Current Affairs May 2018 - Finance


1 - HDFC Bank launched IRA 2.0, an interactive humanoid in Bengaluru


HDFC Bank has launched IRA 2.0, its interactive humanoid. IRA 2.0 will enhance user experience for customers visiting the Koramangala branch in Bengaluru. It will interact with customers, answer bank-related queries, frequently asked questions, and guide them inside the branch with voice-based navigation. HDFC Bank also launched its virtual assistant ‘EVA’ on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

IRA 2.0 has been developed by HDFC Bank in collaboration with its technology partners Invento Makerspaces and Senseforth Technologies. HDFC became the first bank in India to introduce a humanoid for customer service when IRA was first launched in January 2017.

2 - EPFO introduced ‘View Pension Passbook’ Service for the pensioners through Umang App


Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has now introduced a new service through ‘UMANG app’. The facility to download the financial year wise complete pass book details is available.

Other e-services of EPFO already available through UMANG aap includes Employee Centric services (View EPF Passbook, Raise claim, Track Claim), Employer Centric Services (Get remittance details by establishment ID, Get TRRN Status), General Services (Search Establishment, Search EPFO Office, Know Your claim Status, Account details on SMS, Account details on Missed Calls), Pensioner Services (Update Jeevan Praman), eKYC services (Aadhaar Seeding).

3. RBI announced Rs - 10,000 Crore Bond Purchases


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has anounced to buy Rs. 10,000 crore ($1.50 billion) of government bonds via open market operation (OMO), after failing to sell all the debt it had offered to bidders. It was the third straight week when the RBI couldn't sell everything on offer, leading to a spike in bond yields.

The RBI bought 8.12% 2020 bond, 6.84% 2022 bond, 7.72% 2025 bond, 6.79% 2027 bond, and 8.24% 2033. Since the start of 2018, the yield on the 10-year benchmark bond has gained 40 basis points to 7.73%.

4 - YES Bank launched capacity building project for Haryana and Rajasthan farmers

YES Bank

YES Bank launched a CSR initiative capacity building project with farmers in Haryana and Rajasthan, across 15 districts under its ‘Livelihood and Water Security’ CSR initiative. The aim of this project is to create awareness on sustainable agricultural practices and inculcate digital literacy among farmers. YES bank will provide finance as well as digital banking resources to farmers.

YES BANK, since 2014, has provided more than 50 million beneficiaries access to safe and clean drinking water through its ‘Livelihood and Water Security’ CSR intervention by installing water purification systems and Water ATMs.

5 - ICBC launched China's first India-dedicated investment fund


The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China launched India’s first publicly offered investment fund named as ICBC Credit Suisse India Market Fund. The fund will invest in exchange-traded funds listed on more than 20 exchanges in Europe and the US that are based on the Indian market.

ICBC Credit Suisse India Market Fund will invest in future of the Indian economy. According to ICBC, they will benefit as investing in the Indian market means an investor can enjoy double-digit economic growth because India's GDP is already close to 7%of the world.

6 - Paytm launched automatic recurring payments


PayTm’s new feature ‘My Payments’ will be for customers to make high value payments. PayTm customers can avail facility of automatic recurring payments by giving standing instructions on their own. PayTm customers will have to use ‘My Payments’ feature and create standing instructions for high value payments such as Internet bill, electricity bill etc.

This facility will ease burden on customers on monthly expenses by automating all regular payments. Paytm is an Indian e-commerce payment system and digital wallet company.

7 - Fino Payments Bank launched digital suite of products


Fino Payments Bank launched a suite of digital products that can be accessed online and through mobile phones. Fino Payments Bank’s digital initiatives will help reach out to a larger segment of customers.

Fino Payment’s Bank digital products include:

  • Unified Payments Interface (UPI), BHIM app, game changer in P2P and merchant payments. Customers can access UPI, create virtual identity and make P2P payments.

  • Net Banking

  • Digi Savings Account: online account opening with only Aadhaar number and PAN card

  • FasTag: make digital payments at national highway toll plazas

8 - BSE became first Indian stock exchange to get US SEC’s DOSM recognition


BSE Ltd., Asia’s first stock exchange, has received recognition as a ‘Designated Offshore Securities Market’ (DOSM) from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). BSE, becomes the first stock exchange in India to receive DOSM recognition and now joins an elite list of foreign securities exchanges that have been recognized as DOSMs by the SEC.

DOSM status allows sale of securities to US investors through the trading venue of BSE without registration of such securities with the US SEC and thus eases the trades by US investors in India.

9 - YES Bank launched agenda 25×25


`YES BANK and YES Global Institute launched Agenda 25x25, which pledges to create a synergetic startup environment for budding women entrepreneurs in India, ensuring that by 2025 at least 25% of all Entrepreneurs in India are Women. It was announced at ‘Annual Startup Conclave’ organized by NITI Aayog, Invest India, Startup India and Atal Innovation Mission.

YES BANK also signed two agreements with iStart Rajasthan and FITT, IIT Delhi, wherein the bank will extend its in-house startup expertise, as part of its YES Head Startup program. iStart Rajasthan is a flagship initiative by the Rajasthan intended to create jobs and facilitate investment.

10 - Finance ministry tied up with 40 entities for extending loans to small entrepreneurs

Finance Ministry

The finance ministry has tied up with 40 entities including Flipkart, Swiggy, Patanjali and Amul for extending loans to small entrepreneurs under the Mudra scheme. These companies will identify people who need loans under Mudra Yojana, underwrite them and we will extend loans under the scheme.

PMMY was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 8, 2015, for providing loans of up to Rs 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises. The government has extended Rs 2.53 lakh crore credit under the Mudra Yojana in FY 2017-18, while Rs 5.73 lakh crore has been extended in last 3 years.

11 - RBI imposed Rs 5-cr Penalty on South Indian Bank

South Indian Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has slapped a fine of Rs 5 crore on South Indian Bank (SIB) for non-compliance to RBI's directions on Income Recognition and Asset Classification (IRAC) norms, Know Your Customer (KYC) norms and treasury function.

South Indian Bank reported divergence in asset classification of provisioning towards non-performing assets (NPAs) in comparison to RBI's assessment for 2016-17. The gap with respect to gross NPAs was Rs 8.39 crore, while for net NPAs, the divergence came in at negative Rs 15.13 crore.

12 - SIDBI to provide financial support to Village Level Entrepreneurs


Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) will provide financial support to Village Level Entrepreneurs who operate the Common Service Centres that act as access points for delivery of electronic services.

A memorandum of Understanding, MoU, was signed between SIDBI and Common Service Centres (CSCs) for providing financial support to such centres across the country. The existing VLEs (village level entrepreneurs) who have been operating CSCs for at least one year and looking to expand their operations are eligible for availing the financial support under the MoU, which is initially eyeing 50,000 VLEs.

13 - SBI reports record loss of Rs 7,718 crore in Q4


State Bank of India (SBI) reported a record standalone net loss of Rs 7,718 crore in the fourth quarter (January-March) of the fiscal year 2017-18. SBI had posted a net profit of Rs 2,815 crore in same period last year.

Gross NPAs, as a percentage of gross loans, jumped to 10.91% from 6.90% as on March-end 2017. Gross NPAs, as a percentage of gross loans, jumped to 10.91% from 6.90% as on March-end 2017.

14 - MCX Commences Options Trading on Copper Futures


Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (MCX) launched India’s first options contract on copper futures. This new options contract provides the optimal tool to hedge and mitigate price risk in copper for the stakeholders. MCX copper options are available to trade from 10:00am-11:30pm/11:55pm on weekdays.

Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited (MCX) is India’s first listed, national level, electronic, commodity derivatives exchange. It is also the first exchange to introduce commodity options in India.

15 - MCX launched India’s first silver options

MCX Silver

Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (MCX) has launched India’s first options contract on silver futures. Options contracts expiring in the months of June‘ 18, August ‘18, November ‘18, February ‘19 and April ‘19 have been currently offered for trading with corresponding silver (30 kilograms) futures as underlying.

Mr. Mrugank Paranjape is MD & CEO of MCX. Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited (MCX) is India’s first listed, national level, electronic, commodity derivatives exchange. It is also the first exchange to introduce commodity options in India.

16 - Government notified 8.55% interest on PF for 2017-18

PF Interest

Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has asked its field offices to credit 8.55% rate of interest for 2017-18 into the Provident Fund accounts of around 5 crore subscribers. According to an order issued by the EPFO, the Labour Ministry has conveyed approval to credit 8.55% rate of interest for last fiscal.

The EPFO had provided 8.65% interest for 2016-17.The members got 8.8% in 2015-16 and 8.75% each in 2014-15 and 2013-14. In 2012-13, EPFO had provided 8.5% interest rate on EPF.