Regulation: SMS-Based Investment Scams

Concerned over a spurt in investment scams perpetrated through SMSs, WhatsApp and the social media, SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has beefed up its surveillance of such platforms and is seeking greater cooperation from mobile and Internet service-providers (ISPs), as well as banks, to nail the culprits. Market trading activities have seen a major spurt in recent months; but this positive environment is also leading to many fundamentally weak stocks generating interest. The modus operandi revealed by this enhanced vigil, typically, includes tax evasion through bogus gains or losses through stock market platform; trading on the basis of unpublished price sensitive information; and certain Indian and overseas entities engaging in fraudulent activities of manipulating GDR (global depository receipt) route.

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Real Estate: Government To Launch Its Own Realty Portal
The government is set to launch a realty portal of its own, initially with about 50,000 residential properties that you can bid for online. These are properties that debt recovery tribunals (DRTs) have allowed banks to sell through auction, after their owners defaulted on loan repayment. The government portal, which is yet to go live, will provide details such as the floor area of the properties and allow anyone to bid directly after electronically making the earnest money deposit.
 
The new portal will remove banks from the auction process, although the sale proceeds will flow into their accounts for loan recovery. To participate in the auction, a person will have to first register on the portal by submitting the KYC (know your customer) information, which includes permanent account number (PAN) and Aadhaar number.

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Banking: SBI Cuts Lending Rate by 0.4%
State Bank of India (SBI) slashed minimum lending, or base, rate by 0.4% to 9.3%, from 5th October, setting the trend of a benign interest rate regime. With the base rate reduction, all loans, including home, auto and corporate, would become cheaper by at least 0.40%. Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairman SBI said: “RBI (Reserve Bank of India) has cut interest rate by 0.50%, we have reduced it by 0.40%.” The Bank will also be cutting fixed deposit rates by 0.25% across various maturities from 5th October, she added.RBI cut the repo rate to 6.75%.

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