Banking and Financial Awareness – 48

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25 Jan, 2014

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1) According to announcement made by Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on 12 January 2014 the Centre has revised its target upwards to opening 10,000 new bank branches a year. This has been part of Centre’s initiative of taking banking services to rural areas. What was the earlier target? – 7,000 branches (From the coming financial year, it has been revised to open 10,000 branches a year and through this, an additional 55,000 new jobs are expected to be created)

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2) Which major bank during January 2014 came out with plans to outsource the management of some of its ATMs by taking calls from vendors? – State Bank of India (SBI called for a Request for Proposal (RFP) from vendors to manage about 7,843 cash dispensers (ATMs).  Vendors will be expected to have all capabilities to remotely capture and initiate appropriate action in the event of any problems at these cash dispensers. They will be expected to ensure that the downtime of these ATMs in metro and urban areas is less than 3%, while it is less than 6% in rural areas. SBI had 32,777 ATMs as of 30 September 2013. It has expanded its network steadily in the past few years, adding about a third of its network (about 11,000 ATMs) in the past 18 months. ATM operations have however not been profitable)

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3) Retirement fund-body the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on 13 January 2014 decided to increase the rate of interest on Provident Fund deposits to 8.75 per cent for 2013-14, a move that will benefit about 5 crore subscribers. What was the present rate of interest for EPFO subscribers? – 8.5% (The Central Board of Trustees, which is the apex decision-making body of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), met on 13 January and approved the interest rate. The EPFO’s recommendation will now be vetted by the Finance Ministry. Once the ministry approves the decision, the interest would be credited to the accounts of subscribers. The EPFO is estimated to have an income of Rs 20,796.96 crore in the current financial year)

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4) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) during January 2014 clarified that the provision of prior RBI nod applies for establishments from Hong Kong and Macau to set up business or related activities in India. As per the existing conditions this provision pertaining to RBI’s approval applies on which 6 countries? – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Iran, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (As per the existing conditions under the Foreign Exchange Management Regulations, no entity or citizens of these 6 countries is allowed to set up any branch office or a liaison office or a project or any other such business activity without prior permission of the RBI)

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5) The government Union on 10 January 2014 gave its approval to the plan to form an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) comprising scrips of 11 bluechip state-owned companies, which will be offered in the market with a view to garnering Rs 3,000 crore this fiscal. Which are the 11 state-owned companies (PSUs) involved in this ETF plan? – ONGC, Coal India Limited, GAIL, Power Grid, REC, Oil India Limited, Container Corporation of India, Power Finance Corporation, Indian Oil Limited, Engineers India Limited and Bharat Engineering Limited (ETF is a security that tracks an index, a commodity or a basket of assets like an index fund, but trades like a stock on an exchange. The PSU ETF would comprise shares of various profitable state-owned companies. The composition of ETF and weightage of the shares of individual PSU in the index has been decided by the EGoM)

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6) SEBI on 10 January 2014 notified new norms empowering its Chairman to order search and seizure operations during investigations, while necessary safeguards have also been put in place to protect rights of affected persons. This would add extra power to SEBI’s crackdown against fraudsters. What is the name of the ordinance promulgated by the Union government in September 2013, which had conferred explicit powers on SEBI Chairman to authorise investigating authority or any other officer of SEBI to conduct search and seizure under the SEBI Act? – Securities Laws (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2013 (The new norms providing SEBI with powers to conduct search and seizure have been finalised after taking into account suggestions from public and other stakeholders to draft regulations, which were issued in November 2013)

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7) Which bank during January 2014 became the first Indian domestic private sector bank to have a branch presence in China? – Axis Bank (Axis Bank recently opened its branch in Shanghai after receiving permission from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC). The branch will engage in foreign currency businesses that includes all business approved by the banking supervision and regulatory authorities of the China. With opening of Shanghai branch, Axis Bank’s overseas presence has grown to eight – one each in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Colombo, and Shanghai, two representative offices at Dubai and Abu Dhabi and an overseas subsidiary in London)

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8) Which private asset management company (AMC) January 2014 became the first private sector fund house to launch an inflation indexed fund that aims to provide inflation-adjusted returns to investors? – Deutsche Asset Management India – DAMI (DAMI’s scheme, ‘DWS Inflation—Indexed Bond Fund’ is an open—ended debt fund and will open for subscription on 16 January 2014, and close on 27 January. Inflation indexed bonds (IIBs) are instruments where interest payment and principal are linked to whole sale price index (WPI) inflation and these bonds are currently available at an attractive yield of 3.6% above WPI. Government has been issuing IIBs on a monthly basis since June, 2013 and the current outstanding issuance stands at Rs 6,500 crore as of now)

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9) SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) Chairman UK Sinha’s term was extended by 2 years during January 2014. Sinha will now head the regulatory body till 16 March 2016. Among the last four chairmen, Sinha is the only one whose term has been extended. Who is the only SEBI chief to have held the post for a longer duration than Sinha? – D.R. Mehta (Mehta served as SEBI Chairman for 7 years (1995-2002). Sinha’s three predecessors – GN Bajpai (2002-2005), M Damodaran (2005-2008) and CB Bhave (2008-2011) – had only got a three-year terms)

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10) The three day 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) was held between 7-9 January 2014 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. What was the theme of this year’s PBD?Engaging Diaspora: Connecting Across Generations (PBD is celebrated on 9th January every year to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India. January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi (non-resident citizen), returned to India from South Africa, led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever)

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Responses on This Article

Previous Responses on This Article

  1. amitpal89 says:

    Thank you so much sir.

  2. ssssharma31 says:

    good job ….

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