India tops consumer confidence in Asia: Survey

At 81.2 India was the most optimistic nation in Asia in consumer confidence, the survey said

Dubai: India has been ranked as the most optimistic nation in Asia in a global consumer confidence survey, reports PTI.

At 81.2, in an index which is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic 100 as the most optimistic, India was the leader of the pack in Asia, said MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence.

The index is based on a survey which measures consumer confidence on prevailing expectations in the market over the next six months, based on indicators such a economic growth, employment, stock market, regular income and quality of life.

It involved 12,915 respondents in 25 countries and recorded a three-point rise in Middle East consumer confidence from the previous six month period, bringing the index to (85.7), significantly higher than Africa (73.8) and Asia Pacific (52.1).

Nigeria (96.4) retained the top spot in Africa, followed by Morocco (87.2), and said the survey carried out between December 5, 2011 and February 8, 2012.

In the Middle East, Qatar and Oman topped the index with a remarkable score (93.6); followed closely by Egypt (88.3), Kuwait (88.3), Saudi Arabia (83.9) and the UAE (82.1).

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Punjab National Bank cuts interest rate by 0.25%

The lender cut its base rate for loans by 0.25% to 10.5% that would make home, auto and corporate loans slightly cheaper. It also reduced interest rate on term deposits of less than Rs1 crore by 0.25%-0.50%

New Delhi: India's second largest public sector lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) announced cut in lending rate by 0.25%, a move that will make housing and corporate loans cheaper, reports PTI.

Besides, PNB has also decided to slash interest rate on term deposits of less than Rs1 crore by 0.25%-0.50% in select buckets.

“The bank has decided to decrease the base rate by 25 basis points from 10.75% to 10.50%,” Punjab National Bank said in a statement. The base rate is the minimum interest rate below which banks can't lend.

With the reduction in rates, likely to be followed by other lenders, housing and corporate loans would become cheaper by at least 0.25%.

The new rates will be from 1 May 2012, the bank said.

The decision comes barely two days after the RBI reduced the short-term lending (repo) rate by 0.5% to 8% in its monetary policy on 17 April 2012.

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