Canara Bank has written off bad loans worth thousands of crore of rupees and recovered paltry amounts from big defaulters.
According to a report in Money Life, like other PSBs, Canara Bank also refused to share this information as well as names of defaulters under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
As per the report, Data shared by Pune-based RTI activist Vivek Velankar shows that during the past eight-year period from FY12-13 to FY19-20, Canara Bank wrote off a total of Rs 47,310 crore while recovering just 19 per cent or Rs 8,901 crore from defaulters.
The report said Canara Bank too used vague reasons of privacy for not sharing information like names of big defaulters with a bad loan of Rs 100 crore and above.
In the reply to the RTI, the bank says, “Information sought is the personal information of the concerned and if disclosed would invade the privacy of those concerned and its disclosure does not have any relationship with public interest or activity and is exempted under section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.”
Velankar, who is also president of the Sajag Nagrik Manch, asks, “When a common borrower defaults, the same banks publish his name and all details through advertisements in newspapers. Then why do they want to keep names of big defaulters hidden under the privacy cause? Why doesn’t the ‘privacy’ clause apply while publicising names of common borrowers?”
In several judgements, the Central Information Commission (CIC) had ruled that to qualify for the exemption under section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, the information must satisfy certain criteria, such as personal information and public interest.
The report said ordinarily, the adjective ‘personal’ is attributed to that which applies to an individual and not to an institution or a corporate. Therefore, it flows that ‘personal’ cannot be related to institutions, organisations or corporates, especially publicly listed entities with a large shareholding of retail investors.
Hence Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act cannot be applied when the information concerns institutions, organisations or corporates.
Risk premium for Basel III instruments to increase: ICRA
The risk premium for Basel III security instruments is expected to increase for weaker banks with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday asking Lakshmi Vilas Bank to write down Rs 318.20 crore of its Tier 2 bonds, said a senior official of credit rating agency ICRA Ltd.
“RBI has set a precedence with the proposed write off as it first time a Tier II bond is being written off. Investors should factor in the risk in Basel III instruments as these instruments can be completely written off in case the bank gets into trouble,” Anil Gupta Sector Head – Financial Sector Ratings, ICRA said.
“We expect the risk premiums for such instruments to increase for weaker private banks to increase, given this event,” Gupta added.
The RBI wrote to LVB’s Administrator on Thursday to write down Rs 318.20 crore worth of Unsecured Non-convertible Redeemable Fully Paid-up Basel III compliant Tier-2 Bonds before the scheme of amalgamation comes into effect on November 27.
The LVB had raised the money through Basel III Tier 2 bonds in three tranches.
The RBI cited the Information Memorandums of respective Basel III Tier 2 bonds issued by the LVB while communicating its decision to the LVB.
“If the relevant authorities decide to reconstitute the Bank or amalgamate the Bank with any other bank under Section 45 of the BR Act (Banking Regulation Act), such a bank shall be deemed as non-viable or approaching non-viability and both the pre-specified trigger and the trigger at the point of non-viability for write-down of the Bonds shall be activated. Accordingly, the Bonds shall be written-off before amalgamation/reconstitution in accordance with applicable rules,” the RBI told T.N. Manoharan, Administrator of the LVB.
According to the RBI, as Section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act has been invoked and the amalgamation scheme has been notified, the LVB is deemed to be non-viable or approaching non-viability and accordingly, the triggers for a write-down of Basel III Tier 2 bonds issued by the bank has been triggered.
“In light of the above provisions, such Basel III Tier 2 bonds would need to be fully written down before the amalgamation of the bank comes into effect,” RBI said in its letter.
According to LVB, it also has Series VII Option B bonds (Unsecured Redeemable Non-Convertible Subordinated Lower Tier II bonds) amounting to Rs 50.50 crore.
Equity indices trade flat; banking, finance stocks subdued
The key Indian equity indices traded on a flat-to-negative note on Friday morning.
Subdued trade was witnessed in banking and finance stocks. However, healthy buying was seen in auto, healthcare and consumer durables stocks.
Around 10.30 a.m., Sensex was trading at 44,200.14, lower by 59.60 points or 0.13 per cent from its previous close of 44,259.74.
It opened at 44,325.03 and has touched an intra-day high of 44,407.28 and a low of 44,106.62 points.
The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 12,981.40, lower by 5.60 points or 0.04 per cent from its previous close.
Manish Hathiramani, technical analyst with Deen Dayal Investments said: “The resistance level for the Nifty is at 13,050 and if we can cross that, we could head to 13,200 by next week.”
“A strong support lies at 12800 and thereafter at 12,500. It is only post the breaking of 12500 that we would consider a short term correction. Until then, the trend remains bullish with a strong upside momentum,” he added.
Among the Sensex stocks, Bajaj Auto, NTPC and Bajaj Finance were the top gainers so far, while Power Grid Corporation, TCS and State Bank of India were the major losers.
Petrol and diesel price move up by a higher margin
Petrol and diesel rates rose sharply on Friday as global oil prices remained firm reaching its highest levels this fiscal.
Petrol price increased by 19 paise per litre to Rs 81.89 per litre on Friday from Rs 81.70 per litre on the previous day.
Diesel price, on the other hand, increased by a higher margin of 24 paise to Rs 71.86 a litre, up from Rs 71.62 a litre on the previous day.
Oil companies began increasing pump prices of the two petroleum products from last Friday after a nearly two-month-long hiatus in the fuel price revision. The prices increased for five consecutive days before going for a day’s pause on Wednesday. It has risen on both days thereafter.
In five days, petrol price has gone up by 53 paise and diesel rate has risen by 95 paise per litre. With Friday’s increase, petrol price has now risen by 83 paise per litre and diesel by Rs 1.40 a litre since last Friday.
Petrol price had been static since September 22, and diesel rate hadn’t changed since October 2.
Though the retail pricing of petrol and diesel has been deregulated and oil marketing companies were following a daily price revision formula, the same was suspended for almost two months to prevent the volatility in the international oil markets from impacting the fuel prices regularly during the pandemic.
But with crude on the boil again on the news of a successful coronavirus vaccine launch soon, the patience was lost by the OMCs who finally resorted to the price increase to cover for their under recovery on the sale of two petroleum products.
The benchmark Brent crude has crossed $48 a barrel on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). It has remained over $ 43 a barrel for most part of November.
OMCs need almost 40 paise per litre increase in the retail price of petrol and diesel to cover for $ 1 increase in crude. Going by this yardstick, the product prices would have to be increased by up to Rs 2 per litre to cover the under recovery on its sale.
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