Companies & Sectors
TataComm subsidiary to manage 14,000 ATMS

Tata Communications Banking InfraSolutions, which already manages nearly 12,900 cash vending machines, would install 14,000 ATMs for all PSBs in AP, TN, WB, Pondicherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands by 2013-14


Mumbai: Tata Communications' payment solutions providing unit has won an exclusive order to install and manage nearly 14,000 ATMs for all public sector banks in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Pondicherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands by 2013-14, reports PTI.

The contract has been won by the company's three-year-old wholly-owned subsidiary -- Tata Communications Banking InfraSolutions (TCBIL)-- which already manages nearly 12,900 cash vending machines for 25 banks and a few co-operative banks across the country.

TCBIL, which specialises in payment solutions for the banking and financial services sector, is the single largest ATM operator. It has around 19% market share in terms of the number of outsourced cash vending machines and with the current order, this will go up to 21%, TCBIL President Sudip Kumar told a select media briefing here today.

"With this contract, which is a huge endorsement of our competence in the banking infrasolutions space, as we commenced operations only three years ago, we have become the largest managed ATM services provider, with almost 27,000 contracted ATMs nationwide," Kumar said.

The second largest operator is the ATM manufacturer-cum- operator NCR, which enjoys 12% market share.

This contract award is part of the Government push for extending the reach of banking to unbanked areas. Last year, Finance Ministry had asked state-run banks to come together to launch ATMs. Accordingly, PSBs will be installing 63,000 cash machines by 2013-14 under a managed ATM services model.

Plans are also afoot to allow third-party operators to enter the fray under what is called white label ATMs, under which everything, including branding, will done by independent ATM operators for banks for a fee. The RBI has already issued a draft guidelines on white label ATMs.

On the rationale for a telecom network firm entering the banking services space, Tata Communications Chief Strategy Officer Srinivasa Addepalli said, "Already banks are our largest customers and there can be better synergy in extending our offering into the ATM space."

Asked when TCBIL, which is yet to report profit, will clock profit, Kumar did not give a direct reply but said normally an ATM takes seven to nine months to turn profitable.

Last year the company had revenues of about Rs180 crore, he added.

On an average, the cost of installing an ATM varies from Rs5 to Rs7 lakh, and the charges an operator nets varies between Rs6 and Rs12 per transaction, depending on location.

Accordingly, 100 transactions a day can turn a particular site profitable after this gestation period, Kumar added.

TCBIL's first ATM went operational in July 2009 and it added nearly half of its network of 12,900 last year spanning over 300 towns or cities.


Credit quality of capital goods companies weakening: CRISIL

Majority of working capital requirement of capital goods companies is met through delayed payments to suppliers or high-cost short-term debt, resulting in weaker credit ratings


Mumbai: Credit quality of the players in the capital goods sector has come under tremendous strain with working capital requirements touching a five-year high due to deferment of large capital investment plans during the past fiscal, says a report by CRISIL.

The CRISIL study, after analyzing 50 capital goods companies also points out that high inventory and delay in payments by customers are leading to tight liquidity situation.

"Project deferment by customers resulted in a 15% decline in order inflows for capital goods entities in 2011-12 over the previous year. The reasons for deferment in projects include demand slowdown, increase in project costs and interest rates and lower cash flows," CRISIL senior director Nagarajan Narasimhan said.

He also said working capital requirement of banks have reached five year high.

Referring to tight liquidity situation of capital goods firms, the report said majority of working capital requirement is met through delayed payments to suppliers or high-cost short-term debt, resulting in weaker credit ratings.

Also, high interest rate regime has increased the cost of funds for these companies, impacting the credit quality.

"We have either downgraded the ratings or revised the outlook to 'negative' of 117 capital goods entities in 2011-12, representing a fifth of the agency's total downgrades or revisions in outlook to 'negative' during the year.

"We believe the revenue growth and profitability of capital goods entities will further slacken in 2012-13, resulting in sustained pressure on their credit quality," CRISIL director Anuj Sethi said.


RBI sets up panel for strengthening rural credit

The panel headed by NABARD Chairman Prakash Bakshi will review existing credit structure and also explore ways to strengthen cooperative credit architecture in rural areas

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted a committee to suggest ways to strengthen the rural cooperative credit structure in the country, reports PTI.
The panel headed by NABARD Chairman Prakash Bakshi will review the existing Short Term Cooperative Credit Structure (STCCS), focusing on structural constraints in rural credit delivery system.
It will also explore ways to strengthen the rural cooperative credit architecture.
The seven-member panel will make an in-depth analysis of the STCCS and examine various alternatives with a view to reducing the cost of credit, the RBI said in a release.
It will also look at the feasibility of setting up of a two-tier STCCS as against the existing three-tier structure.
STCCS target the credit requirement of the small and marginal farmers in the country.
"The Committee will submit its report within three months from the date of its first meeting," it said.
According to terms of reference, the committee will mainly assess the role played by state and district cooperative banks in fulfilling the requirement of agriculture credit.
It will identify cooperative banks that may not be sustainable in the long run even if some of them have met the diluted licensing criteria for the time being, the release said.
It will also suggest pro-active measures needed to be taken by cooperative banks, government, and the RBI, it added.


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