QBiz: RBI Says Linking Aadhaar to Bank Accounts Mandatory & More
The Quint’s roundup of the top business news of the day.
1. Linking Aadhaar Number to Bank Accounts Is Mandatory, Says RBI
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Saturday clarified that linking bank accounts to Aadhaar is mandatory under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, dismissing media reports which suggested that such a linkage is not mandatory.
In a statement, the RBI said:
The Reserve Bank clarifies that, in applicable cases, linkage of Aadhaar number to bank account is mandatory under the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017 published in the Official Gazette on 1 June 2017.
2. BJP Talks of Promises Kept as PM Modi Opens Ro-Ro Ferry Service
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched a roll-on, roll-off ferry service between Ghogha and Dahej in Gujarat, a project stuck at the Centre since 2012. On his third trip to the election-bound state this month, the PM slammed the previous governments saying they had tried their best to stall the Rs 615 crore project and the state’s industrial growth.
BJP leaders termed the Ro-Ro ferry service a gift to Saurashtra and Saurashtrians living in other parts of the state as it would link southern Gujarat and Saurashtra and, by allowing vehicles with passengers aboard, save travel time and fuel, while easing traffic on congested roads.
The 31-km ferry service will cut travel time from nearly eight hours to just about one hour.
(Source: The Economic Times)
3. Rivals RIL, ONGC Team up to Share Infrastructure
After six months of tough negotiations, the Directorate-General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has successfully brokered a ‘marriage of convenience’ between two arch rivals of India’s oil and gas exploration business — public sector ONGC and Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL).
With this agreement, RIL and its partner BP Plc, will be able to transport gas from their newer fields in Krishna Godavari Basin (KG-D6) block using a sub-sea pipeline passing through edges of ONGC’s block in the neighbourhood. The DGH recently gave its nod to the contractors for the right of use.
(Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)
4. Maruti Becomes No 1 Exporter of Passenger Vehicles From India
Maruti Suzuki India has become the largest passenger vehicles exporter from India in the first half of the ongoing fiscal, dethroning Hyundai Motor India Ltd which has now been pushed to fourth spot behind Volkswagen and General Motors.
In the April-September period this fiscal, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) exported 57,300 units of passenger vehicles (PVs) as against 54,008 units in the year-ago period, up 6 percent, according to the latest data by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
5. New India's Rs 10,000-Crore IPO in First Week of November
New India Assurance, the largest general insurance company in the country, is set to hit the capital markets with around its Rs 10,000 crore initial public offering in the first week of November.
The offer comes soon after the Rs 11,370-crore IPO of GIC Re, which will be listed on 25 October.
It has already been oversubscribed by over 1.35 times. The street has seen a couple of more insurance IPOs in last one and half months, which include ICICI Lombard and SBI Life. The IPO of the state-run New India having operations in 28 countries will be completed in the first week of November, government sources told PTI. The exact amount and pricing for the IPO will be announced by the company early this week.
6. Banking Sector Stares at Additional Rs 40,000 Crore NPAs
The banking sector fears accretion of more than Rs 40,000 crore of bad loans to its books following recent classification of eight consortium accounts of Axis Bank as non-performing assets (NPAs) by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The RBI has directed certain re-classifications in the private sector lender’s asset classification and provisioning as on March 2017, subsequent to the annual risk based supervision (RBS) exercise conducted for 2016 -17.
As a result, Axis Bank had to reclassify 9 standard accounts into NPAs. Of these, 8 accounts are part of consortium lending, according to the latest quarterly results announced by the bank.
7. Sebi to Tighten Listing Norms as Part of Crackdown on Shell Firms
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is looking to tighten listing norms to prevent fly-by-night operators from getting listed on stock exchanges, said four people aware of the development. The capital market regulator’s move follows the government’s ongoing crackdown on shell companies to curb black money.
In August, Sebi had imposed a partial trading ban on 331 firms termed as shell firms by the ministry of corporate affairs.
“The plan is to increase the minimum net worth requirement, the proportion of assets held in tangible form, the number of years of profitability and the minimum number of public investors to whom shares are allotted,” said one of the four people cited earlier, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.
8. Flush With Funds, Flipkart Eyeing More Acquisitions
Armed with over $4 billion in cash, India’s most valuable internet firm Flipkart Ltd is planning more start-up investments and buyouts as it seeks to widen its slender lead over Amazon India and diversify its business.
Flipkart has held talks to invest in food-delivery app Swiggy, services firm UrbanClap, furniture retailer UrbanLadder and some start-ups in insurance and wealth management, said three people familiar with the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Mint had reported on 15 October that Flipkart was in talks to buy a large minority stake in Bookmyshow in a deal that may value the ticketing platform at $500-700 million. The talks with the companies mentioned above haven’t yet materialised into deals.
9. Air Odisha May Launch Flights Under UDAN Scheme From November
The Bhubaneswar-based Air Odisha is likely to launch services under the Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme from next month-end even as it has agreed to reduce the proposed services to four as against six scheduled from New Delhi earlier.
The air operator is expected to introduce its flight services from Ahmedabad to Bhavanagar, Jamnagar, Diu and Mundra in the first phase, a person close to the development said. Air Odisha, which currently has a non-scheduled operator permit, had bagged 50 routes to operate under the central-government’s subsidised UDAN scheme in March this year.
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