Companies & Sectors
India's ad spend growth highest in AsiaPac, touches $6.7 bn

New Delhi: Advertising spend in India in the 12- month period ended June this year stood at $6.7 billion (around Rs29,727 crore) across mainstream media, posting the highest annual growth rate of 28% in the Asia Pacific region, reports PTI quoting a survey.

The Nielsen Company's survey that covered a dozen countries in the region, estimated that ad spends across television, newspaper and magazine in India witnessed 32% growth in the second quarter (ended June) of this calendar with total ad spend of $1.92 billion (around Rs8,520 crore).

"...The largest proportion of India's media spend was garnered by newspapers, growing at 32% year-on-year (Y-O-Y)," the survey said. The newspaper segment grossed a total of $3.9 billion (around Rs17,300 crore) during the period.

Television followed newspapers in ad spend growth at 24% Y-O-Y in India and stood at $2.4 billion (around Rs10,648 crore). Magazines saw an 8% increase Y-O-Y at $393 million (about Rs1740 crore).

Over and above the mainstream media ad spend, other media such as radio, outdoor, pay TV, cinema combined showed a growth of 31% in the twelve months up to June 2010 in India totalling $1.2 billion (about Rs5,320 crore).

The top ten categories, including services, personal care and food & beverages represented 51% of all mainstream media ad spend in India.

Commenting on the advertising spend trend, The Nielsen Company president Piyush Mathur said: "The 'recessionary mindset' is fast becoming a thing of the past and marketers are using advertising strategies to reinvigorate brands by strengthening their visibility in mainstream media resulting in accelerated growth in media spends."

According to the survey, advertising spend was highest on television during the year across the region that includes China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and New Zealand besides India.

The second highest overall growth in ad spend across the region after India was seen in Indonesia at 24%, followed by Hong Kong at 18% during the 12-month period ended June.


RBI panel to examine recovery mechanism of MFIs

Mumbai: A Reserve Bank of India (RBI) appointed sub-committee will examine recovery the mechanism of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and their interest rate practices, amid criticism of these lenders charging exorbitant loans rates and using strong arm tactics for recovery, reports PTI.

 "To examine the prevalent practices of MFIs regarding interest rates, lending and recovery practices, to identify trends that impinge on borrowers' interest," RBI said in a notification.

 Earlier this month, RBI had appointed a sub-panel, under the chairmanship of YH Malegam to look into the functioning of MFIs. The committee will submit its report in three months.

 RBI will examine the conditions under which loans to MFIs could be classified as priority sector lending and give appropriate recommendations.

 Currently, MFIs charge up to 34% interest rate per year on loans.

 At present, RBI regulates only those MFIs which are registered with it as non-banking finance companies (NBFCs). Others are regulated by sectoral norms under which these MFIs fall.

 Although the companies registered with RBI cover over 80% of the microfinance business, in terms of numbers of MFI, they constitute only a small percentage.

 The finance ministry is preparing a bill on regulating MFIs and has finished consultations with stakeholders to table the bill in the winter session.

 But this has been delayed now, since the whole issue came under a lot of controversy after a number of suicide cases were reported in Andhra Pradesh, allegedly due to coercive methods adopted by these lenders to recover their money from poor borrowers.

 This prompted the state to promulgate an ordinance to rein in MFIs and the RBI to constitute a sub-committee to look into the functioning of these lenders.

 The RBI said that the sub-committee would "examine and make appropriate recommendations regarding the applicability of money lending legislation of the states and other laws to NBFCs/ MFIs."

 The sub-committee would also detail out "the objectives and scope of regulations of NBFCs undertaking microfinance by the RBI and the regulatory framework needed to achieve those objectives," RBI said.




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