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Urjit’s resignation comes at a sensitive time, to dampen sentiments: DBS

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Singapore: The immediate resignation of Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel comes at a sensitive time, when negotiations with the government to iron out differences on key regulatory aspects are ongoing, the Singapore banking group, DBS, said.

“Timing of the Governor’s resignation and the already-cautious mood in the markets following yesterday’s exit polls, to be followed by today’s actual count for the state elections, will dampen sentiments,” Radhika Rao, economist at DBS Bank said.

The bank further noted that the uncertainty surrounding the Governor’s departure is likely to push 10-year INR yields back above 7.6 per cent in a knee-jerk sell-off, while, the Indian rupee is likely to weaken past 72 per USD.

 

Beyond sentiments, markets will seek clarity on Governor Patel’s successor, with the likelihood that one of the current Deputy Governors might take over the mantle.

A search panel might be formed, with a former Finance Secretary and Finance Commission member, also reportedly in the running. On policy, the RBI might soften its stance to adopt a more neutral-to-dovish approach as inflation continues to undershoot the 4 per cent target and growth rolls off its peak.

“Markets are likely to price in a shift to neutral stance as early as the February 2019 meeting, which the narrative increasingly swinging towards cuts if inflation stays below 4 per cent and global oil shows little signs of revival,” said DBS.

The Bank further pointed out that Deputy Governor Acharya had suggested on December 5, that more Open Market Operations (OMOs) are likely in the March 2019 quarter.

Another INR 800 – 1 trillion tranche in January-March 2019, could take this year’s cumulative OMOs to INR2.5 to 3 trillion, it said.

Shades of dovish underpinnings in the RBI guidance is likely to drive 2-year bond yields yet lower towards 7 per cent, believes DBS.

Meanwhile, Singapore-based financial analysts said the sudden resignation of a financial stalwart such as Patel affects investors’ confidence in the country.

“This is shocking. Why he has to resign this week, ahead of the RBI meeting,” said a financial market analyst focused on India. Financially, India remain a stable economy with bright outlook. But politically, there is a deep concern about prospects as a large scale development is underway in the country which seeks global investments, said the financial market observers.


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RBI needs to ensure stability: Shaktikanta Das

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New Delhi: The head of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said he would take the steps necessary to maintain financial stability in the country and help create favourable conditions for growth.

India’s economy has grown because of measures such as the nationwide goods and services tax and the insolvency and bankruptcy code that prevents wilful defaulters from bidding for stressed assets, Shaktikanta Das said in his address to an investor roundtable.

The country’s growth story is backed by its strong domestic fundamentals, he said, citing lower inflation.

 

Annual retail inflation rate dropped to an 18-month low of 2.19 per cent in December, strengthening the views of some economists that the central bank could ease monetary policy next month.

India’s top business groups on Thursday urged the central bank to cut its benchmark interest rate by at least half a percentage point and lower the cash reserve ratio it imposes on banks.

The country also needs to watch out for any sudden turbulence in the gloal financial market, Das said.

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Centre removes two PNB executive directors for lapses in Rs 13,500-cr fraud

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Chennai:The Central government has removed two Punjab National Bank (PNB) Executive Directors — Sanjiv Sharan and K.Veera Brahmaji Rao — for the lapses in the Rs 13,500 crore fraud allegedly perpetrated by absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi.

The PNB has intimated the action to the stock exchanges.

“We welcome the Central government’s action to dismiss the two Executive Directors. The scam of such proportions could not have happened without the knowledge of the top management,” C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), told IANS.

 

“Perhaps for the first time, the Centra has removed the Executive Directors of a nationalised bank under the Nationalised Banks (Management and Miscellaneous Provision) Scheme, 1970. All these days it was said the top management of government-owned banks — Chairman, Managing Director, Executive Directors — are governed only by the contract of appointment.

“It is also good that the central government has followed the due process of giving the two PNB Executive Directors opportunity to put forth their views before dismissing them,” Venkatachalam added.

According to the Central government’s notification, on July 3, 2018, Sharan and Rao were issued a show cause notice as to why they could not be removed from office for having failed to exercise proper control over the functioning of PNB, thus enabling the fraud through the misuse of SWIFT at the bank’s Brady House branch in Mumbai.

After considering Sharan and Rao’s replies and the comments of the bank’s Board, the Centre removed them from office as it found it was expedient in the interests of PNB.

According to the notification, the dismissal of Rao is subject to the outcome of a plea in the Delhi High Court.

“We are happy to see some action being taken. Whether it is only the two Executive Directors and other officials are also involved in the scam has to be probed in full,” Venkatachalam said.

According to him, in the past, low-level officers would have been the scapegoats for such massive scams.

“With the action taken on the top management, people will be satisfied that public sector bank officials are answerable for their lapses,” Venkatachalam added.

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In this new world, data is the new wealth: Ambani

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Mumbai: Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps against ‘data colonisation’, specially by global corporations, stating that Indian data must be owned by Indians.

Invoking Mahatma Gandhi’s movement against political colonisation, Ambani said India now needs a new movement against data colonisation.

“Gandhiji led India’s movement against political colonisation. Today, we have to collectively launch a new movement against data colonisation,” he said Gandhinagar at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit.

 

Stressing that, in this new world, data is the new wealth, Ambani said, “India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people and not by corporate, especially global corporations.”

He further said, “For India to succeed in this data driven revolution, we will have to migrate the control and ownership of Indian data back to India. In other words, give Indian wealth back to every Indian.”

Stating that the “entire world has come to recognise” Modi “as a man of action”, Ambani said, “Honorable Prime Minister, am sure you will make this one of the principal goals of your digital India mission.”

Later in the day, countering Ambani’s call, Governor – Commonwealth of Kentucky, Matthew Griswold, asked Modi “to think in the opposite” in order to realise the tremendous opportunity that lies in Indo-US partnership.

“Honorable prime minister you have been asked from this stage to think about limiting the amount of competition, limiting the exchange of ideas, information and goods. I would encourage you to think in the opposite,” he said.

While stating that it is important to put the people of India first, Griswold said, “It is also important to put their opportunity and our opportunity as citizens of the world to trade with one another and exchange ideas because iron sharpens iron.”

The greatest possibility comes from the exchange of these idea, he added.

“If we can cut the regulations, cut the bureaucracy, cut the red tape, the opportunity is enormous between our nations,” he added that India is now the 10th largest trading partner for the US and “climbing quickly”.

“The opportunity before us between India and the United States is incredible, but responsibility falls on each of one us, those of us in elected positions, those of you in the industry, those of you who represent various constituencies, we have much work to do…we must do this, ” Griswold said.

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