Govt ‘committed’ to SBI rights issue: SBI chairman

At present, the government has a 59.4% stake in the bank. In case a rights issue is approved and the government wants to retain its holding at the current level, it would need to subscribe to 59.4% of the total rights being issued

Mumbai: State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Pratip Chaudhuri on Monday said the government is ‘committed’ to infusing funds into it through the bank’s proposed rights issue, reports PTI.

“The government is quite committed on the rights issue and it is not right for the bank to put a finger on the quantum,” Mr Chaudhuri told reporters here.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a function held to announce help for a school as a part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility.

SBI has proposed to come out with a rights of Rs20,000 crore. At present, the government has a 59.4% stake in the bank. In case a rights issue is approved and the government wants to retain its holding at the current level, it would need to subscribe to 59.4% of the total rights being issued.

While the country’s largest lender had a total capital adequacy of 11.6% as on 30th June the core tier-I component stood at 7.6%.

The bank’s chief financial officer Diwakar Gupta had last week said that it can see through this fiscal considering its credit growth targets but will definitely need to augment it in next fiscal.

Mr Chaudhuri yesterday said the bank is looking at a credit growth of 16%-19% for the fiscal.

The SBI chairman added that the bank is sufficiently capitalised on tier-II and will not be looking at any bond sale in the near-term.

SBI will be adding 600-800 branches to its present network of over 13,000 branches, he said.

He said the bank will be spending Rs80 crore this fiscal on CSR initiatives which will involve donation of 10 fans each to a school in the vicinity of all the 13,000 branches.


Court to decide on framing of charges in 2G case on 15th September

"The matter is now fixed for 15th September for orders (on framing of charges)," special CBI judge OP Saini said on Monday after special CBI prosecutor UU Lalit wrapped up his final argument in the 2G spectrum allocation case

New Delhi: A Delhi court will decide on 15th September whether to put former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and 15 others on trial for their alleged role in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation scam, which according to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has caused a loss of Rs30,984 crore to the public exchequer, reports PTI.

"The matter is now fixed for 15th September for orders (on framing of charges)," special CBI judge OP Saini said on Monday after special CBI prosecutor UU Lalit wrapped up his final argument, rebutting the plea of innocence by all the accused, including three telecom firms, two bureaucrats, nine corporate honchos and a filmmaker.

Mr Lalit wrapped up his argument while pleading to the court to frame charges of corruption and other penal offences against all 17 accused and put them on trial for their alleged roles in the case.

While concluding his argument, Mr Lalit told the court that Swan Telecom and Unitech got the licences despite their complete ineligibility to get the same.

He said both the companies off-loaded their shares soon after getting the licences and garnered around Rs7,300 crore in the process.

The special public prosecutor, specifically appointed by the apex court to prosecute the case, however, clarified that there is no evidence or material available on record to indicate that there was any quid pro quo by Unitech (Tamil Nadu) Wireless Pvt Ltd vis-à-vis anybody or party.

"We are conscious that so far as Unitech is concerned, we have found nothing to show any money trail against them. There is no quid pro quo as far as money exchanging hands is concerned in relation to Unitech," he said.

Shahid Usman Balwa-promoted Swan Telecom got the licences which increased the value of their share tremendously, Mr Lalit said, explaining the criminal culpability of the firm and its promoter in the case.

"The fact that Swan Telecom had licences in their pocket, the value of their share has increased so much that 40% share of this company is given at around Rs4,000 crore.

Look at the tremendous jump in their value," he said.

Concluding their month-long, day-to-day arguments on framing of charges in the 2G case on 25th August, all 17 accused including Mr Raja and DMP MP Kanimozhi, had denied having any alleged criminal culpability in the scam and had sought to be discharged from the case.

Special prosecutor Mr Lalit, who began his arguments on 21st July, had said it was Mr Raja who had approved the grant of dual technology, 2G spectrum licences to telecom firms like ADAG's Reliance Communication and others a day before even formally inviting the applications for it.

The agency claimed there was sufficient prima facie evidence to frame charges against 17 accused under provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act, dealing with criminal conspiracy and giving and accepting bribe.

Seeking discharge from the case, Ms Kanimozhi had sought to drag prime minister Manmohan Singh in the 2G case threatening to make him a witness in the case.

"If the trial goes on (against her), I would summon the prime minister as a witness," she had submitted through her lawyer and senior advocate Sushil Kumar.

Mr Raja too had said that he would get prime minister Manmohan Singh, then finance minister P Chidambaram and present telecom minister Kapil Sibal summoned as witnesses to prove that the government did not incur any loss in the 2G spectrum allocation.


Share prices to see further gains: Monday Closing Report

Nifty to witness staggered rise to 5,100

As suggested last week we got a market rally today. With the political drama at the Centre coming to an end on Sunday and chances of another stimulus package for sagging the US economy next month, domestic investors were seen once again on the Street, ending the three-day losing streak. Today's gain in the indices almost covered the past three days' losses. The surge of 3.58% on the Sensex and 3.62% on the Nifty was the highest since 28 May 2009. As we mentioned in our weekly report on Saturday, the market may target 5,100 on the Nifty.

Taking cues from the gains in the Asian pack, following US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's remarks that the central bank would consider additional policy tools at its September meeting, the Indian stock exchanges opened on a firm footing today. The conclusion of the political impasse over the weekend also brought relief to the market. The Nifty resumed trade at 4,806, up 58 points, and the Sensex gained 232 points at 16,081. The opening figure on the Nifty was its intra-day low and the low on the Sensex was 16,069.

All sectoral gauges were trading in the positive on across-the-board buying, with IT and technology stocks emerging as the top sectoral gainers. The surge continued through the post-noon session on support from key European indices, which were trading mostly in the green. The market went on to touch its intra-day high in late trade, with the Nifty scaling 4,934 and the Sensex going up to 16,462. The indices closed trade off the day's highs. The Nifty settled at 4,920, up 172 points and the Sensex soared 568 points to close the session at 16,416.

The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was a positive 1233:212.

The BSE Mid-cap index climbed 2.48% and the BSE Small-cap index gained 2.06%.

All sectoral indices settled in the green. The BSE IT (up 5.06%) led the gainers. Other top performers were BSE Metal (up 4.63%), BSE Realty (up 4.43%), BSE TECk (up 4.15%) and BSE Bankex (up 4.10%).

The top gainers on the Sensex were TCS (up 7.32%), Jaiprakash Associates (up 6.92%), Jindal Steel (up 6.75%), Tata Steel (up 5.90%) and Larsen & Toubro (up 5.45%). The only losers on the index were ONGC (down 1.10%) and Maruti Suzuki (down 0.02%).

The key Nifty gainers were Reliance Capital (up 13.22%), HCL Technologies (up 8.19%), TCS (up 7.35%), Reliance Power (up 7.25%) and Kotak Bank (up 6.98%). ONGC (down 4.42%) and Maruti Suzuki (down 0.09%) were the losers on the Nifty also.

Markets in Asia, with the exception of the Chinese benchmark, closed higher following positive comments from the US Fed chief. However, the Japanese index pared some of its gains on news that the country's finance minister Yoshihiko Noda had won the run-off vote for the leadership of the ruling party that would make him the next prime minister.

The Hang Seng surged 1.44%, the KLSE Composite added 0.17%, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.61%, the Straits Times advanced 1.59%, the Seoul Composite climbed 2.84% and the Taiwan Weighted closed 1.79% higher. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite declined 1.37%.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of stocks worth Rs226.95 crore on Friday. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs392.90 crore.

State-run Navaratna oil explorer Oil India (OIL) is chalking out an expansion and diversification strategy that could also include an entry into the city gas distribution space. The company is also considering entering the gas transportation market since it already has expertise in laying pipelines and transporting gas through pipelines. The OIL scrip closed down by 0.62% at Rs1,298.40 on the NSE.

Titan Industries is eyeing a near three-fold increase in its turnover from the watches division to Rs3,500 crore by 2014-15, driven by new designs and network expansion, according to an analyst report. The company also expects its eyewear division to break even by 2012-13. Titan is looking to expand its eyewear and accessories business with 177 stores, by getting into new sub-categories. The stock gained 2.16% to Rs206.15 on the NSE.

Pharma major Wockhardt is likely to launch 12-15 products in the US market this fiscal as it has received approvals for seven abbreviated new drug applications (ANDA) this year. The company also plans to extend its reach in the European market. At present, Wockhardt markets over 60 products in the US. The stock gained 0.84% to settle at Rs383.40 on the NSE.


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