Banks told to initiate penal action against wilful defaulters

The Finance Ministry has asked banks and financial institutions to initiate penal measures, like barring wilful defaulters from accessing new loans for five years and also filing complaint against the auditors

New Delhi: Worried over rising bad loans, the Union government has asked state-owned banks to crack the whip on wilful defaulters and initiate penal proceedings against them, reports PTI.
The issue of initiating penal action figured in meetings of the bankers with Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
"It is advised that banks and financial institutions should initiate penal measures against wilful defaulters," said a Finance Ministry note prepared for the meetings of Chidambaram with heads of the banks from the public sector.
Besides, the PSU bank chiefs were also advised to expedite steps to deal with wilful loan defaulters.
The gross gross NPAs or bad loans of all public sector banks taken together has increased to 4.01% in the second quarter of the fiscal from 3.06% in the year ago period.
The note said penal measures could be "debarring entrepreneurs and promoters of defaulting companies from institutional finance for floating new ventures for a five year period".
In addition, the PSBs have been asked not to grant additional facilities to wilful defaulters.
Further, PSU banks and financial institutions have been asked to file complaint against the auditors of the borrowers with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), if it is found that the auditors were "negligent or deficient" in conducting audit.
The government has also asked banks to analyse the reasons for fresh slippages in their NPAs and devise a strategy for minimising bad loans.
As per RBI guidelines, banks and financial institutions should ensure limits at individual borrower level as well as industry and sector wise to avoid credit concentration and achieve a diversified portfolio.


BSE appoints panel to select i-bankers for IPO

The IPO from BSE, which had reported a net profit of Rs178 crore on a revenue of Rs578 crore last fiscal, is likely to hit markets during first half of 2013

Mumbai: Asia's oldest exchange, BSE has appointed a panel to select investment bankers for its initial public issue (IPO), which is slated to hit the markets in the first half of next year, reports PTI.
In an interview to PTI, BSE MD & CEO Ashishkumar Chauhan said the panel and the i-bankers will fix the IPO issue price. He, however, refused to disclose to IPO issue size.
The BSE, which had reported a net profit of Rs178 crore on a revenue of Rs578 crore last fiscal, will be the second bourse to go public in the country.
Market sources said the IPO may fetch Rs800-Rs1,000 crore.
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had this June notified new rules for ownership and governance of bourses, including norms for their listing, which bans self-listing.
The IPO is primarily aimed at giving an exit to existing shareholders who hold over 41% of equity.
The BSE, which again retained No1 slot as world's largest exchange by number of companies listed, has said F&O investors and brokers can save up to Rs1,400 crore annually by trading on its platform due to lower fees that are 95-99% cheaper than the two rivals.
"If futures and options investors and brokers use our platform, they can save at least Rs 1,000-1,400 crore by way of brokerage charges every year. Our rates are 95-99% cheaper than the other two bourses," Chauhan told PTI over the weekend.
He also said that people only see that BSE has spent Rs100 crore as incentives for derivatives in the past one year, but not many know that trading on its platform could help save around Rs1,400 crore for the industry.
While BSE charges Rs5,000 as membership fee, NSE and MCX-SX charge Rs5 lakh each, he said, adding "the transaction cost on the BSE is up to 99% lower than the market leader. Again, our membership cost, including refundable deposits is 90% lower than that of rivals." 
After the membership fee cut last year, the BSE attracted over 500 brokers and has a total of around 1,500 registered members.
Similarly, its derivatives volumes have seen a major spike since the incentives programme and a few months back it had been 50:50 between BSE and the NSE, which has averaged out to Rs20,000-Rs25,000 crore daily since then or about 25%. However, the BSE is the third largest equity options trading place in the world today.
Stating that BSE's efficiency has improved manifold over the past couple of years, he said BSE has been able to cut trading speed from 300 milliseconds to just 10 milliseconds.
Chauhan, who has played a key role in putting in place a robust technology platform at BSE since 2009 as the deputy MD and CEO, admitted that entry of privately-promoted MCX-SX will increase competition and the resultant challenges for his bourse.
Chauhan, an alumnus of IIT Bombay and IIM Calcutta, said his focus will be not to fight competition but try to increase the investor base.
"On an average, we conduct 1,500 investor classes a year and in the past one month alone, we attracted 25,000 new retail investors, against 2,500 in the past one year. So, our strategy to increase distribution and take it to the smallest of towns and cities is on the right track," he said, and sounded bullish that BSE will be the most exciting trading venue for the next decade.
BSE's consolidated operating cost in FY12 was Rs248 crore, including the cost of depositories, clearing and settlement and technology services.
On the first country's first the SME platform which the BSE launched in the middle of this year, Chauhan said the SME segment has seen 11 IPOs on the BSE and there are 50 market-makers giving two-way quotes constantly during the day.
When asked why BSE, which currently has 28 indices, badly lags NSE on cash-market, he said it had a legacy issue of liquidity but of late it has rapidly improved. He also said the high statutory cost on cash equities for the declining volumes in the market.
While stock trading attracts securities transaction tax of 0.01-0.025%, he said there is no such tax in the commodity segment, leading to a shift in volumes from equities to commodities and investors are finding it more attractive to trade in the domestic market.


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