Money & Banking
Slowing capex likely to impact loan growth for FY14F, says Nomura

Credit growth is likely to come down to 2.6% in 2013-14 compared to 10%-11% level seen over FY07-11

Based on recently released corporate capex data from RBI, trends continue to be weak for the Indian banking system, observes Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities (India) Private Limited. Based on its FY14F capex estimate, credit growth is likely to come down to 2.6% compared to 10%-11% level seen over FY07-11 (see figure below).



Nomura does not expect overall system credit growth to clock higher than 14.5% reported for FY13, although there could be some upside from stronger rural credit demand and some shift from corporate bonds to loans.  Even data from SBI's (State Bank of India) project finance SBU (strategic business unit) point to subdued quantum of sanctions and disbursals related to project finance (see table below).


According to Nomura, politically sensitive states like Odisha and Andhra Pradesh account for about 33% of all loans sanctioned in FY13 (compared to 11% in FY12) (see figure below).



Nomura analysts point out that the capex mix indicates increasing risk profile. The proportion of greenfield projects in annual sanction has risen to 84% for FY13 versus an average of 65% over FY07-11, while capex related to diversification/expansion of existing projects has dropped to Rs312 billion for FY13 from a peak of Rs1.4 trillion in FY10. This could lead to increase in project delays and related restructuring. Troubled sectors like power and metals continue to account for a large share of new project sanctions (68% of overall amount for FY13 compared to 59% for FY12). Please see the chart below on greenfield projects versus others on annual capex sanctions:



Finally, Nomura observes that the annual capex estimate for FY14F is down 42% y-y as per RBI data. For FY13, while overall project sanctions totalled Rs1.96 trillion (a marginal 2.5% y-y increase over the amount sanctioned in FY12), the estimated capital expenditure done per year has continued to fall. For FY13, the amount of aggregate capex (based on all previous sanctions) was down 28% y-y and for FY14F this amount is estimated to fall a further 42%, assuming nothing is added to the pipeline over the rest of this fiscal year.


SC asks EC to reject nomination papers for suppression of information

Voters have a fundamental right to know about their candidates and leaving columns blank in the nomination paper amounts to violation of their right, the apex court said

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the returning officer can reject nomination papers of a candidate for non-disclosure and suppression of information, including that of assets and their criminal background.


The apex court said voters have a fundamental right to know about their candidates and leaving columns blank in the nomination paper amounts to violation of their right.


A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said the power of the returning officer for rejecting nomination papers must be exercised.


The court passed the judgement on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in 2008 by Resurgence India, a civil rights group, which detected a trend among candidates of leaving blank the columns demanding critical information about them.


Earlier, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, had said leaving any column blank would mean non-compliance of an apex court judgement.


The Election Commission (EC) had supported the NGO’s plea that no column should be allowed to be left blank which tantamount to concealing information and not filing complete affidavit.


It had also taken a stand that the returning officer should be empowered to reject the nomination papers of a candidate who provides incomplete information by leaving some columns blank in the affidavit.


The Centre’s counsel, however, said the right to contest elections is a statutory one and a judgement of a three-judge bench of the apex court held that even for concealing the information, the nomination papers cannot be rejected.


The bench was earlier told that while filing nomination papers, candidates are supposed to furnish affidavits in which there are columns in which they give their educational qualifications, financial assets and liabilities and possible criminal antecedents.


However, are there instances where candidates prefer to leave the column vacant, the NGO had said.


FTC looking into proposed privacy policy changes of Facebook

Six privacy-advocacy groups sent a letter to the FTC last week saying that the revisions violate Facebook’s 2011 settlement with the Commission

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is looking into a set of policy changes proposed by Facebook in late August, though the Commission says it is part of a routine monitoring of the company’s privacy practices.


The changes, which have not yet gone into effect, have drawn criticism from privacy groups concerned about how the world’s largest online social network uses its members’ photos and other information in advertisements.


Six privacy-advocacy groups sent a letter to the FTC last week saying that the revisions violate Facebook’s 2011 settlement with the agency. As part of the settlement, Facebook had agreed to get explicit approval from users before changing its privacy controls and to submit to government audits of its privacy practises every other year for 20 years.


The FTC’s latest review is not a formal inquiry or investigation. “As in all cases, we’re monitoring compliance with the order, and part of that involves interacting with Facebook,” FTC spokesperson Peter Kaplan said in a statement.


Facebook’s proposed changes do not appear to represent a material shift in the way the company uses people’s information. For example, the company has already been using people’s photos in advertisements it calls “sponsored stories.” If a user “likes” Starbucks, Starbucks might show the person’s name and profile photo to friends as part of an ad.


Rather, the changes update Facebook’s existing policies with language that more accurately describes what the company already does, as it was ordered by a federal judge in San Francisco as part of another settlement in late August.


Facebook was also ordered to pay $20 million as part of that settlement.


“It’s hard to see what is actually new,” said Jules Polonetsky, director of the Future of Privacy Forum, an industry-backed think tank in Washington that was not one of the six groups that wrote to the FTC.


He added that when “you are as important as Facebook is to the day to day lives of people, anything you say or do, even if you are not actually making anything any different, raises tremendous scrutiny.”


Facebook Inc. said it “routinely” discusses policy updates with the FTC and said nothing is different this time.


“Importantly, our updated policies do not grant Facebook any additional rights to use consumer information in advertising,” Facebook spokesperson Jodi Seth said in an emailed statement. “Rather, the new policies further clarify and explain our existing practises. We take these issues very seriously and are confident that our policies are fully compliant with our agreement with the FTC,” she added.


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