• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to advance a loan of US $206 million to develop water supply and sewerage infrastructure in Tiruchi and other cities in Tamil Nadu.
  • Walmart India, in partnership with HDFC Bank, launched a co-branded credit card exclusively for members of its Best Price Modern Wholesale “B2B Cash & Carry” stores, offering “free credit up to 50 days.
  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a unit of the World Bank Group, has anchored an investment round of $200million in Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Limited (MMFSL).
  • In its 5th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the Reserve Bank of India has decided to keep the policy repo rate unchanged to 5.15%.
  1. The repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) left unchanged to 5.15%.
  2. The reverse repo rate under the LAF stands same i.e. 4.90%.
  3. The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate also remains same i.e. 5.40%.
  • Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB) and Canara, HSBC, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Life Insurance Company Ltd. signed an MoU for bancassurance (for selling life insurance products through the branches of KVGB).
  • The Online trucking platform BlackBuck has partnered with private lenders IDFC Bank and Yes Bank to provide FASTags to truck owners free of cost. Truck owners can order FASTags on BlackBuck’s Boss App, a digital services platform exclusively for truck fleet owners, and it will be delivered at their doorstep free of cost until December 31, 2019.
  • RBI released guidelines for ‘on tap’ Licensing of Small Finance Banks in the Private Sector.
  1. Now payments banks willing to convert themselves into small finance banks (SFBs) can apply for such a licence only after 5 years of operations.
  2. Existing payments banks (PBs), which are controlled by residents and have completed five years of operations, are also eligible for conversion into small finance banks after complying with all legal and regulatory requirements of various authorities and if they conform to these guidelines.
  3. The licensing window will be open on-tap. The minimum capital for setting up an SFB has been mandated at ₹200 crores, adding for primary (urban) co-operative banks (UCBs), which wish to become SFBs, the initial requirement of net worth will be ₹100 crores, which will have to be increased to ₹200 crores within five years from the date of commencement of business.
  4. SFBs will be given scheduled bank status immediately upon commencement of operations.
  • The country’s foreign exchange reserves crossed the $450-billion mark for the first time ever on the back of strong inflows which enabled the central bank to buy dollars from the market, thus checking any sharp appreciation of the rupee.
  • HDFC ERGO general insurance company, India’s third-largest non-life insurance provider in the private sector, has launched “my: health Woman Suraksha policy”, a comprehensive medical insurance scheme specially designed for women. It is specially designed to cover women against numerous illnesses and contingencies they may face during their lifetime, thereby providing financial aid in case of medical contingencies. This policy is offered to women between 18-65 years of age and offers a sum insured ranging from Rs. 1 lakh to 1 crore.
  • RBI announced round-the-clock transactions will be allowed 24×7 facility under the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) system on all days including weekends and holidays from December 16. These transactions after the usual banking hours are set to be automated initiated using ‘Straight Through Processing (STP)’ modes by the banks.
  • National Thermal Power Corporation Limited has signed a term loan agreement for Rs. 5,000 crore with State Bank of India. The loan facility has been extended at an interest rate linked to 3 Months MCLR of the bank and has a door to door tenure of 15 years. 
  • US retail major Walmart will train 50,000 entrepreneurs from the MSME sector. The objective will be fulfilled by opening 25 institute hubs in India in next five years which would train the MSME entrepreneurs. The institutes will be opened under the ‘Walmart Vriddhi Supplier Development Programe‘ across the nation.
  • India’s Exim Bank has provided $500 million (Rs 3561 crore) Line of Credit(LoC) to Bangladesh for defence-related procurement in the neighbouring country. Under the loan agreement, financing of export of eligible goods and services from India would be allowed subject to the Foreign Trade Policy(FTP).
  • Union Government informed that loans worth over 10 lakh crore rupees have been sanctioned till 1st November this year under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, PMMY.
  • NSE launched interest rate options on ten-year Government bonds. The exchange recorded a turnover of 5,926 contracts on the first day of its launch. The exchange has added one more instrument to the fixed income derivatives asset class. interest rate options will provide institutional investors with the ability to manage risk through a non-linear product. These interest rate options are based on 10-year government bonds maturing in 2029 with a coupon rate of 7.26 per cent and 6.45 per cent.
  • Worldwide arms sales rose by nearly 5 per cent in 2018. According to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the market is dominated by the United States. The world’s largest arms maker remains the US firm Lockheed Martin, as it has been since 2009. 
  • Xiaomi has formally launched its lending platform “Mi Credit” in India for Android phones. According to platform “Mi Credit” individuals can avail up to Rs 1 lakh loan. The company is planning to introduce more financial products in India. Xiaomi has roped in Aditya Birla Finance Ltd, Money View, EarlySalary, Zestmoney and CreditVidya as the current lending partners for Mi Credit service.
  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered its forecast for India’s economic growth in fiscal year 2019-20 to 5.1%.
  • Amazon’s audiobook company Audible has launched a new app “Audible Suno” in India. This app features original audio series which aims to expand Audible’s reach in India’s highly competitive digital entertainment and streaming space.
  • Edelweiss Asset Management Company (AMC), a subsidiary of Edelweiss Capital Limited (ECL) has launched India’s 1st Corporate Bond ETF (exchange trade fund) called the Bharat Bond ETF. Edelweiss aims to raise an initial amount of Rs 3,000 crore through this bond from institutional players with a greenshoe option of Rs 2,000 crore in the 3-year maturity period (2023) and Rs 4,000 crore with a greenshoe option of Rs 6,000 crore in the 10-year maturity bucket (2030). Small retail investors will have to invest at least Rs 1,000 in this fund. After this, there is a facility for multiple investments. Here they can invest up to 2 lakhs. At the same time, the minimum amount for anchor investors has been fixed at Rs 10 crore.
  • State Bank of India (SBI) has signed a loan agreement worth of $277 million (about Rs 1,958 crore) with Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) German development bank for establishing an energy-efficient housing programme in India.
  • RBI has waived NEFT, RTGS transfer charges for savings account holders.In an order, RBI instructed banks to make all online payments done through RTGS and NEFT free of cost for savings account holders. The new rule will be effective from January 1, 2020.
  • GOI and ADB have signed a $250 million loan for Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). The loan aims to expand energy efficiency investments in India that will benefit agricultural, residential and institutional consumers. Additionally, $46 million financing will be provided from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), to be administered by ADB.
  • The Goods and Services Tax or GST Council has fixed a uniform tax rate of 28% on both state-run and private lottery. It also decided to rationalise the GST rate on woven and non-woven bags to 18%.
  • Infosys has announced the launch of three blockchain-powered distributed applications. The applications will be dedicated for government services, insurance, and supply chain management domains.
  • HDFC Bank has become the 3rd Indian firm to cross $100 billion mark in market capitalisation. HDFC Bank has joined the league of Reliance Industries Ltd, which has a market cap of $140.74 billion, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) that has a market cap of $114.60 billion. With this achievement, HDFC Bank is now ranked 110th in the list of world’s most valued companies.
  • ADB and the GOI has signed a $490 million loan. The loan is signed for public-private partnership (PPP) project through the hybrid-annuity model (HAM) to upgrade about 1,600 km of state highways and major district roads in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Google searches for “Operation Twist” surged in India after the central bank announced its version of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s unconventional monetary policy. Most searches for the term came from Delhi followed by Maharashtra.
  • RBI will simultaneously purchase and sell government securities worth Rs 10,000 crore under a special Open Market Operation (OMO).
  • The Government of India has approved the release of Rs 8,655 crore as fresh capital to three public sector banks. The list includes Allahabad BankIndian Overseas Bank (IOB) and UCO Bank. The infusion will be done for preferential allotment of shares.
  • RBI has capped the permissible exposure limit of a lender on a Peer-to-Peer lending (P2P) platform for all borrowers. The aggregate exposure has been set at Rs 50 lakh at any given point of time. The step has been taken to protect the consumers interest.
  1. The lender investing more than Rs 10 lakh across P2P platforms has to produce a certificate to P2P platforms from a practising Chartered Accountant certifying minimum net-worth of Rs 50 lakh.
  2. The central bank also stated that the “Escrow accounts” to be operated by bank promoted trustee for transfer of funds need not be mandatorily maintained with the bank which has promoted the trustee. It also mandates that all the transactions through bank accounts, and cash transaction are strictly prohibited.
  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has announced a loan of $210 million for irrigation and solar energy projects in India. The bank will lend $145 million to improve irrigation services and strengthen flood risk management in West Bengal.
  • RBI has introduced a new semi-closed prepaid payment instrument (PPI) which can be used for the transaction of goods and services up to a limit of Rs 10,000. The loading facility of the instrument will be linked only from a bank account. 
  • RBI has directed large cooperative banks to report all exposures of Rs 5 crore and more to the Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC). The move is aimed at early detection of financial distress. The aggregate exposure will include all fund-based and non-fund based exposures like partial credit enhancement, including investment exposure on the borrower.
  • Finance Minister has launched an e-auction platform eBkray“. The platform will enable online auction of attached assets by banks. The platform provides navigational links to all PSB e-auction sites, property search feature. It also presents single-window access to information on properties up for e-auction, comparison of similar properties, and also contains videos and photographs of
  • SBI will introduce OTP based ATM cash withdrawals. The step has been taken to reduce the occurrences of unauthorised transactions happening at ATMs. SBI will introduce one-time password for every cash withdrawal of Rs 10,000 and above between 8 am and 8 pm. The OTP-based cash withdrawal will be effective from January 1, 2020 across all SBI ATMs.
  • The Union Finance Minister has announced that the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) charges for businesses with over Rs 50 crore annual revenues will be waived off from January 1, 2020. Also, the digital transactions made using RuPay credit cards, or UPI QR codes will not face any additional charges for merchants or customers from January 1, 2020.
  • Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has announced that it has paid Rs 1,12,000 crore as Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) refunds to exporters.