Companies & Sectors
Syndicate Bank raises $500 million through bonds

The state-run bank raised $500 million from overseas market, the second and final tranche under its medium term note programme size of $1 billion

New Delhi: State-owned Syndicate Bank has raised $500 million (about Rs2,600 crore) through bonds to fund its overseas business growth, reports PTI.


"We have raised from overseas market $500 million, the second and final tranche under the bank's MTN (medium term note) programme size of $1 billion," a senior Syndicate Bank official said.


The bond with maturity period of 5.5 years carries a coupon rate of 4.125% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears.


The money raised would be utilised for expanding operation of the bank's London branch functioning since 1976, the official said.


The services rendered at its London branch include corporate lending, participation in syndications, handling Letters of Credit and Guarantees transactions, trade finance, NRI services, ECBs and international treasury services.


Syndicate Bank has reported 43.3% increase in net profit at Rs463 crore for the second quarter ended September.


The bank had a net profit of Rs323 crore during the same quarter of the previous fiscal.


However, gross NPAs rose marginally to 2.47% of loan assets as on September 2012 as compared to 2.38% at the end of second quarter of the previous fiscal.


FMC suggests review of easy credit for trading in commodities

Forward Markets Commission in a report suggested various measures to check speculators, including review of easy credit by banks and other institutions for trading in commodities

New Delhi: Commodities market regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) has suggested reviewing of easy credit by banks and other institutions for trading in commodities like guar, in a bid to curb speculation, reports PTI.


In the final report on 'Analysis of price movement and trading in guar complex" submitted to the Consumer Affairs Ministry, FMC has suggested various measures to check speculators participation in guar trading.


The regulator in May had come out with an initial report on guar futures trade during February-March 2012 and had highlighted irregularities in guar futures trade. It had also found involvement of some entities in the sharp rally during the period.


On the recommendations of the regulator, a senior government official said, "FMC has recommended that availability of easy finance is a prerequisite for processors, exporters and other value chain participants, but the financing for purely commodity trading needs to be curbed."


The option of easy institutional finance has helped in infusing additional liquidity with the commodity traders and has helped the market to grow, the official added.


"The regulator feels that although this step has helped infuse more funds in the market, yet, there is a need for policy review regarding commodity financing by financial institutions and banks," the official said.


Futures prices of guar gum at the NCDEX platform had more than doubled between February-March this year on speculation, prompting the market regulator to stop traders from taking fresh positions in the running contracts.


According to the exchange data, guar gum prices stood at Rs92,090 per quintal on 22nd March, as against Rs42,019 per quintal on 1st February despite negligible participation. The prices, however on 23rd March fell to Rs71,970 per quintal after FMC intervention.


In order to bring more transparency in the commodities futures market, FMC is considering issuing directions to large position holders to declare their physical market positions, the official said.


That apart, regulations on day-trading, strengthening guidelines for Margin Funding, allowing futures in narrow commodities like guar seed and gum, mentha oil, cardamom, etc are also being considered by the regulator, the official said.


"FMC also suggested setting up a dedicated agency to collect and disseminate timely information on production, imports, exports, stocks and overall availability of commodities to bring more transparency," the official said.


The regulator in its report also suggested that it should be vested with powers to impose financial penalties on erring market intermediaries directly for effective control of the commodities futures market, the official added.


At present, the country has five national and 16 regional commodity exchanges.


US sues Bank of America for $1 billion over bad mortgages

The US government charged Countrywide, the mortgage giant now owned by Bank of America for labelling defective mortgages as good-quality and selling it to state-controlled mortgage financers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Washington: The United States sued Bank of America for more than $1 billion for allegedly having sold dodgy mortgages to state-controlled mortgage financers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reports PTI.


The government charged that Countrywide -- the mortgage giant now owned by Bank of America -- labelled defective mortgages as good-quality and sold them to the two companies.


The suit says that between 2007 and 2009 Countrywide ran a mortgage origination program called "Hustle" which aimed to quickly process thousands of new mortgages without quality controls and then sell them to Fannie and Freddie.


Hustle caused "over $1 billion dollars in losses and countless foreclosures," Preet Bahara, the US attorney in New York City, said in a statement.


"The fraudulent conduct alleged in today's complaint was spectacularly brazen in scope," Bahara said.


"Countrywide and Bank of America made disastrously bad loans and stuck taxpayers with the bill."


"This lawsuit should send another clear message that reckless lending practices will not be tolerated."


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