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Finance Current Affairs Dec 5th Week 2017
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Category : Finance
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Finance Current Affairs Dec 5th Week 2017

 1. Paytm Becomes India`s First Payments App to Cross 100 mn Downloads on Play Store.

We are super excited to announce that your favourite app Paytm has crossed the 100 million milestone on Google Play Store in the second week of December 2017. This makes it the country’s first payments app to cross the 100 million downloads mark.

Deepak Abbot, Sr. Vice President at Paytm said, “We are overwhelmed with the 100 million downloads mark, reaching this milestone is a testimony to the efforts of the incredible team at Paytm. This achievement will offer us a strong boost as we work towards our goal of making India a digital-first economy.”

We are charting the next chapter of our growth from being a pioneer in mobile payments to becoming a mobile-first financial services company, which offers banking, lending, insurance, and payments.

We allow users to do online recharges and bill payments, book movie tickets, do travel bookings among others. Paytm has become the most preferred payments app in the country today, allowing users to scan its QR and pay at large merchants, grocery and kirana stores, milk-booths, local taxi/autos fares, petrol pumps, multiplexes, restaurants and more.

2. SBI Gets Board Approval to Raise Rs 8,000 crore to Comply Basel III.

The country’s largest lender SBI on Wednesday said its board had approved raising ?8,000 crore through various sources, including masala bonds, to meet Basel III capital norms.

“The central board, at its meeting held today[Wednesday], accorded approval to raise additional tier 1 (AT 1) capital by way of issuance of Basel III compliant debt instruments in USD and/or INR to the tune of ?8,000 crore from domestic/international markets including masala bonds,” the bank said in a regulatory filing.

Masala bonds are rupee- denominated specialised debt instruments that can be floated in overseas markets only to raise capital.

State Bank of India (SBI) said it had time till March 2018 to raise the funds.

Banks in India have to comply with the global capital norms under Basel III by March 2019, three months later than the internationally-agreed time frame, by January 2019.

3. SEBI Caps Cross-Shareholding in Rating Agencies at 10%.

Markets regulator Sebi said cross-holding in credit rating agencies (CRAs) will be capped at 10 per cent and also decided to raise the minimum networth requirement to Rs 25 crore from the current Rs 5 crore.

Also, the board of Sebi has approved a slew of measures for tightening the financial and operational eligibility of the promoters of CRAs, besides greater disclosure requirements for them.

The moves are likely to have an impact on global rating agencies like S&P, Moody`s and Fitch which have significant holdings in domestic agencies besides their direct presence.

In a significant move, the regulator has decided that no CRA should, directly or indirectly, hold more than 10 per cent of shareholding and/ or voting rights in another CRA and would not have representation on the board of the other CRA, Sebi Chairman Ajay Tyagi told reporters here.

Further, Sebi`s prior approval would be needed for acquisition of shares or voting rights in a CRA that results in change in control.

"A shareholder holding 10 per cent or more shares and/ or voting rights in a registered CRA shall not hold 10 per cent or more shares and/ or voting rights, directly or indirectly, in any other CRA," the regulator said.

The minimum net worth threshold for the rating agencies has been proposed to be raised to Rs 25 crore from the current level of Rs 5 crore.

The move would check the menace of `rating shopping` and `pick-and-choose` approach in their actions.

Besides, the promoter of a CRA would have to maintain a minimum shareholding of 26 per cent in the CRA for a period of three years from the date of registration.

"The foreign CRA should be Incorporated in a Financial Task Force (FATF) jurisdiction and registered under their law only shall be eligible to promote a CRA in India," the regulator noted.

Sebi said that credit rating agencies will be permitted to "withdraw the ratings subject to the CRA having rated the instrument continuously for a stipulated period of time and in the manner as may be specified by it from time to time".

Besides, any activity, other than the rating of financial instruments and economic or financial research, should be hived off by the CRA into a separate entity.

As part of enhanced disclosure framework, Sebi has proposed that the agencies should disclose annual consolidated financial results, statement of profit and loss on a quarterly and year-to-date basis and statement of assets and liabilities/ balance sheet on a half-yearly basis.

"The quarterly and half yearly financial results reporting, as applicable to the listed equity instruments, have been mandated even for listed debt instruments, as against the extant requirement of providing only the half yearly results.

"However, it was being felt that six months is comparatively a longer period for the financial status to be disclosed. This was the need of the hour and will bring in more transparency in the entire Listings space. Uptil November 2017, more than 600 companies with Listed Debt instruments were listed on BSE alone," said Anjali Aggarwal, Partner and Head – Capital Market & Stock Exchange Services, at Corporate Professionals.

Welcoming Sebi`s amendments to the regulations on credit rating agencies, Crisil said the decision will raise the bar on the eligibility to set up a CRA and stipulate greater disclosure for issuers on their financial performance.

"Higher minimum net worth requirements for CRAs and increased shareholding requirements along with minimum holding period for promoters of CRAs will ensure that only serious and credible players with long-term perspective enter the field," it added.

It further said that increasing transparency through greater disclosures by issuers of listed debt will boost investor confidence and equip them to take timely decisions

4. Union Government inks Loan Agreement with World Bank for UP Pro-Poor Tourism Development Project.

India on Thursday signed a loan agreement worth $40 million with the World Bank for “UP Pro-Poor Tourism Development Project” aimed at increasing tourism-related benefits for local communities in Uttar Pradesh.

The total project cost is around $57.14 million, out of which $40 million will be financed by the World Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded out of the state budget, a union Finance Ministry statement said.

The programme duration is five years. “The project objective is to increase tourism-related benefits for local communities in targeted destinations.”

“The project is expected to have far-reaching social, economic and environmental benefits by targeting local communities and entrepreneurs near some of the main tourist and pilgrimage attractions in Uttar Pradesh, namely, Agra as well as Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana and Govardhan in the Braj region,” the statement said.





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