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QBiz: FM Says No Liquidity Crisis; Relief for PMC Bank Customers

Find the top business stories of the day on QBiz. 

Published
Business
4 min read
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. 
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1. No Liquidity Crisis: FM After ‘Tonic-Like’ Meeting With Private Banks

Demand is back in the system, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday, expressing hope that it, along with increased lending, would perk up the economy in the second half of the current financial year.

The finance minister’s statement came amid growing concerns about a slowing economy. The economic growth plunged to an over six-year low of 5 percent in the first quarter.

“Things are looking forward and upward from here, and we hope to take this message across,” Sitharaman said after holding a meeting with top executives of private sector banks, housing finance companies, and micro finance institutions (MFIs). Last week, she had met heads of public sector banks and asked them to go for an outreach programme to step up lending.

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2. PMC Bank: RBI Raises Withdrawal Limit to Rs 10,000

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has relaxed the withdrawal limit for account holders of beleaguered Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000 with immediate effect.

This comes after thousands of customers gathered at the bank’s branches in Mumbai for the third day on Thursday to protest against the RBI’s direction to impose restrictions on withdrawal amounts. Some of them had said they would initiate legal action.

3. RBI Panel Seeks More Flexibility on Liquidity

A panel set up by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recommended that the central bank’s liquidity framework be made flexible enough to adapt to conditions when the system requires liquidity to be in surplus mode.

Under the current setup, system liquidity is required to be in a small deficit, which could be an impediment when surplus liquidity is essential.

The panel has also asked RBI to institutionalize some of the ad hoc liquidity infusion measures the central bank has adopted over the past few months.

(Source: Livemint)

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4. SoftBank May Shelve Plan to Invest in Piramal Group

Masayoshi Son’s Soft-Bank may call off talks aimed at backing the Piramal Group’s financial services arm, Piramal Capital and Housing Finance, due to irreconcilable differences, four people close to the situation said.

The Mumbai-based conglomerate was negotiating a deal that would have spun off the group’s housing finance division into a separate company with SoftBank investing around $1 billion for a significant stake, they added. In its 15 July edition, The Economic Times had reported that the deal would likely happen only if Piramal Group moves away from wholesale loans to consumer lending. This was one of the biggest points of friction, forcing the SoftBank Vision Fund’s investment committee to decide against the deal, two people privy to the talks said.

5. Abhinav Kumar, Face of Trivago Ads, Joins Paytm as VP-Product Marketing

Abhinav Kumar, the face of travel search engine Trivago’s advertisements in India, has joined fintech major Paytm as Vice President Product Marketing. Kumar, who was the country development head (India) for the travel portal became an overnight internet sensation of sorts after he came in a slew of advertisements of the company.

Paytm which has been on a hiring spree for the last several months confirmed his appointment. “We are excited to have Kumar on-board, who is known for his expertise in product marketing. We are in the next phase of our growth, and his skills and expertise will be instrumental to our efforts of expanding digital payments in our country,” Paytm spokesperson said.

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6. Jio Increases Ring Time to 25 Secs

Reliance Jio has increased to 25 seconds the ring duration for outgoing calls from its network. But Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are not pleased with this fivesecond increase, and are sticking to their demand for a minimum 30-second ring duration.

The Mukesh Ambani-owned telco has “increased the ring time for outgoing calls to 25 seconds – from 20 seconds – as an interim step till the sector regulator issues final guidelines on the matter,” a person aware of the developments told The Economic Times.

This comes after Bharti Airtel recently wrote to TRAI, warning that it would be forced to cut ring time for outgoing calls from its network to 20 seconds, same as that of Jio’s. Bharti Airtel had urged Trai to ask the youngest telco to increase its ring duration.

7. Fairfax Sells ICICI Lombard Stake Worth Over Rs 2,500 Crore

Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax on Thursday sold ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd shares worth Rs 2,561.5 crore, selling close to half of its stake in the company.

According to data from stock exchanges, FAL Corporation, a subsidiary of Fairfax, sold 22.67 million shares on Thursday at a price of Rs 1,129.68 per share.

Fairfax has sold around half of its stake in ICICI Lombard through this sale. As of 30 June, Fairfax owned a 9.9 percent stake in the general insurance company.

(Source: Livemint)

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8. FIR Against Lakshmi Vilas Bank Board Members for 'Cheating, Conspiracy'

The Economic Offences Wing in New Delhi has registered a First Information Report (FIR) against members of the Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) board.

The FIR was filed under 'Complaint for offences of cheating, criminal breach of trust by banker, criminal misappropriation, and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 against the directors of the LVB board, Connaught Place, New Delhi among others.

It is based on a complaint filed by Religare Finvest (RFL), pertaining to adjustment of their deposits against the dues of RHC Holding and Ranchem.

9. NCLAT Allows Dutch Court Administrator to Attend Jet Airways CoC Meetings

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has allowed the Dutch court administrator of Jet Airways to attend the Committee of Creditors (CoC) meetings of the debt-ridden carrier.

A three member NCLAT bench said that the Dutch administrator would be part of the CoC meeting and would be given minutes of the meetings.

The Appellate Tribunal also set aide the earlier order of the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which had denied to recognise the Dutch insolvency proceedings.

(Source: PTI)

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