20 July 2002
Anagram Securities opens branch in Karnataka
Bangalore: Anagram Securities Ltd, the stock broking arm of the Lalbhai group, has opened its branch in Karnataka.
No approval sought to sell holdings: UTI
New Delhi: The Unit Trust of India (UTI) has said that it has not sought the approval of the Government to sell its holding in any specific company like ITC Ltd. According to the Minister of State for Finance, Mr Anand G. Geete, the UTI has not sought permission from the Government to sell its holding in any company or buyer.
Tata MF plans to tap retail, high net worth investors
Kolkata: Tata Mutual Fund has lined up an income scheme with separate investment options for retail and high net worth investors. Christened Tata Income Plus, the scheme will add to the fund's growing list of debt-oriented products.
Annuity plan with definite returns `not feasible'
Chennai: As things stand today, a pension provider will have to mandatorily provide an annuity plan with guaranteed returns to its customers, so that when the accumulation period ends, the customer will have a regular income stream.
Dabur open to Aviva raising stake in venture
Mumbai: The Burmans of Dabur will not mind their partner, the CGNU Group (now Aviva Plc) of the UK, increasing its stake in the life insurance venture, Aviva, if regulation permits.
Banks likely to resume power sector funding
Mumbai: At the power meeting in RBI Towers on Friday, attended by the Power Minister, Power Secretary, NTPC officials and bankers (including RBI), a request was made to banks to offer five-year funds for NTPC and other Central power utilities at 10 per cent (fixed).
Repo rate sustainable: Jalan
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India Governor, Dr Bimal Jalan, yesterday said that the repo rate at 5.75 per cent was sustainable in the long run. RBI had last cut the repo rate on June 27 from 6 per cent to 5.75 per cent.
New Bill on NPA introduced
New Delhi: The Government today introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha to replace the Asset Reconstruction and Securitisation Ordinance. The Bill left the provision of the ordinance unchanged with no dilution provided as sought by industry. The Ordinance was promulgated on June 21.
ICICI Bank opposes bid to wind up Kothari Petro
Chennai: ICICI Bank has opposed a petition filed by the Allahabad Bank before the Madras High Court, asking for winding up Kothari Petrochemicals Ltd, a part of the Chennai-based H.C. Kothari group. In March 1998, Kothari Petrochemicals, a part of the Chennai-based H.C. Kothari group.
Govt rules out PFs entry into capital markets
New Delhi: The government has said there is no proposal as of now to allow provident funds to invest in the capital markets for realising better earnings.
Insurance firms must tap rural business
Mumbai: Life insurance companies must focus more on rural business besides moving from the agent-driven selling model to new distribution models.
Reserve Bank will maintain liquidity, Says Jalan
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of Indias governor, Dr Bimal Jalan, on Friday said that the central bank will continue to maintain liquidity in the market.
144 employees eligible for Sicom VRS
Mumbai: Nearly 144 of the total 270 employees would be eligible for the voluntary retirement scheme approved by the board of directors of Mumbai-based development bank Sicom Ltd.
19 July 2002
Crisil sounds alarm bells over state govt guarantees
Mumbai: Five states which together account for almost 50 per cent of the aggregate state-level guarantees is estimated to encounter aggregate debt servicing obligations of over Rs 44,000 crore over the next five years, says Crisil.
Harshad Mehta tops State Bank defaulters list at over Rs 800 crore
Mumbai: The late Harshad Mehta still rules the sweepstakes when it comes to NPAs in the Maharashtra region as on March 31, 2001 if the data on NPAs of over Rs 10 crore released by All India Bank Employees Association on Thursday is anything to go by.
Lord Krishna Bank plans acquisitions, public issue
Kochi: In order to become a major player in the private sector, Kerala-based Lord Krishna Bank has proposed initiatives which include an IPO, acquisition of small and medium private sector banks, providing inter-connectivity, launching 50 offsite ATMs and expanding branch networks.
South Indian Bank Q1 net up 22% to Rs 19 crore
Kochi: After making provisions for NPAs, standard assets, staff entitlements and taxation, South Indian Bank registered a net of Rs 18.81 crore compared to Rs 15.38 crore during the corresponding period last year.
GE Caps raises Rs 100 crore seven-year FRDs at 8.10%
Mumbai: GE Capital Services India has raised Rs 100 crore from the market through privately placed debentures at an interest rate at 190 basis points above the Reuters one-year government securities benchmark, which works out to 8.10 per cent.
Clearing Corporation plans alternative to call money
Mumbai: With the RBI planning to phase out non-bank entities from the call money market, the Clearing Corporation of India Ltd (CCIL) is set to introduce a new instrument as an alternative to call money, allowing participants to borrow and lend funds against securities.
Rupee steady; gilts bullish
Mumbai: The rupee closed steady on Thursday almost similar to its previous levels at 48.7750/78 against the dollar in a lacklustre forex market. Forex dealers said, that the market was inactive with thin trading volumes, as there was not much trading volumes, as there was not much movement in the currency. "Demand for the greenback is almost nil and supplies were adequate, so the rupee remained stable for the entire day,' said a forex dealer with a private sector bank.
Corpn Bank sets aside Rs 88 cr for tech upgradation
Mangalore: As part of its drive to build up an image of being a `technology-savvy' bank, the Mangalore-based Corporation Bank has set aside a sum of Rs 88 crore for technology upgradation, according to the bank's Chairman and Managing Director, Mr K. Cherian Varghese.
CanFin Q1 net rises 10 pc
Bangalore: Canfin Homes has increased its net profit by 10 per cent for the first quarter of the current financial year to Rs 4.49 crore. For the corresponding period of the last financial year, the net profit was Rs 4.07 crore.
RBI cheers up Govt with Rs 10,300-cr dividend
New Delhi: For a third consecutive year, the Reserve Bank of India has pitched in a big way to help the Centre tide over its cash flow problems. The RBI, which is the Government's debt manager, has decided to transfer close to Rs 10,300 crore as dividend to the Government out of its surplus profit for 2001-02 (July-June), according to the Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Mr C.M. Vasude.
RBI surplus profit surges above Rs 10,000 crore
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India seems to have good news for the Finance Minister struggling to find resources to fill the Budget deficit. For the year ending June 2002, the surplus profit of the bank seems to have surged from Rs 9,350 crore last year Rs 10,750 crore this year, a bonus of Rs 1,400 crore.
Online phone bill payment thru Centurion Bank
Ernakulam: An online telephone bill payment facility for the customers of Centurion Bank has been inaugurated by Mr John Thomas, General Manager (Finance), BSNL, Ernakulam, here.
Union Bank Q1 net up 81 pc at Rs 114 crore
Mumbai: Union Bank of India has registered a 80.72 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 113.91 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2002 from Rs 63.03 crore in the corresponding quarter in the previous year.
Bank defaults mount to Rs 80,246 cr: AIBEA
Kolkata: Till March 31, 2001, a total of 12,090 accounts defaulted to the tune of Rs 80,246.46 crore to banks and financial institutions in the country, according to a study undertaken by the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA).
'Defend PSU banking' rallies today
Thiruvananthapuram: The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), Kerala, will observe "Defend public sector banking day' on July 19 by holding rallies and meetings throughout the State. The State Convener of UBFU, Mr V.G. Sidharthan, said that the bank staff will attend office on Friday wearing badges.
18 July 2002
SBI Life plans endowment products, eyes mid-east market
Mumbai: SBI Life Insurance is actively looking at selling its policies in the Middle-East, and would also soon come out with endowment products, a senior company official said.
Corporation Bank launches Corp E-Cheque
Mumbai: Corporation Bank on Wednesday introduced 'Corp E-Cheque' service by combining its internet banking product with Electronic Funds Transfer scheme of RBI to facilitate payment to pre-approved beneficiaries within 48 hours.
JP Morgan chase profits rise on consumer banking
JP Morgan Chase & Co Inc, the number two US bank holding company, said on Wednesday its quarterly profit before one-time items rose, as gains in consumer banking operations offset weak trading results.
Citigroup profits rise 15 per cent
Mumbai: Citigroup Inc, on Wednesday posted a 15 per cent rise in quarterly profits, as growth in consumer lending, credit cards and bonds businesses offset a slowdown in stock market-related revenues like advising on mergers.
Bank of Canada raises rates, cautious about future
Mumbai: Bank of Canada raised its overnight interest rate for the third time this year on Tuesday to keep the high-flying economy in check but said market and corporate uncertainty have made it more cautious about economic prospects than just a month ago.
17 July 2002
ECGC net rises 29 per cent despite increased claims
Depressed overseas markets , fluctuating prices and a sharp increase in wilful defaults have resulted in a 130 per cent spurt in claims on Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Ltd (ECGC). Claims settled by the corporation during the year ended March 31, 2002, increased to Rs 487.12 crore compared to Rs 212.49 crore for the year ended March 31, 2001. The rise is also due to the settlement of several pending claims, said a senior official.
ECGC, however, reported a net profit of Rs 46.04 crore for the year ended March 31, 2002, up 29 per cent from Rs 35.55 crore for the year ended March 31, 2001.
DSL Soft opens centre for banking tech
DSL Software, a joint venture between HCL Technologies and Deutsche Bank, in alliance with the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, has launched `Centre for research in finance and banking,' a centre of excellence for banking technology.
ICDS suspends transactions
ICDS Ltd , a Non Banking Finance Company belonging to the Pai group of Manipal has suspended transactions.
At a meeting held in Manipal on Monday, the company decided to suspend transactions, return the money deposited with it and `come out' of the NBFC business. The company, however, has decided to continue with its `fee-based activities.'
Corporationn Bank to launch `Corp e-cheque'
Corporation Bank is now in the process of launching yet another `value-added service' called Corp e-cheque. The new service is to be launched in Mumbai on Wednesday by the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Mr Vepa Kamesam.
This service is said to combine "the power of CorpNet, the banks's Internet banking product, with the electronic funds transfer scheme of the Reserve Bank of India' to effect transfer of funds across banks and facilitating payment to pre-approved beneficiaries within 48 hours.
The request for remittance
SBI Mumbai Card launched
SBI Cards has launched SBI Mumbai Card, `a city affinity card' exclusively for the citizens of Mumbai.
According to a press release, the SBI Mumbai Card captures the `spirit of Mumbai' with a visual of the Queen's Necklace on Marine Drive.
The card is designed to appeal to a broad-based target audience in the 25-plus age group ranging from young professionals to middle and upper middle class segments as well as travellers.
16 July 2002
ICICI launches `Direct Alerts'
Mumbai: Online share trading service, ICICIdirect.com, has launched `Direct Alerts', a facility that gives "pre-specified alerts to customers through short messaging service'.
Ripples in `The Millionaire Club'
Mumbai: Karvy and Bajaj Capital, two leading distributors of financial products, are sparring over an interesting investment concept, named by the former as `The Millionaire Club'.
Kotak MF scheme with exposure to US T-Bills
Mumbai: Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund plans to launch a new close-ended scheme - K US Treasury - that will provide Indian investors an opportunity to invest in US Treasury Securities.
Savings bank deregulation not now
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India has practically ruled out deregulating savings bank rates for now. "We cannot do it right now," said the RBI Governor, Dr Bimal Jalan.
NPA Ordinance may cover urban co-ops too
New Delhi: The first major change in the Ordinance for recovery of non-performing assets (NPA) is in the offing with the Government agreeing to widen its scope to include urban co-operative banks (UCBs) under the new legal dispensation.
IFCI may be denied access to EPF funds - ICICI also to be struck off PFI list
New Delhi: The finance ministry is planning to knock off the troubled financial institution IFCI as ell as ICICI from the list of eligible public financial institutions whose bonds can be subscribed to by provident funds.
Western Union to tie up with banks, FIs
Mumbai: Western Union Financial Services is planning expand its operations by tying up with banks and financial institutions. Mr Anil Kapur, Director General-India, Western Union, said that Western Union has seen a 75 per cent increase in revenues
Catholic Syrian AGM to take up insurance foray
Thrissur: The 81st annual general meeting of the Thrissur-based Catholic Syrian Bank (CSB) proposes to move a special resolution for suitably altering the `Objects' clause of the memorandum of association to enable the bank enter insurance business.
UTI Bank to raise capital - Eyes foreign investors for pvt placement
Mumbai: UTI Bank is looking for foreign investors to privately place close to Rs 200 crore equity. The bank proposes an equity dilution of about 12-15 per cent in the third quarter of this financial year.
IDBI Bank unveils products for SMEs
Mumbai: IDBI Bank has announced the launch of two new products targeted at the small and medium business clientele in Andhra Pradesh, which it claimed would enable the clientele avail of significant savings on their transactions.
IDBI Bank opens Kochi branch
Kochi: IDBI Bank opened its Kochi branch on Monday. It is the bank's fourth branch in the State, 18th branch in the South and 83rd in the country. With the renewed thrust on retail banking, the focus will be on providing value-added services to the customers.
RBI optimistic on growth forecast: Jalan
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India governor Dr Bimal Jalan on Monday said that the central bank is optimistic about its forecast of achieving 6-6.5 per cent economic growth during the current fiscal.
Big corporate houses in RBI defaulters list
Mumbai: Big corporate houses including Sanghi, Sol Pharma, Siris, Pennar are among the top five defaulters from Andhra Pradesh that figured in the recently released RBI report.
Delhi Defaulters owe Rs 7,200 crore to banks
New Delhi: Banks and financial institutions accumulated about Rs 7,200 crore NPAs due to non-payment of loans by wilful defaulters in the Delhi region.
Western Union to tie up with banks, FIs
New Delhi: Western Union Financial Services (WUFS) is planning to expand its operations by tying up with banks and financial institutions (FIs).
Says WUFS director general (India) Anil Kapur: "We have seen a 75-per cent increase in revenues over last year. Besides India Post, with whom we have a tie-up, we are in talks with banks and FIs to increase our reach."
WUFS already has a tie-up with Karnataka Bank and Lord Krishna Bank. After the tie-up with India Post, WUFS is offering its services in over 3,000 Indian post office locations and plans to aggressively enhance the Indian post office locations in the next six months.
IDBI Bank unveils two products for SMEs
Hyderabad: IDBI Bank has announced the launch of two new products targeted at small and medium business clientele in Andhra Pradesh, which the bank claims will enable the clientele avail of significant savings on their transactions.
Says IDBI Bank cluster head (Hyderabad) M Vasudevan: "Both the products - Business Premium Current Account and Business Special Current Account - are aimed at the banks small and medium business customers."
The features of these products that make such significant savings possible are free electronic funds transfer, free cheque collections, free demand drafts and free inter-branch banking.
Vasudevan says some of the add-ons offered with these new service packages include sweep in facility linked to fixed deposits, local cheque book, personalised payable at par cheque book, monthly statements by courier and e-mail, phone banking, third party transfers through Internet-banking - all at no additional cost.
Bank of India Q1 net profit increases 42%
Mumbai: Bank of India has posted a 42.43-per cent rise in net profit for the quarter ended 30 June 2002 at Rs 177.15 crore as compared to Rs 124.38 crore in the corresponding quarter in the previous year.
The growth in net profit can be ascribed to a substantial increase in treasury income from the sale of securities, at Rs 147 crore for the quarter ended 30 June 2002 (Rs 65 crore).
The total income of the bank stood at Rs 1,698.55 crore (Rs 1,531.69 crore). This is inclusive of the interest earned at Rs 1,412.17 crore (Rs 1,332.63 crore) and other income at Rs 286.38 crore (Rs 199.06 crore).
The total expenditure, excluding provisions and contingencies, stood at Rs 1,319.07 crore (Rs 1,291.33 crore). The operating cost to the net income has declined to below 50 per cent from the previous 61 per cent.
"The cost control measures taken during the year, coupled with benefits accrued following the voluntary retirement scheme implemented last year, have resulted in operating costs declining," says Bank of India chairman and managing director K V Krishnamurthy.
The provisions and contingencies were at Rs 142.28 crore (Rs 69.96 crore). The banks gross non-performing assets (NPA) have declined to 8.91 per cent (10.42 per cent). The net NPA has declined to 5.78 per cent (6.79 per cent).
Bank of Indias global advances (net) went up by 25.40 per cent on a year-on-year basis to touch Rs 39,234 crore. Domestic advances grew by 23.08 crore to touch Rs 28,854 crore, while foreign advances rose by 32.33 per cent to Rs 10,380 crore.
Global deposits are up 16.59 per cent at Rs 60,833 crore. Domestic deposits grew by 16.81 per cent to touch Rs 49,640 crore, while foreign deposits rose by 15.61 per cent to reach Rs 11,193 crore.
For the current year, the bank is targeting an operating profit of Rs 1,650 crore and a net profit of Rs 700 crore, says Krishnamurthy.
Corporation Bank launches two products
Mangalore: Corporation Bank has launched two more products - CorpJunior and CorpSenior.
CorpJunior is meant to facilitate easy transfer of money to the customers wards studying in "distant places," while CorpSenior is meant to take care of money transfers to the customers dependent parents or spouse. The transfer of funds is effected through the banks inter-connected online ATMs across India.
Any accountholder of the bank can now open CorpJunior or CorpSenior accounts in the branch where he maintains his/her account and get CorpBank ATM cards for his wards, dependent parents or spouse, which can then be used to withdraw money from these accounts at the dependents place of residence.
The accountholder can transfer money to these accounts as per his/her requirements or give standing instructions to the bank for periodical transfers. Accountholders also have access to information regarding their accounts through the ATMs.
The ATM card can be used across the banks online ATM network from Amritsar to Thiruvananthapuram and from Ahmedabad to Kolkata.
These new accounts, the bank says, eliminate the "hassles" faced in the "traditional modes" of remittance by demand drafts and dispatch through mail or courier services.
15 July 2002
Forget queues; bank online
Mumbai: Banks are trying to bring on `channel migration'. They are trying to coax people vexed with crowds and queues to bank online.Value-added services are being offered by the dozen to entice them. `
LIC scuppers States' bid to buy back high-cost loans
Mumbai: Life Insurance Corporation has blocked States' attempts to buy back loans. LIC is the largest financier for State Governments, both directly and indirectly.
Traders shy away from long-dated securities
Mumbai: Traders are still shy of going in to securities, which are long-dated. This is because long-dated securities in excess of 10 years tend to be less liquid, especially since the bulk of the liabilities profile in the banking system is short-ended.
SBI ready with social plan
Bangalore: State Bank of India has finalised an action plan to conduct 460 community service banking (CSB) activities in Kerala under various schemes during the current fiscal. The plan would cover various schemes for the weaker sections
Short-term govvies to see good interest
Mumbai: As there is a shortage of short-term G-sec bonds in the secondary market, there should be overwhelming investor interest for this security. At current levels of forward premium, investment opportunities for banks are dwindling and there is sustained interest to invest in `AAA' rated paper.
Defaulters keen to settle NPA dues
Mumbai: Bankers are a joyous lot as the Ordinance to sanitise non-performing assets has begun to have its effect even before the lenders started cracking the whip provided by the law.
HSBC rules out takeover bids for Now; seeks 51% holding
Mumbai: HSBC has ruled out takeover or acquisition of any Indian bank till the present cap on foreign holding is not raised to at least 51 per cent.
ECB proceeds now allowed for real estate
New Delhi: The central government has said companies can now use proceeds from external commercial borrowings to invest in the real estate of other domestic companies. But the funds cannot be used to acquire stakes in those companies.
The government has issued a notification in this regard saying proceeds from external commercial borrowings as well as those from ADRand FCCB could be used to buy shares of public sector companies in the course of their disinvestment.
This has been done to encourage foreign direct investment in new properties instead of companies paying a higher premium for properties in prime locations.
The finance ministry clarification means that while a company can buy assets, it will not be allowed surrogate transfer of ownership by using the proceeds from external commercial borrowings.
While the finance ministrys position has nixed the possibility of companies using the foreign direct investment avenue in any other sector to set up a concern and then seek permission to avail external commercial loans for funding the takeover of other going concerns, it has allowed them to invest proceeds from external commercial borrowings to fund their horizontal expansion programmes.
IIB vocational courses for non-members
Mumbai: The Indian Institute of Bankers (IIB) is planning to throw open its doors to non-members for the first time to enable youngsters to pursue vocational certificate and diploma courses in banking and financial services.
IIB is seeking to prepare young aspirants for taking up careers in the Indian financial services sector. For starting vocational courses, IIB has initiated talks with the UK-based Bournemouth University for an alliance, says IIB according chief executive officer R H Sarma.
The university, whose programmes are designed and delivered in such a way as to give graduates a headstart in pursuing employment and career enhancement, is one of the premier providers of vocational higher education in the UK.
IIBs board has already taken a decision to offer innovative, job-oriented courses to non-members. The decision will require ratification (by amending the articles of association and memorandum of association) at the institutes annual general meeting scheduled to be held next month, says Sarma.
IIB has also tied up with the Australian Securities Institute for offering an 18-month post-graduate diploma course in financial advisory services. The course, which will be started in December 2002, includes a two-month intensive campus coaching at the UTI Institute of Capital Markets, Navi Mumbai.
Internationally, a licence is required for individuals to act as financial advisors, by advising clients on investing in equities, debt, mutual funds or insurance. We see this happening in our country, too. Hence, IIB is in talks with the capital markets regulator for recognising this course, says Sarma.
IIB has recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Canadian Institute of Bankers for offering simulated training to bankers in credit, treasury, investment and risk management, branch operations, balance analysis among others.
Vijaya Bank clocks 55% net growth in Q1
Bangalore: Vijaya Bank has recorded a 54.7-per cent growth in its net profit during the first quarter of the current financial year.
The higher net profit of Rs 40.77 crore as against Rs 26.74 crore last year is significant as it has been achieved after making increased provisioning, amounting to Rs 35.08 crore.
The banks says for the first quarter ended 30 June 2002, a decline in operating expenses from Rs 107.25 crore in 2001 to Rs 928.22
crore in June 2002, and a substantial increase in the non-interest income from Rs 38.03 crore to Rs 53.83 crore, have also helped the bank achieve a higher profit.
S&P withdraws AA- rating to Gulf Insurance
Dubai: Following the restructuring activities at Gulf Insurance group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Travelers Property Casualty Corp, a Citigroup arm, Standard & Poors (S&P) has withdrawn its AA- counter-party credit and financial strength ratings on Gulf Insurance Co UK (Gulf UK).
The ratings had been placed on CreditWatch with negative implications on 12 March 2002 based on the companys earlier exclusion from the Travelers Property Casualty Pool.
Gulf UK is a London-based property and casualty company. As of 31 March 2002 the entity had reported a year-to-date net income of $1.5 million and had a capital and surplus account totalling $24.8 million.
In May 2002 the group announced $125-million investment by Trident II LP, a private equity fund managed by MMC Capital specialising in making investments in insurance, reinsurance and financial services sectors.
Gulf UK could quickly evolve into a new organisation, and any prospective rating would have to be based on a review of a detailed business plan and new support agreements, says S&P credit analyst Michael Gross.
SBI Cards unveils Mumbai city affinity card
Mumbai: SBI Cards (www.sbicard.com), Indias fastest-growing credit card, has announced the launch of Indias first city affinity card: SBI Mumbai Card.
Loaded with the best of local and global features, SBI Mumbai Card is an exclusive initiative for the citizens of Mumbai. SBI Cards is the fastest growing credit card with over 950,000 cards issued to date.
Says SBI Cards and Payment Services Ltd CEO Iqbal Singh: Mumbai is a city with passion and energy - its about people, its about lifestyles, and its about a rare spirit of enthusiasm and zest for life. Above all they love the experience of Mumbai from the corner shop to the newest pub or restaurant. It is this unique character that SBI Mumbai Card captures through a host of unmatched features, as well as exclusive offers. SBI Mumbai Card is one more initiative in a series of pioneering, innovative products and services introduced by SBI Cards in the Indian payment card industry.
The SBI Mumbai Card captures the spirit of Mumbai with a striking visual of the Queen's Necklace on Marine Drive, one of the citys most prominent landmarks. Designed to appeal to a broad-based target audience in the 25-plus age group ranging from young professionals to middle- and upper middle-class segments as well as travelers, SBI Mumbai Card features a range of exciting global and city-specific benefits.
Besides special discounts ranging from 10 to 30 per cent across different categories of merchants in Mumbai, including restaurants, garments, automobiles, music, books, electronics, jewellery and health centers, SBI Mumbai Card cardholders can avail of exclusive travel and holiday offers around India along with special offers on air travel. Cardholders will also have exclusive access to events, movie shows and other promotions in Mumbai. So, be it dining at Pali Hill or eating at Beverly Hills, SBI Mumbai Card promises to make your life simple wherever you go.
SBI Mumbai Card will be loaded with the Triple Advantage Rewards Programme; hereby customers can redeem their points for fees or get discounts on leading brands or get attractive gifts. These offers are over and above the regular global benefits offered on an SBI International Credit Card such as:
- Cash access at over 8,00,000 Visa/Plus ATMs globally
- Free insurance protection including personal accident insurance cover
- Tele-draft facility
- Lost baggage protection when traveling in India or overseas
- Lost card protection
- 24-hour SBI Card customer helpline in India and Visa emergency services in 73 countries
- Free membership for an international calling card
- Purchase protection facility
- Balance transfer facility
- Account access on the web - 24x7 access to card account details, unbilled transactions, online statements and payment history.
SBI Mumbai Card is available at a joining fee of Rs 250 and an annual fee of Rs 750. To be eligible to acquire the card, salaried people will have to show an annual income of Rs 75,000 while for self-employed individuals the eligibility level is an annual income of Rs 60,000.
To apply for SBI Mumbai Card, forms are conveniently available at SBIs extensive branch network as well as at any of the participating outlets. Customers can also call the 24-hour SBI Card customer helpline to avail of forms or download the same from www.sbicard.com
SBI Cards adopts a long-term strategy to set industry benchmarks in customer service, supported with the use of state-of-the-art technology and the widest customer support and distribution network in the country. Its goal to expand the market for credit cards has been built on:
- Speed: Unique 14-day average turnaround time
- Simplicity: Simple application process with minimum documentation
- Service: 24/7-access to SBI Card helpline via a local call.
SBI Cards is a joint venture between State Bank of India (SBI) and GE Capital to offer Indian consumers extensive access to a wide range of world-class, value-added payment products and services. The partnership leverages the competitive advantages of SBIs brand equity, customer relationship and incomparable market presence with GE Capitals global expertise and experience in technology and processes, Six Sigma approach to quality, world-class customer service, retail marketing, product development and risk and credit management.
The partners have set up two joint venture companies to develop SBIs payment card business in India - SBI Cards and Payment Services Ltd - which focuses on the marketing and distribution of SBI Cards and GE Capital Business Processes Management Services Ltd, which handles the technology and processing needs of SBI Cards.
SBI Cards is the largest issuer of Visa cards in India. In the short span of 38 months since its launch, SBI Cards has issued over 900,000 cards in 41 cities and towns across India.
Global credit trends on the upswing: S&P
New York: The global credit quality continues its upswing into the second quarter of 2002, says a Standard and Poors (S&P) report. According to the report the global credit ratio - ratio of downgrades per upgrade - fell to 3.1 in the second quarter from 5.3 in the first quarter and 7.0 in the final quarter of 2001.
A total of 253 downgrades and 82 upgrades were recorded in the second quarter compared with 303 downgrades and 57 upgrades a quarter ago and 267 downgrades and 59 downgrades in the second quarter of 2001.
Improvements were noted in the US, the European Union (EU), and in the emerging markets compared with the first quarter. The credit ratio for the US fell to 3.4 in the latest quarter from 5.4 a quarter earlier; the corresponding ratio for the EU was 3.4 and 20.5, respectively. Within emerging markets, credit quality improvements in the Asia Pacific region more than compensated for the sharp deterioration in Latin America.
But the credit ratio remained flat at 8.0 in Japan and worsened to 4.0 from 2.0 in Canada. With 48 upgrades and 162 downgrades, the US share of total ratings actions rose to 63 per cent in the second quarter from 59 per cent in the first.
Even though the global tally of downgrades should continue to decline in the second half of the year, additional downward pressure on credit quality could materialise if further accounting irregularities surface or earnings restatements emerge, the report adds.
A total of 133 defaults were recorded globally at the end of the second quarter on rated debt obligations worth $85 billion. At the end of the first quarter, there were 80 defaults on $37.8 billion of rated debt. Of the publicly rated defaults in the second quarter, the US (and Bermuda) accounted for the lion's share, with 67 issuers defaulting on $68.5 billion. The EU came in second, with 10 defaults on rated debt worth $6.4 billion, followed by Canada, which recorded four defaults on rated debt of $5.1 billion.
At the end of June 2002, the rolling 12-month global speculative-grade default rate was 11.17 per cent, up from 10.61 per cent recorded a quarter earlier. In this period, the US speculative-grade default rate actually declined to 9.62 per cent from 9.80 per cent. The global tally of 48 weakest-rated issuers as of 9 July 2002 - denoting issuers that have credit rating designations of triple-'C' or lower and have been placed either on CreditWatch with negative implications or have a negative outlook - is lower than the peak of 59 issuers identified in January, indicating that global default rates are likely to decelerate modestly in the remainder of 2002.
Volatility in US industrial credit spreads has turned up once again after having abated in the first quarter. Speculative-grade credit spreads ended the second quarter at 710 basis points, higher than the 600 basis points at the end of the first quarter but still below their October 2001 peak.
Meanwhile, investment grade credit spreads - recorded at 170 basis points on 28 June 2002 - still remain wider than their levels at the end of the first quarter. Even though the Federal Reserve is expected to keep benchmark interest rates on hold in the US until early next year, spreads-both speculative-grade and investment-grade - will remain vulnerable to recurring headline risk, states S&P.
New issue volume in the US will fail to match last year's stellar levels. In the first half of this year, issuance volumes fell 18.4 per cent year-over- year to US$404.9 billion. The surge in refinancing of bank debt and commercial paper is coming to an end and even though some opportunistic issuance cannot be ruled out as long as interest rates remain relatively low, future gains in issuance volume will depend on a revitalisation of capital spending by businesses.
Issuance levels in the EU are also substantially lower - having declined 13.7 per cent in January-June over a year ago to US$338.3 billion - than the record levels seen a year earlier, notwithstanding continued low interest rates.
According to S&P, the subdued merger-and-acquisition activity combined with a poor earnings and profitability outlook have curbed appetite for new issues. During the second quarter, the decline in volumes spread beyond the ailing telecommunications sector and affected a broader range of sectors.
The outlook for new issues in Japan is less gloomy since the start of the new fiscal year (beginning April) even though issuance volumes of $55.4 billion in the first half of the year still trail last years levels by 1.5 per cent. Bank loans continue to shrink but cash rich investors have shown increased proclivity to re-enter the bond market in search of higher yields.
The convertible debt market also shows strong gains based on expectations of a stock market rebound after years of stagnation. If the rising tide in business sentiment - as reflected in the most recent Tankan survey - maintains momentum, issuance volumes could outpace last years levels.
Emerging-market corporate bond issuance picked up in the second quarter, owing to gains in the Asia-Pacific region, notably South Korea. Issuance volume of US$68.6 billion was recorded in the first half, an increase of 6.9 per cent over the corresponding period a year ago. The outlook is mixed for the remainder of the year.
Relatively tight spreads and rising optimism about economic fundamentals should boost issuance from Asia but will be counterbalanced by downbeat prospects from Latin America. The cost of borrowing in emerging markets will also remain vulnerable to a potential blowout of spreads either in the US or Europe.