Companies & Sectors
DBS Bank applies for four more branch licences in India

DBS Bank India, the domestic arm of the Singapore-based lender, have 12 branches in India and its application for four more branches is pending with the RBI

Mumbai: DBS Bank India, the domestic arm of the Singapore-based lender, has applied for four new branch licences from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to expand its presence in the country, reports PTI quoting a top bank official.


"Currently, we have 12 branches and the application is pending (with the RBI) for four more branches," DBS India chief executive Sanjiv Bhasin said.


He, however, declined to reveal the cities in which the bank is looking at opening new branches.


Referring to new RBI guidelines with regard to priority sector lending (PSL), Bhasin said though the bank doesn't have to comply with the new guidelines as it has less than 20 branches, the bank is comfortable with the new guidelines.


"For us, PSL remain unchanged. Secondly, the guidelines have given five years to be able to meet the new guidelines, which we feel is reasonable," he said.


As per the new guidelines released by the apex bank recently, the domestic commercial banks and foreign banks with over 20 branches, PSL target will be 40% of the adjusted net bank credit, while it will be 32% for the foreign banks with less than 20 branches.


Earlier, Reserve Bank Governor D Subbarao had said that some bankers had expressed reservations about the hike in farm lending to 13.5% of overall lending. Additionally, a head of a foreign bank had also questioned on the rationale of 20 branches threshold for meeting the new priority sector lending requirement, the Governor had said.


The RBI released the final guidelines of priority sector lending (PSL) on 20th July based on the recommendations of a panel led by former Union Bank of India chief MV Nair.


Referring to growth in retail business, Bhasin of DBS Bank said the bank would increase retail base on liability side not on asset side in the near future.


L&T Construction wins orders worth Rs2,044 crore in Q2 so far

L&T's construction unit has won several orders worth Rs2,044 crore till date from July 2012

Mumbai: Engineering major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) on Tuesday said that its subsidiary L&T Construction has secured orders worth Rs2,044 crore across various segments in the second quarter so far, reports PTI.


L&T Construction's infrastructure arm bagged an order worth Rs781 crore from NTPC Hydro for constructing the 171 mw Lata Tapovan hydroelectric project in Uttarakhand, which will be executed on an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) basis, the company said.


The company's infrastructure unit bagged another contract worth Rs645 crore from GMR Infrastructure to construct a significant stretch of the Kishangarh-Udaipur-Ahmedabad highway.


The project is part of phase V of the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) of the National Highway Authority, it said.


The company's buildings and factories arm secured an order worth Rs360 crore for development of residential towers, which involves construction of 23 multi-storeyed towers.


In its power transmission and distribution business, L&T Construction has won an order worth Rs258 crore in the UAE for supply and installation of 220/33 kv grid station and related 220 kv cabling and overhead lines work, the release said.


Hike prices to save oil companies, says CRISIL

According to the ratings agency it is absolutely crucial that prices of regulated fuels be raised by at least 10-15% immediately and gradually be linked to international prices

Mumbai: Alarmed by the record losses reported by oil marketing majors, ratings agency CRISIL on Tuesday said there is an urgent need to increase prices of regulated diesel, kerosene and cooking gas, which will also help government finances, reports PTI.


"Given the crippling under-recoveries of oil marketing companies (OMCs) and a fast deteriorating fiscal situation, a hike in prices of regulated fuels, especially diesel, which accounts for 60% of under-recoveries is essential and inevitable," the agency's research wing said in a note.


"It is absolutely crucial that prices of regulated fuels be raised by at least 10-15% immediately and gradually be linked to international prices," it added.


It said the three state-run oil marketing majors IOC, BPCL and HPCL have reported a combined loss of Rs40,500 crore, primarily driven by under-recoveries and the absence of government compensation. IOC early this month had reported the nation's highest ever quarterly loss over Rs22,000 crore during the first quarter of FY13.


Diesel prices were revised last in June 2011, and with the coming effect of crude prices moving north and a currency depreciation, the under recoveries of OMCs have touched a record high of Rs47,800 crore during the June quarter, it said.


In 2011-12, the under-recoveries had jumped by 77% to Rs1.38 lakh crore and will be higher this fiscal as well, CRISIL said.


Because of the apparent lack of political will to increase the prices, OMCs are currently facing a loss of Rs14 per litre on diesel, Rs29 on kerosene and Rs250 on every cooking gas cylinder, it said.


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