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SBI to buy assets worth Rs 45,000 cr from NBFCs to resolve liquidity crisis

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New Delhi: State Bank of India (SBI) said it will buy good quality assets worth Rs 45,000 crore from NBFCs that are facing liquidity crunch triggered by a series of debt repayment defaults by financial conglomerate IL&FS and its subsidiaries.
SBI, which earlier planned to purchase assets worth Rs 15,000 crore, has decided to buy additional assets of up to Rs 30,000 crore. “This is a good commercial opportunity for the bank to increase the loan portfolio as NBFC assets are available at attractive rates,” SBI Managing Director P K Gupta told PTI.
It will benefit both SBI and the NBFC sector as they get much required liquidity while the bank will get good loan portfolio, he said further.
“Bank had initially planned for a growth of Rs 15,000 crore through portfolio purchase during the current year which is now being enhanced. As per bank’s internal assessment, there may be an opportunity to buy additional portfolio in the range of Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 crore,” SBI said in a statement.
The country’s largest lender said that it has stepped up target purchase of good quality portfolio of assets from NBFCs. NBFC stocks have wilted due to heavy selling pressure following the IL&FS defaults since late September as investors raised concerns over the rising cost of borrowing for them amidst IL&FS crisis.
“There is a good opportunity to expand its loan portfolio at attractive rates. The bank is looking for opportunities both in priority and non-priority sectors,” SBI added. On September 23, SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar had said that there should not be any concern in the liquidity position at NBFCs. SBI had also made it clear that SBI would not curtail lending to NBFCs to quell such rumours.
The National Housing Bank (NHB), which regulates the non-banking finance companies, also said that it will enhance the refinance limit for NBFCs to Rs 30,000 crore to inject liquidity. NHB earlier had targeted Rs 24,000 refinancing for NBFCs in the current financial year.
In the later half of September, it came to light that IL&FS group defaulted on a short-term loan of Rs 1,000 crore from Sidbi, while a subsidiary also defaulted on Rs 500 crore dues to the development finance institution. While IL&FS has nearly Rs 35,000 crore consolidated debt, IL&FS Financial Services has Rs 17,000 crore of debt, which sits as standard asset for most of the lenders, according to a report.
The group has seen its various long-term and short-term borrowing programmes downgraded to ‘default’ or ‘junk’ grades by credit rating agencies, even as the regulators are also probing alleged delay in disclosure about certain loan defaults.
Capital markets regulator Sebi, the Reserve Bank, the Corporate Affairs Ministry and the Finance Ministry have received complaints about alleged wrongdoings at Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) and its various group entities, including the listed ones followed by several resignations at the group including its CEO and MD Ramesh Bawa.
The board of the IL&FS was also dissolved and the government took control of the company by constituting a new six-member board under Kotak Mahindra Bank Managing Director & CEO, Uday Kotak.


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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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