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RBI imposes moratorium on Yes Bank; withdrawals capped at Rs 50,000


New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India has imposed a moratorium on the floundering Mumbai-headquartered Yes Bank, which was once a darling of investors, and capped withdrawals at Rs 50,000.

Such is the deterioration in the private lender’s financial position that the RBI has also superseded with immediate effect the Yes Bank board for a 30-day period.

Former SBI CFO Prashant Kumar will be the administrator during this period. An RBI statement said the regulator was doing so in ‘‘public interest.’’

"This has been done to quickly restore depositors' confidence in the bank, including by putting in place a scheme for reconstruction or amalgamation," the RBI release stated.

 
 

The desperate gambit has come six months after the regulator tinkered in a similar fashion with the city-based cooperative lender PMC Bank.

The RBI, sources said, had no option but to intervene and impose a moratorium in view of the Yes Bank’s inability to address the potential losses on account of bad debts.

The intervention came in the backdrop of speculation about a bail out, which will be propped by public sector lender SBI and some other financial institutions. Insiders, however, said the bailout would be for all intents and purposes funded by the tax payer.

A research report by Macquarie Capital on Thursday pointed out that the SBI and other public sector banks need not pay more than Re 1 for Yes Bank share.

Macquarie pointed out that the private lender’s net worth is zero and there is a lack of clarity on the bank's deposit franchise due to the solvency issues.

Nonetheless, YES Bank's stock rose 26 per cent to Rs 37 per share following the development which increased the cost of buying a majority stake in the bank to Rs 1,900 crore, if done at the current market price. SBI's shares had fallen nearly 4 per cent after the news but recovered and were later trading 3 per cent higher at Rs 293.

In a day of rapid developments, which also included a board meeting of the SBI, there were reports that LIC has been asked to team up with the public sector bank for the stake buy. Together, their holding has been pegged at 49 per cent.

LIC already owns 8 per cent of the crisis-hit bank.

Significantly, a few weeks ago, amid speculations of a government bailout, SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar had said the troubled bank will "not be allowed to fail".

The writing was on the wall for the private lender ever since the new chief executive, Ravneet Gill, took charge last March and revealed massive stress in the loan book. The bank had to make provisioning for the stress and was also forced to go slow on fresh loans.

Yes Bank has been also struggling to raise USD 2 billion in equity for the last few months. Many proposals came up for discussions, but none fructified.

Such a bailout, if it happens, will be significant because it will be the first time in many years that a state-run entity has rescued a private sector universal bank.

Following the 2008 financial crisis, there was a huge outcry in the developed markets like the US over public money being used to bail out erring private entities.

Sources said the Union government has cleared a plan for the SBI-led consortium to acquire a controlling stake in the Yes Bank.

There was a discussion on the issue at SBI's board meet in Mumbai on Thursday, but it was not immediately clear if any decision had been taken.

Action is likely to shift to the national capital from here on, because picking up a stake in any bank may require changes in the State Bank of India Act as well, sources said.

This will also be the second time after IDBI Bank that LIC will be playing the role of a knight in shining armour.

Terming it as a "quasi sovereign bailout", J P Morgan said, "We believe forced bailout investors will want the bank to be acquired at near zero value to account for risks associated with the stress book and likely loss of deposits."

Yes Bank's share price has declined by over 80 per cent from a peak of Rs 400 since the removal of its co-founder and chief executive Rana Kapoor by the RBI on corporate governance concerns following two consecutive years of bad asset under-reporting to the tune of over Rs 10,000 crore.

Kapoor holds only 900 shares of the bank now, after defaulting on a loan against pledged shares and the lenders revoking the securities in September last year.

Over 62 per cent of the Yes Bank book is high-value corporate loans, and some of its bets on infrastructure, energy, non-banks and media space have backfired for the lender, leading Ravneet Gill to flag the potential stress of Rs 10,000 crore.

MAIN INPUT PTI

 
 
 



Lucknow administration puts up hoardings with names of people involved in anti-CAA protests


The Lucknow district administration has started the process to shame as many as 57 people, identified for being allegedly involved in violence during the anti-CAA protest, by putting up hoardings with their names and addresses.

A total of 100 hoardings are being put up at all major crossings in the city with names and addresses of 57 persons who have been identified so far for being allegedly involved in the violence that broke out during anti-CAA protests in the state capital in December last year.

 
 

These persons are from Hasanganj, Hazratganj, Kaiserbagh and Thakurganj police station areas of the state capital. The administration has already issued recovery notices to these people for damaging public property worth Rs 1.55 crore. Lucknow District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash said that in case of failure to pay the recovery amount, the properties of the accused would be confiscated.

The administration has issued recovery notices to these people for damaging public property worth Rs 1.55 crore. Lucknow District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash said that in case of failure to pay the recovery amount, the properties of the accused would be confiscated (kurki). The administration has assessed the total damage worth Rs 1,55,62,537.




Yes Bank crisis: Sensex plummets by 1,000 points, trying day for markets


Mumbai: Equity benchmark indices tumbled during early hours on Friday after another overnight steep fall on Wall Street with banking stocks seen coming under pressure after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) placed Yes Bank under a moratorium and took over its board.

At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 1,036 points or 2.69 per cent to 37,435 while the Nifty 50 dived by 306 points or 2.72 per cent at 10,963.

All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the red with Nifty PSU bank down by 5 per cent, private bank by 4.5 per cent, metal by 4.2 per cent and realty by 3.8 per cent.

Among stocks, Yes Bank crashed by 29.89 per cent to Rs 25.80 per share after the RBI said it is superseding the board of troubled private sector lender with immediate effect.

 
 

Former State Bank of India Chief Financial Officer Prashant Kumar has been appointed the administrator. Yes Bank has been grappling with mounting bad loans and has been struggling to raise fresh capital.IndusInd Bank too dropped by 10.9 per cent at Rs 10.91 per share.

Public sector State Bank of India dipped by 5.9 per cent after clarifying that no negotiations related to an investment in Yes Bank had taken place.

The other prominent losers were metal majors Tata Steel, JSW Steel and Hindalco besides Tata Motors, Bajaj Finance and Bharti Infratel.

Meanwhile, Asian shares and US stock futures fell after another Wall Street rout as disruptions to global business from coronavirus beyond China worsened.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was down by 1.3 per cent while Japan's Nikkei stock index slid by 2.29 per cent.

The spread of a new coronavirus accelerated in Europe, Britain and North America, prompting investors to re-assess the risks amid volatility in financial markets.

 
 
 



Trinity of social disharmony, economic slowdown, coronavirus rupturing soul of India: Manmohan Singh


Former Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh on Friday wrote a column, expressing concern that the trinity of social disharmony, economic slowdown, and a global health epidemic could rupture the soul of India.

In a column written in The Hindu, Singh said that while the first two factors i.e. social disharmony and economic slowdown are self-inflicted, the coronavirus epidemic comes as an external shock. “I deeply worry that this potent combination of risks may not only rupture the soul of India but also diminish our global standing as an economic and democratic power in the world,” Singh wrote in the column.

Notably, the national capital has witnessed extreme violence over the past few weeks. The death toll in the north east Delhi riots went up to 49 people, which included a head constable in the Delhi police.

Criticising the Centre for not keeping checks, Manmohan Singh also added that “the fire of social tensions is rapidly spreading across the nation and threatens to char the soul of our nation. It can only be extinguished by the same people that lit it.”

The former prime minister also spoke of India’s economic spiral, saying that from being a global showcase of a model of economic development, India today is a strife-ridden majoritarian state that is in economic despair.

“Social harmony, the bedrock of economic development, is now under peril. No amount of tweaking of tax rates, showering of corporate incentives or goading will propel Indian or foreign businesses to invest, when the risk of eruption of sudden violence in one’s neighbourhood looms large. Lack of investment means lack of jobs and incomes, which, in turn, means lack of consumption and demand in the economy. A lack of demand will only further suppress private investments. This is the vicious cycle that our economy is stuck in,” Singh added.

Earlier in the week, Singh had said the slogan of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' was being misused to construct a "militant and purely emotional" idea of India that excludes millions of residents and citizens.

Seizing on Singh's remarks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in the closed-door meeting that similar controversies were created over singing 'Vande Mataram' during the freedom struggle. "It is unfortunate and sad that 70 years after independence, raising a slogan like 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' is being depicted as a crime... It is unfortunate that a person who held the post of prime minister is saying so," Modi said, adding that every patriot will be pained at this.

Singh also spoke of the economic implication of the coronavirus scare, saying that the global slowdown will impact India as well. “In such an integrated global economy, the COVID-19 crisis can further slow India’s GDP growth by half to one percentage point, other things being constant. India’s economic growth was already tepid, and this external health shock is bound to make things much worse,” he said.

 
 
 



Madhya Pradesh: Game of chess to go on till Rajya Sabha elections


BHOPAL: Ten legislators’ crossing over to the BJP and their return to the Congress seem to have links with the election of three RS seats in the state.

Ex-minister Narottam Mishra said people should see what happens till RS elections.

According to the number of legislators in the House, the Congress is set to win two seats and the BJP one.

BJP, however, wants to win two seats, so the party has begun Operation Lotus.

Legislators may have returned to the Congress fold after the political drama, but the game of chess between the BJP and Congress will continue till the RS elections are over.

Both parties have to select candidates for the RS polls by March 13, and polling will be held on March 26.

If the BJP announces two candidates for RS seats, it will pull out all the stops to topple the Nath-led government.

Nevertheless, the Congress may also try to woo some of the BJP MLAs. The party has already begun to take action against some BJP leaders.

Similarly, the Congress is bracing to pay the BJP in the same coin.

Consequently, both the parties are sparing no efforts to woo each other’s legislators.

Sources said some of the BJP legislators were also in contact with the Congress.

Likewise, some Congress MLAs are in touch with the BJP. MP is going to see a major political upheaval in coming days.

FPJ




Amid coronavirus fear in Hyderabad, Sania Mirza raises awareness


Hyderabad: Amidst the ongoing concerns related to coronavirus, India’s tennis sensation Sania Mirza raised awareness about the issue and asked the people to do what is required when the symptoms arise.
We need to take precautions: Sania Mirza
“As you know the coronavirus is spreading fast, it originated in China and as per the UN, it has spread around the world, we need to take precautions, there are few symptoms like coughing and fever, if you feel you have the symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor,” Mirza said in a video.

“There is a helpline (104) and you can call on that. You should look to wash your hands regularly, if you have the symptoms, then keep yourself in isolation for 14 days,” she added.
Shuttler PV Sindhu also raised awareness about the issue and said that people in the country should immediately call the helpline if they feel they are having the symptoms of coronavirus.

On Wednesday, the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that there are 28 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country so far.

Deaths across the globe
Globally, deaths due to Covid-19 have crossed 3,000. The deadly virus, that originated in China late last year, continues to spread around the world and has infected more than 90,000 people.
AGENCY 




Muslims quench thirst of Hindu devotees


Coimbatore: As a symbol of communal harmony, functionaries of Athar Jamath Mosque here on Wednesday distributed water bottles to the Hindu devotees thronging the annual chariot-pulling celebrations of Koniamman, the presiding deity of Coimbatore.
Celebrations
The celebrations began from the temple in the heart of the city and saw thousands of devotees from different parts of the region taking part.
As the devotees came from faraway places, the functionaries of Athar Jamaat Mosque erected a special pandal for distributing the water bottles to the thirsty devotees.

Water bottles distributed
They distributed over 10,000 water bottles to the devotees, as the city started getting hot with the mercury going up.

Traffic had to be diverted for smooth pulling of the chariot.
Meanwhile, a group of Muslims made arrangements for food to the devotees near Selvapuram, thus cementing the brotherly bond between two communities.

SOURCE: PTI

 




Harsh Mander’s Speech Instigated Violence:Delhi Police in SC


New Delhi: The Delhi Police, through the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) [legal cell], on Wednesday filed an affidavit seeking the dismissal of activist Harsh Mander’s petition with exemplary costs and initiation of contempt proceedings against him.

Mander, whose plea seeking registration of FIRs against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra and Parvesh Verma for making speeches which allegedly instigated violence leading to the Delhi riots, faced counter allegations of making statements against the Apex Court.

A video to this effect was brought to the attention of the Supreme Court bench comprising of CJI SA Bobde, BR Gavai J. and Surya Kant J. when the main matter was taken up. The bench then declined to hear his petition and observed that an explanation was warranted. They went on to ask the Delhi Police to file an affidavit authenticating the statement of Mander. Complying with this direction, the police has filed this affidavit.
His speech is not only instigating violence, but is seriously contemptuous as derogatory remarks have been made against the Supreme Court to a huge gathering of people, alleges the Police. The video, from December 16, 2019, has been annexed for the court’s perusal.

“Harsh Mander delivering a speech which is not only instigating the violence but is also seriously contemptuous as it makes derogatory remarks against the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India to a huge gathering of people.”

The affidavit goes on to accuse Mander of being known to take a contemptuous stand and bring disrepute to the institution (judiciary) as well as individual judges. To substantiate this argument, the police has placed reliance on the top court’s order in a case where Mander had sought then CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s recusal from hearing his petition on the state of detention centres in Assam on allegations of bias. In his order, dated May 2, 2019, CJI Gogoi not only refused to recuse himself, but struck off Mander’s name as the petitioner and replaced it with that of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee. This point had also been raised by the Solicitor General during proceedings, while urging the Court to direct the filing of an FIR against Mander today.

AGENCY 




Paytm offices shut after employee tests positive for coronavirus


New Delhi: India’s leading digital payment platform Paytm on Wednesday decided to shut its offices in Gurugram and Noida for at least two days after one of its employees who had recently travelled to Italy tested positive for COVID-19.
In an official statement, the company informed that it has suggested team members of the COVID-19 patient to get their health tests done immediately, while all their offices will remain shut for sanitising purposes.
“One of our colleagues based out of Gurugram office, who recently returned from Italy post a vacation, has now been tested positive for Coronavirus. He is receiving appropriate treatment and we are extending complete support to his family,” a Paytm spokesperson told IANS.

Precautionary measure
“As a precautionary measure, we have suggested his team members to get health tests done immediately,” the spokesperson added.

The company said it has advised all employees to work from home for a couple of days while the offices are sanitised.


 
“However, there will not be any impact on our daily operations and Paytm services will continue as usual,” the spokesperson added.

With 25 fresh confirmed cases of coronavirus in India, the tech industry in India is withdrawing into a shell, with Paytm, Nearbuy, Wipro, TCS and HCL announcing action plan to safeguard their employees.
Nearbuy, which claims to be India’s first hyper-local online platform that enables customers and local merchants to discover and engage with each other, has decided to close its Gurugram office for at least 14 days as a precautionary measure.

Work from home
The company has told its employees to work from home during the period and also keep a proper check on their health.

Global software giant Wipro on Wednesday announced that it has suspended employee travel to coronavirus-stricken China, Hong Kong and Macau.


 
The company also said that any employee who has travelled to an affected place in China in the last few days has been advised to work from home for 14 days before resuming work in office.

“We have advised our employees to be vigilant, especially those based in China and those who have visited the country recently,” said Wipro.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) also claimed that it was working closely with all relevant global and regional and local health institutions to tackle COVID-19 outbreak.

While HCL Technologies said it has invoked an epidemic contingency plan in the impacted geographies and is providing full support to employees, wherever possible.

SOURCE siasat .com 




SC didn't defend secularism, we have to take decisions on the streets: Activist Harsh Mander stirs controversy


Human rights activist Harsh Mander has stoked a controversy by saying Supreme Court didn't defend secularism and we have to take decisions on the streets.

A video has gone viral on social in which Harsh Mander can be heard telling people that the time has come to decide our fate on the streets. In the video, Mander can be seen addressing a gathering and saying that there is no scope of secularism in Supreme Court especially after the Ayodhya verdict. Further the activist said that time has now come for people to hit the streets as both Supreme Court and parliament have failed them.
“Now decision will not come from the Supreme Court or Parliament. We saw what the Supreme Court did in Ayodhya, NRC and Kashmir matters. The SC has failed to honour secularism, equality and humanity. We will try fighting there too, but, the decision will not happen in neither Supreme Court nor Parliament, it has to be made at the streets,” Harsh Mander can be heard saying in the video.

BJP's IT cell chief Amit Malviya took to Twitter and hit out at Mander. Malviya tweeted saying, "This man Harsh Mander, who wrote the draconian CVB, is in HC to get FIRs against people for hate speech... And a judge gave him midnight hearing!"
On Monday, human rights activists had denounced the central government. Human rights activists had alleged that the government had failed to provide any medical or legal help to violence-affected people in northeast Delhi. The activists, including Harsh Mander, Anjali Bhardwaj, Annie Raja and Harjit Singh Bhatti, also criticised India's poor healthcare system, saying "there's no hospital near the affected areas".

A petition was filed by Harsh Mander on February 27 seeking FIRs for hate speech in the wake of violent clashes in Delhi. But the Delhi High Court had deferred the matter by four weeks.





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