Ogone Payment Services signs deal to acquire EBS

EBS will continue to operate under its current management structure and will be responsible for running the operations and the continued expansion of the company

EBS (E-Billing Solutions), the second largest on-line payment provider in India, has announced that Ogone Payment Services, one of Europe's leading payment service providers, has signed a binding agreement to acquire the company. This acquisition marks Ogone's first foray outside of the European market and into the rapidly expanding Indian on-line payments market.

However, EBS will continue to operate under its current management structure and market approach and will be responsible for running the operations and the continued expansion of the company. EBS will also retain its name and brand in the Indian market. The EBS board is supported by 3 members of the Ogone Payment Services Board.

Nishanth Chandran, Co-Founder & CEO of EBS, said: "This deal represents a huge opportunity for us to lead the market in India and Ogone Payment Services are the right partner to enable us to get to the number one position in India."

Mr Peter De Caluwe, CEO of Ogone Payment Services, said: "Only 8.4% of the Indian market is currently online but this translates to 100 million users, which makes it the fourth largest online country in the world and this is set to grow rapidly with online travel accounting for 80% of the commerce in India. Acquiring a leading company such as EBS represents a huge potential for us and our European merchants."

EBS were advised by growth partnership firm IndigoEdge. Ogone, meanwhile, were advised on the deal by Brian, Garnier & Co, an independent pan-European investment bank focused on growth companies.   


Commodities crash in global markets today, copper down 7% and silver falls highest in 27 years

Slowing growth first in the West and then in China and the rising greenback have led to massive unwinding by speculators in commodities on Friday

Is the great commodity story that was going along smoothly finally petering out? If you go by today's developments, it really seems so. Copper was down by more than 7% and silver was down by 9%. Among the other commodities that were sharply down today were nickel, lead and zinc.

However, the fall in crude oil prices was muted and gold showed even more resilience. The yellow metal was down only by about 2%.

After a dream run, what caused the commodity crash? What are the global implications due to this trend-breaker?

Thanks to the moves announced by the Federal Reserve, the dollar is again looking more like a safe haven—the greenback is rising sharply again—and this commodity crash is only due to speculative unwinding. Speculators were neck-deep in copper and silver.   

Despite being called the 'poor cousin' of gold, silver has been one of the sharpest movers over past year, thanks to the skyrocketing prices of the yellow metal.

Silver rose from just under Rs30,000/kg in August 2010—all the way to Rs73,000/kg by April 2011.

A big crash followed in May, when the metal fell by as much as 30%. But in the first place, there was no justifiable reason for silver to shoot up the amount that it actually did—this was one rally purely fuelled by speculation.

Analysts are not sure if the Fed will inject more dollars into the system. Now where can silver go from here? If the dollar keeps going up and if Ben Bernanke does not come up with another liquidity-injection scheme, the metal will lose strength.  

On top of these events, the CME Group also hiked its margin requirements on gold, silver and copper futures on Friday. The CME is attempting to curtail speculation in these commodities—gold margins will be raised by 21%, silver margins by 16%, and copper margins by 18%. These changes will come into effect at the close of trading on Monday (26th September), CME said after close of trade on Friday.

Copper, called a metal with PhD in economics, because higher demand directly translates into robust economic activity, was going along at a rapid pace—despite the overall slowdown—because it was assumed that the Chinese economy would not slow down. Chinese warehouses are overflowing with copper.

So the market went along with the assumption that China would just gobble up more copper every time the metal weakened.

China's economic growth has fallen. This was a signal to speculators that copper demand would fall, since the last source of big demand is now questionable.

And the metal with the PhD is now sending out a clear warning—a soft patch for the global economy and a further (possible) fall in markets.


SBI, Dena Bank cut rates on home loans by 25bps

Dena Bank has also cut car loan rates by 25bps

State Bank of India (SBI) and Dena Bank have cut interest rates on home loans by 25 basis points (bps) for the upcoming festival season. Dena Bank has also cut car loan rates by 25bps. Dena Bank has also reduced the processing fees for home and auto loans by half for the festival season. The benefits will be effective from 1st October.

The SBI special home loan campaign is on up to 31 December 2011. Under the scheme, a borrower will now be charged an interest of 10.5% against the earlier 10.75% on loans up to Rs30 lakh. Similarly, a loan above Rs30 lakh, but up to Rs75 lakh, will attract an interest of 10.75%, as per the new scheme.


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