Financial Awareness for RBI Grade B-18 July 2017

Financial Awareness for RBI Grade B-18 July 2017

  1. Gujarat HC turns down Essar Steel plea against RBI’s insolvency proceedings (Source: BS/ ET)

  • The Gujarat High Court on July 17th disposed of Essar Steel’s petition against insolvency proceedings initiated by its lenders after a directive by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • This is likely to smoothen the insolvency proceedings against Essar as well as the 11 other non-performing accounts identified by the RBI. The four other steel companies on the list, however, have already said they would cooperate with lenders and not move the court to stall proceedings.
  • The Ahmedabad bench of the NCLT is likely to take up insolvency proceedings against Essar Steel, initiated by a consortium of 22 banks led by the State Bank of India as well as Standard Chartered Bank. The court asked the RBI to see to it that benefits of all its schemes were “equally offered and extended to all without discrimination”.

2. Fino Payments Bank launches operations (Source: MINT)

  • Fino Payments Bank started operations on July 17th with 410 branches, becoming the fourth payments bank in India after Airtel Payments Bank, India Post Payments Bank and Paytm Payments Bank.

3. Lending to priority sector is good business, Mundra tells banks (Source: BL)

  • Given the overexposure of the banking system to large corporates and the consequences thereof in the last few years, Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor SS Mundra said lending to priority sector is good business for all the right and justifiable reasons.
  • “With a little effort, one could create large credit volumes whereas creating similar volumes in the priority sector would have required commitment of larger resources in terms of branch staff and operating people,” he said.
  • Priority sector loans include those given by banks to segments such as agriculture, micro, small and medium enterprises, affordable housing, and renewable energy.

4. Near-term outlook is positive for the rupee (Source: BL)

  • The Indian rupee continued to strengthen for the second consecutive week, within the 64-65 range. The currency fell initially to a low of 64.59 on July 11th but recovered to a high of 64.33 before closing at 64.35 on July 17th.
  • A weak dollar helped the rupee to stay strong in the past week. The dollar index, which was falling at a slow pace in the initial part of the week, was beaten down on Friday (July 14th). The weak US Consumer Price Index (CPI) and retail sales data, which were released on Friday, dragged the dollar index lower towards 95. Weak inflation numbers have increased the speculation in the market that the US Federal Reserve would go slow in hiking interest rates.
  • The near-term view is positive for the rupee. The currency can strengthen to 64.20 or 64.15 in the coming days. Resistance is in this 64.20-64.15 region. Inability to breach this hurdle can see the rupee reversing lower to 64.40 or 64.50 thereafter. On the other hand, if the rupee manages to breach above 64.15, it can gain further strength to revisit the crucial resistance level of 64.

5. Hiring outlook remains muted for manufacturing (Source: MINT)

  • While the outlook for the manufacturing sector has improved slightly, the hiring outlook remains subdued, found Ficci’s latest quarterly survey on manufacturing for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2018.
  • The survey assessed expectations of leading manufacturers in 11 major sectors. It said 73% of the participants said that they are unlikely to hire additional workforce in the next three months.
  • Sector-wise, except for participants from the automobile and footwear industry, others are unlikely to opt for fresh hiring in the near term.

6. Even as China posts better than expected Q2 growth, analysts warn of risks (Source: FE)

  • China posted better-than-expected second quarter growth today, but analysts warned that the momentum will not last as authorities clamp down on rising debt. The economy expanded 6.9 per cent in April-June, the same as the previous three months and better than the 6.8 per cent tipped in an AFP survey.
  • But analysts expect a deceleration of the overall economy. “China’s strong first half to the year won’t last,” Julian Evans Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics, said in a note.
  • Fitch Ratings on July 14th maintained its A-plus rating for the country for China but said its growing debt could trigger “economic and financial shocks”. The statement followed Moody’s decision in May to downgrade China for the first time in almost three decades on concerns over its ballooning credit and slowing growth.

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