Banks facing more challenges in current environment: RBI deputy governor

“Banks globally are facing more challenges now and macro-sustainability is a necessity but not sufficient for sustainable economic growth. Therefore, putting regulations in place is only one part and their implementation is equally important for achieving growth and sustainability,” RBI deputy governor Anand Sinha said

Pune: Banks worldwide are facing more challenges in the current economic environment and while macro-sustainability is a necessity, it is not sufficient for sustainable economic growth, reports PTI quoting according to a senior Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Speaking here during the inauguration of a national seminar on ‘Basel III: Implementation Challenges in Banks’ organised by the Bank of Maharashtra, RBI deputy governor Anand Sinha said while regulation is important, so is implementation.

“Banks globally are facing more challenges now and macro-sustainability is a necessity but not sufficient for sustainable economic growth. Therefore, putting regulations in place is only one part and their implementation is equally important for achieving growth and sustainability,” Mr Sinha said.

Mr Sinha, who is in charge of regulation of commercial banks, non-banking financial companies and urban co-operative banks in the RBI, also talked about the 2008 global economic crisis and how the Indian banking sector had withstood it.

He also made an elaborate presentation on the genesis of the crisis, its causes, regulatory reforms following the crisis, implementation issues, structural issues and the impact on growth.

The seminar was attended by RBI general manager Ajay Chowdhary and Bank of Maharashtra chairman & managing director A S Bhattacharya.

The topic of the seminar assumes significance as the RBI earlier this week issued draft guidelines for implementation of Basel-III banking norms in India, which envisage that the equity capital of a bank should not be less than 5.5% of its risk-weighted loans.

It also recommended that Tier 1 capital, comprising pure equity and statutory and capital reserves, must be at least 7% and total capital must be at least 9% of risk-weighted assets (RWAs).

It has also suggested setting up a capital conservation buffer in the form of common equity of 2.5% of RWAs.

It is proposed that the implementation period of minimum capital requirements and deductions from common equity will begin from 1 January 2013, and will be fully implemented 31 by March 2017, it said.

The central bank had invited comments and feedback on the draft guidelines, including the implementation schedule, by 15 February 2012.

RBI governor D Subbarao had earlier said Indian banks will have to incur additional costs to build capital buffers to comply with Basel-III rules.

The draft norms have been adopted from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s (BCBS) comprehensive reform package entitled, ‘Basel III: A global regulatory framework for more resilient banks and banking systems’, announced in December 2010.

The objective of the draft guidelines is to improve the banking sector’s ability to absorb shocks arising from financial and economic stress, whatever the source, thus reducing the risk of spill-over from the financial sector to the real economy.

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SEBI bars Empower Industries from stock markets

SEBI’s investigation of Empower Industries’ scrip following an unusual rise in price and volume during 16 February to 11 March 2005 revealed that the company had made misleading corporate announcements which led to a spurt in the volume and an increase in the price of the scrip

Mumbai: Capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has restrained Empower Industries India from dealing in the securities market for six months for resorting to fraudulent and unfair trade practices, reports PTI.

It said the company has facilitated its promoter-director and his related entities in carrying out transactions that led to a rise in the price and volume of the scrip and thereby acted as a fraud on gullible investors.

“Therefore, taking into consideration the facts and circumstances of the case... restrain Empower Industries India from accessing the securities market and prohibit it from buying, selling or otherwise dealing in securities, directly or indirectly, for a period of six months,” SEBI said in an order on Friday.

SEBI conducted an investigation of the company’s scrip following an unusual rise in price and volume during 16 February to 11 March 2005.

It revealed that the company had made misleading corporate announcements which led to a spurt in the volume and an increase in the price of the scrip.

It was alleged that there was a concerted effort by the company and its promoter-director, Devang Master, to raise the price of the scrip, according to the SEBI order.

It was found that false corporate announcements were made about expansion plans. Besides, unaudited quarterly results showed profits of the company as significantly higher than what was subsequently reported in its audited results.

Large quantities of the shares of the company were traded on Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) during the same time period, by certain entities that were found to be related to Mr Master, SEBI said, adding that the promoter-director off-loaded shares at significantly higher prices soon afterwards.

“... it was alleged that the announcements by the company were intended only to create investor interest in the scrip and thereby meant to mislead investors... it was alleged that the company projected a false picture to the investors about the performance of the company,” SEBI said.

The regulator had issued show cause notice to the company in September 2009 and studied the reply sent by it.

Refuting the company’s contention, SEBI said: “...during the time when the corporate announcements were made by the company certain clients were dealing in large quantities in the scrip. These entities had received/ transferred shares from/ to the promoter-director of the company, Devang Master, in off market transactions.”

SEBI said that in such a circumstance it is difficult to accept Empower Industries’ corporate announcements were of a bona fide nature.

“It cannot be a mere coincidence that the company made announcements of a board meeting to discuss issues that would ordinarily create interest in the scrip at the same time as related entities of the promoter-director were trading heavily in the scrip,” the order said.

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SEBI imposes Rs70 lakh fine on senior JP Associates’ executives, family

As per investigation report and replies to SEBI’s show-cause notices issued in March, the regulator found that executive chairman Manoj Gaur and others had violated guidelines relating to insider trading by purchasing shares during the period when trading was closed

Mumbai: Capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has imposed penalty totalling Rs70 lakh on three senior executives of Jaiprakash Associates (JAL), including executive chairman Manoj Gaur, and their relatives for involvement in insider trading, reports PTI.

Besides Mr Gaur, his wife and brother, SEBI has named JAL senior vice president (corporate affairs) and company secretary Harish K Vaid and his Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), as well as the company’s whole-time director S D Nailwal.

SEBI conducted investigation into the trading in scrips of JAL during the period of 29 September to 27 October 2008.

As per investigation report and replies to SEBI’s show-cause notices issued in March, the regulator found that Mr Gaur and others had violated guidelines relating to insider trading by purchasing shares during the period when trading was closed.

The noticees were found to have bought shares of the company during the period when trading window was closed while they were in possession of the unpublished price sensitive information.

SEBI said the company received the trial balances for the quarter ended 30 September 2008 from its various units in the first week of October 2008.

It said the consolidated trial balance of JAL for the quarter ended 30 September 2008 was available on 12 October 2008 and the company’s board approved the consolidated quarterly results on 21 October 2008 as well as declared interim dividend of 15%.

It had also approved issuance of shares on rights basis.

“In view of the above, the period from 11 October 2008 to 21 October 2008 was considered as the period when the information about the financial results and interim dividend was unpublished price sensitive information,” SEBI order said.

Mr Gaur, his wife Urvashi Gaur and his brother Sameer Gaur have been fined Rs10 lakh each.

Similar fines have been imposed on Mr Vaid and his HUF, while Mr Nailwal has been handed a total fine of Rs20 lakh.

Jaiprakash Associates executive chairman Manoj Gaur said the findings in the SEBI order are “completely erroneous and contrary to factual position” and will challenge it in SAT.

“It is unfortunate that despite adequate representation to the adjudicating officer, frivolous inferences have been drawn. Aggrieved by the order, we are in the process of challenging the same before the Securities Appellate Tribunal,” Mr Gaur said in a late night statement.

He noted that findings in the order relate to purchase of “1,000 shares by my wife and 7,400 shares by my brother, between 13 to 16 October 2008 (which purchase was not done based on any insider information and the said shares were not even sold)”.

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