QBiz: Re Breaches 75 Against USD for 1st Time; NPA Norms May Ease

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A cashier counts Indian rupee banknotes in the Byculla area of Mumbai, India.   

1. Rupee Crosses 75 per US Dollar for First Time as Fall Continues

The rupee fell sharply against the US dollar today to register a new low as the greenback continued its rally against other global currencies. The rupee fell to 75.31 against the dollar at day's low, compared to its previous close of 74.24.

The dollar also surged against other Asian currencies as investors sold currencies, bonds and stocks in Asia to pile into the world’s reserve currency. The US dollar index, which measures greenback against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.24 percent to a record high of 101.40.

So far during the day, the rupee traded in the range of 74.77 to 75.31 against the US dollar, after opening at 74.96. The rupee settled at 74.99 against the US dollar.

(Source: Livemint)

2. NPA Norms May Be Eased, Tax Deferment Likely in Coronavirus Healing Touch

As the Indian economy reels from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Narendra Modi government is drawing up a relief package for industry. The relaxation of asset-classification norms by banks, thus allowing companies to delay the repayment of loans, and tax holidays for the worst-hit sectors like aviation and hospitality are expected to be part of the package, Business Standard has learnt.

These measures could be discussed by the COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force, announced by the Prime Minister. The task force is also expected to announce sector-specific measures in the coming weeks, government sources said.

(Source: Business Standard)


3. Air India Expression of Interest Invitation Elicits Over 550 Queries

The invitation for expression of interest (EoI) for strategic sale of debt-ridden Air India (AI) has elicited over 550 queries, largely pertaining to foreign direct investment norm, bilateral rights and shape of consortium for bidding.

A preliminary information memorandum (PIM) for inviting EoI has already been issued on 27 January. The government has invited EoI for AI by way of the transfer of management control and sale of 100 percent equity share held by the Centre. The strategic sale would also include AI’s shareholding interest of 100 percent in Air India Express (AIXL) and 50 percent in Air India SATS.

(Source: Financial Express)


4. SEBI Gives Companies More Time to File Earnings Reports

The markets regulator on Thursday, 19 March, eased the deadline for publicly traded companies to file their earnings reports, among other steps, to help them cope with curbs imposed by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Companies, which had 45 days from the end of the quarter to file their quarterly earnings, will now get an extra 45 days. Also, annual audited figures, which needed to be filed in 60 days have now been extended by a month. In effect, the deadline to file both has been extended till 30 June.

Currently, a company can delay release of its earnings for reasons such as auditor resignation, or if directed by the court.

(Source: Livemint)


5. Coronavirus Pandemic Burns Rs 1.9 Trillion Hole in LIC's Investments

A 30 percent drop in the S&P BSE Sensex and the Nifty 50 thus far in the calendar year 2020 (CY20) has weighed heavily on the fortunes of state-owned life insurer, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), which has suffered a notional loss of about Rs 1.9 trillion in the past two-and-half months.

The insurer, known for making large equity investments, has substantial holdings in many listed companies. The dent comes at a time when the government is drawing up plans of listing LIC at the bourses, subject to legislative changes and regulatory approvals.

(Source: Business Standard)


6. Indusind Bank Reports Nearly 2% Erosion in Deposit Base

IndusInd Bank Ltd’s deposit base has eroded by nearly 2 percent as some state governments shifted deposits from the private lender. The bank is working with the customers to reassure them against potential risks, IndusInd Bank said in a regulatory filing late on Tuesday.

“We are engaging with them to reiterate the stance of the regulator that government deposits in all private sector banks are safe," the bank said. While IndusInd did not say when these deposits were withdrawn, they are believed to have happened in recent weeks.

The bank also said that in the wake of the significantly higher level of market rumours and speculation around its stock, it would like to reiterate that the bank is “financially strong, well-capitalized, profitable, and a growing entity with strong governance."

(Source: Livemint)


7. Yes Bank Plans to Raise Rs 20,000 Crore Through Certificate of Deposits

Ailing private lender YES Bank will hit the market with certificate of deposits (CDs), a money market instrument, to raise up to Rs 20,000 crore from institutional players, mostly banks.

This is the first large-scale (short-term) fundraising effort by the bank after being bailed out under a reconstruction scheme.

Rating agency CRISIL has assigned ‘A2’ rating to the Rs 20,000 crore CDs programme of YES Bank. The instruments carrying this rating are considered to have strong degree of safety regarding timely payment of financial obligations. Such instruments carry low credit risk, CRISIL said in a statement.

(Source: Business Standard)


8. Investments in Renewable Sector Fall 14 Pc to Rs 68,550 Cr in 2019

Investment in the country's renewable energy sector dropped by 14 percent to Rs 68,550 crore in the calendar year 2019, Parliament was informed on Thursday, 19 March.

In 2018, the estimated investment in the domestic RE sector was at Rs 79,606 crore, Minister of Power, New and Renewable Energy RK Singh informed the Lok Sabha. An estimated Rs 68,550 crore investment was made in the renewable energy sector in 2019, he said citing private data.

While the investment in 2015 was at Rs 72,972 crore, it zoomed to Rs 1,00,982 crore in 2016, the data showed.

(Source: PTI)


9. SBI to Seek Extension of Nod for Rs 20,000-Crore Equity Raise on 27 March

State Bank of India (SBI) on Thursday said it will seek an extension of the board approval to raise equity capital worth Rs 20,000 crore on 27 March. The approval is valid until 31 March.

“We inform you that a meeting of the Central Board of the bank is scheduled to be held on 27 March 2O2O, to consider, among others, the extension of approval…for raising equity capital from the market up to Rs 20,000 crore till 31 March 2021, subject to the approval of shareholders, RBI and GoI,” SBI said in a notification.

While SBI had obtained its board’s approval for the fundraising in December 2018 and even started the process for hiring merchant bankers, it ended up not hitting the markets as FY20 turned out to be a year of muted credit growth.

(Source: Financial Express)

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