Srinagar, Oct 16: J&K Bank, the state-owned premier financial institution and a listed entity, today reported a 44% increase in its net profit to Rs 146.34 Cr for the half year ended 30th September 2018 after the reviewed results of the Bank were adopted by the Board of Directors in the meeting held at the Bank’s Corporate Headquarters. The Bank had posted a net profit of Rs 101 Cr during the first half of previous fiscal.
Notably, the Bank has now reported six consecutive quarters of profitability after recovery from a loss of Rs 1632 Cr in the financial year ended March 2017. The gross business turnover of the bank has also seen a record increase surpassing the 1, 50,000 Cr mark with J&K state business contributing more than 1, 05,000 Cr on the back of robust credit growth of 23% year on year.
An official spokesperson of the bank shared that as per the Bank’s earlier guidance the share of credit from J&K state has improved to 53% of the total advances of the Bank as compared to 52% in the previous quarter.
“Our focus on the expansion of credit in retail & SME sectors especially within J&K state which is having a reasonably high absorption capacity has strengthened our core J&K state business besides enabling us to deliver profitable growth in an otherwise challenging environment for the banking industry. In rest-of-India business, our incremental credit growth is coming from lending to low-risk top rated Corporates. Of late, retail portfolio in rest of India too has started seeing some traction especially in housing & SME sectors”, said Parvez Ahmed Chairman & CEO JK Bank post declaration of results.
“We are expanding aggressively in the unbanked areas of the J&K state not only by opening traditional Business Units but also with innovative delivery channels like Ultra Small Branches to facilitate banking access at the doorsteps across the geography of the state. Simultaneously we are also planning to optimize our presence in rest of India by expanding in territories where we have a strong franchise”, added the Chairman.
“Our next phase of growth will be driven by credit penetration in hitherto underbanked and underleveraged areas of the state. A major chunk of it will come from greenfield projects as we are focusing on democratizing the entrepreneurship to the nooks and corners of the state by opening start-up facilitation centers in all the 22 districts. There is a lot of policy support for start-ups at the state and central government level and we are seeing our role as an enabler for the bright youths of our state” asserted Parvez Ahmed.
“We are seeing a lot of demand coming from the government spending on infrastructure within the J&K state. We will be major benefactors as a lot of ancillary demand will get created resulting in expansion of credit. Besides, the majority of our customers in the contractor segment will have improved cash flows which will shave off stress in their balance sheets”, shared the Chairman.
Discussing the problem of NPAs Parvez Ahmed said, “Overall NPAs are under control though provisioning pressure still remains due to the aging of NPAs that is going to taper in next 2 to 3 quarters. We are maintaining our Provision Coverage Ratio of around 70%. The net NPA is down to 3.91% as compared to 4.76% a year ago. The silver lining is that our J&K state rehabilitated portfolio has been behaving very well with only 0.8% slippages in the 09 months period post cessation of the moratorium period. This has allayed market apprehensions on the J&K state restructured portfolio of Rs 4300 Cr.”
The bank’s total income for the half year period increased to Rs 3603 Cr from Rs 3346 Cr recorded during the corresponding period of the FY 2017-18.
Net Interest Margin (NIM), a benchmark for the profitability of the bank remained healthy and stable at 3.72%. The cost of deposits has reduced to 4.87% as against 5.24% recorded for the corresponding half year of previous fiscal. The net advances of the bank grew to Rs 63691 Cr as against a figure of Rs 51341 Cr a year ago and Rs 56912 Cr in March 2018. On the deposit front, the bank recorded a growth of 15.7% over the last year with low-cost CASA deposits contributing around 50% of the total deposits .
RBI’s vision document on payment systems to spur digital economy: Fintech firms
New Delhi: The RBI’s ‘Payment Systems Vision 2021’ document would act as a catalyst for promoting digital economy and instill confidence among the general public, fintech companies say.
Aiming at a ‘cash-lite’ society, the Reserve Bank of India last week released the vision document for ensuring a safe, secure, convenient, quick and affordable e-payment system as it expects the number of digital transactions to increase more than four times to 8,707 crore in December 2021.
The RBI has said it will implement the approach outlined in the document during the period 2019 – 2021.
COO of Payworld Praveen Dhabhai said the vision document has a focus on empowering payment system providers and at the same time providing ease to consumers.
“We are confident with our vision as a payment system provider aligned with the regulators, we will be able to contribute in increasing the digital transactions penetrations especially in the assisted segment in smaller cities and rural Indian,” he said.
Navin Surya, Chairman Emeritus, Payments Council of India said: “Clarity in defining outcomes in terms of scale of digital and overall payments vis a vis GDP is a very good measurement to look forward to and also assess the impact of work done by all stakeholders.”
However, KYC simplicity, digital KYC and KYC bureau, as well as simplification of existing policies to enable NBFCs to issue credit cards is missing from the document, said Surya, who is also the chairman of Fintech Convergence Council.
Mandar Agashe, founder and vice chairman, Sarvatra Technologies, was of the opinion that the 24X7 helpline that the RBI plans to set will help in instilling confidence in customers regarding the digital payments system.
Other than this, geo-tagging of payment system touchpoints will help companies understand where and what type of transactions are taking place, which will also lead to curtailing frauds, he added.
The document said payment systems like UPI/IMPS are likely to register average annualised growth of over 100 per cent and NEFT at 40 per cent over the vision period (up to December 2021).
The ‘Payment and Settlement Systems in India: Vision 2019 – 2021’, with its core theme of ‘Empowering Exceptional (E)payment Experience’, envisages to achieve “a highly digital and cash-lite society” through the goal posts of competition, cost effectiveness, convenience and confidence (4Cs).
Gaurav Chopra, founder and CEO, IndiaLends, said, “With growing competition, industry players will be able to offer services at an optimal cost to their customers. RBI aims to bring innovation in technology and processes that will eventually save time of end consumers.”
CEO and co-founder of NiYO, Vinay Bagri said some of the measures proposed by RBI, such as self-regulatory organisation, strengthening offline payments and feature phone-based payment services, will go a long way in democratising the payments ecosystem.
PE inflow in Indian retail real estate doubles to $1.2 bn in 2017, 2018: Anarock
New Delhi: Indian retail real estate sector attracted private equity investment worth USD 1.2 billion during 2017-18 calendar years, double from the previous two years, according to property consultant Anarock.
The consultant attributed the sharp rise in private equity (PE) inflow to further liberalisation in FDI policies such as 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail and 100 percent FDI in single-brand retail under the automatic route.
From an investment of USD 600 million during 2015-2016 calendar years, private equity inflows in retail real estate jumped to over USD 1.2 billion between 2017 and 2018.
Of total USD 1.84 billion inflow in the last 4 years (2015-2018), tier II and tier III cities attracted nearly 48 percent funds (USD 880 million) against USD 960 million in tier 1 cities.
Top favoured tier II and tier III cities included Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Indore and Mohali.
US-based funds like Blackstone and Goldman Sachs have invested more than USD 1 billion between 2015-2018, while UAE, Singapore, Canada and Netherlands based funds were also active.
Shobhit Agarwal, MD & CEO – Anarock Capital says, “our report highlights the fact that unlike the commercial office sector, retail is to some extent geography-agnostic because its success depends on the spending power of its target audience.?
“As a result, shopping malls in tier II and tier III cities have performed as well as, if not better than, their tier 1 counterparts. This also led to increase in rentals and profitability and caused PE investors to start considering investment options outside their accustomed tier I geographies,? he added.
Anuj Kejriwal, MD & CEO – Anarock Retail said, “the opportunity that the Indian retail sector holds in store for PE investors is more than evident – as are the geographies they must focus on for optimum returns.?
Anarock data reveals that around 39 million sq ft of organised retail space is expected to enter the market between 2019-2022. Of this supply, around 71 percent is expected to come up in tier I cities, and the remaining 29 percent in tier II and tier III cities, Kejriwal added.
Cash, goods worth Rs 3,400 crore seized during Lok Sabha elections 2019:EC
New Delhi: After the completion of the seventh and final phase of polling , the Election Commission said cash, drugs, liquor and precious metals worth Rs 3,449.12 crore were seized by enforcement agencies since the Lok Sabha polls were announced on March 10.
This is thrice of what agencies seized during the 2014 Lok Sabha poll process. In 2014, law enforcement agencies made seizures worth Rs 1,206 crore, the EC’s director general (election expenditure) Dilip Sharma said.
Law enforcement agencies between March 10 and May 19 seized Rs 839.03 crore in cash, liquor worth Rs 294.41 crore, drugs worth Rs 1,270.37 crore, precious metals, including gold, worth Rs 986.76 crore and “freebies”, including sarees, wrist watches, aimed at inducing voters worth Rs 58.56 crore were seized.
EC officials said they directed social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, to remove several that were found to violate the EC’s code.They said social media platforms removed 909 posts. Facebook removed 650 posts, Twitter took down 220 posts, ShareChat removed 31, YouTube five and WhatsApp three.
Of the 650 posts taken down by Facebook, 482 were political messages posted during the “silence period”. The “silence period” starts 48 hours before the hour set for conclusion of polling in a particular phase. The seventh phase of polling came to a close at 6 pm on Sunday, so the “silence period” had begun at 6 pm on Friday for this phase.
As many as 73 social media posts were political advertisements in the “silence period”, two were in violation of the Model Code of Conduct, 43 were related to voter “misinformation”, 28 were dubbed as those crossing the limits of decency, 11 were related to exit polls and 11 were hate speeches, Ojha said.
There were also 647 confirmed cases of paid news, of which the maximum of 342 were reported in the first phase itself, he added. During the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, 1,297 confirmed cases of paid news were reported, Ojha said.
The EC on Sunday continued to receive criticism from the Opposition while Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked it for granting him permission for his visit to Uttarakhand’s Kedarnath temple.
Modi visited Kedarnath on Saturday, spent the night in a cave and left for Badrinath on Sunday morning. “I did not ask for anything. I don’t believe in asking because God only wants us to give… all I want is ‘Baba’ Kedarnath bestows his blessings not just upon India but entire mankind,” he said at Kedarnath.
The PM thanked the EC for allowing him to undertake the visit, saying he got two days of “rest” there. The EC had given its nod to Modi’s visit while “reminding” the Prime Minister’s Office that the model code of conduct is still in force.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi said the Election Commission’s “capitulation” before the PM was obvious. “From electoral bonds and EVMs (electronic voting machines) to manipulating the election schedule, NaMo TV, ‘Modi’s Army’ & now the drama in Kedarnath; the Election Commission’s capitulation before Mr Modi & his gang is obvious to all Indians,” Gandhi tweeted. “The EC used to be feared and respected. Not anymore,” he said.
“Polling is over. Now, we can say that the ‘pilgrimage’ of the PM in the last two days is an unacceptable use of religion and religious symbols to influence the voting,” Congress leader P Chidambaram said.
Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu wrote to the EC stating that “continuous” telecast of the PM’s “private activities” at Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines were in violation of the poll code and should be stopped.
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