The JV firm will provide end-to-end intellect core banking solution that would allow the banks to run a single application for its different functions, thereby facilitating easy operations to its customers
IT firm Polaris Software has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with two Bangladesh-based banks to form a joint venture company, which will provide software solutions to both the financial institutions.
Polaris Software, Sonali Bank and Bangladesh Commerce Bank have signed a MoU to form a joint venture (JV) company-Sonali Polaris Financial Technology-in which the IT firm will hold a 51% stake, Polaris Software said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
The JV firm will provide end-to-end intellect core banking solution that would allow the banks to run a single application for its different functions, thereby facilitating easy operations to its customers.
"The Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector in Bangladesh is all set to undergo a major overhaul.
Through this JV, we will be able to offer quality service in the rapidly emerging financial marketplace," Bangladesh Commerce Bank managing director SA Choudhary said.
Sonali Bank is the largest state-owned commercial bank in Bangladesh with 1,188 branches and operations in UK, the US, Middle East and India, the filing added.
Bangladesh Commerce Bank is a commercial bank with private-partnership, it said.
Shares of Polaris Software settled at Rs173 apiece on the BSE, down 0.03% from its previous close.
Nifty may suddenly fall to 5,400, unless it closes above 5,620
The market opened flat this morning, tracking the Asian markets that were mixed in early trade. Debt problems across the world led investors to look out for other safe haven investment options.
The Nifty opened at 5,582, just one point up from its weekend close, and the Sensex at 18,592, plus 30 points. Quick selling in the opening minutes pushed the indices into the negative, but buying immediately afterwards pushed the Nifty to its intra-day high of 5,597 and the Sensex to 18,623.
Choppiness continued till noon, after which the market fell prey to sellers again. A lower opening on the key European exchanges added to the woes and pushed the indices further southwards.
The market touched the day’s low in the last hour, with the Nifty falling to 5,551 and the Sensex down to 18,470. However, a late recovery ensured a close above the intra-day low, but still down for the second day in a row. The Nifty settled at 5,567, down 14 points and the Sensex at 18,507, a loss of 55 points. If the Nifty goes below 5,500, it will quickly fall to 5,400.
The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was positive 906:797.
The broader indices outperformed the Sensex today as the BSE Mid-cap index gained 0.22% and the BSE Small-cap index rose 0.37%.
BSE Realty (up 0.89%), BSE Consumer Durables (up 0.70%) and BSE Metal (up 0.48%) were the noteworthy sectoral gainers today. On the other hand, BSE Auto (down 1.04%), BSE IT (down 0.81%) and BSE Healthcare (down 0.80%) were the top sectoral losers.
Hindalco Industries (up 3.09%), BHEL (up 2.70%), Tata Power (up 2.37%), HDFC Bank (up 1.06%) and HDFC (up 0.99%) were the major gainers on the Sensex. The losers on the index were led by TCS (down 1.97%), Tata Motors (down 1.94%), Cipla (down 1.90%), Mahindra & Mahindra (down 1.71%) and Reliance Communications (down 1.67%).
The top Nifty gainers were Hindalco (up 3.60%), BHEL (up 2.65%), Tata Power (up 2.54%), GAIL (up 1.98%) and IDFC (up 1.40%). The major losers on the index were Cipla (down 2.16%), M&M, RCom (down 2.14% each), NTPC (down 2.05%) and TCS (down 2.01%).
Markets in Asia, with the exception of the Jakarta Composite, settled in the red today. Export-oriented economies in the region were worried that the debt crisis on both sides of the Atlantic would impact growth.
The Shanghai Composite lost 0.12%, the Hang Seng declined 0.32%, the KLSE Composite tanked 0.93%, the Straits Times fell 0.17%, the Seoul Composite settled 0.69% lower and the Taiwan Weighted fell by 0.42%. Bucking the trend, the Jakarta Composite gained 0.24%. The Japanese market was closed for a local holiday.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs73.03 crore on Friday, whereas domestic institutional investors were net sellers of stocks worth Rs39.14 crore.
Infosys, the nation’s second largest software exporter, has evinced interest in opening an IT centre in Gujarat. “We are yet to get land. Once the Gujarat government takes a decision, and I am sure that they will, we would look at the possibility of starting a centre here,” Infosys chairman and chief mentor NR Narayan Murthy said today.
The Infosys mentor is slated to meet the Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and is likely to discuss the company’s plans to set up a centre in the state. The stock closed 0.69% lower at Rs2,712.50 on the NSE today.
Venky’s (India), engaged in the poultry business, plans to spend around Rs107 crore to expand and modernise capacities at its plants and open new retail outlets. The expansion-cum-modernisation plan includes addition of capacities in poultry and poultry products and animal health products business, modernisation in oilseeds segment and opening up of new retail outlets under the brand ‘Venky’s Xprs,’ the Pune-based company said no Monday. Venky’s (India) rose 0.73% to close at Rs615.35 per share on the NSE.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals today informed the stock exchanges that its subsidiary, Glenmark Generics, had received final approval from the US health regulator to market generic Nizatidine capsules in the American market. Nizatidine is used in the treatment of ulcers. The company will commence marketing immediately. The company’s stock fell 2.01% to Rs325 on the NSE today.
The war on terror has taught the US the important lesson that technology-based intelligence alone cannot prevent terrorist attacks, as many terrorists are increasingly relying on human couriers and face-to-face communication
Two dastardly events in the last decade, 9/11 and 26/11, affected two of the world's largest democracies and, perhaps, changed the manner in which these two glorious nations (famous for the freedoms enjoyed in day-to-day life) decided to tackle the 'intelligence' aspect with regard to new age 'terror'.
While the United States learned from 9/11 and quickly ramped up its human intelligence quotient without compromising on its technical surveillance capability, India perhaps paid greater importance to buying and deploying technical equipment such as CCTV cameras, online surveillance and the like. This, among other things, represents a key difference between the two countries in their ability to get better and perhaps more accurate intelligence with regard to terrorists and their activities. The results are there for the world to see: Post 9/11, there has been no attack on mainland United States and that is phenomenal by any standards. On the other hand, we have had several terror attacks in India post 26/11, including the triple bombings in Mumbai last week.
My heart reaches out to Mumbaikars-words can neither lessen their grief nor reduce their legitimate anger against our collective failure to tackle terror in Mumbai. What happened on 13/7 in Mumbai is outrageous and needs to be condemned unequivocally. But, we cannot stop with just condemning the dastardly act and praising the spirit of Mumbaikars to withstand such tragedies. We heard this after 11/7 when a series of seven bombs went off within 11 minutes on trains on the suburban Western Railway in Mumbai. We heard it again after 26/11, and we are hearing it yet again. I am indeed tired of hearing this-sounds like a broken record-over and over again. As a participant on NDTV's 'We the People' programme said on 17th July (2011): "Hopefully, we are not praising Mumbaikars and their ability to take such events in their stride, to do nothing on the ground!" Make no mistake; words of sympathy alone will not help. It needs to be backed by solid action on the ground, so that Mumbai and all its inhabitants are safe and secure, in the future. That should become our topmost priority.
Words apart, we urgently need to do two things: (1) Get hold of the terrorists responsible for such heinous crimes and punish them quickly and in a manner that will serve as a deterrent for all of them in future; and (2) more importantly, analyse how and why countries like the US, with a much bigger land mass and longer coastline to protect, have been able to prevent terrorist attacks on their homeland after 9/11? As the investigation is underway and hopefully, the culprits will be found and brought to justice, I direct my attention to the latter aspect which is indeed very crucial if we, as a nation, are serious about tackling terror, both in Mumbai and the country.
In my opinion, the US has been able to foil repeated threats to its homeland primarily because, ceteris paribus, it has been able to gain access to superior information, as economists would call it. Yes, inside information, that is most critical for preventing dastardly terrorist attacks like those that have happened in Mumbai repeatedly. Yet, this is one lesson that we have perhaps not learned even after the horrific Mumbai 26/11 attacks. Had we done so, I am certain that several lives could have been saved in various parts of India. In fact, I would put this down as the critical factor that has helped prevent a terrorist attack in mainland US, post 9/11. (Ceteris paribus is a Latin phrase, which literally translated is 'with other things being the same'.)
Interestingly, the United States of America has always been a country that has prided itself about the use of technology for various things, including securing the nation's borders. But 9/11 and the subsequent war on terror have taught them an important lesson- technology-based intelligence alone cannot prevent terrorist attacks as many terrorists appear to have understood the drawbacks in communicating through online and/or virtual means and are increasingly relying on human couriers and face-to-face communication.
In fact, recent terrorist attempts which were thwarted indicate that it is human intelligence rather than technology that helped foil the plots. "Take the case of the explosive ink cartridges, for instance, which flew from Yemen to Qatar and then on to the Emirates and Britain, on their way to their final US destination… The real lesson from this failed plot is not that terrorists are particularly inventive, but rather that the (global) intelligence network designed to combat them actually works. The deadly parcels were not intercepted during routine safety checks; rather, they were seized as a result of a precise tip-off from the security services of Saudi Arabia which has developed a sophisticated intelligence network that successfully penetrated the terrorist cells in Yemen, from where the attempt originated. Therefore, the major preventive as illustrated by this case is that the Saudis clearly possessed far better and superior information about the people in Yemen and had agents who could easily blend into the local milieu and landscape—advantages which no Western intelligence agency could ever hope to match."i
And, as has been argued, "All the plots against airlines or airports attempted in the last few years were either prevented, or failed. This also serves as a useful reminder that, despite all the electronic eavesdropping devices to intercept the 'chatter' of terrorists, which agencies love to use, there is no substitute for human intelligence, an old-fashioned and risky technique which remains capable of producing accurate information, in real time."ii
In fact, the idea of human intelligence dates back several hundred years. Two well known and brilliant military strategists from India and China (Kautilya and Sun Tzu), have argued so very strongly in favour of using human intelligence. Thus, it is about time that we take serious steps to ensure that our human intelligence networks are reactivated and especially, in the urban slums where it is almost impossible to keep track of any (suspicious) activity. To re-establish such networks, amongst other things, we would (necessarily) have to: (a) Radically reform the police-community relationship with emphasis on reducing the trust deficit that communities generally have with regard to the police. We would also have to build affinity between the police and the community through various activities; (b) Re-introduce the police beat system whereby a policeman visits a locality on a daily basis, befriends the community, serves them well and gathers intelligence inputs. In the good old days, this was an excellent source of authentic local information and I am not sure as to why this was discontinued; and (c) Organise citizens' groups in every locality so as to have a constant flow of reliable information from the grass roots to urban local bodies and municipalities, police stations and other infrastructure establishments. All other things including procurement of CCTV cameras and related technical equipment can go on, but let me re-assert the aspect that unless accurate and relevant human intelligence inputs are available, preventing terrorist attacks like 13/7 will remain an illusion rather than reality.
iSource: Quoted with adaptation from http://cjcpig.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/human-intelligence-the-key-to-fighting-terrorism/
ii Source: Quoted with adaptation from http://cjcpig.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/human-intelligence-the-key-to-fighting-terrorism/