- In order to to stop the misuse of the existing policies under which route of the merger was used to get an indirect listing for an unlisted company, Capital market regulator of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on January 14 tightened the norms associated to Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) of Indian companies.
- The step is SEBI’s effort to make a listing process more transparent and provide a big say to public shareholders in consolidations of companies.
- The public shareholding of the resultant entity created by the merger of an unlisted and a listed company has to be more than 25% and the unlisted entity can only merge with those companies that are listed on exchanges such as the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and BSE.
- The pricing formula for stocks for merger and acquisitions will be based on the SEBI’s Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements (ICDR) norms. This will help in providing an equitable treatment to shareholders by stopping companies from issuing shares to select group of shareholders.
- The stock exchanges were empowered and this empowerment will allow them to act against listed firms through suspension of trading, the imposition of fines and more for violation of certain sections of ICDR norms.
Current Affairs on Finance
- The Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Pvt Ltd, a fully controlled subsidiary of RBI has set records in currency note printing in December 2016 by breaking all its past record.
- It had printed 10.9 million currency note in a day that even broke the world record made an American currency printing press of printing 8.7 million notes in a day.
- As per the data, 1350 million currency notes were printed in December 2016 in Mysuru which employess 650 workers who work for 12 hours in two shifts.
- In a move that is likely to reduce overall cost of transactions, Securities and Exchange Board of India, SEBI, has decided to lower broker fees by 25 per cent to 15 rupees per transaction of one crore rupees as part of calibration of various other fees collected by the regulator from different market intermediaries.
- It also decided to give an option to all market intermediaries and companies to make their regulatory payments in digital mode. The move would help in reducing failures due to payment gateway issues.
- National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in the country has declared Rs. 54.90 crore worth of prize money to over 3.42 lakh winners of NITI Aayog’s Lucky Draw Schemes for consumers and merchants.
- The two schemes are - Lucky Grahak Yojna (LGY) and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojna (DVY). They were launched on December 25, 2016 and will remain open till April 14, 2017. The schemes have total outlay of Rs. 340 crore of which - Rs. 300 crores would be spent on consumers and merchants while the remaining Rs. 40 crore on awareness and publicity. Total winners under the scheme are expected to be over 18.75 lakh.
- Securities market regulator SEBI on 14 January 2017 announced 25% reduction in the turnover fees levied on stock brokers, thus it is expected to result in reduction of overall cost of transactions and will benefit the investors and promote the development of securities market.
- Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) reduced the turnover fees levied on the stock brokers by 25% to Rs. 15 per crore of turnover from the current Rs. 20 per crore of turnover. This was announced in its board meeting at Jaipur held on 14 January 2017.
- Fee will be charged for open offer/takeover has been increased from Rs. 3 lakh to Rs 5. lakh.
- SEBI also decided to align the fees payable for buy back of securities with the fees payable for an open offer.
- Prime Minister Modi inaugurated India’s first international exchange ‘India INX’ at International Financial Services Centre in GIFT in Gandhinagar.
- INX, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the BSE will trade in equity derivatives, currency derivatives, commodity derivatives including Index and Stocks.
- The exchange will create new standards in quality of service and speed of transactions in different time zones.
- V. Balasubramanian was on 9 January 2017 deputed by BSE Ltd., Asia’s oldest stock exchange, to head India INX as its first Managing Director (MD) and Chief Operations Officer (COO).
- He was till now the Chief Business Officer (CBO) in the BSE.
GAAR To Kick In From April 2017
EPFO makes Aadhaar Mandatory
- Retirement fund body EPFO has made it mandatory for its subscribers to provide Aadhaar.
- The pensioners as well as members would have to provide Aadhaar or enrolment slips by January 31, 2017.
- Central government contributes 1.16 per cent of the basic wages as subsidy to every members Employees Pension Scheme Account and is in addition to 8.33 per cent deposited by their employers every month.
SBI and Bharatiya Mahila Bank Merger pushed to Next Fiscal
- State Bank hinted that the mega merger of its five associate banks & Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) could be pushed to the next financial year that would make SBI a global-sized bank & would be amongst the top 50 lenders in the world.
- It will have an asset base of Rs 37 trillion or over $555 billion,with 22500 branches more than 50 crore customers.
Consumers have the discretion to not pay service charges added the bill by any hotel/restaurant
- The Consumer Affairs Department of the Union Government on 2 January 2017 came out with a statement pertaining to payment of service charges in the hotels/restaurants in which Consumers have the discretion to not pay service charges added the bill by any hotel/restaurant
- The state governments to advise the hotels/restaurants to prominently display that “the service charges are discretionary / voluntary and a consumer dissatisfied with the services can have it waived off.”
- This statement was issued following several complaints from consumers that hotels and restaurants are seeking ‘service charge’ in the range of 5-20%, in lieu of tips, which a consumer is forced to pay irrespective of the kind of service provided to him/her.
Government Permit 12 Banks to Raise Rs 3,000cr
- The government has allowed 12 lenders to raise nearly Rs 3,000 crore via preferential shares that is over and above the Rs 22,915 crore capital support committed to them in July last year.
- The government had already infused a sum of Rs 25,000 crore in 19 PSBs during FY 2015-16 as the budgetary provision of Rs 25,000 crore has been made for 2016-17.
First-ever non-banking financial entity to takeover Catholic Syrian Bank
- RBI’s has given in-principle approval to pick up a 51% stake in Kerala based Catholic Syrian Bank by Fairfax Financial Holdings. Thus Fairfax Financial Holdings, became the first-ever non-banking financial entity to takeover an Indian bank.
- The last takeover of a private sector lender by a foreign bank happened when ING picked up majority stake in Vysya Bank in 2002-03.
Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance, 2016
- President of India on 30 December 2016 approved the promulgation of the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance, 2016
- The main objectives of the Ordinance are (i) to provide clarity and finality to the liability of the Reserve Bank of India and the Government of India for the SBNs;
- To provide an opportunity to those persons who were unable to deposit the SBNs within the time provided.
- To declare holding, transferring or receiving SBNs as illegal, with provisions for penalty for contravention of any of the provisions of the Ordinance.
Viral Acharya Appointed RBI Deputy Governor
- The government has appointed Viral V Acharya as one of the central bank’s four deputy governors for a term of three years.
- He has research interests in regulation of banks, corporate finance, credit risk and teaches at the Stern School of Business in New York university
Union Cabinet approves ordinance related to demonetisation of old 500 and 1000 rupee notes.
- With the Prime Minister Narendra approval to an ordinance relating to demonetised 500 and 1000 rupee notes, after 31st March 2017, possession of the demonetised notes beyond a specified amount to attract a monetary fine.
- Currency notes across the world carry their Central Banks' promise to pay the bearer the amount of the value of the note but Reserve Bank of India will not be bound by that pledge anymore with the Union Cabinet headed by
- The ordinance proposes to end the liability of the govt and RBI on the demonetised high denomination notes after 31st March.
- The Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance makes holding of old 1,000 and 500 rupee notes post 31st March beyond a threshold amount an offence that will attract a monetary fine.
- In 1978, a similar Ordinance was issued to end the government's liability after Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 notes were demonetised by the Morarji Desai-led government.
SBI adopts village of Maharashtra for Aadhaar-based payments
- The State Bank of India (SBI) has adopted Shirki village in Pen taluka in Maharashtra for driving the Aadhaar-based merchant payment initiative under which merchant is required to have a bank account with an Aadhaar number needed.
- Under the initiative, the merchants in the village have been provided with simple android phones with a USB-based fingerprint capture device.
First Case Under the Bankruptcy Code
- ICICI Bank Ltd has filed an application in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against Pune-based steel products Innoventive Industries Ltd to initiate a corporate insolvency process under the new bankruptcy law.
- This is the first case in India filed under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
- The Pune-based steel products maker had debt of Rs955 crore at the end of September.
Households Own 61.5% of Bank Deposits
- The RBI has said households owned the majority of deposits, 61.5% of the total bank deposits of Rs 98,41,290 crore.
- The government sector and the private corporate sector followed contributing 12.8 per cent and 10.8 per cent, respectively.
- A majority (63.8 per cent) of the deposits was term deposits and combined share of current and savings deposits increased to 36.2 per cent in 2016.
KVG Bank Launches Bank Sakhi Scheme
- The Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank (KVGB) has come out with an innovative method of employing women in villages to promote and popularize cashless transaction.
- The bank launched a scheme named ‘Bank Sakhi’ at a programme.
- Under the initiative, the bank will appoint women business correspondents called “Bank Sakhi” in select villages where this scheme would be implemented.