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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 15th February, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 15 February 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Kochi hosted 6th boat and marine expo from Feb 8-10
The sixth edition of India Boat and Marine Show (IBMS), which highlights the country’s boating, marine and water sports industry-related expo, began at Bolgatty Palace Event Centre. Kochi hosted 6th boat and marine expo from Feb 8-10

  • An array of PSUs, boat builders and others have put up exhibits and stalls at the event that will be on till February 10 . It comes within a month of the launch of ₹4,000-crore worth ship-repair and allied projects of Cochin Shipyard Limited. Stakeholders in the sector are hopeful that the city will emerge as a hub for both ship repair and building.

ONDC collaborates with NCCF, Shiprocket to deliver Bharat branded staples in Delhi-NCR
Consumers in the Delhi-NCR region will be able to order Bharat brand rice, wheat flour and lentils through the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC). Orders are shipped within 24 hours and are free of delivery charges.ONDC collaborates with NCCF, Shiprocket to deliver Bharat branded staples in Delhi-NCR

  • The Network has collaborated with the National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India (NCCF), and Shiprocket to support the government’s “Sarkar se Rasoi Tak” initiative. This initiative is expected to be expanded to other cities too.
  • “The ‘Sarkar se Rasoi Tak’ initiative epitomises the transformative power of digital commerce in democratising access to essential goods.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

FTA with Peru to help India expand foot-print in LatAm
The sixth round of negotiations for the India-Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA), will begin next week in Lima, with India expecting the comprehensive pact to help expand its foot-print in Latin America, but increased market access for gold is likely to emerge as a tricky area, as per research body, Global Trade and Research Initiative (GTRI).FTA with Peru to help India expand foot-print in LatAm

  • Peru, the fifth-largest supplier to India, could see a similar surge in gold imports, if the right concessions are made,” a GTRI paper on India’s FTA negotiations with Peru pointed out.
  • Gold is the single biggest item for import from Peru for India. In FY23, the yellow metal accounted for $1.8 billion or 80 per cent of India’s imports from the country. India, at present, imposes a 10 per cent basic customs duty on gold and even small tariff concessions could lead to a significant increase in imports. This is because, it is a high-value product with low volume.

India to account for over one-third of global oil demand growth by 2030: IEA
India, the world’s second largest crude oil importer, will account for one-third of the 3.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) of growth in oil demand between 2023 to 2030, surpassing China, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. The agency forecast India’s demand would reach 6.6 million bpd in 2030, up from 5.5 million bpd in 2023.India to account for over one-third of global oil demand growth by 2030: IEA

  • India, which currently consumes roughly 5 million barrels per day (mb/d), is expected to register an increase of 1.2 mb/d in the next seven years, the IEA said in a report released at the India Energy Week in Goa.
  • The single largest basis of India’s oil consumption will be diesel fuel, accounting for almost half of the rise in the nation’s demand and more than one-sixth of total global oil demand growth through to 2030, the IEA said.

Japan slips to the world’s fourth-largest economy, behind the US, China and now Germany
The United States of America, China, Germany, Japan, and India are the largest economies in the world, as per their latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data. Japan has slipped to the world’s fourth-largest economy as government data released showed it fell behind the size of Germany’s in 2023.The United States of America, China, Germany, Japan, and India are the largest economies in the world, as per their latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data.

  • The government reported the economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.4% in October to December, according to Cabinet Office data on real GDP, though it grew 1.9% for all of 2023.
  • It contracted 2.9% in July-September. Two straight quarters of contraction are considered an indicator an economy is in a technical recession.
  • Japan’s economy was the second largest until 2010, when it was overtaken by China’s. Japan’s nominal GDP totaled $4.2 trillion last year, while Germany’s was $4.4 trillion, or $4.5 trillion, depending on the currency conversion.

UK economy slides into recession ahead of election
Britain is in recession, official data showed, dealing another blow to embattled Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, whose Conservative party is forecast to lose a general election expected this year.UK economy slides into recession ahead of election

  • Gross domestic product shrank 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023 after contracting 0.1 percent in the prior three months, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
  • That places the economy in recession, which is defined as two quarters of falling GDP in a row. While economists predicted that the recession could be short-lived, the data is a big setback for Sunak, who has placed economic growth as a key priority.


BANKING & FINANCE

IBBI mandates fortnightly status reports from liquidators on delayed liquidation processes
Insolvency regulator IBBI has now made it mandatory for liquidators to present fortnightly progress or status reports that would spell out the reasons for not completing the liquidation process within the stipulated period of 90 days or 270 days. It has for this amended its existing regulations on voluntary liquidations.IBBI mandates fortnightly status reports from liquidators on delayed liquidation processes

  • If the liquidator fails to liquidate the corporate person within the stipulated period of 90 days or 270 days as the case may be, he shall hold a meeting of contributors of the corporate person and present a status report within fifteen days from the end of such period and thereafter, at the end of every such succeeding period, specifying the reasons for not completing the process within the stipulated time period and apprise the meeting about additional time required for completing the process.
  • The requirement of submission of progress reports every fortnight beyond the statutory timelines is expected to drive efficiency in the entire process through better monitoring, say experts.

RBI asks card networks to halt card-based business payments on KYC, fund-use concerns
RBI has asked card networks such as Visa and Mastercard to stop commercial card transactions under the Business Payment Solution Providers (BPSP) business, citing concerns about the legitimacy and inadequacy of merchant KYC and the end use of funds.

  • Following this, the card networks have discontinued their services to all non-KYC-ed merchants and business outlets who might not be authorised to accept card payments until further notice.
  • The report said that the exact reason behind the RBI’s recent step is still not known. However, industry sources said that the central bank is concerned about the flow of money through the card route toward non-KYC-ed merchants.

RBI to adopt principle-based framework for authenticating digital payments 
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introduced a framework for authentication of digital payment transactions.RBI retains repo rate at 6.5 percent for sixth consecutive time

  • The central bank said that it will float a new way to verify digital payments other than One Time Passwords (OTP). The central bank over the years has given priority to the security of digital payments, in particular the requirement of an Additional Factor of Authentication (AFA).
  • Though RBI has not recommended any particular AFA, the payment mediums have largely adopted SMS-based One Time Passwords (OTP). But now, RBI wants to look into new ways to authenticate online transactions.

Standing Committee on Finance proposes ‘open architecture’ for insurance agents
Standing Committee on Finance headed by BJP MP Jayant Sinha has recommended the introduction of an ‘open architecture’ concept for insurance agents so as to facilitate a larger outreach of insurance products and a stronger distribution infrastructure in the country.Standing Committee on Finance proposes ‘open architecture’ for insurance agents

  • This recommendation, if and when accepted by government and consequent legal amendments are introduced, would pave the way for insurance agents to associate with multiple insurance companies.
  • Currently, under the Insurance Act 1938, an insurance agent can associate with one life, one non-life and one health insurance company for distribution of insurance products.

RBI to introduce programmability and offline functionality in CBDC pilot
The Reserve Bank of India plans to introduce additional additional functionalities of programmability in CBDC retail payments to facilitate transactions for specific/targeted purposes, and allow offline capability to enable these transactions in areas with poor or limited Internet connectivity.

  • Currently, the CBDC Retail (CBDC-R) pilot also allows Person to Person (P2P) and Person to Merchant (P2M) transactions using Digital Rupee wallets provided by pilot banks.
  • Programmability will permit users like, for instance, government agencies, to ensure that payments are made for defined benefits. Similarly, corporates will be able to programme specified expenditures like business travel for their employees. Additional features such as validity period or geographical areas within which CBDC may be used can also be programmed.

RBI conducts two VRR auctions to infuse liquidity
The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) conducted two variable rate repo (VRR) auctions to infuse liquidity in the banking system as overall liquidity deficit widened. The liquidity deficit in the system widened to Rs 1.93 trillion. RBI conducts two VRR auctions to infuse liquidity

  • The central bank conducted two VRR auctions in a day for the first time, following six fine-tuning variable rate reverse repo (VRRR) auctions between February 2 and 7. This included two one-day VRRR auctions on February 6 and 7.
  • At the first four-day VRR auction, the RBI received bids worth Rs 1.23 trillion, against a notified amount of Rs 25,000 crore. The second auction received bids worth Rs 97,280 crore.

Karnataka Bank launches centenary campaign
Karnataka Bank has launched its centenary campaign, ‘Bharat Ka Karnataka Bank’ to mark its 100 years of service in banking.Karnataka Bank launches centenary campaign

  • This campaign marks a hundred years of trust, excellence, resilience, and commitment to serving the nation. It aims to strengthen Karnataka Bank’s brand awareness, fostering a deeper connection with customers while also inviting new patrons to be a part of its storied legacy.
  • The campaign encapsulates the idea that true legacy lies in understanding the need to evolve with the times.

CCI Approves Zurich Insurance’s Acquisition of Kotak General Insurance
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the Zurich Insurance Company Ltd’s acquisition of 70 percent stake in Kotak Mahindra General Insurance Company Ltd (KMGIC).CCI Approves Zurich Insurance’s Acquisition of Kotak General Insurance

  • In November last year, the Switzerland-based Zurich Insurance Group had agreed to acquire a 51 percent stake in KMGIC for about ₹4,051 crore through a combination of fresh capital infusion and share purchase.
  • This was billed as the largest investment by a global strategic insurer in an Indian non-life insurance company.
  • The deal, which is expected to be completed by June 30, 2024, provided that Zurich Insurance besides the 51 per cent intends to acquire an additional 19 per cent stake within three years of closing the transaction, which will take its holding in the Indian general insurer to 70 per cent.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

RBI projects FY25 GDP growth at 7%; CPI inflation at 4.5%
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has projected FY25 GDP growth and CPI inflation at 7.0 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively.RBI projects FY25 GDP growth at 7%; CPI inflation at 4.5%

  • The central bank had projected FY24 GDP growth and CPI inflation at 7.0 per cent and 5.4 per cent, respectively, in the December 2023 monetary policy review.
  • Among the key drivers on demand side, household consumption is expected to improve, while the prospects of fixed investment remains bright owing to upturn in the private capex cycle, improved business sentiments, healthy balance sheets of banks and corporates, and government’s continued thrust on capital expenditure.
  • Taking all these factors into consideration, real GDP growth for FY25 has been projected at 7.0 per cent with Q1 at 7.2 per cent (earlier projection: 6.7 per cent); Q2 at 6.8 per cent (6.5 per cent); Q3 at 7.0 per cent ( 6.4 per cent); and Q4 at 6.9 per cent, with the risks evenly balanced.

S&P Global India launches the ‘India Research Chapter’
With the Indian economy growing at a faster rate than other economies, S&P Global has announced the launch of the ‘India Research Chapter’. It aims to provide India-oriented research and reports.S&P Global India launches the ‘India Research Chapter’

  • The Chapter will be led by Deepa Kumar, Head of Asia-Pacific Country Risk, S&P Global Market Intelligence and Gauri Jauhar, Executive Director, Energy Transitions and Clean Tech Consulting, S&P Global Commodity Insights.
  • According to a statement, this initiative brings together experts from across divisions and functions of S&P Global and CRISIL. As part of the S&P Global India Leadership Council, the newly unveiled India Research Chapter will be guided by a team of experts covering a wide array of themes including economics, technology, generative AI, banking, finance, automotive, country risk, capital markets, supply chain, energy transition, infrastructure, and sustainability, among others.

JSW Steel, JFE Corporation to set up electrical steel facility in India with ₹5,500 crore investment
JSW Steel announced plans to set up a grain oriented electrical steel manufacturing facility through a joint venture with JFE Steel Corporation at an estimated investment of ₹5,500 crore.JSW Steel, JFE Corporation to set up electrical steel facility in India with ₹5,500 crore investment

  • The new company JSW Electrical Steel, will be renamed JSW JFE Electrical Steel after both companies, agreed to hold an equal stake in the joint venture.
  • The facility is targeted to commence production in the financial year, 2026-27 and plans to further expand its capacity to meet the growing market demand for grain-oriented electrical steel in India.

BOC Aviation partners with IndiGo for Four Airbus A320NEO Aircraft
Singapore-based aircraft leasing company BOC Aviation and Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo have announced a new partnership for four Airbus A320NEO aircraft.BOC Aviation partners with IndiGo for Four Airbus A320NEO Aircraft

  • This agreement strengthens their existing collaboration and supports IndiGo’s plans for further expansion. The deal has been signed for four Airbus A320NEO aircraft.
  • The aircraft are all powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines. All four aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2024.


APPOINTMENTS

Axis Bank appoints Pranam Wahi as additional director
The Board of Directors of Axis Bank has appointed Pranam Wahi as an additional independent director of the bank for four years with effect from February 15. This appointment is subject to approval of shareholders.Axis Bank appoints Pranam Wahi as additional director

  • Pranam Wahi, a Chartered Accountant, brings to the table over four decades of rich banking experience. His career, spanning various countries including India, UAE/GCC, Indonesia, and Singapore, has seen him hold senior positions in esteemed institutions such as HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, and DBS.

Paytm appoints advisory group headed by former SEBI chairman M. Damodaran
The Board of One 97 Communications Ltd. announces the formation of a Group Advisory Committee chaired by former SEBI Chairman M Damodaran to work with the Board in further strengthening compliance and regulatory matters.Paytm appoints advisory group headed by former SEBI chairman M. Damodaran

  • The committee will work closely with the Board of Directors to further strengthen compliance and regulatory matters.
  • The three-member committee includes former president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) MM Chitale and former chairman and MD of Andhra Bank R Ramachandran.

Sundaram AMC appoints Radhakrishnan as CEO
Sundaram Asset Management has appointed Anand Radhakrishnan as CEO.Sundaram AMC appoints Radhakrishnan as CEO

  • Anand was earlier a part of the company for eight years from 1996 to 2004. He previously served as Managing Director & CIO (Equity) at Franklin Templeton India.
  • Anand would take over as the managing director in July 2024 after present MD Sunil Subramaniam retires in June. 

Virendra Bansal appointed new MD & CEO of SBI Capital Markets
Virendra Bansal has been appointed as the new Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of SBI Capital Markets (SBICAPS), the wholly-owned subsidiary and investment banking arm of State Bank of India (SBI).Virendra Bansal appointed new MD & CEO of SBI Capital Markets

  • He replaces Rajay Kumar Sinha, who has been appointed as the Whole Time Member (Finance and Investment) of the IRDAI.


AWARDS

City Union Bank wins IBA’s banking technology awards
Old private sector lender City Union Bank (CUB) has won seven awards in various categories in the recently concluded ‘19th Banking Technology Conference, Expo & Citations 2023’ by the Indian Banks Association (IBA) in Mumbai.City Union Bank wins IBA’s banking technology awards

  • The awards aim at recognising the best technology providers in the banking industry and instill competition to demonstrate their state-of-the-art innovative products, and sense of purpose and bring huge value addition in Best Practices for serving the bank’s clientele.
  • CUB received awards in all the seven categories where nominations were called for by IBA


 

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