On Tuesday, SBI hinted that lending rates may rise from the second quarter of fiscal 2010-11, even though there is no immediate pressure on interest rates
The country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) on Tuesday hinted that lending rates may rise from the second quarter of fiscal 2010-11, even though there is no immediate pressure on interest rates, reports PTI.
"So far as bank lending rates are concerned, I do not expect lending rates going up before May-June," SBI chairman OP Bhatt told reporters in New Delhi.
He said that money supply is under pressure, but interest rates will remain stable in the immediate future. “There is pressure on liquidity, but no immediate pressure on interest rates," Mr Bhatt said.
In its monetary review recently, the RBI asked banks to keep more cash with it, which will shrink money supply by Rs36,000 crore from the system.
The apex bank's move to hike Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), the portion of deposits banks keep in cash with the central bank, by 75 basis points to 5.75% will come into effect from 13th February in two tranches.
Earlier, the largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank chief executive officer and managing director Chanda Kochhar had also said that there would be upward pressure on interest rates from the second quarter of this fiscal, because demand for investment would increase.
Mr Bhatt added that its associate bank SBI Indore will be merged into it by March-end. The government and the SBI Board have already given in-principle approval to the merger. SBI Saurashtra has already been merged into the parent company.
Mr Bhatt also said that the SBI sees loan expansion at the rate of 16%-18% this fiscal. "We are already at 17%," he said.
The RBI has also projected credit expansion target at 16%-18% for this fiscal.
Helped by easy availability of retail finance and soft interest rates, India's auto sales during January rose about 45% to 11.14 lakh units
The Indian auto industry on Tuesday reported the highest-ever sales in a single month at over 11 lakh units in January, boosted by easy availability of retail finance and soft interest rates, reports PTI.
According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the total sales in the domestic market stood at 11,14,157 units, against 7,68,698 units in the year-ago period, a jump of 44.9%.
"These are the highest-ever sales (recorded) by the auto industry. Economic growth, reduced interest rates and better money supply have helped the industry in posting such growth," SIAM director general Dilip Chenoy told reporters in New Delhi.
He said the high growth in terms of percentage in January was also contributed by last year's low base. "Reduced commodity prices compared to last year also helped."
The earlier record for highest sales by the industry was in October 2006, at 10,17,198 units.
The domestic passenger car segment also posted its highest-ever sales at 1,45,905 units, against 1,10,300 units, up 32.3%, in the corresponding month last year. It was the 10th straight month of growth for this segment.
Car manufacturers had earlier touched a sales peak of 1,29,358 units in March 2009, Mr Chenoy said.
During the month, major manufacturers including Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor, General Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra reported their individual record-breaking sales.
Asked about prospects for February, he said, "It will depend on multiple factors like pent-up demand and price rise. We will still have good growth in the month."
According to SIAM figures, motorcycle sales rose 43.7% to 6,50,633 units in the past month from 4,52,809 units in January 2009.
Carrying forward the upward march that began in July 2009, sales of commercial vehicles in the country soared over two-fold to 53,447 units, against 23,154 units in the same month in 2009.
In the domestic passenger car segment, sales of market leader Maruti Suzuki increased 18.6% to 70,029 units in January from 59,060 units in the year-ago period.
The country's second-largest carmaker, Hyundai Motor India, also registered 40.9% growth at 29,601 units compared to 21,015 units in January 2009, SIAM said. Tata Motors' sales rose to 22,707 units from 15,406 units in January 2009, up 47.4%.
In the motorcycle segment, market leader Hero Honda's sales moved up 24% to 3,66,050 units in January 2010 compared to 2,95,241 units in the year-ago month. Its rival Bajaj Auto's sales soared nearly three-fold to 1,79,212 units, against 66,207 units.
Chennai-based TVS Motor Company also posted 31% growth at 39,654 units from 30,271 units in the same month a year ago. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India saw its bike sales rise 9.5% to 40,174 units from 36,677 units.
SIAM said that total two-wheeler sales in January 2010 surged by 43.4% to 8,34,383 units from 5,81,729 units in the corresponding month in 2009.
Another public awareness campaign that seems to have completely lost the plot
A couple of columns back, I had indicated how USP-deprived brands are jumping on to the social service bandwagon. Now, every bleeding heart marketer wants to save the world. IDEA has a long list of social evils up its sleeve. The Times Group wants to sort out Indo-Pak relations through song, shairi and dance. Parle Hippo munchies wants to solve the world hunger crisis. And even before I could start distributing Hippos to the malnourished, in comes Aircel with its ‘Save the Tiger’ campaign.
Aircel, in cahoots with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India, has launched a campaign to highlight the dwindling numbers of tigers in our forests. Apart from the mass media, they have created noise on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, a website has been launched too: saveourtigers.com.
The TV campaign consists of four commercials. One features a lost and lonely little tiger cub. Its mom has gone missing, you see (read: driven out of the forest because of the mad urban encroachment). The rest of the commercials are loaded with celebrities (the ad world can’t do without them!): Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Baichung Bhutia and southern star, Suriya. Each of whom makes an emotional appeal to save the tiger from extinction.
All very fine and dandy, but there’s a huge, huge problem with the concept (the same as IDEA’s ‘Save the trees’). What exactly are we, the aam aadmis, supposed to do to save the animal? For that, Aircel conveniently gives out no answers. Because there can’t be any. We already KNOW the tiger is under threat, the junta is pretty aware of that. What needs to be done is to put some serious pressure on the state governments and the forest departments to make sure poaching and encroachments into forest areas is stopped. And if Aircel had the right intentions, that’s what it would have done. Instead of releasing silly campaigns in the mass media, with no action plan spelt out for the viewers. In other words, another fake public service (or should it be animal service?) campaign created to build the marketers’ own brand, and not much else. What a bloody joke! Tomorrow, another chap will release a ‘public service campaign’ to create awareness on potholes on our city roads! The whole thing is turning into a big tamasha.
By the way, I really do think Shri Bal Thackeray must forget Shah Rukh Khan and hijack this campaign immediately. His party is facing near-extinction, and there’s an action plan possible too: vote for Shiv Sena in the next elections and save Tiger Thackeray from extinction. Now, this makes sense!