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Yes Bank committed to enhance governance, culture of accountability: Prashant Kumar

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Yes Bank has significant changes in the risk framework to ensure that impending risks are identified, evaluated, and resolved before these convert into reputational risks, lender’s chief executive and managing director Prashant Kumar has said.

In a message to the bank’s shareholders in the annual report, Kumar said that “the tone has already been set by our reconstituted Board of Directors and leadership as well as independent control functions on enhancing governance and risk frameworks, translating into a culture of accountability to all our stakeholders.“

Its co-founder and former chief executive Rana Kapoor is alleged to have indulged in dubious loan and disclosure practices. The bank’s non-performing assets bloated up, and ultimately resulted in RBI and the government superseding its board in March.

A consortium of financers led by SBI undertook a Rs 10,000-crore bailout and Kumar, a former SBI hand, was appointed first as CEO.

“The Bank has made significant changes in the Risk framework to ensure that impending risks are identified, evaluated, and resolved before these convert into reputational risks. We have made foundational changes to strengthen our governance frameworks, identify and mitigate risks, with the objective of creating an authentic, empathetic Brand committed to ethical leadership and conducting business with integrity,” Kumar said.

“While there is still more work to be done to reach this goal, I assure you that the Board of Directors and I are striving to deliver on the expectations of our customers, employees, communities, regulators and shareholders,” he added.

The lender is on a journey of transformation into a “digital bank” and the Rs 15,000 crore capital raising through a follow-on public offer earlier this month.

“The successful completion of our Rs 15,000-crore follow-on public offering (FPO), India’s largest fund raise in the financial services sector, against an extremely challenging socio-economic backdrop is a testament to the faith reposed by our investors. This is one of the first but a very crucial step in the Bank’s journey of transformation into a ‘Digital Bank’ – a key milestone and a market endorsement of the efforts being made by the Bank,” he said.

Moreover, this has further strengthened bank’s foundation with reinforced liquidity, which is well above the required regulatory norms, he added.

“We look forward to building on this momentum,” he said.

Its non-executive chairman Sunil Mehta said a Rs 35,000 crore in special liquidity facility extended by RBI out of a total of Rs 50,000 crore has been repaid by the bank and the rest will also be paid in time.

Kumar said the bank will focus on sustained liability growth, balancing earnings between retail and wholesale, building and monetizing businesses and work on cost optimization.

In FY20, Kumar’s predecessor Ravneet Gill was paid an overall remuneration of Rs 5.94 crore, as per the annual report. In a notice to shareholders ahead of the annual general meeting (AGM), the bank has proposed total remuneration of Kumar at Rs 2.85 crore.

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Vodafone v/s India: Indian govt may have to pay Rs 85 crore if it decides not to appeal

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The Indian government may have to pay a total of Rs 85 crore, if it decides not to appeal against Friday’s ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Rs 22,100 crore retrospective tax dispute with Vodafone Group. The arbitration tribunal on Friday delivered its verdict in favour of Vodafone against Indian government’s retrospective tax demand of capital gains tax.

As per an IANS report on Saturday, Finance Ministry sources said that the court has asked the Indian government to pay only 4.3 million pounds, or about Rs 40 crore, which is 60 per cent of the tribunal’s administrative cost while the rest 40 per cent would be borne by Vodafone. Also, the government may have to refund the tax collected, which is about Rs 45 crore, only if it does not go for appeal against the award.

Therefore, the total outgo would be around Rs 85 crore only.

The Finance Ministry, in a statement, said that the government will make a decision on the further course of action, including legal remedies, among other options including legal remedies before appropriate fora.

The statement issued by the ministry read as: “The Finance Ministry has just been informed that the award in the arbitration case invoked by Vodafone International Holding BV against Government of India has been passed. The Government will be studying the award and all its aspects carefully in consultation with our counsel”.

Vodafone had moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2016 due to a lack of consensus between the parties’ arbitrators in finalising a judge for a tax dispute. Following this, a tribunal was constituted in June 2016 after Vodafone challenged India’s use of a 2012 legislation that gave it powers to retrospectively tax deals like Vodafone’s $11 billion acquisition of 67 per cent stake in Hutchison Whampoa in 2007.

The retrospective tax law had been enacted after a Supreme Court judgement went in Vodafone’s favour.

Vodafone had challenged the tax department’s demand of Rs 7,990 crore as capital gains tax (Rs 22,100 crore after including interest and penalty) under the Netherlands-India Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). In 2007, the Income Tax Department had slapped a demand notice seeking capital gains tax.

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Diesel rates marginally lowered in metropolitan cities for fifth day in a row, petrol unchanged

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Diesel prices continued to fall on Monday, making it fifth day in a row, even though globally crude prices remained steady. In the national capital diesel was priced at Rs 71.43 per litre, down from Rs 71.58 on Sunday.

Similar trend was witnessed in other major metropolitan cities. In Mumbai, diesel was being sold at Rs 77.87 on Monday, against the previous levels of Rs 78.02.

In Chennai and Kolkata diesel rates was at Rs 76.85 and Rs 74.94 on Monday, respectively.

Previously, diesel was priced at Rs 76.99 in Chennai and Rs 75.09 per litre in Kolkata.

In September, diesel rates have been dropped by Rs 2.13 per litre in Delhi this month while petrol price fall has been relatively slower at Rs 0.94 per litre in September.

The recent fall in prices comes in the wake of softening of global oil prices as an extended run of Covid-19 has depressed demand and created a glut in the market.

Prices of petrol, however, remained unchanged for the third straight day at Rs 81.14, Rs 87.82, Rs 84.21 and Rs 82.67 per litre across Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, respectively.

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Vodafone Idea Board rummaging through all proposals to raise funds; meeting scheduled for September 4

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The Board of Directors of Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) are going to hold a meeting on Friday (September 4) to consider and evaluate all proposals for raising funds in one or more tranches by way of a public issue, preferential allotment or private placement among other options.

The announcement comes a day after the Supreme Court on Tuesday delivered its verdict on the staggering payment of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) due issue. The apex court gave a 10-year timeline to the telcos to repay their dues, with an upfront payment of 10 per cent by March 31, 2021.

The company in a regulatory filing, said, “the Board of Directors of the Company is scheduled to be held on September 4, 2020, inter-alia, to consider and evaluate any and all proposals for raising of funds in one or more tranches by way of a public issue, preferential allotment, private placement, including a qualified institutions placement or through any other permissible mode and/or combination thereof as may be considered appropriate, by way of issue of equity shares or by way of issue of any instruments or securities including securities convertible into equity shares, Global Depository Receipts, American Depository Receipts or bonds including foreign currency convertible bonds, convertible debentures, warrants, and/or non-convertible debentures including non-convertible debentures along with warrants, which may or may not be listed.”

“A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company is scheduled to be held on September 4, 2020, inter-alia, to consider and evaluate any and all proposals for raising of funds,” the company said in a regulatory filing late Tuesday.

As per government’s assessment, Vodafone Idea owed a total of Rs 58,254 crore to the Department of Telecommunications, (DoT). As per the government, the operator now owes balance AGR dues of around Rs 50,399 crore.

On Wednesday, shares of Vodafone Idea rose after plunging in the previous session weighed down by the Supreme Court verdict. Around 11 a.m., its shares on the BSE were trading at Rs 9.61, higher by 8.10 per cent from its previous close.

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