Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 16 - JUNE - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 16 - JUNE - 2016
Thursday, 16 June 2016 09:18

 

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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

16- JUNE - 2016

 

TWO INDIAN-ORIGIN WOMEN IN FORBES' SELF-MADE AMERICAN WOMEN LIST

Two Indian-origin women featured on the Forbes' second annual list of America's wealthiest and most successful self-made women include 60 trailblazers. It is list of women who crashed ceilings through invention and innovation.

India-born Neerja Sethi ranked 16th on 'America's Richest Self-made Women' list while president and CEO of Arista Networks Jayshree Ullal is ranked 30th.

Forbes ranked Diane Hendricks as number one. She is the owner of largest wholesale distributor, ABC Supply. She is now worth 4.9 billion US Dollars that is 1.2 billion US Dollars more than 2015 when she was ranked second.

The Other notable names on the list include TV czar Oprah Winfrey (2), Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg (14), pop icon Taylor Swift, Alex + Ani jewellery brand founder Carolyn Rafaelian, actress-turned-entrepreneur Jessica Alba (42), Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman (6), designer Tory Burch (19), singer Madonna (25), Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (33), singer Celine Dion (37) and pop icon Beyonce (56).

The categories in which the Richest Self-made Women are categorized are, Youngest, NewComers, Technology, Entertainment and Founders.

Neerja Sethi

The 61 year old Sethi assets account for a net worth of 1.1 billion US Dollars. Her company employs more than 25000 people and boasts a recent market cap of 3.6 billion US Dollars.

Sethi, co-founded IT consulting and outsourcing firm Syntel with her husband Bharat Desai.

She is the current the vice president of corporate affairs and a role since the company's inception.

Jayshree Ullal

The 55 year old Jayashree Ullal was born in London and raised in New Delhi. She became president and CEO of Arista Networks in 2008, when it had no revenues and fewer than 50 employees. The company reported 838 million US Dollars in revenue in 2015, after going public in June 2014.

NAVIN AGARWAL APPOINTED DG OF NATIONAL ANTI-DOPING AGENCY

Senior IPS officer Navin Agarwal was appointed as Director General (DG)/ Chief Executive Officer (CEP) of National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved his appointment as Chief of NADA. He is appointed to the post for five years term.

Navin Agarwal is a 1986 batch IPS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre.

National Anti Doping Agency (NADA)

It was set up as registered society under the Societies Registration Act of 1890 on 24 November 2005 with a mandate for Dope free sports in India.

The primary objectives are to implement anti-doping rules as per World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code, regulate dope control programme, to promote education and research and creating awareness about doping and its ill effects.

The primary functions of NADA are:

• To implement the Anti Doping Code to achieve compliance by all sports organizations  in the Country.

• To coordinate dope testing program through all participating stakeholders.

• To promote anti doping research and education to inculcate the value of dope free sports.

• To adopt best practice standards and quality systems to enable effective implementation and  continual improvement of the program.

Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports will be the Ex-officio Chairman of NADA while Secretary, Dept. of Sports Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports will act as Vice Chairman where Director General ofNADA will be Ex-officio Member Secretary of the Organisation.

ASIA’S LARGEST ANNUAL SECURITY FORUM SHANGRI-LA DIALOGUE INAUGURATES IN SINGAPORE

Asia’s largest annual security forum Shangri-La Dialogue was inaugurated in Singapore. It is the 15th Asia Security Summit to openly discuss and debate security matters in the Asia-Pacific region.

It is expected that the 2016 discussions will by dominated by the issues like territorial disputes in the South China Sea, military provocations of  North Korea and Islamist extremism, migration, counterterrorism, military competition and cybersecurity.

Asia Security Summit: Shangri-La Dialogue

• The Singaporean government alomg with British think tank the International Institute for Strategic Studies launched the Summit in 2002.

• The forum is organised by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

• The annual three-day summit became an unofficial conclave for regional defense ministers, along with European and US military officials.

• The 2016 dialogue got its name from the location of the meeting, the Shangri-La hotel in Singapore.

• The forum serves for military officials as a venue to meet behind closed doors.

• The event will be attended by at least 20 Defence Ministers from Asia-Pacific countries which India’s Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. It will be led by Pentagon chief Ashton Carter.

• It provides opportunities to defence ministers, military chiefs and high-ranking defence officials to hold bilateral meetings on its sidelines.

• The primary interest to delegates attending 2016 is China’s assertive activities in the South China Sea as it continues to gobble up islets and challenge the passage of US Navy ships and aircraft through the area.

• The Legislators, academic experts, journalists and business delegates from around the globe will attend the dialogue.

• The previous editions of the conference were marked by heated public exchanges between US and Chinese officials.

ASIA'S FIRST GYPS VULTURE REINTRODUCTION PROGRAMME LAUNCHED

The Haryana Government launched Asia's First Gyps Vulture Reintroduction Programme at Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre, Pinjore.

The breeding and conservation of vultures is a significant step in the direction of saving the endangered species.

Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar jointly released two Himalayan Griffons into the wild from the Conservation Centre.

Conservation of Vultures

• The Union Government became prominent vulture breeding and conservation centre in India after successfully breeding Himalayan Griffon Vultures.

•It is the old world vulture in the family of Accipitridae-in captivity.

• Many vultures disappeared due to Diclofenac which is a pain killer drug given to cattle that can kill birds.

• When vultures feed on the carcasses of animals with Diclofenac, they also die.

• At present, the drug is banned in India.

• Vultures play a vital role in keeping the environment clean, their breeds should be increased and the government is constantly working to increase their numbers.

Himalayan Griffon Vultures

• The Himalayan Griffon is closely related to the critically endangered resident Gyps species of vultures but is not endangered.

• Two Himalayan Griffons in captivity for over 10 years and in the aviary with resident Gyps vultures.

• These birds were wing-tagged and were leg-ringed for identification.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC BEATS ANDY MURRAY TO WIN 1ST FRENCH OPEN TITLE

World number one Novak Djokovic won 2016 French Open title. In the final clash in Paris, Djokovic defeated Britain's Andy Murray 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

It was Djokovic's first French Open title and 12th major title of his career. Other 11 titles include six Grand Slam titles from the Australian Open, three from Wimbledon and two from the US Open. Among men, only Roger Federer (17), Rafael Nadal (14) and Pete Sampras (14) own more.

With this win, he also became the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four Grand Slams at once. The 29-year-old also becomes the third man ever to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time, joining American Don Budge and Australian Rod Laver in a quite remarkable feat.

INDIA, QATAR INKED 7 AGREEMENTS TO BOOST COOPERATION

India and Qatar signed seven agreements in various fields including assistance in custom matters, skill development and recognition of qualifications and health.

The agreements were inked after delegation-level talks between Prime Minster Narendra Modi and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at Doha. Modi was on a two day visit to Qatar on 4 June to 5 June 2016.

Before the talks, Modi was given a ceremonial reception at the Emiri Diwan, the seat of power of Qatar's ruler.

The inked MoUs/Agreements include

• Agreement on assistance in Customs Matters: It promotes cooperation and mutual assistance between the two countries on matters pertaining to customs administration through exchange of information and intelligence.

• MoU on cooperation in the exchange of intelligence related to money laundering, terrorism-financing and related crimes: The MoU facilitates exchange of intelligence related to money laundering, terrorism-financing and related crimes and persons connected thereto. This was inked between Financial Intelligence Unit – India (FIU-IND) and the Qatar Financial Information Unit (QFIU).

• MoU on participation of Qatari institutional investors in Infrastructure projects in India: Under this, a framework will be established to facilitate participation of Qatari institutional investors in Infrastructure projects in India under NIIF. This MoU was inked between National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

• MoU for cooperation in Skill Development and Recognition of Qualifications: It aims to enhance cooperation between the two countries on skill development and mutual recognition of qualifications to facilitate mobility of skilled workers from India to Qatar. This was inked between the Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, and the National Qualifications Authority/Supreme Education Council, Government of the State of Qatar.

• MoU on cooperation in Tourism: It aims at bilateral cooperation in the field of planning and developing of tourism, through marketing and promotion as also to support cooperation between private sector stakeholders.

• MoU for cooperation in the field of Health: It provides cooperation in areas of health, including interalia in occupational and environmental health, pharmaceuticals, medical education, exchange of the best practices in the field of primary healthcare, research in the field of health care, technology, health care system and exchange of medical experts and scientists.

• The First Executive Programme for MoU in the field of Youth and Sports: As a follow up to the existing MoU in the field of Youth and Sports, the first Executive Programme provides for exchanges and cooperation in sports activities, training camps for sports teams and exchange visits of leaders and officials etc between the two countries.

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister held discussions with business leaders and invited them for investment in India. He asked the Qatari businessmen to recognize India’s potential and assured them to address the identified bottlenecks.

This is the second high level engagement between the two countries in 14 months. Earlier in March 2015, Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani was on a two day official visit to India.

CR SASIKUMAR TAKES OVER AS MD OF STATE BANK OF TRAVANCORE

CR Sasikumar took over as Managing Director (MD) of State Bank of Travancore (SBT).

The State Bank of Travancore is one of the associate banks of State Bank of India (SBI).

Who is CR Sasikumar?

Sasikumar started his career as a probationary officer with SBI in 1978. Since then, he has held several key assignments.

Prior to the present posting in State Bank of Travancore, he worked as Deputy Managing Director, Inspection & Management Audit, at SBI Corporate Centre in Hyderabad.

About State Bank of Travancore

State Bank of Travancore is a subsidiary of the State Bank Group and also has private share-holders.

It is the premier bank of Kerala where it handles its majority of business.

Overall, SBT as of 31 March 2015 has a network of 1157 branches and 1602 ATMs, covering 18 states and three union territories.

The bank was established in 1945 as the Travancore Bank Ltd, at the initiative of C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, then Divan of Travancore.

Following violent resentment against the dictatorial rule of C.P.Ramaswamy Iyer, the bank no longer credits his role.

The Bank now credits the Maharaja of Travancore as the founder, though the Raja had little to do with the founding.

In 1960, it became a subsidiary of State Bank of India under the SBI Subsidiary Banks Act, 1959, enacted by the Parliament of India.

GARBINE MUGURUZA OF SPAIN WON 2016 FRENCH OPEN WOMEN’S SINGLES TENNIS TITLE

Garbine Muguruza of Spain won the French Open Women’s Singles tennis title at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France.

For the 22-year-old Muguruza, this was her first Grand Slam title. With this win, she also became the first Spanish woman to win a Grand Slam title since Sanchez-Vicario in Paris in 1998.

To win the title, she defeated the defending champion Serena Williams of the USA in straight sets 7-5, 6-4 in the final match.

This was Muguruza’s second major final. She was defeated by Serena Williams at Wimbledon finals in 2015 in which Serena won the 21st Grand Slam singles title.

At present, Steffi Graf holds the record with 22 Grand Slam singles championships, the most in the Open era, which began in 1968.

N K CHARI TAKES OVER AS MD OF STATE BANK OF MYSORE

N.K. Chari took over as the Managing Director (MD) of State Bank of Mysore.

The State Bank of Mysore is one of the associate banks of State Bank of India (SBI).

Who is N.K. Chari?

Prior to his new position, N.K. Chari served as the Deputy Managing Director of State Bank of India.

He joined State Bank of India as a Probationary Officer in September 1978.

He served as the Chief Operating Officer in National Banking Group, the retail branch network of State Bank of India.

He has also headed the Mid Corporate Vertical of State Bank of India.

Prior to that, he was the Chief General Manager of State Bank of India, Chandigarh Circle, covering the four states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

He has also served as the Managing Director of Nepal SBI Bank Limited for four years from 2007.

He holds a postgraduate degree in Commerce from Delhi University.

About State Bank of Mysore

State Bank of Mysore is a nationalised bank in India, with headquarters at Bengaluru.

It is one of the five associate banks of State Bank of India.

It was established in the year 1913 as The Bank of Mysore Ltd. under the patronage of Maharaja Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV.

During 1953, Mysore Bank was appointed as an agent of Reserve Bank of India to undertake Government business and treasury operations.

In March 1960, it became a subsidiary of the State Bank of India under the State Bank of India (subsidiary Banks) Act 1959.

LEANDER PAES, MARTINA HINGIS WON 2016 FRENCH OPEN MIXED DOUBLES TENNIS TITLE

India’s ace tennis player Leander Paes and Martina Hingis of Switzerland won the French Open Mixed Doubles title.

To win the title, the duo defeated the Indo-Croatian pair Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig 4-6 6-4 10-8.

With this win, Paes completed a Career Slam in mixed doubles with Martina Hingis. Earlier, he won Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open titles in 2015 with Hingis.

Overall, it was the 18th Grand Slam title for Paes and 10th in the mixed doubles category. So far, he won 8 Grand Slam titles in the doubles category that include Australian Open (2012), French Open (1999, 2001 and 2009), Wimbledon (1999) and the US Open (2006, 2009 and 2013).

For 35-year-old Hingis, it was the 22nd Grand Slam title and 5th trophy in the mixed doubles category. Earlier, pairing with Sania Mirza, Hingis won Australian Open (2016), Wimbledon (2015) and the US Open (2015) titles in the doubles category.

FRENCH OPEN 2016 CONCLUDED

French Open, the second Grand Slam of the 2016 tennis season, concluded. It was held for three weeks beginning on 16 May 2016 in the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, France.

Winners of 2016 French Open

Category

Winner

Runner-up

Men’s Singles

Novak Djokovic (Serbia)

Andy Murray (the UK)

Women’s Singles

Garbine Muguruza (Spain)

Serena Williams (the USA)

Men’s Doubles

F Lopez and M Lopez (Spain)

M Bryan and B Bryan (the USA)

Women’s Doubles

C Garcia and K Mladenovic (France)

E Makarova and E Vesnina (Russia)

Mixed Doubles

Leander Paes (India) and Martina Hingis (Switzerland)

Ivan Dodig (Croatia) and Sania Mirza (India)

NITA AMBANI BECOMES FIRST INDIAN WOMEN TO BE NOMINATED FOR INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE

The founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, Nita Ambani was nominated as a candidate to be a new member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquartered at Lausanne, Switzerland.

The election will be held at the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro between 2 and 4 August 2016. The independent selection process follows a new procedure for recruitment of IOC members based on the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations.

Once elected, she will continue to be IOC member until she attains the age of 70.

The Other seven members who were nominated are Sari Essayah (Finland), Ivo Ferriani (Italy), Luis Moreno (Colombia), Auvita, Rapilla (Papua New Guinea), Anant Singh (South Africa), Tricia Smith (Canada), Karl Stoss (Austria).

International Olympic Committee (IOC)

• It is the supreme authority of the Olympic Movement.

• It acts as a catalyst for collaboration between all parties of the Olympic family, from the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the International Sports Federations (IFs), the athletes, the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs), to partners and United Nations agencies.

• It ensures the regular celebration of the Olympic Games, supports all affiliated member organisations of the Olympic Movement and strongly encourages, by appropriate means, the promotion of the Olympic values.

• The Olympic Charter is the codification of the Fundamental Principles, Rules and Bye-laws adopted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It governs the organisation and running of the Olympic Movement and sets the conditions for the celebration of the Olympic Games.

INDIA SEEKING HELP FROM RUSIA FOR NSG

  • Back from his visits to Washington, Geneva and Mexico City to lobby for India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now asking Russia for help with the countries still holding out.
  • He is scheduled to meet with President Vladmir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the SCO summit later this month.
  • The outreach is particularly important as China continues to maintain that “NSG members remain divided” on the issue of membership, claiming that “many countries within the group share China’s stance.”
  • Officials expect a final decision may not come till the eve of the NSG meeting in South Korea on June 24, when the Prime Minister is expected to meet Mr. Xi at the SCO in Tashkent.

AT LEAST 50 PEOPLE WERE KILLED BY A GUNMAN AT A GAY NIGHT CLUB IN FLORIDA

  • At least 50 people were killed by a gunman at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida, in the worst mass shooting incident in the U.S.
  • The shooter, Omar Mateen, an American citizen of Afghan origin, used to live in Ft. Pierce, Florida, and was killed in the police operation that followed.
  • The 29-year-old may have been a radicalised Islamist and the investigation will probe that angle too, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • President Barack Obama termed the shooting an “act of terror” and an “act of hate.” Speaking at the White House, Mr. Obama said it’s a “sobering reminder” that an attack on any American is an attack “on all of us.”
  • According to a report quoting investigators, the shooter called the emergency helpline number 911 and pledged allegiance to Islamic State chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi before starting the carnage.
  • Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting, the Amaq news agency tied to the group reported. But thus far there is no indication of a direct connection with the IS in terms of training or instruction to carry out the attacks.
  • Omar Mateen was earlier investigated by the FBI for suspected terror links. The targeted club being a known gathering place of the LGBT community, a homophobia angle too is suspected.

A RENEWED PUSH FOR GST WILL BE SEEN IN THIS SESSION

  • The portends of a stormy monsoon session of Parliament and a renewed push from the government for the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill have become stronger after the BJP gained three extra seats.
  • The treasury benches are still short of numbers in the Rajya Sabha, where the Opposition has managed to hold its own.
  • The party had full numbers for only nine of the 12 seats that it won, but gained three seats (one each from Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Haryana) by working on Independents and non-Congress parties.
  • Party leaders and union ministers in Allahabad for the BJP’s national executive justified its aggressive poll strategy for these extra seats.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said on several public occasions, including a meeting with Japanese investors in Osaka this month, that he was “reasonably confident” of getting the constitutional amendment on GST through, since “every political party, including the Congress, favours the GST.
  • He had also said that “every other political party, from the Janata Dal (U) to the Trinamool to the Left in West Bengal and Kerala and the RJD in Bihar was in favour of the GST.”

NEW DETAILS OF CITIES HIDDEN NEAR ANGKOR WAT HAVE BEEN REVEALED

  • Unprecedented new details of medieval cities hidden under jungle in Cambodia near Angkor Wat have been revealed using lasers, shedding new light on the civilisation behind the world’s largest religious complex.
  • While the research has been going on for several years, the new findings uncover the sheer scale of the Khmer Empire’s urban sprawl and temple complexes to be significantly bigger than was previously thought.
  • Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site seen as among the most important in south-east Asia, is considered one of the ancient wonders of the world.
  • It was constructed from the early to mid 1100s by King Suryavarman II at the height of the Khmer Empire’s political and military power and was among the largest pre-industrial cities in the world.
  • But scholars had long believed there was far more to the empire than just the Angkor complex.
  • The huge tranche of new data builds on scans that were made in 2012 that confirmed the existence of Mahendraparvata, an ancient temple city near Angkor Wat.
  • Much of the cities surrounding the famed stone temples of the Khmer Empire, Evans explained, were made of wood and thatch which has long rotted away.
  • The new data also maps out the full extent of Mahendraparvata, information that will make future digs much more accurate and less time consuming.
  • While the Khmer Empire was initially Hindu, it increasingly adopted Buddhism and both religions can be seen on display at the complex.

SHANGHAI COOPERATION AGREEMENT MAY PROVIDE ROUTE TO NSG

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Agreement is a six-member Central Asian grouping seen as a counterpoint to the U.S.-European military bloc NATO.
  • Significantly, Mr. Modi called President Putin wishing him on Russia’s national day and confirming the meeting at the SCO.
  • In a statement, the Kremlin said: “The discussion focused on practical issues of the two countries’ cooperation, including preparations for the top-level contacts to be held shortly.”
  • While refusing to confirm whether “the practical issues” included India’s NSG membership, MEA sources said Russia has always been “very supportive” of India’s NSG aspirations.
  • But analysts say Mr. Modi may be hopeful of more: that Russia will use its influence with countries like Kazakhstan and Turkey, who are not yet convinced to back India, and most importantly, as a bridge with China, that has taken a tough position.
  • Since the Russia-India-China meet which External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended in Moscow in April, where the three hammered out an acceptable formulation on the contentious South China Sea.
  • Since then, India omitted the explicit reference to the South China Sea in the joint statement with the U.S. last week as well.

DAVID CAMERON WARNS AGAINST BREXIT

  • Prime Minister David Cameron warned on Sunday that Britain faces a “lost decade” if it leaves the EU, as he races to persuade undecided voters less than two weeks before a close referendum.
  • With several recent opinion polls suggesting momentum is with the ‘Leave’ camp, Mr. Cameron is making a string of television appearances to try to convince people to back ‘Remain’ on June 23.
  • A string of global institutions including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and G7 have backed Mr. Cameron’s argument that Britain’s economy would be damaged by Brexit.
  • But ‘Leave’ supporters argue that Britain could thrive outside the EU, where they say it would be freed of red tape.
  • The Prime Minister told the BBC that there could be a “lost decade for Britain” after a vote to leave the EU as the political system gets gummed up with negotiations.
  • A Sunday Times/YouGov online poll found that Mr. Cameron’s ‘Remain’ campaign is lagging the "Leave" side by 42 percent to 43 percent.
  • Averaging out the last six opinion polls, both sides are tied on 50 per cent, according to academics at the What U.K. Thinks project. Their figures exclude undecided voters.

PUBLIC SECTOR BANKS HAVE INCREASED THEIR PRESENCE ACROSS THE COUNTRY

  • Public sector banks have increased their presence across the country—in terms of ATMs and points of sale devices—far faster than private sector banks have, recent data released by the Reserve Bank of India shows.
  • The data—comparing private sector and public sector banks shows that public sector banks have steadily increased their share in most of these parameters over the last four years.
  • There are 27 public sector banks and 19 private sector banks in operation currently.
  • The data shows that there were 142,500 public sector banks (PSB) ATMs as of March 2016, which amounts to 72 per cent of the total number of ATMs in the country.
  • This is a vast improvement over the 58,000 PSB ATMs at the end of March 2012.
  • Private banks, on the other hand, only increased their number of ATMs from 30,300 in March 2012 to 55,600 at the end of March 2016, effectively seeing their share in the total fall 10 percentage points over the period.
  • One common view is that this increase in the number of ATMs by PSBs is due to the government-mandated rural financial inclusion programme.
  • The data supports this, with PSB ATMs making up 86 per cent of all rural ATMs at the end of March 2016, up from 77 per cent in March 2012.
  • Urban non-metro ATMs for PSBs grew from 62 per cent share in March 2012 to 72 per cent by end of 2015, while the share of private ATMs fell from 37 per cent to 27 per cent. Semi-urban India saw almost the same trend.
  • Private banks were the first-movers in POS devices (that allow card transactions), having issued 85 per cent of these as of March 2012.
  • This proportion saw a significant change over four years. PSBs added nearly four lakh POS devices to the market in that time, compared to an addition of about three lakh by the private banks.
  • This saw the share of public sector POS machines grow from 8 per cent in March 2012 to 34 per cent in March 2016. Private banks’ share fell to 62 per cent.
  • The issuance of credit cards and the share in credit card transactions are two areas where the private sector outshines the public sector.
  • There were 195 lakh credit cards in the country as of March 2012, 55 per cent of which were from private banks.
  • The PSBs increased the number of credit card they issued in this time, but the growth in their market share was only three percentage points, to 20.6 per cent.
  • Similarly, the private sector accounted for 45 per cent of credit card transactions as of March 2012, which grew to 55 per cent by March 2016.

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS

  • REITs are similar to mutual funds. While mutual funds provide for an opportunity to invest in equity stocks, REITs allow one to invest in income-generating real estate assets.
  • REITs raise funds from a large number of investors and directly invest that sum in income-generating real estate properties (which could be offices, residential apartments, shopping centres, hotels and warehouses).
  • The trusts are listed in stock exchanges so that investors can buy units in the trust. REITs are structured as trusts. Thus, the assets of an REIT are held by an independent trustee on behalf of unit holders.
  • The trustee has duties as laid out in the trust deed for the REIT. These typically include ensuring compliance with applicable laws and protecting the rights of unit holders as well.
  • The investment objective of REITs is to provide unit holders with dividends, usually generated from rental income and capital gains from the profitable sale of real estate assets.
  • Typically, the trust distributes 90 per cent of its income among its investors by issuing dividends.
  • REITs originated in the U.S. to give investors an opportunity to invest in income-generating real estate assets. After its introduction in the U.S., several countries such as Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong have implemented REITs.
  • REITs, as a concept, have been on the horizon for a while now. India’sregulations in 2014 for the sector have not been able to attract investor interest. REITs obtained exemption from dividend distribution tax in the Budget, a step towards making them attractive for the investors.
  • A report by real estate consultancy firm Cushman and Wakefield estimates that Indian commercial real estate (like office, retail assets) offers investment opportunities for REITs worth $43 billion – $54 billion (Rs, 2.88 lakh crore – Rs. 3.60 lakh crore) across top cities.
  • The current SEBI guidelines for REITs permitinvestments only in rent-yielding assets.
  • For investors who are averse to investing in physical purchase of property due to the risks involved, REIT is an alternative. Investors purchase units of REITs which are traded on the stock exchange, as against physical purchase of property.
  • Therefore, investors can buy and sell units of REIT on the stock exchange as and when required, making investment easier to liquidate compared to physical property transaction.
  • The minimum required to be put into an REIT is Rs.2 lakh. It could provide an opportunity for investors who, otherwise, do not get the opportunity to invest in commercial real estate because of high capital values.
  • Since 90 per cent of the profit generated needs to be distributed as dividend in REIT, it could provide a stable income for unit holders.
  • Short-term capital gain tax is applicable for unit holders at the rate of 15 per cent. While nterest is tax-exempt for REITs, it is taxable for unit holders.
  • The registration charges for every purchase and sale of property is still applicable. Saraf says such factors can impact the profitability and attractiveness of REITs in India.
  • REITs units are listed on, and are subject to the vagaries of the stock exchanges, resulting in negative or lower returns than expected.
  • As in mutual funds, retail investors in REITs have no control over investments and exits being made by the trust.

EXIM BANK LOOKING TO DISBURSE $10 BILLION TO AFRICA IN THE NEXT THREE YEARS

  • The country’s premier export finance institution Exim Bank, which is looking to disburse $10 billion to Africa in the next three years.
  • This is a shift from Exim Bank’s credit disbursal strategy to Africa — which was mainly to help build infrastructure and industrial projects.
  • India’s strength is in services, especially in sectors such as healthcare, information technology, education and even agriculture-related services. So we want to help in increasing India’s services exports to Africa.”
  • The change in approach follows the government giving a greater say to Exim Bank in identifying India’s best interests while it promotes economic diplomacy.
  • Exim Bank has been extending credit to Africa through concessional Lines of Credit, Buyer’s Credit (meant to finance imports of overseas buyers, in this case African buyers, from India) and through other lending mechanisms.
  • Exim Bank’s new office in Ivory Coast is to service West Africa. It has an office in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) for the Eastern and Central African region, in addition to the one in Johannesburg to take care of the needs in Southern Africa.
  • Exim Bank has set up Kukuza Project Development Company (KPDC) in Nairobi (Kenya), along with IL&FS Group, African Development Bank and State Bank of India, to ensure greater Indian participation in infrastructure projects in Africa.
  • The aim now is to kick-start KPDC’s operations by the time Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertakes his African visit in July covering Kenya, South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania, Mr. Mathur said.
  • Exim Bank has extended around $300 million to finance the setting up of electric transmission lines in West Africa and is ready to give another $200 million for the same, he said.
  • India-Africa goods trade in 2014 was around $75 billion with Africa exporting $40 billion to India and India exporting around $35 billion to that continent, according to International Trade Centre data.
  • This had fallen to about $60 billion in 2015 with Africa exporting $34 billion and India exporting $26 billion, data showed.

 

 

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Last Updated on Friday, 17 June 2016 05:07