QBiz: Former IL&FS Chairman Arrested on Fraud Charges & More
1. Former IL&FS Chief Arrested By SFIO
The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) on Monday, 1 April, arrested the former Vice Chairman of crisis-hit IL&FS, Hari Sankaran for fraudulent conduct and causing wrongful loss to the company and its creditors.
Sankaran was arrested in Mumbai in connection with the ongoing investigations into the affairs of IL&FS and its group entities.
Sankaran has been arrested on the grounds of abusing his powers in IL&FS Financial Services Ltd through fraudulent conduct and in granting loans to entities that were not credit-worthy or were declared as non-performing accounts. Such actions caused wrongful loss to the company and its creditors.
(Source: The Indian Express)
2. Sensex Breaches 39,000; Hits All-Time High
Indian equity benchmark Sensex began the new financial year on a bullish note as it reached an all-time high of 39,115 on Monday, but shed significant gains towards the fag-end of the day’s session, eventually finishing higher by nearly 199 points.
The Sensex rallied on hopes of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) at its upcoming monetary policy review and positive global sentiment after robust Chinese manufacturing activity and progress in US-China trade talks.
The 30-share gauge opened at 38,858.88 and swung nearly 307 points during the day, reaching a record high of 39,115.57 and low of 38,808.74. It finally settled at 38,871.87, rising by 198.96 points, or 0.51 percent.
Similarly, the NSE Nifty began positively at 11,665.20 and touched a high of 11,738.10 and low of 11,644.75 intra-day.
(Source: The Times of India)
3. March GST Revenues Top Rs 1 Lakh Crore, But FY19 Target Missed
Even as monthly revenue from the goods and services tax (GST) topping a record Rs 1.06 lakh crore in March helped meet the combined target for the Centre and the states, the Centre’s GST mop-up fell short of the target outlined in the Budget.
While the Centre’s GST revenue is estimated to be less by around Rs 70,000 crore from the revised estimate for 2018-19, on the direct tax front, the collections are learnt to have slipped by around Rs 30,000-35,000 crore.
This mounts fresh pressure on the government’s attempts to meet its fiscal deficit target of 3.4 percent of the GDP.
(Source: Business Standard)
4. Core Sector Growth Slows Down to 2.1% in February
The growth of eight core sectors slowed down to 2.1 percent in February due to fall in output of crude oil and refinery products, official data showed Monday.
Eight infrastructure sectors – coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity – had expanded by 5.4 percent in February 2018.
Production of crude oil and refinery products contracted by 6.1 percent, and 0.8 percent, respectively, in February.
Growth rate of production of fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity slowed to 2.5 percent, 4.9 percent, 8 percent and 0.7 percent in February as against 5.2 percent, 5 percent, 23 percent and 4.6 percent in the same month of 2018, respectively.
However, coal and natural gas output grew by 7.3 percent, and 3.8 percent, respectively, in the month under review.
(Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)
5. Airbnb May Invest Upto $200 Million in Oyo
SoftBank-backed OYO has raised funding from the US-based online accommodation platform Airbnb, a move that will provide the Indian hospitality chain more ammunition to strengthen its presence in the Indian and global markets.
The investment details were, however, not disclosed.
According to sources, Airbnb is pumping in between USD 100-200 million (about Rs 690-1,380 crore) in the Indian firm.
"As the sixth largest hotel chain operator in the world, we at, OYO Hotels & Homes, are committed to offering our guests and travelers around the world, great quality living spaces. We are happy to have Airbnb as our partner in this vision," OYO Hotels & Homes Global Chief Strategy Officer Maninder Gulati said in an emailed statement.
(Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)
6. RBI to Inject Liquidity With Another $5 Billion Forex Swap
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday said it will inject long-term liquidity worth $5 billion into the banking system through dollar-rupee buy-sell swap for a tenure of three years on 23 April, the second such auction within a month.
Earlier on 26 March, the central bank had bought $5 billion through similar swap auction in a bid to ease liquidity ahead of elections.
"In order to meet the durable liquidity needs of the system, the RBI has decided to inject Rupee liquidity for longer duration through long-term foreign exchange Buy/Sell swap in terms of its extant Liquidity Management Framework," the RBI said in a statement.
7. Bank of Baroda Pips PNB to Be Largest Nationalised Lender
Bank of Baroda (BoB) surpassed Punjab National Bank (PNB) to become the country's largest nationalised lender after the merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with Vadodara-based bank became effective Monday, 1 April.
The consolidated entity started the operation with a business mix of over Rs 15 lakh crore on the balance sheet, with deposits and advances of Rs 8.75 lakh crore and Rs 6.25 lakh crore, respectively.
BoB, the second largest public sector lender after State Bank of India (SBI), now has over 9,500 branches, 13,400 ATMs, and 85,000 employees to serve 12 crore customers.
The largest nationalised bank now has an expanded capital base and will be in a position to have deeper banking relationship with customers.
8. RBI Tweaks NPA Divergence Disclosure Norms
The Reserve Bank of India Monday asked banks to disclose bad loan divergences in their financial statements if the additional provisioning exceeds 10 percent of profit before provision and contingencies.
In a notification, the RBI said it is observed that some banks, on account of low or negative net profit after tax, are required to disclose divergences even where the additional provisioning assessed by RBI is small, which is contrary to the regulatory intent that only material divergences should be disclosed.
Therefore, it has been decided that henceforth, banks should disclose divergences, if "the additional provisioning for NPAs assessed by RBI exceeds 10 percent of the reported profit before provisions and contingencies for the reference period". Earlier, banks were to make suitable disclosures if the additional provisioning requirements assessed by RBI exceeded 15 percent of the published net profits after tax for the reference period.
9. Citibank Settles Case With Sebi, Pays Rs 4.5 Crore
Citibank N A has settled a case with markets regulator Sebi regarding the bank's alleged failure to adequately supervise an employee who carried out an unregistered portfolio investment scheme.
The case has been settled after payment of Rs 4.5 crore towards settlement charges, according to a Sebi order.
In April 2015, the regulator issued a show cause notice to the bank for alleged violation of portfolio managers norms with respect to one relationship manager.
As per the notice, he had received signatures on blank fund transfer forms, which were used for transferring funds from the accounts of such customers' to the linked accounts of Shivraj family.
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