1. YES Bank raises $225 m using swap loan facility
i. YES Bank has become the first bank to raise funds overseas using the swap loan facility provided by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last week.
ii. The private sector lender raised $255 million ($180 million and €58 million) by way of dual currency, multi-tenor syndicated loan facility.
iii. A Treasury head of a private sector bank had said that this facility could bring in dollar inflows to the tune of $10-15 billion.
iv. “The facility has a maturity of one and two years with majority commitments coming in the two-year tenure bucket.
v. The loan has been distributed with commitments from 11 banks representing eight countries across US, Europe, Middle East and Australia.
vi. The facility shall be utilised for general corporate purposes and trade finance,” YES Bank said in a statement.
vii. According to the bank: “The recent RBI guidelines on offering swap facility to banks, for their FCY borrowings, at 100 bps below the market rate, will further make the landed rupee cost (or the effective interest rate) of these funds extremely competitive vis-a-vis rupee funds of equivalent maturity.”
Note: RBI, on September 10, had announced that banks can raise funds overseas above 50 per cent of their Tier I capital with a minimum maturity of three years and swap these borrowings with the central bank at a concessional rate for one to three years.
2. Air India, SBI Cards launch co-branded credit card
i. Air India has tied up with SBI Cards to launch a co-branded travel credit card that seeks to add value to the travel experience of Indian customers.
ii. The offering from this tie-up comprises Platinum as well as a Signature card.
iii. Given the value proposition offered by the new Air India SBI Credit Card, it is going to wipe out all other credit cards in the market and achieve a significant market share in the next few months, said Rohit Nandan, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India.
iv. The new Air India SBI card allows a customer spending Rs 5 lakh in a year to earn up to three Delhi-Mumbai return tickets on Air India.
v. The launch of this credit card marks the beginning of a new collaboration between the two major public sector entities (Air India and SBI), Nandan added.
vi. State Bank of India is also the leader of a consortium of banks that have helped Air India in its financial restructuring exercise. SBI Cards is a joint venture between SBI and GE Capital.
vii. Speaking at the launch event of the card, SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri said the days of monopoly in various businesses are over in India and both SBI Cards and Air India need to focus on customer delight.
3. India, China media co-operation
i. India and China on Monday agreed to initiate steps to include media co-operation as part of the 2014 celebrations being observed to commemorate ‘Friendly Exchanges’.
ii. This was agreed in a meeting between the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari and Minister of State Council, Information Office, Cai Ming Zhao.
iii. The two delegations it was agreed to “explore possible areas of co-operation in capacity building, co-production agreements related to films, sharing of the experience of institutionalising digitisation in the broadcasting sector and enhanced participation during the film festivals being held in both countries.”
iv. These areas will be identified under the aegis of the working group set up between the two countries. The Chinese minister is on a visit to India to participate in the first meeting of the India-China Media Forum being held in New Delhi on Monday.
4. Postal Dept to bring RTI stamp soon
i. RTI applicants will no longer have to wait to get their applications processed as the Department of Posts is all set to bring out an RTI stamp for sale soon and also set up special counters, according to a senior officer.
ii. “Under orders of the Central Information Commission, the Department will issue RTI stamps in the denomination of Rs 10.
iii. Visitors will no longer have to wait at post offices or face problems in depositing RTI fees, photocopying charges as the CIC directions will be enforced, he said.
iv. Chief Information Commissioner Satyanandan Mishra had issued a series of directions on receipt of a complaint by an information seeker. After deliberating on the pros and cons, suitable orders have been issued to the postal services, he said.
Note: New appointed First Women Chief Information Commissioner of India Deepak Sandhu will soon replace present CIC Satyanandan Mishra.
5. NTPC Awarded Indira Gandhi Official Language Award for Propagation of Rajbhasha
i. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) was awarded Indira Gandhi Official Language Award for propagation of Rajbhasha ( Official Language) in the company by the Union Government of India on Hindi Divas on 14 September 2013.
About Indira Gandhi Official Language Award
To promote the official Language in the country, the Government of India introduced Indira Gandhi Official Language Award from 1986-82.This award grants to the various Ministries/Departments, Banks and Financial Institutions, Public Sector Undertakings and employees. The following awards are given every year.
6. Datawind ties up with TES India, an online community of teachers
i. Datawind has entered into a strategic partnership with TES India, an online community for teachers, to provide a library of ready-to-use teaching material to its end-users.
ii. By making use of this library, teachers and institutions can teach their students free of cost. Content, covering international syllabi, learning materials for courses such as the Bachelor of Arts, B.Com and B.Ed, general awareness and CBSE are among the five lakh volumes available.
iii. The library also has content for children with special needs which will help teachers understand different cases.
iv. This partnership will strengthen the teachers’ community so that they can deliver quality education, which is the need of the hour for young India,” Suneet Singh Tuli, Chief Executive Officer and President, Datawind said.
7. Google acquires file-sharing app Bump
i. Google has reportedly acquired file-sharing app developer Bump for undisclosed financial terms.
ii. Bump CEO David Lieb said that the company's apps, which also include a photo sharing service, Flock, will keep working for now.
iii. The app, launched more than four years ago, allows users to share files by bumping devices together and Lieb has earlier claimed that the app was downloaded 125 million times.
iv. Meanwhile, Google said that the Bump team has demonstrated a strong ability to quickly build and develop products that users love and the company believes that they will be a great fit at Google.
8. Gujarathi, Grover win in World Junior Chess
i. Indian Grandmasters Vidit Gujarathi and Sahaj Grover maintained a clean slate, defeating Tomas Laurusas of Lithuania and Vyacheslav Lozhnikov of Kazakhstan respectively in the second round of the World Junior Chess Championship in Kocaeli, Turkey.
ii. Gujarathi overpowered Laurusas with the black pieces after a positional exchange sacrifice that netted him a handful of pawns in the endgame.
iii. The Nasik-boy made no mistakes in the endgame that turned out to be a one-sided affair. Grover, on the other hand, demolished Lozhnikov in a miniature game out of a closed Sicilian.
9. John Abraham honoured with the 'Pride of the Nation' Award
i. Bollywood actor John Abraham was on Monday conferred the 'Pride of the Nation' award for his attempt to raise the sensitive issue of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination through his role as a RAW agent in "Madras Cafe".
ii. "Through 'Madras Cafe' Abraham made a courageous attempt to unravel the conspiracy behind the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi," Bitta said addressing the gathering.
iii. The film "Madras Cafe" is set in the late 80s and early 1990s, during the time of Sri Lankan civil war and the assassination of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Bitta said there was a need to initiate an "unbiased enquiry to expose the conspiracy" which resulted in the death of Rajiv Gandhi.
10. Quick Heal Technologies appoints Rajesh Ghonasgi as CFO
i. Leading IT security solutions provider Quick Heal Technologies today said it has appointed Rajesh Ghonasgi as Chief Financial Officer.
ii. Ghonasgi has over two decades of experience in financial leadership and was associated with companies like Persistent Systems, Hexaware Technologies and Wipro.
iii. His mandate will involve overseeing the company’s strategic and financial operations including corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, and strengthening processes.
11. Amit wins silver at World Wrestling Championship
i. Asian Champion Amit Kumar settled for silver after going down narrowly in the final of the 55kg category on the opening day of World Wrestling Championships on Monday.
ii. Amit lost to Hassan Farman Rahimi of Iran 1-2 to win finish with a silver medal at the Papp Laszlo Sports Arena.
iii. India's last medal, in men's section, came in 2010 when Sushil had grabbed the gold.
iv. After London Olympics silver medallist Sushil Kumar failed to take the mat due to fitness issues, Amit brought cheers to the Indian camp when he got the better off Sezar Akgul of Turkey in the semifinals of the marquee event.
v. World No 7 Amit, however, howed no mercy on his Turkish opponent as he finished the proceedings in the first period itself to set up the final bout.
12. China opens world's highest civilian airport in Sichuan
i. China has begun flight operations at the world's highest civilian airport in a bid to boost tourism and tighten political control over the country's restive west.
ii. At an elevation of 4,411 meters (14,472 feet) above sea level, Daocheng Yading Airport replaces the previous champion, Bangda Airport in the Tibet Autonomous Region, which sits at 4,334 meters (14,219 feet).
iii. The one at Daocheng Yading is 4,200 meters (13,780 feet) long, just 242 meters (794 feet) shorter than the longest runway at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
iv. The shortened travel time will make it far easier to send troops to the region in the event of major unrest, as last occurred across traditionally Tibetan parts of Sichuan in 2008.
13. Import duty on gold jewellery hiked to 15%
i. India pushed import duty on gold jewellery up by half to 15 per cent, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday, setting it higher than raw gold duty in a move aimed more at protecting the domestic jewellery industry than stemming bullion imports.
ii. India imported gold jewellery worth $137.57 million in the four months from April to July this year -- a fraction of overall bullion imports, which were $2.9 billion in July alone.
iii. The government has curbed gold imports through measures including three duty hikes this year to a record 10 per cent and the central bank has put tight restrictions on importers that have sharply curtailed supplies.
iv. India, the world's biggest buyer of bullion, had imported a record 162 tonnes in May and creating a headache for the government which is trying to curb a wide current account deficit and support a weak rupee.
v. Gold is the biggest non-essential item in India's import bill but jewellery is a tiny fraction of the purchases.
vi. The hike in import duty on jewellery had been a demand from the industry to ensure the viability of the domestic jewellery manufacturing, and avoid imports of cheaper jewellery from Thailand, Malaysia or elsewhere.