Mumbai: The country’s largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank Ltd, on Thursday said Anup K. Pujari has been nominated as the government nominee director on its board, effective from 27 January.
He replaces Arun Ramanathan, finance secretary, as the government nominee, the bank said in a filing to Bombay Stock Exchange.
RBI extends loan recast deadline
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday allowed banks to start restructuring stressed assets till 31 March from an earlier deadline of 31 January, the central bank said in a notification. RBI also extended banks’ foreign exchange swap facility to fund their overseas operations to 31 March, 2010 from 30 June 2009 earlier.
The restructuring of stressed assets has to end by 30 June, for loans that turned into bad debts after 1 September.
Banks can restructure loans two times, except realty loans which can be restructured only once. “It has been represented to the Reserve Bank that due to increased workload, the banks have not been able to adhere to the January 31, 2009 time schedule,” it said.
RBI also raised the ceiling on export credit in foreign currency to London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) plus 350 basis points from 100 basis points earlier, with immediate effect.
In another development, RBI directed non-banking financial companies with an asset size of at least Rs100 crore to inform it within a fortnight of any rating downgrades or upgrades to their financial products.
—Anup Roy & PTI
SC cuts compensation for land bought by NTPC
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday cut compensation payable by NTPC Ltd for acquiring agricultural land for its 1,200 MW Faridabad gas-based power project. It reduced compensation by 20% for the 325 acres (one acre is 4,840 sq. yards) acquired by Haryana in five villages for the thermal plant. A bench headed by justice L.S. Panta reduced the amount from Rs306 to Rs289 per sq. yard on NTPC’s plea.
NDCEX plea to reduce charges rejected by HC
Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Thursday dismissed the petition filed by National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Ltd (NCDEX) over slashing of transaction rates by the exchange.
Faced with a sharp drop in turnover since July, NCDEX last month created two slabs for exchange rates?before 5pm and after 5pm. But Forward Market Commission (FMC) had objected to the new rate regime saying it might affect the business of two other commodity exchanges adversely.
NCDEX had announced uniform charges of Rs3 for every lakh of total value of all trades in commodities from 10am to 5pm and five paise in the second session from 5pm to 11pm. Rates in the second slab were cut to attract trade in metals.
Maytas files legal notice against Vedanta
New Delhi: Maytas Infra Ltd., controlled by the family of Satyam Computer Services Ltd founder Ramalinga Raju, sent a legal notice to Vedanta Aluminium Ltd for illegally encashing its bank guarantees.
Vedanta Aluminium converted to cash two bank guarantees worth Rs64 crore ($13 million) on 20 January, Hyderabad-based Maytas said in a statement on Thursday. The bank guarantees were given by Maytas for an order awarded by Vedanta Aluminium in May to construct a township, Maytas said. Vedanta has encashed the bank guarantees without even terminating the contract or establishing any breach of the terms and conditions by Maytas, the company said.
Tata Steel’s rating cut on industry outlook: S&P
Mumbai: India’s biggest producer Tata Steel Ltd had its rating cut one notch at Standard and Poor’s (S&P), which cited weak market conditions for steel products. The rating was reduced to BB-, three steps below investment grade, from BB, with a negative outlook, the agency said in a statement on Thursday.
The negative outlook reflects the difficult industry conditions in the metals and mining sector, including steel, the agency said.
Lanka will boost stock trading with India tie-up
Mumbai: Sri Lanka, whose benchmark stock index surged 20% this year on prospects the nation’s civil war may be ending, is in talks to form an alliance with an Indian equity market to help bolster trading. Regulators aim to start trading in derivatives by the end of the year, Channa de Silva, director general of the nation’s Securities and Exchange Commission, said. Sri Lanka also may offer a stake in the island-nation’s bourse to the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd(NSE) which did not comment on the issue.
Sterlite may be close to acquiring Asarco
Wilmington Delaware/Mexico City: Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd, the nation’s largest copper producer, is close to signing a contract to buy Asarco LLC, potentially ending the US miner’s four-year- old bankruptcy, two people involved in the talks said.
The companies have agreed on a dollar value for the sale of Asarco’s assets and other major points of a proposed contract, said the people, who declined to be identified as they aren’t authorized to speak on the subject.
Sterlite would pay less than the $2.6 billion it had offered for Asarco last year before prices declined. Asarco’s managers had planned to reorganize the company and pay creditors in the original sale plan.
UTV falls as founde pledge most of stake
Mumbai: Media company UTV Software Communications Ltd backed by Walt Disney Co., dropped to the lowest in two months during trading in Mumbai after its founders pledged a 23% stake, or almost their entire holding.
On Thursday, the Mumbai-based company fell as much as 13.6% to Rs211, the lowest since 3 December, before closing at Rs231.55%, down 5.30%.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said on 21 January that founders and controlling stakeholders will have to disclose shares pledged to lenders following the alleged accounting fraud at Satyam Computer Services Ltd, which unraveled after the founders’ shares were sold.
Chief executive officer Rohinton Screwvala pledged a 5.9% stake, or almost 93% of his holding in the company, according to a statement sent to the National Stock Exchange.
Unilazer Hongkong Ltd and Unilazer Exports and Management Consultants Ltd., which are controlled by the founders, pledged 17 % stake, or almost all their shares.
Phase I trial of AIDS combo vaccine allowed
New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has received approval to begin phase one human clinical trials for testing the safety and efficacy of two AIDS vaccine candidates ADVAX and TBC-M4 when combined in dosage. The trial will be conducted at two ICMR institutions, the National AIDS Research Institute in Pune, Maharashtra, and the Tuberculosis Research Centre (TRC) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. YRG CARE, Chennai, will be collaborating with TRC for advocacy and community mobilization for the trial.
MTNL launches 3G services commercially
New Delhi: Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) on Thursday became the first to commercially rolled out third generation services, under which a customer would be able to access live TV, movie downloads and high speed Internet on mobile phones, at a monthly rental of Rs599.
System glitch halts bond trading: dealers
MUMBAI: Trading on India’s electronic bond trading platform was shut by technical problems on Thursday, forcing some banks to execute orders by telephone and hitting volumes in other parts of the market.
The platform was down during the release of weekly inflation figures, an important data point for bond traders.
Bond trading on the Negotiated Dealing System - Order Matching (NDS-OM), the online trading platform launched by the Clearing Corporation of India, stopped before 11am and remained down nearly five hours later, three dealers said.
A Clearing Corp spokesman was not available to comment.
Traders said the stoppage, attributed to technical glitches by clearing house officials, spread to other sections of the fixed-income market such as call money and the collateralised borrowing and lending obligations market, a secured form of money market lending.
“Most of us are keeping quiet as without the NDS we cannot trade, though some of the participants are accessing the voice market,” a dealer at a private bank said, referring to trades done over the telephone via brokers.
The last trade on the system at 10:44 a.m. showed the 8.24% 2018 bond yield at 6.49%, unchanged from the previous close, the clearing house website showed.
Volume was at Rs2,325 crore ($476 million), compared with an average daily volume of between Rs5,000-7,000 billion rupees in the past two weeks, an analyst at a foreign bank said.
“There is some technical problem which (is) affecting orders from getting placed,” said a senior official at the clearing house, who declined to be identified because he is not permitted to speak with the media on the record. “We have informed the RBI and investigating into the matter.”
He did not say when he expected trade to resume.
The halt in trading spilled over to the over-the-counter fixed-income derivatives market, with volumes in overnight indexed swaps falling by 30-40%, two traders said.
The unscheduled halt in trading on NDS-OM is the longest since its launch in August 2005.
“The problem is not from the Reserve Bank of India’s end,” an RBI spokeswoman said.