Citizens' Issues
HC restrains sale of benami property in Rs600 crore Pen Urban bank scam

The petitioners have alleged Rs600 crore had been siphoned off by directors of Pen Urban Cooperative Bank and this money be recovered from them

 
Mumbai: Hearing a petition alleging siphoning of Rs600 crore by board of directors in Pen Urban Cooperative Bank in Raigad district of Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court has restrained owners of 39 properties held in benami names from selling or creating third party rights, reports PTI.
 
Justice DD Sinha and Justice Vijaya Kapse-Tahilramani also asked Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to make its stand clear on 26th September, the next date of hearing.
 
The 39 benami properties valued at Rs60 crore have already been attached. However, the court ordered those persons holding such properties as benami on behalf of the owners not to dispose them or sell them or create third party rights until the case is finally disposed of.
 
RBI had suggested appointment of a liquidator but the petitioners Naren Jadhav and others have opposed the move saying the bank should be revived instead so that the interests of the investors are protected.
 
It was argued that most of the investors were those who had invested less than Rs1 lakh individually and would stand to lose if the bank was allowed to go under liquidation.
 
The petitioners have instead suggested that steps be taken to help the bank in meeting its obligations towards the investors and protecting the funds.
 
The petitioners have alleged Rs600 crore had been siphoned off by the bank's directors and this money be recovered from them.
 

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TataComm subsidiary to manage 14,000 ATMS

Tata Communications Banking InfraSolutions, which already manages nearly 12,900 cash vending machines, would install 14,000 ATMs for all PSBs in AP, TN, WB, Pondicherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands by 2013-14

 

Mumbai: Tata Communications' payment solutions providing unit has won an exclusive order to install and manage nearly 14,000 ATMs for all public sector banks in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Pondicherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands by 2013-14, reports PTI.

The contract has been won by the company's three-year-old wholly-owned subsidiary -- Tata Communications Banking InfraSolutions (TCBIL)-- which already manages nearly 12,900 cash vending machines for 25 banks and a few co-operative banks across the country.

TCBIL, which specialises in payment solutions for the banking and financial services sector, is the single largest ATM operator. It has around 19% market share in terms of the number of outsourced cash vending machines and with the current order, this will go up to 21%, TCBIL President Sudip Kumar told a select media briefing here today.

"With this contract, which is a huge endorsement of our competence in the banking infrasolutions space, as we commenced operations only three years ago, we have become the largest managed ATM services provider, with almost 27,000 contracted ATMs nationwide," Kumar said.

The second largest operator is the ATM manufacturer-cum- operator NCR, which enjoys 12% market share.

This contract award is part of the Government push for extending the reach of banking to unbanked areas. Last year, Finance Ministry had asked state-run banks to come together to launch ATMs. Accordingly, PSBs will be installing 63,000 cash machines by 2013-14 under a managed ATM services model.

Plans are also afoot to allow third-party operators to enter the fray under what is called white label ATMs, under which everything, including branding, will done by independent ATM operators for banks for a fee. The RBI has already issued a draft guidelines on white label ATMs.

On the rationale for a telecom network firm entering the banking services space, Tata Communications Chief Strategy Officer Srinivasa Addepalli said, "Already banks are our largest customers and there can be better synergy in extending our offering into the ATM space."

Asked when TCBIL, which is yet to report profit, will clock profit, Kumar did not give a direct reply but said normally an ATM takes seven to nine months to turn profitable.

Last year the company had revenues of about Rs180 crore, he added.

On an average, the cost of installing an ATM varies from Rs5 to Rs7 lakh, and the charges an operator nets varies between Rs6 and Rs12 per transaction, depending on location.

Accordingly, 100 transactions a day can turn a particular site profitable after this gestation period, Kumar added.

TCBIL's first ATM went operational in July 2009 and it added nearly half of its network of 12,900 last year spanning over 300 towns or cities.
 

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Credit quality of capital goods companies weakening: CRISIL

Majority of working capital requirement of capital goods companies is met through delayed payments to suppliers or high-cost short-term debt, resulting in weaker credit ratings

 

Mumbai: Credit quality of the players in the capital goods sector has come under tremendous strain with working capital requirements touching a five-year high due to deferment of large capital investment plans during the past fiscal, says a report by CRISIL.

The CRISIL study, after analyzing 50 capital goods companies also points out that high inventory and delay in payments by customers are leading to tight liquidity situation.

"Project deferment by customers resulted in a 15% decline in order inflows for capital goods entities in 2011-12 over the previous year. The reasons for deferment in projects include demand slowdown, increase in project costs and interest rates and lower cash flows," CRISIL senior director Nagarajan Narasimhan said.

He also said working capital requirement of banks have reached five year high.

Referring to tight liquidity situation of capital goods firms, the report said majority of working capital requirement is met through delayed payments to suppliers or high-cost short-term debt, resulting in weaker credit ratings.

Also, high interest rate regime has increased the cost of funds for these companies, impacting the credit quality.

"We have either downgraded the ratings or revised the outlook to 'negative' of 117 capital goods entities in 2011-12, representing a fifth of the agency's total downgrades or revisions in outlook to 'negative' during the year.

"We believe the revenue growth and profitability of capital goods entities will further slacken in 2012-13, resulting in sustained pressure on their credit quality," CRISIL director Anuj Sethi said.
 

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