Banking Awareness of 24, 25 and 26 March 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 26 Mar 2024 18:57 PM IST
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Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

1. S&P Global has increased India’s growth forecast to 6.8% for Fiscal Year 2024-25.

  • S&P Global has increased forecast by 40 basis points. It is yet lower than the forecast of 7.6% for the current fiscal.
  • The projection made by S&P Global is lower than RBI’s estimate of 7%.
  • S&P has not changed its forecast for Fiscal Years 2025-26, 2026-2027 and 2027-2028.
  • It has kept growth forecast for Fiscal Year 2025-26 at 6.9%, for Fiscal Year 2026-2027 at 7% and for Fiscal Year 2027-2028 at 7%.
  • S&P has projected robust growth for Asian emerging market economies like India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

2. In February 2024, Venezuela became fifth largest crude oil supplier of India.

  • Venezuela is the country with the world’s largest proven oil reserves (300 billion barrels).
  • In January 2024, India became the largest buyer of crude oil from Venezuela.
  • This happened after US removed sanctions on Venezuela for six months starting from 18 October 2023.
  • However, the reimposition of US sanctions after April 18 may impact the trade.
  • Until 2019, India was third largest buyer of crude oil from Venezuela after the US and China.
  • Venezuela contributes only about 4-5% of India’s overall imports.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

3. India’s coal and lignite production has surpassed one billion tonnes.

  • India’s coal and lignite production in this fiscal year also surpassed FY23’s coal and lignite production of 937.22 million tonnes.
  • India is world’s second largest coal consumer. It is world’s second largest producer after China.
  • India’s monthly coal production was more than 100 mt for the first time in March 2023.
  • In January 2024, the monthly output reached 99.73 mt.
  • India’s power demand will grow at 6-7% per annum.
  • The coal accounts for around 70% of the electricity generated in India.
  • In its December 2023 coal report, International Energy Agency (IEA) said that demand in India will rise by 3.5% annually till 2026.
  • It said demand in India currently accounted for 14% of global demand.
  • Lignite is the lowest grade coal. It has minimum carbon concentration. It is also known as brown coal.

Topic: Regulatory Bodies/Financial Institutions

4. IRDAI has provided approval to Galaxy Health and Allied Insurance Company.

  • Galaxy Health & Allied Insurance Company has received approval to carry out health insurance business in India.
  • IRDAI granted a Certificate of Registration to Galaxy Health & Allied Insurance Company.
  • This is the sixth registration given by IRDAI in around one year in the Life, Non-life and Health Segment.
  • After this, the number of insurers in the health insurance segment has increased up to 7.
  • Galaxy Health and Allied Insurance Company is a stand-alone health insurer established by TVS Group and V Jagannathan.
  • V Jagannathan had earlier set up Star Health Company.

Topic: Banking System

5. Nabard’s subsidiary, NSFL, has offered $45 million funding for Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) activities.

  • NAB Samruddhi Finance Ltd (NSFL) has offered the funding through 32 partner institutions.
  • NSFL has been offering concessional wholesale WASH loans by availing of refinance from Nabard.
  • Together with NSFL, Nabard has launched the 1st phase of a Climate Ready WASH funding awareness campaign.
  • This is a nationwide campaign for women Joint Liability Group (JLG) borrowers of micro finance institutions.
  • Under this campaign, 40 block-level camps will be covered in climate-vulnerable areas in seven states in phase-1 through FINISH Mondial.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

6. Adani Ports and SEZ Limited have acquired the brownfield Gopalpur Port from the Shapoorji Pallonji Group.

  • The enterprise value that has been realized upon sale of Gopalpur Port is ₹3,350 crore.
  • Deutsche Bank provided advice to the Shapoorji Pallonji Group for this deal.
  • This is the second port divestment in the past few months.
  • Prior to this, it sold JSW Infrastructure Limited its Dharamtar Port for an enterprise value of ₹710 crore.
  • In 2015, the Shapoorji Pallonji Group purchased Dharamtar Port, located in Maharashtra.
  • The under construction Gopalpur Port was acquired in 2017. It is located in Odisha.
  • Petronet LNG and Gopalpur Port have recently agreed to establish a Greenfield LNG regasification terminal.

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

7. According to Finance Ministry report, Indian’s growth will be between 6.5-7% in FY25.

  • The report also emphasizes on stable retail inflation, declining core inflation and a favorable inflation forecast.
  • RBI has projected a growth rate of 7% for the next fiscal.
  • As per the Statistics Ministry’s second advance estimate, India’s estimated growth rate during the current fiscal year is 7.6%.
  • The Monthly Economic Review is prepared by the Economic Affairs Department of the Finance Ministry.
  • It said that better global investor confidence has started reflecting in foreign portfolio investment (FPI) flows.
  • The announcement that India would be added to Bloomberg's bond index starting in January 2025 should encourage inflows.
  • According to the report, India's inflation forecast for the next few months is favorable. Core inflation is on the decline.
    For the sixth month continuously, retail inflation stayed stable and within the target range.
  • In terms of the external side, the current account balance is anticipated to improve in FY24 due to the shrinking merchandise trade deficit and growing net services receipts.

Topic: Banking System  

8. Government has provided Rs 6212.03 crore to regional rural banks (RRBs) under the recapitalization scheme as of 6 March.

  • Under the scheme, government provides recapitalization support to RRBs to keep the minimum prescribed capital-to-risk (Weighted) Assets ratio of 9%.
  • As of 31 December 2023, the performance of RRBs has become significantly better, with a consolidated Capital to Risk-weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR) at an all-time high level of 13.83%.
  • In FY22-23, RRBs have shown net profit of Rs 4,974 crores. This is the highest ever consolidated net profit of RRBs.
  • As of 30 September 2023, consolidated credit-deposit ratio has increased to 72.13%. This is the highest in previous 15 years.
  • At present, the number of RRBs in India is 43. They are sponsored by 12 scheduled commercial banks.
  • RRBs are Indian government-owned commercial banks. They operate at regional level in different states.
  • They were started in 1975. They were started to provide fundamental banking and financial services to rural areas.

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