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Sipko Schat | Farmers are in our DNA

Sipko Schat | Farmers are in our DNA

Mumbai: Sipko Schat, chairman of wholesale banking and a director at Rabobank Nederland, has been coming to India since 1998 when the group set up a non-banking financial company (NBFC) in India. The 6’4”-tall banker—he’s the shortest in his family, he says—loves Indian curry as long as it’s not too spicy. He sees huge potential for business in agriculture and food processing in India, both in terms of lending and advisory, particularly after the government decided to open up the retail sector for foreign investments.

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SKS to change business model, Akula may exit

SKS to change business model, Akula may exit

Mumbai: A little more than a year ago, in October 2010,SKS Microfinance Ltd, then India’s largest microfinance institution (MFI), sacked its chief executive officer (CEO) Suresh Gurumani after a blockbuster initial public offering (IPO). The exact reason behind his sacking is not known even today, but it was clear that founder and chairman Vikram Akula was not getting along with him. At that time, Vijay Mahajan, a well-known figure in the Rs20,000 crore Indian microfinance industry, and chairman of the Basix group, was quoted in the media as saying: “What we are witnessing reminds me of a Greek play.

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Can the rupee’s fall be arrested?

Can the rupee’s fall be arrested?

The Rs 10,000 crore bond-buying programme by the Indian central bank, announced last week, could be the beginning of a much larger open market operation (OMO) that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will have to unveil in due course. This, along with the Indian government’s decision to allow higher foreign investment in the domestic debt market, will attempt to serve three purposes: creation of liquidity to see through the government’s record borrowing to bridge its fiscal deficit, bring down the yield on government bonds that will pare the government’s cost of borrowing, and stem the fall of the local currency. Liquidity in the banking system has been quite tight this month, with banks borrowing on an average about Rs 84,000 crore from RBI every day.

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Is the economy heading for a crash landing?

Is the economy heading for a crash landing?

Ratings agency bashing is a favourite pastime for many of us, which is why when Moody’s Investors Service last week downgraded the outlook for India’s banking system to negative from stable, citing concerns that global economic turmoil and a domestic slowdown may lead to loan defaults and curb profitability, there was a chorus of protests. A negative outlook is characterized by volatility and uncertain conditions. Senior bankers, economists and the government uniformly derided Moody’s action, dubbing it unwarranted and something that defied logic.

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Finance ministry has been extremely supportive of Sebi’s independence as a regulator

Finance ministry has been extremely supportive of Sebi’s independence as a regulator

Mumbai: U.K. Sinha, chairman of India’s capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), spoke to Mint-Bloomberg-UTV on Wednesday on an array of critical issues ranging from the regulator’s independence to the Bimal Jalancommittee report on market infrastructure institutions, new norms for private equity, and venture capital funds, misuse of the American and global depository receipts (ADRs and GDRs) route by some Indian firms, and restoration of incentives for mutual fund distributors, among others.

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Can MFIs lower their loan rates?

Can MFIs lower their loan rates?

India’s Parliament is expected to take up a Bill for discussion in the ensuing winter session that will govern microfinance institutions (MFIs). When it becomes law, the Micro Finance Institutions (Development and Regulation) Bill will give more powers to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to regulate lenders that give tiny loans to poor borrowers at an interest rate much higher than what commercial banks charge. They do so as banks do not reach out to all micro borrowers.