Sources: Govt may pass FCRA amendment bill via ordinance

MUMBAI:  The government is likely to pass the bill amending the Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1952, through the ordinance route soon, finance ministry sources said.  This follows a push from the finance ministry to empower the Forward Markets Commission, which is governed by the six-decade old act, sources said. “I propose to amend the Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act to strengthen the regulatory framework of the commodity derivatives market,” Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had said in his interim budget for 2014-15 (Apr-Mar) on Feb 17. On seeking a confirmation from FMC chairman, Ramesh Abhishek said, “The (finance) ministry has told us they want to pass the bill.” FMC member Nagendra Parakh, speaking on the sidelines of the Global Castor Seed Conference in Ahmedabad over the weekend, had said, “…need to wait but something may come up soon.”  Passage of the FCRA amendment bill will not only enable launch of indices and options, but will also make FMC an autonomous body, making it easier to check large illegal parallel commodity futures market or dabba trade.        -Cogencis

Jalan submits report on new bank licences

NEW DELHI:  The committee on screening new bank licence applications submitted its report to the Reserve Bank of India, Bimal Jalan, who heads the panel, told reporters. The report contains names of entities eligible for bank licences. It was not immediately known how many applicants have been shortlisted by the high-level advisory panel. Besides Jalan, the committee members include former RBI deputy governor Usha Thorat, former chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India C.B. Bhave and RBI Central Board Director Nachiket Mor. The RBI had received 27 applications for new banking licence, including L&T Finance Holdings Ltd and Reliance Capital Ltd. Two applicants–Tata Sons Ltd and Value Industries Ltd–have since withdrawn their applications. Last week, Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Takru said the RBI is likely to issue new bank licences by Mar 31.     -Cogencis

Lanco lenders can convert loan into equity

Hyderabad:  Lanco Infratech which has gone for Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR) said 25 lenders have been given an option to convert some of their loan amount into equity in future.  Lanco, in a BSE filing on Monday, said the lenders including Life Insurance Corporation and banks will be given an option to convert Rs 3,024 crore out of Rs 11,155 crore of total restructured loan into equity.  In the event of conversion of loan into equity, lenders will gain control over the company with a stake of 65.83 % on the expanded equity base, while the holding of promoters will plunge to 25.26 % from 70.2 % now.

SBI to mull FY14 interim dividend on Mon

MUMBAI:  State Bank of India will hold a board meeting Monday to consider interim dividend for the current financial year ending March, the state-owned lender informed exchanges on Tuesday.  Shares of SBI ended down 0.30% at Rs 1,506 on the National Stock Exchange.

OIL board approves IOC stake purchase

New Delhi:  The board of state-owned Oil India Ltd (OIL) has approved the acquisition of a 5 % stake in Indian Oil Corp (IOC) from the government at a discount to the market price.  OIL board, at its meeting on Monday, approved the proposal to buy IOC shares in an off-market trade, sources privy to the development told PTI.  The board of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), which is to buy an equal number of shares in IOC, is yet to meet on the issue. IOC shares closed at Rs 247.45 on the BSE, up Rs 3.45.  At a 10 % discount, the government’s sale of 24.27 crore shares (or a 10 % stake) in IOC would fetch about Rs 5,400 crore.

Tata’s Mundra tariff hike to be 47 p/unit

New Delhi:  Tata Power’s Mundra UMPP will get about 47 paise per unit more following electricity regulator CERC allowing hike in tariff to mitigate the company’s higher cost of imported fuel.  Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has allowed higher tariff of 52 paise and a compensation of Rs 329.45 crore to the company, effective April 1, 2013.  However, as per the CERC ruling, Tata Power will have to forgo 1% of its return on equity which amounts to Rs 50 crore per annum.  According to sources, the company will get 47 paise higher tariff for its 4,000 MW Mundra UMPP that currently stands at Rs 2.26 per unit. Industry experts said that 47 paise per unit hike is good news for company.

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