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RBI may let PNB spread fraud losses over 1 year

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New Delhi :The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had agreed in principle to a request by Punjab National Bank (PNB) to spread its losses related to the Nirav Modi-Mehul Choksi fraud over four quarters, sources said.
“However, we are still awaiting a written communication from the regulator,” a source at the Delhi-based public sector bank said.
PNB is staring at losses on account of fraud worth Rs 145 billion in 2017-18 after letters of undertaking worth Rs 129 billion were issued by its employees to the companies owned by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
PNB had declared both accounts fraudulent after reporting the matter to investigating agencies. According to RBI guidelines, banks have to make a provision for the amount related to fraudulent accounts in their books. The fraud amount in the two cases stood at Rs 136 billion, for which provisioning would have to be made in PNB’s books in the quarter ending March.
The bank has said these transactions were contingent in nature.
The decision will provide relief to PNB, which would otherwise have to put a quarter of its net worth at risk. PNB’s profit and overall asset quality are expected to take a hit.
Analysts pointed out that with the entire fraud amount becoming a non-performing asset, around 25 per cent of the bank’s estimated net worth of Rs 480 billion could be affected.
graph “To smoothen the effect of such provisioning on quarterly profit and loss, banks have the option to make the provisions over a period, not exceeding four quarters, commencing from the quarter in which the fraud has been detected,” the RBI guidelines on ‘provisioning related to fraud accounts’ issued in April 2016 say.
PNB will have to make deductions from its reserves as the full provisioning will be made in more than one financial year. The deductions will be made for the “amount remaining un-provided at the end of the financial year by credit to provisions”, according to the RBI.
PNB executives said the bank would honour ‘bona fide’ commitments to other banks related to the LoUs before the amount to be repaid turned into NPAs. The LoUs, if not repaid, will start turning into NPAs beginning May.
“There is no way the bank will become a defaulter in other banks’ books, even if the amount related to LoUs is not repaid by the end of this quarter. Concerns over becoming a defaulter, if at all, will arise once the LoUs turn into NPAs, which will happen only after 90 days from the deadline. Banks can never be treated as a defaulter,” sources in PNB said.
UCO Bank has the highest exposure of around Rs 30 billion in the alleged scam, followed by Union Bank and Allahabad Bank with exposure of around Rs 25 billion each, according to sources.


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US to eliminate Iran oil sanctions waiver for India, 7 others:Report

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Washington: The United States is expected to announce that all importers of Iranian oil will have to end their imports shortly or be subject to US sanctions, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.

The source confirmed a report by a Washington Post columnist that the administration will terminate the sanctions waivers it had granted to some importers of Iranian oil late last year.

US President Donald Trump has been clear to his national security team over the last few weeks that he wants the waivers to end, and national security adviser John Bolton has been working the issue within the administration.

 

The US reimposed sanctions in November on exports of Iranian oil after Trump unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers Washington is pressuring Iran to curtail its nuclear program and stop backing militant proxies across the Middle East.

Along with sanctions, Washington has also granted waivers to eight economies that had reduced their purchases of Iranian oil, allowing them to continue buying it without incurring sanctions for six more months

They were China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece.

But on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will announce “that, as of May 2, the State Department will no longer grant sanctions waivers to any country that is currently importing Iranian crude or condensate,” the Post’s columnist Josh Rogin said in his report, citing two State Department officials that he did not name
Frank Fannon, US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, repeated the administration’s position that “Our goal is to get to zero Iranian exports as quickly as possible.

“Other countries have been watching to see whether the United States would continue the waivers. Last Tuesday, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that Turkey expects the United States to extend a waiver granted to Ankara to continue oil purchases from Iran without violating US sanctions.

Turkey did not support US sanctions policy on Iran and did not think it would yield the desired result, Kalin told reporters in Washington.

Washington has a campaign of ‘maximum economic pressure’ on Iran and through sanctions, it eventually aims to halt Iranian oil exports and thereby choke Tehran’s main source of revenue.

So far in April, Iranian exports were averaging below 1 million barrels per day (bpd), according to Refinitiv Eikon data and two other companies that track such exports and declined to be identified.

That is lower than at least 1.1 million bpd as estimated for March, and down from more than 2.5 million bpd before sanctions were reimposed last May. Brent crude futures , the international oil benchmark, were up nearly 2 per cent at USD 73.25 a barrel, on the report that the waivers were to end.

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Maruti drives in Baleno with BS VI compliant petrol engine

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New Delhi: The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Said it has launched its premium hatchback Baleno with BS VI emission norms compliant petrol engine, priced between Rs 5.58 lakh and Rs 8.9 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

The auto major has also introduced two variants of the car with smart hybrid technology. The trim with 1.2 litre DUALJET, DUAL VVT petrol engine is priced at Rs 7.25 lakh, while the Zeta variant is tagged at Rs 7.86 lakh. As per the company, the models with smart hybrid technology would deliver a fuel efficiency of 23.87 km/litre.

“At Maruti Suzuki, we strive to bring newer, better and environment friendly technologies to our products. Baleno Smart Hybrid with BS VI stands testament to the same. We are confident that the premium hatchback Baleno will present a complete package in line with aspirations of evolving customers,” MSI Senior Executive Director Marketing & Sales R S Kalsi said in a statement.

 

The company said in order to achieve the stringent emission regulation requirement, it has upgraded both engine hardware and software along with exhaust system.”Baleno is country’s first premium hatchback to be offered with Smart Hybrid technology,” it added.

MSI has sold over 5.5 lakh Baleno units since its launch in 2015. It sold more than 2 lakh units of the hatchback in the last fiscal year.

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SpiceJet, Emirates sign MoU for code share partnership

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Mumbai: Budget carrier Spicejet announced signing of an initial pact for code share partnership with Gulf carrier Emirates.

The reciprocal partnership will allow opening of new routes and destinations for passengers of the two airlines, SpiceJet said in a statement.

“I am delighted to announce that as part of SpiceJet’s international expansion strategy, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a code share agreement,” SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said in the statement.

 

SpiceJet passengers from 51 domestic destinations will be able to access Emirates’ network across the US, Europe, Africa and Middle East, it added.

Code-sharing allows an airline to book its passengers on its partner carriers and provide seamless travel to destinations where it has no presence.

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