Consumer Issues
NPCI to tie up with Airtel Money soon

Airtel Money customers can only transact between themselves but are not able to send or receive money from a bank account, which will be possible once the tie-up with NPCI is done

Mumbai: National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has said it will soon forge a tie-up with mobile wallet provider in Airtel Money, launched by the country's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel, reports PTI.


Through the tie-up, which is expected to be sealed within two months, Airtel Money users can get integrated with the mainframe banking system, AP Hota, managing director and chief executive of NPCI said.


Till now, the non-banking mobile wallet companies have not come on the interbank mobile payment services (IMPS) platform even though the sector regulator RBI has given its nod.


"Airtel Money customers can only transact between themselves but are not able to send or receive money from a bank account, which will be possible once the tie-up is done," Hota said.


He said NPCI is already working with Airtel to make the necessary arrangements at the back-end systems and a formal launch will take a maximum of up to two months.


The IMPS already has 50 banks as members and also launched its merchant payment service today.


With the person-to-person money transfer service being the sole service till now, the IMPS witnessed 2.20 lakh transactions in August, Hota said.


The platform, which has the active support of various banks as well as the regulator, is targeting to take the monthly transactions to 10 lakh by March, Hota said.


Member banks have generated 39 million MMIDs or mobile user identifications among their account-holders and the number of transactions will grow rapidly once users get educated, Hota said.


For the merchants payment vertical, the IMPS has already tied up with a slew of merchants like IRCTC, LIC etc and will be adding more now on as the public launch is through, Hota said.


He also announced that the IMPS last week got life insurance giant LIC on board and added that the state-run insurer is looking at the platform to collect micro-insurance premiums.


SAT upholds unfair dealing charges against broker, halves fine

SEBI in its order had slapped a fine to the tune of Rs4 lakh on Jani for circular trading in the scrip of Flawless Diamond during June 2006 to February 2007

Mumbai: The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has upheld charges of fraudulent and unfair stock market dealings against broker, Jagdish R Jani, but lowered the penalty imposed by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to Rs2 lakh, reports PTI.


The SAT reduced the monetary penalty from Rs4 lakh to Rs2 lakh saying Jani's involvement during the investigation period between June 2006 and February 2007 did not lead to an "abnormally high" price in the scrip of Flawless Diamond (India) Ltd (FDIL).


"Taking into account the facts of the case and having regard to the role of the appellant (Jani) in the overall scheme of manipulation. We hold that a penalty of Rs2 lakh would meet the ends of justice. Accordingly, the penalty is reduced to Rs2 lakh and the appeal partly allowed," the Tribunal said.


The Tribunal further said, "…Appellant’s (Jani) contribution to the price rise was confined to only a portion of the investigation period and the price rise during that period was not abnormally high."


Market regulator SEBI in its order had slapped a fine to the tune of Rs4 lakh on Jani for circular trading in the scrip of Flawless Diamond (India) Ltd during the investigation period.


SEBI had found that Jani "created false and misleading appearance of trading by indulging in collusive activities with a few entities that traded in the scrip along with the appellant (him). During the investigation period, the price of the scrip registered an increase from Rs13.55 to Rs129.80."


While imposing a penalty for violation of regulations regarding fraudulent and unfair stock practices, SAT said it is necessary to take into account the volume of trades, period of trades and the extent of the violators' participation in the manipulation.


The SAT said the appellant had traded in 2.02 lakh shares translating to 3.52% of the total market volume during the investigation period and the circular transactions amounted to 1.51 lakh scrips.


India Inc mops up Rs64,250 crore in private debt in Q1, up 29%

According to a report by Prime Database, during the first quarter about 86 institutions and corporates raised funding of Rs64250 crore from private placement market

Mumbai: As bank credit remained costly given the high interest rate, corporates turned to private placement market to mobilise funds which jumped 29% in the first quarter to Rs64,250 crore, while bank credit grew just about 20% to the industry as a whole, driven largely by the oil sector, reports PTI.


"The fund-raising in the April-June period touched Rs64,250 crore, an increase of 29% or Rs49,859 crore mobilised in the same period previous year," says a report by Prime Database.


This amount was mobilised by 86 institutions and corporates, according to a report by Prime Database which claims to operate the only database on debt private placements in the country, according to the agency chairman and managing director Prithvi Haldea.


The highest mobilisation was by PFC (Rs8,398 crore), followed by HDFC (Rs4,790 crore), Hindalco (Rs4,500 crore) and Nabard (Rs4,379 crore), he said adding his agency tracks only those deals, which have a tenor and put/call option of over a year.


According to the data released by Prime Database, on an industry-wise basis, the financial services sector continued to dominate the private debt market, collectively raising Rs41,816 crore or 65% of the total amount, followed by the power sector with a 9% share at Rs5,474 crore.


Against this, according to banks, during the period, non-food credit grew a poor 19.5%, down from 23.8% a year ago. Had it not been for a good 400 basis points increase farm credit, to 16.8% from 12.8% a year go, growth would have even lower.


During Q1, the bank credit to the oil sector nearly doubled to 25.2%, up from 14.2%, taking the overall credit flow to the industrial sector up by 20.3%, show banking data.


As per the Prime report, the biggest mop-up was again carried out by financial institutions/banks which together raised Rs32,980 crore, a tad over 50% of the entire mop-up. But this was down from the comparable period last year when it stood at Rs35,299 crore, representing a decline of 7%, says Haldea.


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