• IT major HCL Technologies stated that its acquisition of US-based Strong-Bridge Envision has been completed. HCL had recently agreed to acquire the Seattle-based company to enhance its digital transformation consulting capabilities. According to reports, the deal was worth 45 million dollars. Strong-Bridge Envision is now part of its global digital and analytics business called HCL Mode 2 services.
  • Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management (RNAM) has joined hands with Google to enable the customers of Reliance Mutual Fund to carry out voice-based financial transactions.
    With this, RNAM becomes the first company in India, to provide a conversational interface that would help customers regarding funds transactions.
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank (Kotak) stated that it will charge customers for UPI transactions starting 1st of May 2019. For each Kotak Bank account, the first 30 UPI fund transfers will be free, after which a charge will be levied on all fund transfers from the bank account.  The bank will charge Rs 2.50 per transaction for an amount value below or equal to Rs 1,000, and Rs 5 per transaction will be levied for a payment value above Rs 1,000. 
  • According to the ADB’s latest Asian Development Outlook report, GDP in india will probably increase by 7.2% in 2019, down from a December forecast of 7.6%
  • On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at its meeting today decided to: Reduce the policy repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.0% from 6.25% with immediate effect, the reverse repo rate adjusted to 5.75%and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.25%, GDP growth for 2019-20 is projected at 7.2%. 

  • RBI in consultation with the government of India has set the limits for Ways and Means Advances (WMA) for the first half of the financial year 2019-20 (April 2019 to September 2019) at Rs 75000 crore. 
    RBI may trigger fresh floatation of market loans when the Government of India utilizes 75% of the WMA limit.
  • WhatsApp launched an India-focused fact-checking feature to combat fake news and rumours starting with the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. Developed in collaboration with India-based media skilling startup PROTO, the tip line feature will help create a database of rumours to study misinformation during elections as part of a research project commissioned and assisted by WhatsApp.
  • State-owned telecom service provider Bharatiya Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has received a licence from the Department of Telecommunications to provide Internet and mobile services on flights. BSNL and its satellite partner, Inmarsat, will be able to offer in-flight connectivity to airlines.
  • SEBI has given approval to Paytm Moneythe investment and wealth management platform of the mobile payments company to start offering broking services. Paytm Money has also received membership of NSE and BSE.
  • Karnataka Bank has entered into an MoU with Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company to distribute the latter’s life insurance products. The bank will be able to provide a wide choice of life insurance products to its customers across 836 branches, supported by the products of Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company. This is the third such tie-up by the bank after PNB MetLife Life Insurance Company and LIC of India. 
  • In a bid to further improve the cash position of banks, RBI has tweaked Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) norms to provide an additional 2% window to lenders. As per RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, this move will harmonise the liquidity requirements of banks and release additional money for lending.
  • Rating agency Fitch retained India's sovereign rating at 'BBB-', the lowest investment grade, with a stable outlook for the 13th straight year. Fitch expects growth of 6.8% in current fiscal 19-20 and 7.1% in the next fiscal 20-21.
  • The Competition Commi­ssion of India (CCI) approved engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro’s (L&T’s) proposal to acquire up to 66.15% stake in Mindtree. 
    With this nod, L&T has overcome the first major regulatory hurdle in its bid for ‘hostile’ takeover of the Bengaluru-headquartered IT services firm.
  • The board of Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) approved the merger of the private sector lender with Indiabulls Housing Finance (IBH) through a share swap deal.  
    The merger will also enable Tamil Nadu-based LVB to obtain a larger geographical presence. 
  • State-run power giant National Thermal Power Corporation has inked a term-loan agreement with Canara Bank to raise Rs 2,000 crore, which would be used to part finance its capital expenditure.
    The loan has a door to door tenure of 15 years and will be utilised to part finance the capital expenditure of the NTPC.
  • As per the World Bank, India’s GDP growth is expected to accelerate moderately to 7.5% in Fiscal Year 19-20, driven by continued investment strengthening, particularly private-improved export performance and resilient consumption.
  • RBI came out with guidelines for banks to set up new currency chests, which include a minimum area of 1,500 square feet for strong room. The new chests should have a processing a capacity of 6.6 lakh pieces of banknotes per day. The currency chests should have CBL of Rs 1,000 crore, subject to ground realities and reasonable restrictions, at the discretion of the Reserve Bank.
  • Emirates Islamic has announced the launch of Chat Banking services for customers via WhatsApp, marking a global first in the Islamic banking sector.  The bank’s customers will now able to conduct daily banking activities via WhatsApp in a seamless and hassle-free manner.
  • The BSE has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with HDFC Bank with an objective to strengthen the BSE Startups platform.The MoU has been signed to spread more awareness on the benefits of the listing of startups on this BSE startup platform.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its economic growth forecasts for India by 20 basis points (bps) each from its January predictions to 7.3% for FY20 and 7.5% for the next fiscal.
  • India’s asset management companies (AMCs) own assets under management (AUM) worth Rs24.46 trillion, according to data released by the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi).  HDFC Asset Management Co. Ltd has claimed the top spot with an average AUM of Rs3.42 trillion, overtaking ICICI Prudential Asset Management Co. Ltd with an average AUM of at Rs3.20 trillion.
  • PAISALO Digital Limited signed the first co-origination loan agreement with State Bank of India, the first agreement of its kind in the country that State Bank of India has signed. Introducing a platform for the last mile customer, the loan ticket is designed at Rs 10,000 to 2 lakh.  PAISALO Digital Limited is a leading systemically important non-deposit taking NBFC registered with the Reserve Bank of India, in operations since 1992. 
  • The government has retained the interest rate for General Provident Fund (GPF),Contributory Provident Fund and other related schemes at 8 per cent for the first quarter of the current financial year.
  •  Tata Consultancy Services partnered with Google Cloud to build industry-specific cloud solutions.TCS’ solutions on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) will help enterprises build secure, cloud-native analytics platforms that enable high levels of personalization, and are cost-effective, easy to maintain, and future ready.
  • RBL Bank has partnered with credit profiler CreditVidya to improve the lender's customer experience. Through this partnership, the private sector lender will be able to gain significant insights into its customer base. 
  • HDFC Bank has been identified as number 1 bank by customers in India, as per Forbes World's Best Bank surveyHDFC Bank emerged as India’s No 1 bank. ICICI Bank was at number 2 and SBI was surprisingly ranked 11th in the list.
  • The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has approved the merger of Tata Teleservices with Bharti Airtel Ltd., subject to the condition that it furnishes a Rs 7200 crore bank guarantee. 

    Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha gave his conditional nod for the merger. 
  • PayU, Digital payments security and payment facilitator has acquired Wibmo, a US-based financial technology firm for USD 70 million to assist the company scale-up its business. Under the agreement, PayU and Wibmo businesses will continue to run separately. Wibmo will continue to operate and serve all of its clients as a wholly-owned subsidiary of PayU.
  • The Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), an arm of Reserve Bank of India, has launched a 5G Use Cases Lab for banking and financial sector.The 5G technology, along with blockchain, will be progressively adopted by banks. 
  • The financial year 2019 has ended on a relatively robust note for banks. They clocked a 13.23% year-on-year credit growth against 9.85% in FY2018. 
  • IMF and World Bank have together launched a private blockchain with a pseudo-token. The new token, called “Learning Coin” and only accessible within the IMF and World Bank, has a purpose to teach relevant individuals within the organizations about blockchain. Though the coin has no real value – hence the description pseudo-token – staff members who pass educational milestones will receive the tokens which can then be redeemed for certain rewards.
  • Fincare Small Finance Bank (SFB) has been awarded the prestigious Celent Model Bank 2019 Award in the category of Financial Inclusion, for 'Redesigning Lending to Reach Small Businesses'.
  • Bandhan Bank has received approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI)for the proposed scheme of amalgamation of Gruh Finance with the bank.
     The move was taken to bring down promoter holding in the bank to 61% from 82.3%.
  • IDBI Bank has launched 'NRI-Insta-Online' account opening process for NRIs residing in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) member countries. The person will not be required to furnish physical documents as well as KYC proofs for opening an account with the bank.
  • India was a net importer of steel during the 2018-19 fiscal year, the first time in three years, as the country lost market share among its traditional steel buyers and imports jumped on demand for higher-quality steel domestically.The country's finished steel exports fell by 34% in the fiscal year that ended in March to 6.36 million tonnes. During the same period, finished steel imports rose 4.7% to 7.84 million tonnes.

  • ADB committed to provide USD 3 billion in sovereign loans to India in 2018, the highest level of assistance since sovereign operations began in the country in 1986, stated the annual report of the multilateral lending agency.

  • ACI Worldwide, a global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, announced that Canara Bank has successfully rolled out major new functionality to support EMV card acquiring across its ATM network and Aadhaar Authentication, leveraging ACI’s UP Retail Payments solution to achieve market firsts.

  • Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) has partnered with M1Xchange Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) platform for MSME bill discounting. 
    The main purpose of TReDS platform is to facilitate smooth flow of liquidity in the system and make finance available at a competitive rate.
  • CRISIL Ltd, a diversified global analytics company, will transfer its rating business to its proposed new wholly-owned subsidiary. The board of CRISIL gave the nod for the transfer, which is being done to comply with SEBI norms of 2018.
  • ETMONEY India’s largest app for financial services has integrated with Unified Payment Interface (UPI) as a payment method. The reason for this is to double its monthly user base by the end of 2019. This integration will simplify the mutual fund payment for millions of ETMONEY users. ETMONEY is owned by Times Internet which is a part of the Times Group.
  • Exim Bank has provided soft loans of USD 266.60 million to Rwanda for various projects. 
    The funding, done in three separate tranches to Rwanda, is to support agricultural projects, development of special economic zones (SEZs) and for financing a road project in the African nation.
  •  India's largest IT services company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has partnered with the Department of Posts in a bid to transform it into a multi-service digital hub. 
    It will modernise the delivery of mail and packages, enhance customer experience, and launch innovative services that will drive new revenues.
  • Reliance retail has become the first Indian retail company to clock more than Rs 1 lakh crore in annual revenues. 
    The retail venture of Reliance Industries reported an income of Rs 1,30,556 crore for 2018-19, 89% more than the previous year’s Rs 69,198 crore.
  • SBI General Insurance has launched a product - cyber defence insurance to protect businesses from financial and reputational losses due to cyber attacks.  It is designed to protect against major insurable cyber exposures like hacking attacks, identity theft, disclosure of sensitive information and business interruption.
  • Bajaj Allianz General Insurance and Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance in collaboration launched their first product 'Total Health Secure Goal'.The new insurance product is a combination of two existing plans - Health Guard policy by Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, and iSecure from Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance.
  • State-owned Allahabad Bank stated that the government has increased its authorised capital by Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 8,000 crore. The central government after consultation with the Reserve Bank of India increased the authorised capital of the bank.
  • The total deposits in Jan Dhan Account are set to cross Rs 1 lakh crore soon. The scheme was launched on 28th August 2014 by the Modi-government with an aim to provide universal access to banking facilities to all households.
  • The Reserve Bank of India has become the first central bank in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region to begin an explicit interest rate easing cycle. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, cut rates in February and April.
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank has launched the first debit card-based authentication solution on NPCI’s e-Mandate (electronic mandate) API platform. With this, it has become the first ever Destination Bank to go live with both Net Banking and Debit Card-based e-mandate authentication. 
  • National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the merger of private sector lender IndusInd Bank with Bharat Financial Inclusion (BFIL), a microfinance company.Earlier, IndusInd Bank had received ‘No Objection’ from Reserve Bank of India, National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange. Bharat Financial will become a subsidiary of the private lender.
  • Markets regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has reduced the minimum subscription requirement as well as defined trading lots for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs). SEBI has also increased the leverage limit for InvITs from 49% to 70%.
  • BuyUcoin, second oldest Cryptocurrency Exchange in India, has introduced a new and unique platform for wholesale cryptocurrency trading. It is also known as OTC (Over-the-counter) Desk that allows users to trade on a large scale with low price fluctuations.
  • RBI has divested its entire stake held in National Housing Bank (NHB), NABARD to the government, which now holds 100% in these entities. RBI had 100% shareholding in NHB, which was divested for INR 1,450 crore. RBI had 72.5% stake in Nabard, out of which 71.5%, worth INR1,430 crore was divested in October 2010 and the residual shareholding was divested in February 2019 for INR 20 crore.
  • State Bank of India (SBI) has launched India’s first ‘Green Car Loan’ (Electric Vehicle) to encourage customers to buy electric vehicles. The new scheme ‘Green Car Loan’ will offer the loan at 20 basis points lower than the interest rate on the existing car loan schemes.
  • Microsoft has reached a valuation of one trillion dollars for the first time after posting an increase in profits. It makes the software giant only the third publicly-traded company in history to reach the threshold after Apple and Amazon passed it in 2018
  • RBI will shortly issue ₹ 20 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series. 
    The new denomination has the motif of Ellora Caves on the reverse, depicting the country's cultural heritage. The base colour of the note is Greenish Yellow. The dimension of the banknote will be 63 mm x 129 mm.
  • Canara Bank and its life insurance partner Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance launched ’Webassurance’ to enable its customers to purchase life insurance in a convenient and hassle-free way.
  • Wipro Consumer Care announced that it is acquiring personal care company 'Splash', which is based in the Philippines.