Daily Current Affairs 22 February 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
BANKING & FINANCE
Exim Bank extends credit line of USD 15 mn to Sierra Leone
Export-Import Bank of India [Exim Bank], on behalf of the Government of India, has extended Line of Credit [LOC] of USD 15.00 million to the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone for the purpose of expansion of the ongoing projects for rehabilitation of existing potable water facilities in four communities in the Borrower’s Country.
- With the signing of the above LOC Agreement, Exim Bank, till date, has extended 5 (Five) Lines of Credit to the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone, on behalf of the Government of India, taking the total value of LOCs extended to USD 168 million.
- The LOCs extended to the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone cover projects in sectors including Power, Agriculture, and potable water in Sierra Leone.
Government to infuse Rs 1,500 crore into Exim Bank next fiscal
Tge government has decided to infuse Rs 1,500 crore capital into state-owned Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) in the next financial year.
- The amount is Rs 200 crore higher than the provision made by the government for the current fiscal. The government has earmarked Rs 1,300 crore capital infusion for the bank.
- The (Rs 1,500 crore) provision is for Exim Bank as equity support/ subscription to increase the paid up capital of the bank to the level of its authorised capital.
RBI issues directions for housing finance companies
The Reserve Bank of India came out with a slew of directions related to maintenance of liquidity coverage ratio, risk management, asset classification and loan-to-value ratio, among others, for housing finance companies.
- These directions, which shall come into force with an immediate effect and it will be applicable to all the housing finance companies registered under section 29A of the National Housing Bank Act 1987.
Master Direction-Non-Banking Financial Company-Housing Finance Company (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2021
- The non-deposit taking HFCs, having asset size of Rs 100 crore and above and all deposit-taking HFCs need liquidity risk management, which inter alia should cover adherence to gap limits, making use of liquidity risk monitoring tools and adoption of a stock approach to liquidity risk. Therefore, in this regards, RBI has asked the board of each HFC to follow this guideline.
- HFCs are mandated to maintain a liquidity buffer in terms of liquidity coverage ratio (LCR). This will help to have sufficient high-quality liquid asset (HQLA) to survive an acute liquidity stress scenario lasting for 30 days. Therefore, the non-deposit taking HFCs with an asset size of Rs 10,000 crore and above, and all deposit-taking HFCs irrespective of their asset size will have to maintain a minimum LCR of 50% by 1st Dec 2021 and to 100% by 1st Dec 2025.
- Also, all non-deposit-taking HFCs with an asset size of Rs 5,000 crore and above, but less than Rs 10,000 crore will have to maintain a minimum LCR of 30% by 1st Dec 2021 and to 100% by 1st Dec 2025.
- RBI also issued a guideline that HFCs lending against the collateral of listed shares should maintain a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 50%. Also, HFCs shall maintain an LTV ratio not exceeding 75%, in case of loans granted against the collateral of gold jewellery.
- The HFCs should not provide housing loans to an individual up to Rs 30 lakhs, with an LTV ratio exceeding 90% and above Rs 30 lakh and up to Rs 75 lakh with an LTV ratio exceeding 80%.
- The HFCs are also restricted from accepting and renewing public deposit unless it has obtained a minimum investment grade rating for fixed deposits from any one of the approved credit rating agencies for at least once a year.
- The HFCs will not accept or renew public deposit at an exceeding interest rate of 12.5% per annum or as revised by the central bank.
- If HFCs fails to repay any public deposit, it shall not grant any loan or other credit facility or make any investment or create any other asset as long as the default is active.
Kerala Bank launches ATM demo vans
The Kerala Bank has launched ATM demonstration vans to promote digital transactions. Nabard has sanctioned 10 vans for the Kerala Bank from its financial inclusion fund.
- The Kerala Bank’s project brochure was released by Mini Antony by handing over a copy to Nabard chief general manager P Balachandran
RBI Ropes in Punjabi Rapper to Drive its Public Awareness Campaigns
Amidst an unprecedented rise in cyber frauds and manifold jump in online financial transactions, the Reserve Bank, in a quirky bid to drive its public awareness campaigns, has roped in Punjabi singer-rapper Viruss to drive home its points this time.
- The campaign features popular Punjabi rapper Viruss whose 2017 Indie hit ‘Bam Bhole’ was recreated for the Akshay Kumar-Kiara Advani starrer ‘Laxmii’ recently.
- The campaign appeals and encourages the public, especially the tech-savvy netizens who tends to transact online, on staying ‘satark’ or alert against some common fraudsters and cyber security threats.
India signs 50 million dollar Defence line of Credit agreement with Maldives
Reaffirming its commitment for overall development and security of its maritime neighbour, India has signed a 50 million dollar Line of Credit agreement in defence sector with the Maldives.
- The agreement will facilitate capability building in the maritime domain. The credit line agreement for defence projects was signed between the Finance Ministry of Maldives and the Export-Import Bank of India to boost the maritime capabilities of the strategically vital Indian Ocean island nation.
- India also extended a new line of credit of US dollar 40 million for the development of new sports infrastructure in the Maldives.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India recorded $1422 mn FDI inflow from UK in 2019-20: Grant Thornton report
The FDI inflow from the UK to India has increased from $898 million in 2015- 16 to $1,422 million in 2019-20, according to Grant Thornton Bharat’s Britain Meets India report.
- The report prepared in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and with the support of the UK’s Department of International Trade observes the latest trends on the UK investments in India.
- The report has predicted the India-UK bilateral relations to touch a new high in the post-Covid world. The UK companies have mainly focused on industrial and business services sectors.
- Maharashtra has come out as the top investment destination for UK companies, followed by Haryana, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka.
China overtakes US as EU’s biggest trading partner
China last year overtook the United States as the EU’s biggest trading partner, the EU statistics agency Eurostat said.
- Britain meanwhile, which is no longer part of the European Union, was the third-largest trading partner for the bloc, behind China and the United States.
- The supremacy of China came after it suffered from the coronavirus pandemic during the first quarter but recovered vigorously with consumption even exceeding its level of a year ago at the end of 2020.
- Eurostat said the trade volume with China reached 586 billion euros ($711 billion) in 2020, compared to 555 billion euros ($673 billion) for the US.
Google to invest $75 million in coronavirus-hit small businesses
Google is teaming up with the European Investment Fund (EIF) and two other organisations in Latin America and Asia to provide $75 million in funding to small- and medium-sized companies suffering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
- The funds are part of an $800 million initiative announced in March last year in response to the pandemic.
Essar Oil and Gas signs MoU with Indian School of Mines
Essar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Ltd, a coal bed methane producer, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) for collaboration with IIT (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad.
- The MoU will enable joint work on research and development of various advanced CBM technological innovations.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Piramal group gets RBI nod for DHFL acquisition
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cleared the Rs 34,250-crore acquisition of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL) by the Piramal group.
- The Ajay Piramal-led group had outbid US-based asset management firm Oaktree last month.
- Piramal plans to merge DHFL with its financial services business as soon as the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approves the transaction.
Novak Djokovic wins his 9th Australian Open title
In Tennis, Defending Champion Novak Djokovic has won his ninth Australian Open title, beating Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in a one-sided final at Melbourne Park.
- In Men’s doubles, ninth seeded Croat -Slovak pair Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek won the title. LThey defeated defending champion and fifth seeded pair British Joe Salisbury.
Karnataka to host second Khelo India University Games this year
Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has announced that the second Khelo India University Games will be hosted by Karnataka.
- The largest University games in the country scheduled later this year will be held in Bengaluru in partnership with Association of Indian Universities.
- Over 4,000 sportsmen under the age of 25 will compete with an opportunity to be selected for the national teams.
Preeti Sinha to lead UN Capital Development Fund
The UN Capital Development Fund has appointed Indian-origin investment and development banker Preeti Sinha as its Executive Secretary, whose focus will be on providing micro-finance assistance to women, youth, small and medium-sized enterprises in under-served communities.
- Sinha commenced her tenure as UNCDF Executive Secretary, the highest leadership rank in the institution.
- Sinha succeeds Judith Karl, who retired in February after concluding her 30-year career in the United Nations.
Anantapuramu District in Andhra Pradesh Chosen for PM Kisan National Award
The Anantapuramu district of Andhra Pradesh has been chosen for the Prime Minister Kisan national award as it completed 99.6 per cent physical verification of the beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi.
- The district has a total of 5,76,972 beneficiaries of whom 28,269 were chosen for physical verification in all the 63 mandals.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
‘The Epic Battle of Longewala’ book by Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria
A new book “The Epic Battle of Longewala”, written by Air Marshal Bharat Kumar (retd) has been released in the occasion of the 50thvanniversary of the 1971 war.
- The book, however, contends the J P Dutta-directed film erroneously depicts that the battle was “single-handedly” won by the Army company against all odds, with the IAF playing only a peripheral role in the defeat of the attackers.
‘LOUIZ BANKS: A Symphony of Love’ book by Ashis Ghatak
Ashis Ghatak’s latest book, Louiz Banks: A Symphony of Love, arrives at a momentous occasion. The release of the book coincides with the 80th birthday of the legendary musician and composer.
- The biography, published by Rupa Publications, is a labour of love that was assembled over four to five years.
- This book is the story of a Nepali boy from Darjeeling who became the godfather of Indian jazz.
‘Indian Economy’s Greatest Crisis: Impact of Coronavirus and the Road Ahead’ book by Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar, an economist with a decades-long career in academia and writing, has come up with the book Indian Economy’s Greatest Crisis: Impact of Coronavirus and the Road Ahead’, an accessible and comprehensive survey of the havoc wreaked on the Indian economy by the COVID crisis followed by the half-baked lockdown.
- The book is more than a litany of numbers, however; it is also a moving portrait of the hell wrapping its jaws around the poorest members of our society.
The seventh literary work of Sabarna Roy, “Fractured Mosaic” unveiled
Sabarna Roy, author of six critically acclaimed books unveiled his seventh book titled ” Fractured Mosaic’. The book is published by Leadstart of Mumbai.
- Fractured Mosaic is, in essence, a sequel to my fifth literary work, titled: Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012 – 2018. It is yet another kaleidoscope from my arsenal that will take the readers to a mesmerizing whirlpool. Most of the works published in this book have been earlier published in reputed media houses as musings of an author; in this book, they have been brought together for the benefit of all the readers.
Bestselling author Kavita Kane to pen the untold story of goddess Saraswati
Penguin Random House India has announced the acquisition and publication of a brilliant new novel, titled Sarasvati’s Gift, by bestselling writer and former journalist Kavita Kane.
- This book will be released under Penguin’s Ebury Press imprint by mid-2021.
- Sarasvati’s Gift is the story of Saraswati, the Goddess of art, music and knowledge, told in the voices of nameless celestials, powerful gods and lesser mortals.
International Childhood Cancer Day
International Childhood Cancer Day is celebrated annually on 15 February to raise awareness and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, survivors and their families.
- This year’s theme is “Better Access to Care for Children and Adolescents Everywhere”.