India, China hold talks to step up economic co-operation

Beijing: India and China today held high-level comprehensive dialogue on a host of financial issues to identify areas of convergence to step up their cooperation in the international and bilateral economic spheres, reports PTI.

The talks between the delegations headed by India's finance secretary Ashok Chawla and Chinese vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao were held in the backdrop of tense stand-off between the two countries over denial of visa to Indian Army's northern command chief, Lt General BS Jaiswal, to join the military delegation for talks with defence officials here.

The Chinese move prompted India to put on hold all defence exchanges between the two countries.

Today dialogue on financial issues is the fourth round.

It is being held every year as part of new diplomatic architecture to enhance strategic co-operation on trust between the two countries.

Mr Zhu in his welcome remarks to the Indian delegation said global economy faced a lot of unstable factors and uncertainties even though it started stabilising and recovering from the global financial crisis.

"In the face of common serious challenges it is important to strengthen our cooperation in the financial areas between China and India. This will be beneficial to the economic development of the two countries."

The financial dialogue is very important as it focussed on national economic situation of the two countries which were trying to generate quality growth. "Also it focuses on how to better the coordination of the policy stance of the two countries in important global economic and financial affairs," he said.

Mr Chawla said the perception that global economic gravity shifted to Asia, especially India and China brings satisfaction as well as sense of responsibility.

"While the two are collaborating in a number of areas including climate change, agriculture, water resources, energy security, environmental tourism, IT in various bilateral and multilateral fora, there exists considerable scope for enhanced engagement in the economics sphere," he said.

He also said as a result of stepped cooperation in the field of trade, the bilateral trade reached $44 billion last year and already crossed $20 billion in the first five months of this year to reach the target of $60 billion set for this year.

The Indian delegation, which comprised high-level officials from the finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), also held talks with Chinese finance minister Xie Xuren during a dinner hosted by him.

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Personal finance Thursday

CIBIL and TransUnion launch CIBIL Mortgage Check; SBI Mutual Fund launches SBI Debt Fund Series-370 Days-6; HDFC Mutual Fund launches HDFC FMP 25M September 2010; Kotak Mahindra MF launches Kotak FMP 370 Days Series 7; DSP BlackRock MF launches DSP BlackRock FMP-12M-Series 7; DCB hikes lending rate by 50 bps to 15.50%

CIBIL and TransUnion launch CIBIL Mortgage Check
control fraudulent transactions in the housing finance industry, Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd (CIBIL) and TransUnion have launched CIBIL Mortgage Check-India's first repository of mortgage information. CIBIL and TransUnion, in consultation with the National Housing Bank (NHB) and other industry institutions, developed the country's first centralised nationwide database of mortgage information that will help banks and financial institutions access mortgage information, exercise stronger due diligence, and reduce fraudulent transactions. CIBIL Mortgage Check will enable more informed decisions to be made in assessing new mortgage applications as well as better portfolio management. The comprehensive reference database will contain information on properties which owners have availed loans; summaries of those loans, including the open and close dates; and comprehensive mortgage information on those properties.    
 
SBI Mutual Fund launches SBI Debt Fund Series-370 Days-6

SBI Mutual Fund has launched SBI Debt Fund Series-370 Days-6, a close-ended debt scheme. The new fund offer (NFO) price for the scheme is Rs10 per unit. The scheme opened on 26 August 2010 and will close on 16 September 2010. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. The investment objective of the scheme is to provide regular income, liquidity and returns to the investors by making investments in debt instruments maturing on or before the maturity of the scheme. The exit load for the scheme is nil. The scheme offers two options-growth and dividend (payout). The minimum target amount for the scheme is Rs1 crore.

HDFC Mutual Fund launches HDFC FMP 25M September 2010

HDFC Mutual Fund has launched HDFC FMP 25M September 2010, a close-ended debt scheme. The new fund offer (NFO) price for the scheme is Rs10 per unit. The scheme opened on 01 September 2010 and will close on 13 September 2010. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. The investment objective of the plans under the scheme is to generate income by making investments in debt/money market instruments and government securities maturing on or before the maturity date of the respective plans. The benchmark index for the scheme is CRISIL Short Term Bond Fund Index.

Kotak Mahindra MF launches Kotak FMP 370 Days Series 7

Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund has launched Kotak FMP 370 Days Series 7, a close ended-debt scheme. The new fund offer (NFO) price for the scheme is Rs10 per unit. The scheme opened on 01 September 2010 and will close on 06 September 2010. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. The scheme has two options- growth and dividend (payout). The investment objective of the scheme is to generate returns by making investments in debt and money market instruments with a view to significantly reduce the interest rate risk. The benchmark index for the scheme is CRISIL Composite Bond Fund Index.

DSP BlackRock MF launches DSP BlackRock FMP-12M-Series 7

DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund launches DSP BlackRock FMP-12M-Series 7, a close-ended debt scheme. The new fund offer (NFO) price for the scheme is Rs10 per unit. The scheme opened on 01 September 2010 and will close on 08 September 2010. The minimum investment amount is Rs10,000. The scheme has two options- growth and dividend (payout). The investment objective of the schemes is to seek capital appreciation by investing in debt and money market securities. It is envisaged that the scheme will invest only in such securities which mature on or before the date of maturity of the schemes. The schemes may also use fixed income derivatives for hedging and portfolio balancing. The term of the scheme is 12 months from the date of allotment. The exit load for the scheme will be nil.

DCB hikes lending rate by 50 bps to 15.50%

Development Credit Bank (DCB) has revised the benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) to 15.50% for all eligible advances linked to BPLR. The bank has increased the BPLR by 50 basis points (bps) i.e. from 15.00% per annum to 15.50% per annum with effect from 01 September 2010.
 

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SBI's Israeli branch breaks even in 2nd year

Tel Aviv: State Bank of India's (SBI) branch here has broken even in just second year of its operations, defying speculations by some analysts who saw it as an unwise move to open a branch at a time when other foreign banks were shutting down their offices in the country reports PTI.

SBI became the first bank to open a branch in the Israeli diamond exchange in June 2007 to encash on the burgeoning Indo-Israel trade.

Sources at the Bank of Israel confirmed SBI's remarkable progress, and also executives of other Israeli companies working with the Indian bank.

"After fulfilling all obligations and paying desirable taxes to the authorities concerned, the Indian bank still seems to have made an incredible progress by registering some profits during its early years of operations.

"It has set an example for other foreign banks to follow," a senior executive of a leading Israeli company doing business with India said.

Outgoing CEO of SBI, V Sashikala, speaking to PTI did not comment on this but said that "the bank has managed to successfully prepare its client base across various sectors and as per its strategy made sure that there is no overwhelming reliance on one particular sector".

Indo-Israel trade has been diversifying over the years and even though trade in diamonds still constitute some 50% of the bilateral trade, other sectors have picked up in a big way. The bilateral trade figures between the two countries continue to increase, registering $4 billion in 2008 and is projected to reach $5 billion this year.

"None of the sectors can claim a share of more than 20% in our portfolio", Ms Sashikala said.

Given that the significant portion of bilateral trade between the two countries was in diamonds, SBI's chairman, O P Bhatt, during the inauguration ceremony had said that the bank had operations in all the major diamond trading centres of the world and Tel Aviv completed the loop.

With India and Israel discussing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), bilateral trade is likely to get a new push which will enhance the scope for the Indian bank's presence in the Jewish state.
 

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