1. International Air Transport Association (IATA) develops IATA Travel Pass.
- International Air Transport Association (IATA) has developed IATA Travel Pass, an app to enable airlines to create digital passport and verify information about vaccination of passengers and pre-travel tests.
- The app, named as IATA Travel Pass will help passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for Covid-19 tests or vaccines.
- Emirates and Etihad have become first airlines to partner with IATA for use of Travel Pass. Covid-19 pandemic has affected airlines industry negatively.
- In November 2020, Shanghai topped IATA’s ranking of world’s most connected cities. Beijing was ranked at second place.
- International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a trade association of the world’s airlines. It is headquartered in Montreal, Canada.
- IATA was joined by Spice Jet in March 2019. It became first Indian low-cost airline which joined IATA.
Topic: Banking System
2. ICICI Bank carries out its first SOFR-linked interbank-money market transaction.
- ICICI Bank has carried out its first Secured Overnight Funding Rate (SOFR)-linked interbank-money market transaction.
- The bank carried out transaction through its Hong Kong branch as part of its Benchmark Transition Management plan.
- SBI has also carried out two inter-bank short term money market deals. The pricing for deals were linked with Secured Overnight Funding Rate (SOFR).
- USD LIBOR (US Dollar LIBOR) will be replaced by SOFR. London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) is a benchmark rate for various financial instruments. It will be discontinued from December 2021.
- Six financial benchmarks were notified as significant benchmarks in January 2020. In June 2013, a committee on financial benchmarks was formed by RBI under the Chairmanship of P Vijaya Bhaskar.
- MIBOR, MIFOR and MROR are some benchmarks in India. Their full forms are given below.
- Overnight Mumbai Interbank Outright Rate (MIBOR)
- Mumbai Interbank Forward Outright Rate (MIFOR)
- Market Repo Overnight Rate (MROR)
Topic: Banking System
3. InstaFX mobile app launched by ICICI Bank.
- InstaFX mobile app has been launched by ICICI Bank to enable authorized money exchangers in completing KYC verification of new customers digitally.
- The application is for authorized money exchangers who are partners of the Bank. With InstaFX, they will be able to help customers of any bank get ‘ICICI Bank Forex Prepaid Card’ within few hours.
- With launching of the app, ICICI Bank has become first bank to provide such facility to authorized money exchangers.
4. Axis Bank, Axis Capital and Axis Securities get approval to buy stake in Max Life Insurance Company.
- Axis Bank, Axis Capital and Axis Securities have got approval to buy stake in Max Life Insurance Company.
- Earlier, Axis Bank’s proposal to directly acquire 17% stake in Max Life Insurance was rejected by RBI.
- Axis Bank had sought Competition Commission of India approval to buy up to 20% stake in Max Life Insurance Company.
- In December 2020, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company’s (MSI) 20.57% stake in Max Life Insurance was swapped with 21.87% stake in Max Financial Services Limited (MFSL).
5. Rajiv Lochan to replace TT Srinivasaraghavan as MD of Sundaram Finance.
- Rajiv Lochan will replace TT Srinivasaraghavan as Managing Director of Sundaram Finance, a Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC).
- Rajiv Lochan was MD of Kasturi & Sons. Harsha Viji will become Executive Vice- Chairman of Sundaram Finance.
- Sundaram Finance is a Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) headquartered in Chennai.
Topic: Banking System
6. 2020 list of D-SIBs released by RBI on 19 January 2021.
- 2020 list of Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs) was released by RBI on 19 January 2021.
- State Bank of India is present in list of D-SIBs. Two private sector banks, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank have also found place in 2020 list of D-SIBs.
- SBI, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank were present in 2018 list of D-SIBs also.
- Along with the capital conservation buffer, Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs) are required to keep prescribed additional Common Equity Tier 1 requirement as a percentage of Risk Weighted Assets (RWAs).
- In case of SBI, additional CET1 requirement as percentage of RWAs is 0.6%. In case of ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, additional CET1 requirement as percentage of RWAs is 0.4%.
- D-SIB framework was issued by RBI in July 2014. Under this framework, RBI announces names of banks designated as D-SIBs since 2015.
7. Vishwavir Ahuja may be reappointed as MD and CEO of RBL Bank.
- Vishwavir Ahuja may be reappointed as MD and CEO of RBL Bank, Mumbai-based private sector bank.
- As of now, RBL Bank’s Board of Directors has approved his appointment for a period of three years from 2021 to 2024.
- He will become MD and CEO after approval from RBI. RBL Bank was earlier known as Ratnakar Bank.
8. POWERGRID and Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board signed agreement to improve telecom connectivity in hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh.
- POWERGRID and Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board signed agreement to improve telecom connectivity in hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh.
- The signed agreement is for using 500 Kms of optical ground wire (OPGW) Telecom network. 350 Kms of OPGW is already being used in state.
- Total 850 Kms long telecom network will improve telecom in remote areas of Himachal Pradesh such as Kangra, Una, Mandi, Kullu, Bilaspur etc.
- POWERGRID has also played role in providing domestic component of International Connectivity to Bhutan and Nepal.
- Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID):
- It is a Maharatna company. It is owned by Government of India.
- It is headquartered in Gurgaon. Kandikuppa Sreekant is its Chairman & MD.