In this column, we will daily present before you the top stories in the country related to science, technology, economy, and finance.
1. HDFC Bank’s pre-tax profit rose by 219% to Rs.9,143 crores.
Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) earned a profit before tax (PBT) of Rs. 9,143 crores in the third quarter that ended in December 2019. The mortgage lender’s pre-tax profit increased by 219 percent in the Q3 of FY20 from Rs. 2,868.80 crores the previous fiscal year. The profit before dividends, fair value changes, provision for losses and sale of investments has, however, grew by 7 percent at Rs. 3,075.43 crores in Q3FY20 from Rs. 2,873.62 crores during the same period in the previous year.
2. Sachin Bansal has stepped down from his post of director.
Sachin Bansal, the co-founder of Flipkart, has been serving as an independent director of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank. He took the charge in May 2019. But now, in a letter to the board members of the bank, Mr. Bansal stated that he will step down from his post. The reasons he cited for his resignation are due to the interest of propriety and also to prevent conflict of interest regarding his wholly-owned firm Navi Technologies, that applied for a banking license.
3. Yes Bank sold shares of Rs. 5.7 crores in Reliance Power.
The private-sector lender has announced it has sold its shares in Reliance Power of Rs. 5.7 crores via an open market transaction. According to the data on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), a total of 3,01,59,855 shares was sold, which represents only 1.07 percent of the total shares of Reliance Power. Each share was sold at an average price of Rs. 1.91 apiece, that accumulated for a total worth over Rs. 5.77 crores.
4. Manappuram Finance logged a 40% hike in its pre-tax profit to Rs. 544 crores.
Manappuram Finance has reported a 40% growth in its pre-tax profit earned in the third quarter that ended on December 31. The 40.4 percent surge in its profit before tax reached Rs. 544 crores against Rs. 387 crores in Q3 of the previous year. The overall income of the company during the same period increased by 28.5 percent to Rs. 1,414 crores form Rs. 1,100 crores the previous year. The company also posted that in January it has raised Rs. 2,128.8 crores by issuing 5.90 percent Euro senior secured notes.
5. Non-life insurers’ gross premiums grew by 15% to Rs. 1.42 trillion.
The gross premiums of the non-life insurance companies reported a 15% growth at Rs. 1.42 trillion from April to December 2019. The gross premiums during the same period a year ago were Rs. 1.23 trillion. The gross premiums of the private non-life insurers grew by 17 percent to Rs. 69,488 crores, while that of the state-owned non-life insurers increased by 12 percent to Rs. 62,954 crores, year-on-year. The gross premiums of the health insurers also showed an impressive growth of 32 percent to Rs. 9,677.02 crores during the same period from Rs. 7,314.41 crores the previous year.
6. M Balakrishnan and Prabhu have been appointed as the CFO and CIO of IDBI Federal Life Insurance respectively.
The private life insurer has announced the appointment of Mr. Mathivanan Balakrishnan as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The company has also announced the elevation of Mr. S P. Prabhu as the new Chief Investment Officer (CIO). Prabhu was earlier heading the fixed income of the company, but now he will be managing the company’s investment portfolio of Rs. 10,000 crores which are spread across multiple asset classes. And, Balakrishnan will now head the areas of planning and budgeting, corporate taxation, financial accounting & reporting, investment operations, audit, and statutory compliance, and insurance accounting.
7. RBI slapped a penalty of Rs. One crore on HDFC Bank for breaching KYC norms.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a fine of rupees one crore on the private sector lender Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Bank. The fine was imposed on the bank for non-compliance with Master Direction on Know Your Customer (KYC). In scrutiny done by the central bank, it had found that there are 39 current accounts opened by the bank’s customers for bidding in IPO. The transactions in those accounts were disproportionate to the declared profile and income of the customers. The investigation also revealed the bank had failed to perform its due diligence in those current accounts.
8. NASSCOM and Japan joined hands to match tech firms and start-ups with VCs.
National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) have partnered to build more start-ups and technology firms with the help of Venture Capitalists (VCs) and Strategic partners from Japan. NASSCOM has been continuously putting effort to widen its market exposure and building contacts between Indian and Japanese firms. The partnership already took off in September last year, when three start-ups received funding as a part of the first round of interactions.
9. Researchers from IIT-Madras and the UK have developed technology to make AI fairer.
Researchers from the Indian Instituter of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) and the Queen’s University Belfast in the UK, together developed a new and an innovative algorithm to make artificial intelligence (AI) less biased and fairer while processing data. AI technologies are widely used in processing large chunks of data. Therefore, it is necessary to make the technology more accurate and less biased.
10. All wagons and coaches are going to be RFID tagged and tracked by 2021: Railways.
According to a statement by a senior official, more than 3,50,000 coaches and wagons of the railways are to be radio-frequency identification (RFID) tagged and tracked by 2021. The total cost of the whole project is estimated at around Rs. 112 crores. As per now, approximately 22,000 wagons and 1,200 coaches have been fitted with the RFID tags.
11. Google announced a $1 million grant to India for promoting news literacy.
The technology giant Google has announced to provide a $1 million grant to India for promoting news literacy in the country. The corpus will be given to a global non-profit organization Internews, and it will select a team of 250 journalists, academics, fact-checkers, and NGO workers for this initiative. This announcement from the company is a part of its $10 million commitment towards media literacy worldwide.