Money & Banking
India's largest NBFC gets RBI nod to set up universal bank
India's largest microfinance company Bandhan Financial Services Ltd. (BFSL) on Wednesday received the final nod from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a universal bank.
 
BFSL, presently a non-banking financial company (NBFC), is scheduled to kick-start its banking operations on August 23 this year in Kolkata.
 
"Our plan is to open around 500-600 branches across India with a special focus on the east and north-eastern parts of the country. We will be a bank for all, but our primary objective will be to serve the unbanked," the company's director Chandra Shekhar Ghosh said.
 
It has recently completed raising Rs.1,020 crore equity from the International Finance Corporation, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC and the state-run Small Industries Development Bank of India, after which its net worth has gone up to Rs.2,700 crore.
 
The RBI had stipulated a minimum capital base of Rs.500 crore for new banks.
 
Its loan book stands at Rs.10,000 crore.
 
BFSL has appointed 850 experienced banking professionals at senior and middle-level positions to run its operations in addition to the 17,000 employees that the microfinance entity already has.
 
"The bank will specially cater to the need of micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) and small and medium enterprise (SME) units. We have adequate capital and solid risk management system in place and we will serve everyone with utmost honesty and the highest ethics," he said.
 
After receiving the in-principle license from the country's apex bank in April last year, the company had been working towards transforming itself into a bank -- a task for which it appointed five specialised agencies.
 
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt. Ltd. was selected as the consultant for the banking project while FIS was selected as the information technology partner. 
 
Aon Hewitt was assigned to design the human resources and compensation policy for employees, Madison Media handled the advertising needs and Ogilvy & Mather was appointed to handle the brand-building exercise.
 
BFSL made a humble beginning in 2001 with the idea of "making a significant contribution towards poverty alleviation by empowering women".
 
It is presently registered as a non-banking finance company with RBI and has operations in 22 states with a network of 2,022 branches.

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COMMENTS

R Balakrishnan

2 years ago

A micro finance co will suddenly find itself in an ugly world to collect deposits to run its show. And deal with sophisticated borrowers who are NPAs in disguise. Wonder what prompted a successful microfinance co to get in here? Let us hope that the promoter's spirit and character builds this in to a good bank, with lending being the last priority. Keeping all the deposits in G-Secs itself will give a good spread. No need for fancy loans etc.

Correa's work: Inspiration in brick and mortar
Correa's demise has left a void that will be impossible to fill feel many renowned architects
 
In an otherwise crowded world of architects, two names that immediately stand out are Le Corbusier and Charles Correa.
 
Corbusier's legacy was an entire city - Chandigarh. Correa, who passed away in Mumbai on Tuesday evening aged 84, had that and more.
 
Correa's demise has left a void that will be impossible to fill feel many renowned architects.
 
"With his designs and creations, Correa was catapulted to heights of fame and glory... He was the face of modern Indian architecture in the world and truly represented the country," well-known architect Hafeez Contractor told IANS.
 
Terming his death as "a major blow" to Indian architecture and the community of architects and urban planners, Contractor told IANS: "Entire generations have learnt or have been inspired by him. The void would be impossible to fill."
 
Correa designed many landmarks like Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya, Ahmedabad, the Handloom Pavilion in Delhi, Bharat Bhavan and Vidhan Bhavan in Madhya Pradesh, Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur, the Permanent Mission of India at the UN in New York, the Kala Academy in Goa and what was origianlly the state-run Kovalam Beach resort in Kerala, among many more.
 
He was the chief architect of Navi Mumbai, the satellite suburb of Indian's financial capital and went on to set up the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) in 1984, dedicated to protecting the environment and improving urban communities.
 
The Padma Shri (1972) and Padma Vibhushan (2006) award winner taught at several universities in India and abroad and it was his lectures at the School of Urban Planning and Architecture that greatly inspired one of his students, K.T. Ravindran, an urban designer and former chairman of the Delhi Urban Arts Commission.
 
"My association with him goes back to the 1970s when I met him as a student. I attended his lectures at the School of Planning and Architecture a number of times," Ravindran told IANS.
 
Correa was particularly known for his 'contextual designs' which complimented the local climates and building styles.
 
The Jeevan Bharti building in Delhi's Connaught Place was his creation and a futuristic design for its time that left many in awe.
 
"His designs were keenly contextual depending upon the project his approach to a design would vary. He was the most important and consequential architect India has produced in this century," said Ravindran, adding that the District Centre in Salt Lake City in Kolkata was his best design in India.
 
However, a visit to Berlin to judge a competition along with Correa left a lasting impression on Ravindran.
 
"I got an opportunity to travel with him to Berlin to be a part of the jury of an architectural competition and it was an eye-opening experience for me because the man was so well informed and such a witty conversationalist. The whole group of ambassadors were eating out of his hands," Ravindran said.
 
Eminent urban planner Ravi Kadam described Correa as an architect with a vision that could "blend history with futuristic aspirations for the present generation".
 
"Correa was a bigger legend than some of his legendary creations over the years," Kadam told IANS.
 
His works in Kerala - the 183-room Leela Kovalam, a five-star hotel that's perched on a peak overlooking the sea, and the Parumala Church located near Thiruvalla about 120 km from the Capital will remain immortal, feel many.
 
The church, seating more than 2,000 worshippers reflects the history, tradition and culture of a conventional Indian church while the iconic hotel, built originally for the India Tourism Development Corporation during 1969-74 is an architectural marvel till date.

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Nifty, Sensex still on an uptrend; Bank Nifty is weak - Wednesday closing report
A close below 8,050 will mean a small downside for Nifty
 
We had mentioned in Tuesday's report that the NSE’s CNX Nifty may move further higher however for this, the 50-stock index has to stay above 8,020. The benchmark opened Wednesday higher however it started moving lower. After reaching ear previous day's close, Nifty started moving in a range. After 1.21pm, the 50-stock benchmark gained momentum and moved up to hit a four day (including today) high. After hitting the day's high, Nifty made a quick plunge and closed near to the dip it made.
 
 
India Vix value for the day was 16.73, down 2.56%. NSE turnover was at 72.97 crore.
 
Greece’s central bank warned Wednesday that failure to clinch a deal with international creditors on its future funding needs could lead the country into an “uncontrollable crisis,” describing the issue as being of historical significance for the nation. The Bank of Greece’s report amounts to an appeal to Greece’s government and its international creditors to overcome the differences between them, which the bank suggests are not unbridgeable in terms of the fiscal numbers. But the conflict between Greece’s government and its lenders has become politically charged, with both sides deeply mistrustful of the other and neither willing to give ground.
 
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals shares surged over 5.09% to close at Rs971.10 on Wednesday on hopes of revival in the US business. According to market analysts, recovery in the company's business in the States is on the cards given it has received four approvals from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the past month for its Rufinamide, Desmopressin, Calcipotriene and Levonorgestrel drugs. 
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will hold meetings with foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and select top chief executives of American financial companies during his nine-day visit to the US.  On Tuesday, Jaitley left for a nine-day visit to the US, the Finance Ministry said in a statement. After reaching New York on Wednesday, he will hold luncheon meeting with executives of top US companies. Jaitley will also address portfolio managers from FIIs as well as executives of US companies operational in India, comprising banks, insurance and pension funds, the statement said. "He will hold meetings (on June 18) with USIBC and FICCI executives and would discuss about reform measures put in place by the Government of India to make India a top investment destination," said the statement.
 
Nestle India said it's investigating the complaint of live beetles reportedly found in a baby milk food supplement produced by it and is fully cooperating with the authorities on the matter. "We are aware that a consumer in Coimbatore has reported insects in a pack of our Cerelac Stage 3, infant cereal. The quality and safety of our products are non-negotiable priorities for our company and we always take such reports seriously," a Nestle India spokesperson was quoted as saying in media reports. Nestle's popular Maggi noodle has been banned by food safety regulator FSSAI due to presence of lead and taste enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) beyond permissible limits. 
 
Among BSE Sensex top gainers, Cipla was up 3.85% to close at Rs612.95. Vedanta was the top loser, which was down 3.14% to close at Rs173. Among BSE 100 top gainers, Glenmark was up 5.09% to close at Rs971.10. Vedanta was the top loser, which was down 3.14% to close at Rs173. Among Nifty stocks, the top gainer was CIPLA, which was up 4.11% to close at Rs612.90. Vedanta was the top loser, which was down 3.47% to close at Rs172.30.
 
Among US indices, NASDAQ 100 was up 0.52% to close at 4,455.90 and NASDAQ Composite was up 0.51% to close at 5,055.55.  
 
In Asia, Shanghai Composite was up 1.65% to close at 4,967.90 and Hang Seng was up 0.70% to close at 26,753.79. 
 
Among European indices, FTSE 100 was down 0.51% while Athex Composite Share Price Index was down 1.15%. US futures were flat.
 

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