Topic: Banking System
1. CoinDCX launched Okto, a decentralised finance wallet.
- Okto users can exchange tokens and earn money through approved decentralised finance services.
- Cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX has also launched an AI-based multi-factor authentication to secure self-custodial decentralised finance (DeFi) wallets.
- So far, CoinDCX has made six protocol integrations. It targets 100 in next 4 to 6 weeks.
- The user will see the same interface on the mobile app regardless of the underlying protocol.
- The Web3 app eliminates the risk of a single point of failure. It does so by using multi-party computation (MPC) technology.
- In MPC, private keys used to control funds are not fully exposed. So, users’ funds are secured.
- The wallet supports multiple protocols. It is integrated with Web3 chains like Polygon, BSC, and Avalanche.
2. Jayakumar S. Pillai’s appointment as Deputy Managing Director on the board of the IDBI Bank has been approved.
- The Board of Directors of IDBI Bank has approved his appointment for 3 years.
- His appointment is with effect from the date of his taking charge as specified in the RBI approval.
- He is currently working as Chief General Manager and Circle Head in Canara Bank, Mumbai.
- IDBI Bank has two Deputy Managing Director positions.
- It currently has one Deputy Managing Director (Suresh Khatanhar).
- The other Deputy Managing Director was Samuel Joseph Jebaraj.
- Samuel Joseph Jebaraj went to the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID) as Deputy Managing Director (Lending & Project Finance) in early April 2023.
- IDBI Bank is a subsidiary of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC). It was set up in 1964. M. R. Kumar is its Chairman. Rakesh Sharma is its MD & CEO.
Topic: Regulatory Bodies/Financial Institutions
3. The norms for surety bonds have been relaxed by IRDAI to expand the surety insurance market.
- The aim of changes in the norms is to expand the surety insurance market by increasing the availability of surety bond products.
- IRDAI has reduced the solvency requirement applicable for surety bonds from 1.875 times to 1.5 times.
- It has also removed the 30% exposure limit on each contract underwritten by insurers.
- 'IRDAI (Surety Insurance Contracts) Guidelines' were issued by IRDAI in January 2022.
- Earlier, the cap on premiums that could be underwritten in a financial year by mono-line insurers transacting only surety insurance business was removed.
- Surety bonds:
- They are a type of insurance policy. They protect parties involved in a transaction or contract from potential financial losses because of a breach of contract or other types of non-performance.
- They serve as a risk mitigation tool to maintain integrity, quality, and adherence to contractual terms.
- Surety bonds are legally binding contracts. They are entered into by three parties, which are the principal (usually a business owner or contractor), the obligee (usually a government entity) and the surety.
Topic: Reports and Indices
4. According to SBI’s report “Ecowrap”, a person now accesses an ATM eight times per year on average, down from 16 times previously.
- As per the report, every one rupee increase in the value of UPI transactions results in an 18 paisa decrease in debit card transactions.
- The observation is based on monthly time series data analysis for the period of April 2016 to April 2023.
- According to research by SBI’s economic research department (ERD), cash withdrawal through debit cards at ATMs has declined from November 2018.
- As per ERD’s research, rural and semi-urban areas are now accounting for 60% of share in UPI value/ volume.
- Top 15 States accounted for about 90% of share in UPI value/volume.
- As per Ecowrap, the most popular and preferred payment mode in India is UPI. It accounts for about 73% of the total digital payments.
- According to ERD’s analysis, the volume of UPI transactions has increased from 1.8 crore in FY17 to 8,375 crore in FY23.
- The value of UPI transactions has increased from ₹6,947 crore to ₹ 139-lakh crore during the FY17 to FY23. This is a jump of 2004 times.
- ERD said that CIC (currency in circulation) has declined to reach 12.4% of GDP in FY23. This is almost same level as 2015-16.
- As per ERD, the yearly growth in CIC has also declined from 16.6% in FY21 to 7.9% in FY23.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
5. Gross Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows in FY23 declined 16.3%.
- According to the RBI, gross FDI in FY23 declined from $84.8 billion in FY22 to $71 billion in FY23.
- Net FDI also declined from $38.6 billion in FY22 to $28 billion in FY23 according to an article titled ‘State of the Economy’ in latest monthly bulletin of RBI.
- The highest decline in FDI inflows compared with the preceding year was recorded in manufacturing, computer services and communication services.
- As per the article, US, Switzerland, and Mauritius were the major contributors towards the decline in inflows.
- In 2022, in the semiconductor industry, India was the 2nd largest recipient of FDI ($26.2 billion). US was the largest recipient of FDI ($33.8 billion).
- In the semiconductor industry, China received only $0.5 billion as FDI.
- The overall cost of ECB loans increased steeply by 5.16 percentage points between March 2022 and March 2023.
- Net accretions to non-resident deposits rose from $3.2 billion a year ago to $8 billion in 2022-23.
6. The Finance Ministry has announced an increase in the maximum limit for encashment of earned leave for income tax exemption.
- The maximum limit of 3 lakh rupees for tax exemption on leave encashment upon retirement of non-government salaried employees was last time fixed in 2002.
- At that time, the highest basic pay in the government was 30,000 rupees per month.
- In the budget for Fiscal Year 2023-24, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to increase the limit to ₹25 lakh in line with the increase in government salaries.
- Finance Ministry has now issued a notification and said that the new limit has come into force with effect from the 1st April, 2023.
- This means an individual superannuating on or after April 01, 2023, will get the benefit of new limit.
- The new limit will apply in the new Income Tax regime as well as old one.
Topic: World Economy
7. Global steel output declined 2.4% in April.
- As per World Steel Association (worldsteel), production in 63 countries declined to 161.4 million tonnes (mt) against 162.7 mt in April 2022.
- Top producer China reported a decline of 1.5% compared to a year-ago period. It has produced 92.6 mt. China produced 95.7 mt in March 2023.
- India reported a 3.2% rise in production at 10.7 mt. It was lower than the 11.4 mt produced in March 2023.
- Steel production in Japan declined by 3.1% at 7.2 mt. Steel production in US declined 5.3% at 6.6 mt.
- Russia’s production was kept at 6.4 mt. It increased by 1.9% year-on-year.
- South Korea’s output increased. Germany’s output and Brazil’s output declined.
- For the January-April period, steel production in 63 nations was kept at 622.7 mt. These 63 nations account for 97% of world steel output.
- According to the Worldsteel, steel demand worldwide will grow 2.3% in 2023 and 1.7% in 2024 to reach 1,822 mt and 1,854 mt, respectively.
Topic: Reports and Indices
8. RBI’s economic activity index (EAI) has nowcast GDP growth for Q1 (April-June) FY24 at 7.6%.
- This is against real GDP growth of 7.8% projected in the April 2023 Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement.
- The nowcast GDP growth is based on partial data available for April 2023.
- The nowcast GDP growth is based on assuming an implied GDP growth of 5.1% for Q4 (January-March) FY23.
- The index of supply chain pressure for India (ISPI) remained at levels below historical average since July 2022.
- GDP growth in the first quarter of FY24 will be driven by private consumption. It will be supported by revival in rural demand.
- Domestic service sector activity will be led by the rebound in contact-intensive services. It will be led by resilience in construction activity.
9. The appointment of Dolly Jha as Chief of Product & Research of BARC has been announced.
- She was previously managing director (MD) for Nielsen Media-India.
- Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC) is the television audience measurement industry body.
- BARC runs the largest audience measurement system in the world.
- It was established in 2010. It is headquartered in Mumbai. Nakul Chopra is its CEO. Shashi Sinha is its chairman.