Regulations
Nachiket Mor to head RBI's 13-member panel on financial inclusion

The Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low-Income Households has been tasked to develop a monitoring framework to track progress of financial inclusion across the country

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday announced a 13-member Committee, including Vikram Pandit, former chief executive of Citibank and Axis Bank chief Shikha Sharma, to frame a 'clear and detailed' vision for financial inclusion across the country. The Committee is headed by Nachiket Mor, member on the RBI’s Central Board of Directors.

 

The ‘Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low-Income Households’ has been tasked to develop a comprehensive monitoring framework to track the progress of financial inclusion and deepening efforts on a nationwide basis, the central bank said.

 

The Committee would review existing strategies and develop new ones that address specific barriers to progress and encourage participants to work swiftly towards achieving full inclusion and financial deepening, consistent with the design principles, RBI said.

 

The committee members are: Bindu Ananth (President, IFMR Trust); Prakash Bakshi (Chairman, NABARD); Bharat Doshi (Chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services); AP Hota (Managing Director and CEO, National Payments Corporation of India); Sunil Kaushal (CEO, Standard Chartered Bank India); Roopa Kudva (MD and CEO, CRISIL); Zia Mody (Managing Partner, AZB & Partners); S. S. Mundra (CMD, Bank of Baroda); Vikram Pandit (former CEO, Citigroup); Ramesh Ramanathan (Chairman, Janalakshmi Financial Services) and Shikha Sharma (MD & CEO, Axis Bank). A Udgata, Principal Chief General Manager, RBI is the Member Secretary.

 

The central bank further said Karuppasamy and Deepali Pant Joshi, both Executive Directors, RBI will be the expert observers.

 

Secretarial support to the panel will be provided by the Rural Planning and Credit Department (RPCD) of the RBI.

 

The panel, which will submit its final report by 31st December 31, has also been given the task to lay down a set of design principles that will guide the development of institutional frameworks and regulation for achieving financial inclusion and financial deepening.

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Rural consumer offers some comfort

Rural growth is holding up better than urban growth, says Nomura

Analysts of Q1FY14 results across the consumer sector have reported that rural growth is holding up better than urban growth, says Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities (India) Private Limited in its research note. Nomura is positive on rural demand into the rest of FY14F. This could be one silver lining for demand into the rest of FY14F. Even before the impact of the monsoon has been taken into account, rural consumption is holding up better than urban consumption Hindustan Unilever, Dabur, and Asian Paints all stated at their most recent conference calls that rural growth has held up much better than urban growth. Nomura expects this channel to remain one of the pockets of relative strength from a demand perspective this year.

 

According to Nomura, the consumer sector outperformed the Sensex in CY11 and CY12 by 32% and 23%, respectively. Even on an YTD (year-to-date) basis, consumer has outperformed the Sensex by 11.4%. Individual stocks outperformed the consumer sector, with ITC +14%/45% in CY11/12. Although Hindustan Unilever underperformed the FMCG index in CY12, it outperformed the Sensex by +53% in CY11/12. The performance of the FMCG index vis-a-vis  the Sensex is given in the table below:
 


Nomura adds that the consumer sector equity performance is driven more expansion in price-earnings ratio than by tangible growth in earnings. Sector valuations are already at multi-year highs and are unlikely to go up further. Overall, Nomura expects the consumer sector to consolidate rather than have tremendous growth in the immediate future. ITC, Emami, Marico and Bata India are Nomura’s top picks for FY14F, concludes the research note on the equity market.

 

FMCG sector growth and GDP growth are expected to reflect one another and it is shown in the chart below:

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Hiring activities slowed in August amidst uncertainties

According to Monster.com report, recruitment activity in many sectors witnessed a decline during August compared with July as companies continued to exercise a cautious approach amid economic uncertainties

Hiring activities across many sectors, including financial services and real estate, turned sluggish in August as companies continued to exercise a cautious approach amid economic uncertainties, says a report.

 

Job portal Monster.com said recruitment activity in many sectors witnessed a decline during August compared with July.

 

The sluggish trend is reflected in the Monster Employment Index a monthly gauge of hiring activities online, which slipped to 122 last month compared to 123 in July. In June, the same was at 131.

 

According to Monster.com, sectors that saw relatively less hiring activities include banking, financial services, insurance, real estate and telecom/ISP.

 

On an annual basis, the index slumped about three per cent last month compared to the reading of 126 recorded in August 2012.

 

“The decline in annual growth is reflective of the uncertain economic/political scenario. The employers are adopting a cautious approach in hiring due to prevailing challenging economic conditions which is reflected in the index,” said Sanjay Modi, managing director of Monster.com for India, Middle East and South East Asia.

 

Meanwhile, online recruitment activities rose in eight of the 13 geographies covered by the index. The rise was seen in Chandigarh (16%) and Ahmedabad (14%), among others.

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