The Week in Review for 13 August 2010

The Week in Review for 13 August 2010

The RBI has proposed a set of norms for new private banks. In a discussion paper released on Wednesday it suggested new rules for companies seeking new bank licenses. They say applicants should have diversified ownership and should not have real estate investments. Also, foreign holdings in the new banks will have to stay at 50% or below. The RBI is now inviting comments on its suggestions including issues like minimum capital requirements and caps on the shareholdings of promoters and foreign companies.

India’s biggest bank has beaten all forecasts. On Thursday State Bank of India reported a 25% increase in first quarter profits to about 2.914 crore. Net interest margin shot up 88 basis points to 3.18%. The gain in the margin has been caused an increase in low-cost deposits.

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The government has given phone company Research in Motion an ultimatum. On Thursday the home ministry told RIM it had until the end of this month to give it access to its BlackBerry enterprise server. The decision came after a home a ministry meeting that included officials from the Intelligence Bureau and the department of telecommunications. In response to the deadline, RIM has said it will submit a new proposal to the home ministry. India and several other countries are worried terrorists and criminals will communicate with each other using BlackBerry services that cannot be intercepted at present.

India and the United States are getting closer to an agreement on social security contributions. The two sides have held a series of meetings over the last month to pave the way for a deal. If a so-called totalization agreement comes into effect, some expat workers from both countries will get refunds and benefits for social security payments they make out of their income. Lobby group Nasscom estimates India’s IT industry and professionals pay $1 billion in American social security contributions every year. India and the US are hoping to sign the totalization agreement in November when president Obama visits.

The Bombay high court has given market regulator Sebi until 30 September to decide on an application from MCX-SX. The exchange had applied to Sebi for permission to trade in equities, but went to court after not getting one.