (FY17). While net revenue rose by Rs 677 crore over FY16 revenue to Rs 1,178 crore, operating loss widened by Rs 911 crore to Rs 3,731 crore. Losses, which exclude net interest income, tax and notional losses on derivatives contracts, were well over three times revenue.
In this backdrop of high losses and cash burn, it isn’t surprising that SoftBank Group, a common investor in Ola and Uber, has reportedly suggested a merger of the two companies.
4. Andhra Bank Hikes Marginal Cost of Funds Based Lending Rate After SBI, ICICI and PNB
Days after SBI, ICICI Bank and PNB, Andhra Bank on Friday, 15 June, increased the marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) by 0.05 percent to 8.55 percent for various tenors. The move by the state-owned bank will make consumer loans such as auto, car and home loans costlier for buyers.
Andhra Bank in a BSE filing said: “This is to inform that the bank has increased its MCLR with effect from 15 June 2018.”
5. India Set to Launch $240 Mn Retaliatory Tariffs on US Imports
India is likely to introduce retaliatory tariffs worth $240 million next week on a revised list of 30 items imported from the US to counter the American move to unilaterally hike duties on Indian steel and aluminium. The move comes at a time when India has decided to negotiate a “trade package” with the US to ease tensions between the two sides.
India on Wednesday, 13 June, had notified to the World Trade Organization (WTO) a revised list of 30 items imported from the US, including almonds, apples on which it intends to impose retaliatory tariffs.
6. PM Employment Generation Programme Fails to Meet Target in Gujarat
The Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) has failed to meet the target in Gujarat.
As per the latest report of State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC), only 30.40 percent projects were sanctioned in the state during 2017-18. As a result, the implementing agency of the programme, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), has reduced the target by 50 percent for 2018-19.
As per the SLBC report, against the set target of 6,165 projects for the PMEGP, only 1,874 were sanctioned by banks in 2017-18. The report said banks have been given a tentative target of 2,994 projects for 2018-19.
7. India Studies Kenyan Digital Stamps To Curb Tobacco Tax Evasion
India is studying the Kenyan model of tracking tobacco products to curb illicit trade that leads to loss of tax revenue, according to people involved in deliberations.
The mechanism includes tax stamps with a QR code that can be scanned through a smartphone to check the authenticity and trace goods throughout the supply chain, the people said requesting anonymity. To begin with, the government may focus only on cigarettes, they said.
8. India’s Forex Reserves up by $879.5 Million to $413 Billion
India’s foreign exchange reserves increased by $879.5 million to $413.109 billion in the week to 8 June, helped by rise in foreign currency assets, the Reserve Bank data showed on Friday, 15 June.
In the previous week, the reserves had declined by $593.7 million to $412.230 billion. The reserves had touched a record high of $426.028 billion in the week to 13 April, 2018.
It had crossed the $400-billion mark for the first time in the week to 8 September, 2017, but has since been fluctuating.
9. ISRO Unit Offers to Transfer EV Battery Tech for Rs 1 Crore
The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), the rocket sciences node of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), has offered to transfer the technology for making lithium-ion (Li ion) batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) to industrial houses at a one-time fee of Rs 1 crore.
This import-substitution initiative is set to make India’s goal of having 100 percent EVs by 2030 cost-effective.
Batteries, one of its costliest components for EVs, are currently imported mostly from China, South Korea and Taiwan. The consumer electronic industry too uses Li ion batteries. The VSSC in Thiruvananthapuram, which developed the Li ion cell technology as early as 2011, describes it as as a “green alternative to fossil fuels”.