Companies & Sectors
High Court asks Unitech to file written submission

In view of the fact that the arbitration proceedings between the companies are pending at Singapore International Arbitration Centre, the HC asked Unitech to file a short affidavit on the 'maintainability' of Telenor's plea

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has asked Unitech Wireless to file its written reply to its joint venture partner Telenor's plea against the Company Law Board (CLB) order, asking both companies to settle their disputes over control and transfer of assets through arbitration, reports PTI.


Justice Rajiv Shakdher asked Unitech Wireless to file within two weeks a short affidavit on the 'maintainability' of the Norwegian telecon giant Telenor's plea, in view of the fact that the arbitration proceedings between the companies are pending at Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).


The court also asked Telenor to file its rejoinder on the affidavit within two weeks and posted the matter for further hearing on 4th October.


The court was hearing a plea file by Telenor challenging the CLB's 12th April order to it to settle its dispute with its joint venture partner in India, Unitech, at the SIAC.


In its plea, Telenor had sought the court to quash the CLB order and direct it to adjudicate the matter in a time bound manner prior to the date of auction.


In the joint venture company Uninor, the Norwegian company Telenor owns 67.25% stake while the remaining 37.75% stake is held by Unitech.


The dispute between the two companies escalated after the Supreme Court in February this year scrapped 122 licences for 2G allotted during the tenure of A Raja as the telecom minister.


The scrapped licences included 22 pan India licences allotted to Uninor.


Axis Bank offers last 12 EMIs waiver in home loans with 20 year tenor

The 'Happy Ending Home Loan' from Axis Bank offers to waive off last 12 EMIs for tenure of 20 years, but no discounted interest rates are applicable for this scheme

Mumbai: Axis Bank, the third largest private sector lender in India, has launched a home loan product with a built-in equated monthly instalments (EMI) waiver scheme under which the bank will write off the last 12 instalments if the customer stays with it for at least 15 years, reports PTI.
However, the bank is not offering any discounted interest rates to this product.
"The product, called 'Happy Ending Home Loan', is being offered at the same rates as a regular loan and will be applicable to new customers under the floating rate option.
The EMI waiver will be offered to all loans with an initial tenure of 20 years or more that cross their 15th year," the bank said in a statement.
The new product, available to new customers, offers to waive 12 EMIs or equated monthly instalments for those borrowers with a 15-year or more tenure and if he/she pays the EMIs on time.
When contacted, consumer lending & payments head Jairam Sridharan told PTI, "The new product is our way of rewarding customer who pay their EMIs on time." 
When asked whether the scheme is open to existing customers, he said it is targeted at the new customers but existing borrowers can avail it provided they go through a process of reapplying for the loan, which would cost them the currently existing processing fee.
On the benefit side, Sridharan said for a customer taking a home loan for Rs50 lakh at 11% floating rate, the EMI per lakh of loan size will be Rs1,032. For a customer taking a 'Happy ending home loan,' the EMI waiver will be worth up to Rs6.19 lakh.
When asked about the rationale of the scheme, he said customers are increasingly opting for longer-tenure home loans.
"Unlike in the past, today more and more home loan borrowers are young and they are opting for 20-25 years tenure with closing the loan at the earliest not being a priority.
This is partly due to the high interest rates and high home prices and partly due to the age profile of the new home buyers," Sridharan said.
"Any customer, who pays EMIs on time will be automatically eligible for the benefit. As with the standard Axis Bank home loan, the new scheme will come with zero pre-payment penalty, "the bank said.
Axis Bank, with 1,674 branches and 10,337 ATMs across 1,080 cities and towns, has doubled its home loan book in the past two years. Its home loan book stood at over Rs30,000 crore at the end of the June quarter, Sridharan said.


NHB may come up with norms on asset-backed securitisation

The National Housing Bank is considering norms that would allow housing finance companies to sell non-real estate loans and guarantees for funding purposes

New Delhi: The National Housing Bank (NHB) said it is considering coming out with norms that will allow housing finance companies to sell non-real estate loans and guarantees for funding purposes, reports PTI.
"We are also looking at securitising standard portfolios assets which are well known in the industry but the awareness about these assets is underlined and must be promoted amid the investor community," NHB Chairman and Managing Director RV Verma said at an Assocham event.
Asset backed securities is an instrument backed by a loan or lease against assets other than real estate.
"From the investor point of view, we want to channelise the papers from institutional investors into the market and these investors would include mutual fund, pension, provident fund... we need to channelise long term funding into the mortgage market," he said.
"We are taking up the issue with government," he added.
Noting that there is deficiency of capital in the housing sector, Verma said that there was need to get capital into the sector through market oriented ways which is possible with securitisation.
Further, the NHB chairman said that securitisation would result in capital conservation, capital relief and its optimum utilisation through off-balance sheet transactions.
"...the lending sector cannot lend beyond a certain point due to capital constraints and with securitisation they would be enabled to continue to lend and can come over all constraints if they are able to securitise," Verma said.


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