Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Wonder Home Finance commences operations with 29 branches across Rajasthan.

Wonder Home Finance Rajasthan

With 29 branches spread across the big cities and small towns of Rajasthan, Wonder Home Finance Limited has announced its entry into India’s booming retail housing finance business. Wonder Home Finance is a part of RK Group, Rajasthan and India’s well-known business groups. From RK Marble to Wonder Cement and now Wonder Home Finance, RK Group is committed to holistic and transparent business practices. The vision and dedication of its promoters and employees had led to patronage amongst its consumers and business partners. Wonder Home Finance Limited has received final approval from the National Housing Bank to commence its business.

As a part of the first phase of roll-out, Wonder Home Finance will focus on its lending business across the length and breadth of Rajasthan. Currently, the company has 9 branches in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Udaipur, Chittorgarh and Rajsamand region and is in a process to set up 20 more branches across the state of Rajasthan by the end of August 2018. The branch spread will cover almost 70% of service area in Rajasthan state.

Wonder Home Finance will give financial assistance in the range of Rs 5 lakhs to Rs 35 lakhs to the people from lower and middle income strata of the society. The interest for home loans, repair and renovation of homes and construction of homes will be in the range of 11% to 14% with the tenure of 3 years to 20 years. With the focus of last-mile financial inclusion, the facility of home loans can be also availed on Gram Panchayat Properties and for the development of Non-Agriculture land.

In a boost to small businesses and proprietorship, Wonder Home Finance will offer financing at attractive interests. The loan amount ranges from Rs 5 lakhs to Rs 20 lakhs with the maximum loan tenure period of 15 years.

The lending by Wonder Home Finance is envisioned with PM Modi’s vision of ‘Housing for All by 2022’. The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana is an initiative by Government of India in which affordable housing will be provided to the poor with a target of building 20 million affordable homes. The scheme also includes an attractive credit linked subsidy on loan interest which aims to help PMAY beneficiaries from lower and middle income group. As per National Housing Bank, beneficiaries from lower and middle income group would be eligible for the interest subsidy at the rate of 6.5% for loan amount upto Rs 6 lakh, 4% for loan upto Rs 9 lakhs and 3% for the loan amount upto Rs 12 lakh. Wonder Home Finance Limited has signed a MoU with National Housing Bank keeping in mind the mission of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana which allows beneficiaries to apply for Credit linked subsidy scheme.

“With the launch of Wonder Home Finance Limited, we are confident that we will be able to deliver unified financial services to the people of this country. Our people centric business model and service oriented delivery mechanism will help to create an exceptional experience amongst our target audience. It will further enhance the groups philosophy of perfection and reaching to masses. Also envisaged by our Government’s vision of ‘Housing for all by 2022’, it is a step towards delivering last mile financial services to the people of this country. We are confident of this business proposition which is a unique one in the industry today and it will surely help us to drive the group’s growth to the next level.” - Shri Ashok Patni, Chairman, RK Group.

Wonder Home Finance uses easy, transparent and customer friendly loan processes. The company claims to offer home and business loans with the fastest decision time of 3 days. Convenience and use of technology are among the core values as customers can avail easy financing through the website, mobile app and door step service.

In order to take its financial services business to the highest level, Wonder Home Finance Limited will target to leverage the pedigree and network built by the RK Group. With its Pan-India license, the company plans to expand operations in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in FY 2018-19. The company is confident of building a powerful brand ‘Wonder Home Finance’, which would become a synonym to housing finance segment in the near future.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

NHAI plans to raise Rs 8,000 crores from Toll Operate Transfer model.

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has invited bids for Second Bundle of national highways under the TOT(Toll Operate Transfer) model. The bundle consists of 8 stretches of national highways in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar and West Bengal. The total length of the project is 586.5 km. There are 12 Toll Plazas on these 8 road stretches. The Bid Due Date is 5th Nov 2018.

Concessionaires have to quote Bid Concession Fee against NHAI's estimated Initial Estimated Concession Value (IECV) of Rs. 5362 crore. TOT bundle-II also involves an initial construction cost of Rs 929 crore. The total contract period of TOT is for 30 years, which may increase/ decrease by 10/5 years based on an increase/ decrease in traffic. The concessionaire would be required to maintain and operate the stretch during this period.  In Lieu of this, the concessionaire would get the rights to collect user fee for this period, in accordance with prescribed fee rates under NH Fee Rules.

As per Bharatmala, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways plans to build 34,800km of highways from a budgetary outlay of Rs 5,35,000 crores. These will have 9 greenfield expressways projects including the ambitious Mumbai - Delhi Expressway.

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is borrowing from the market through the Internal Extra Budgetary Resources (IEBR) route. In 2017-18, NHAI has raised Rs 8,500 crore from LIC and Rs 10,000 crore from EPFO through taxable bonds. Further, NHAI issued rupee denominated Masala Bonds of Rs 3,000 crores through the London Stock Exchange. 

In addition, NHAI is in the process of raising funds through monetization of operational National Highway assets through the Cabinet approved Toll-Operate-Transfer (TOT) model. It may be recalled that for TOT Bundle-I of 648 km, Macquarie had quoted highest as 1.5 times against the NHAI IECV of approx 1 billion USD (Rs. 6258 crores). The highest bid of Macquarie was approx 1.5 Billion USD (Rs. 9681 crores).

Source - PIB.

State Bank of Mauritius's India unit to open 6 new branches.

State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) Group has received Reserve Bank of India’s approval to operate in India through a wholly-owned subsidiary route. SBM is the first foreign bank in India to obtain a WOS Licence from the Reserve Bank of India. The bank will soon operate as a banking subsidiary of SBM Group in India under the name of SBM Bank (India) Ltd. This new structure will provide more leeway for SBM in its branch expansion strategy.

Established in 1994 in India, SBM currently operates four branches, namely located in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Ramachandrapuram. To capture a wider market and increase its customer base, SBM plans to launch six new branches in Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Ahmedabad and Jaipur by next year. The bank offers a diverse suite of products and services in the Indian market including deposits, advances, NRI Services, treasury products and trade finance services. It plans to revamp its customer base and solutions offering in line with its growth strategy.

Besides establishing a robust domestic franchise in India, SBM expects to capitalize on its geographic network in East Africa and the Indian Ocean region to add value to customers. It is reckoned that there is growing interest in trade and investment along the India-Africa corridor, where SBM can play an important role in financing and structuring.

“One of the reasons for SBM to start its international footprint in India is because of the strong links that exist between these two countries with around three-quarters of the Mauritian population being of Indian origin. This is a focused effort by SBM to grow its cross-border banking business and widen physical presence in geographies with untapped growth potential for better customer reach. With domestic expansion programme, SBM will continue to grow outside Mauritius.” - Mr Moses Harding John, CEO, India & East Africa, SBM Holdings Ltd.

As per Wholly Owned Subsidiary rules by RBI, the initial minimum paid-up voting equity capital for a WOS shall be Rs. 5 billion. The newly set up WOS of the foreign bank would be required to bring in the entire amount of initial capital upfront, which should be funded by free foreign exchange remittance from its parent. The CEO would be appointed on a full-time basis and should be resident in India. All notifications regarding Basel III have to be followed. RBI also states that at least 25% of branch network should be in Rural areas, this may be on the outskirts of tier 2 city or near State Industrial Zones.

Singapore’s DBS Bank is another lender which is awaiting final approval from the RBI to convert its 12 branches into a wholly owned subsidiary.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

NHAI gets Rs 25,000 crores unsecured loan from State Bank of India

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is getting an unsecured loan of Rs 25,000 crore from State Bank of India for 10 years with 3 years of moratorium on repayments. This is the largest amount of loan to have been sanctioned to NHAI in one stroke by any institution. This is also the largest long term unsecured loan sanctioned by SBI at a time to any entity. A MoU in this regard was signed between Nitin Gadkari and Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, SBI was signed and the first tranche of Rs 5,000 was handed over to NHAI.
NHAI had invited an Expression of Interest from Scheduled Commercial Banks to fund Rs. 25000 Crore as an unsecured loan for 10 years with 3 years of moratorium on repayments. In response to this EOI, SBI offered to fund the entire requirement of Rs 25000 Crore based on one month MCLR.
The loan sanctioned by SBI is unsecured. There is no principal repayment liability for an initial three years. After three years, the repayment would be done in 14 equal half yearly instalments. The total loan tenure is 10 years. NHAI can repay/ prepay it at any time without any prepayment penalty.
The total sanctioned amount of Rs 25000 Crore is to be disbursed within 31st March 2019. The rate of interest would be based on one month MCLR. Interest accrued on the amount actually outstanding will be paid on monthly basis. NHAI can draw the amount in any number of tranches, latest by 31st March 2019.
NHAI has traditionally relied on borrowing through long term bonds issued to various investors, including LIC, EPFO and other qualified investors, and Tax-Free bonds and Masala Bond issued in the year 2017. NHAI also plans to raise investment of Rs 13,500 crores through Toll Operate Transfer model.
– Chaitanya Kulkarni
Also published on InfraStory.com

Monday, 16 July 2018

43% surge in Mutual Fund investments for Q1 2018-19 says AMFI.

Bombay Stock Exchange

There has been a historic rise in investments in Mutual Funds according to the data released by Association of Mutual Funds of India. According to the financial market expert, the surge in MF investments can be attributed to the strong performance of Indian market, low paying Fixed Deposit interest rates and the rising awareness among small investors through campaigns like 'Mutual Fund Sahi Hain'.

Investors have pumped Rs 1.4 lakh crore into mutual fund (MF) schemes in April-June quarter this fiscal, a surge of 43 per cent from the year-ago period, driven by strong participation from retail investors. 

According to Association of Mutual Funds of India (Amfi) data, the inflow has also helped in pushing the assets base of the 42-player MF industry to Rs 23.40 lakh crore at the end of June this year, an increase of 20 per cent from Rs 20.40 lakh crore in June-end 2017.

According to the data, investors poured in a net of Rs 1,33,903 crore in MF schemes in the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal, as compared to Rs 93,400 crore in the April-June period of 2017-18. The latest inflow has been mainly driven by contributions from liquid funds and equity schemes. Individually, liquid funds or money market category -- investments in cash assets such as treasury bills, certificates of deposit and commercial paper for shorter horizon -- witnessed an inflow of Rs 1.22 lakh crore. Besides, equity schemes attracted close to Rs 33,000 crore.

The rise in the Mutual Fund market despite the volatility and weaker Rupee suggests that investors are looking for long-term horizon view. The trend is expected to rise further as investors are starting to acknowledge the long-term wealth-creation potential of equities.

Source - IBEF.

Numaligarh Refinery sets up bio-ethanol plant with Finnish, Dutch firms

State-run PSU Numaligarh Refinery Limited has taken a giant step forward by establishing a joint venture, Assam Bio-Refinery Pvt. Limited (ABRPL) with equity participation of M/s Chempolis Oy of Finland and M/s Fortum 3 B.V. of Netherland to build and operate the first of its kind Bio-Refinery in India which would generate renewable green fuel-bioethanol, other valuable chemicals and green power from bamboo biomass.
The joint venture company incorporated on 04th June 2018 has 3 partners with major equity holding of 50% by NRL, 28% by Fortum 3.B.V. Netherland and 22% by Chempolis Oy, Finland.
“NRL’s new venture shall produce 62 million litres of bio-ethanol by using around 0.5 million MT bamboo per annum which is going to be a game changer in terms of additional revenue generation for the bamboo farmers through sustainable cultivation, extraction and transportation of bamboo. It is indeed a historic moment for India’s North East to garner first major foreign direct investment for setting up its first bamboo based Biorefinery” said Mr S.K. Barua, Managing Director, NRL
Bioethanol shall be produced from bamboo as feedstock by using pioneering 3G Formicobio technology by a Finnish technology provider M/s Chempolis Oy with other valuable chemicals and bio-coal. Bio-coal will be used for the production of steam and green power to the bio-refinery.
According to a statement from NRL, the company is implementing India’s first bio-refinery in Assam at an estimated cost of Rs 950 crore which would produce bio-ethanol with co-production of furfural and acetic acid from the locally available non-food biomass feedstock. Bamboo is one of the major non-food biomass resources available abundantly in North East India and is among the fastest growing plants. 49,000 tonnes of BioEthanol produced annually would primarily be used to blend NRL petrol as mandated by the National Policy on Biofuel, with the surplus to be sold to other oil marketing companies. The company added that NRL has already inked MoUs with Nagaland Bamboo Development Agency (NBDA) and Arunachal Pradesh Bamboo Resources Development Agency (APBRDA) last year for sourcing of bamboo for the Bio-Refinery.
The government of India recently stepped up its support for the production of bio-ethanol, most prominently by means of the new bio-ethanol policy for mandatory blending of Ethanol with gasoline up to 10%. The new bio-ethanol policy aims to spur investments for setting up projects with a total production capacity of 1 billion litres of fuel ethanol every year. The policy is also aimed at cutting down the country’s significant energy import dependence as well as meet Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) committed to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
This project has a clear role in the fight against climate change. It can also have a big positive impact on local communities. It will provide employment opportunities for thousands of people and in the long run, it will help local communities from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to become self-sustainable and enhance their living standards.
– Chaitanya Kulkarni
Also published on CSRBulletin.com

Thursday, 12 July 2018

State Bank of India plans to raise $750 million via maiden green bonds

India's largest lender, the State Bank of India has announced plans to issue an inaugural USD benchmark green bond in the Reg S market. Green Banking and Sustainability have long been areas of priority for the lender and in an early delineation of this approach, SBI had enunciated its Green Banking Policy a decade back.

Through its inaugural green bonds launch from its London branch, SBI is seeking to raise between USD 500 million (EUR 426m) and USD 750 million.

The transaction will likely consist of two tranches and could open for subscription in the next few days, people aware of the development told the newspaper. The raised funds will be used to support investment in sustainable and climate-friendly projects.

The bank has appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Agricole CIB, HSBC, SBICAP and Standard Chartered Bank to manage the issuance. According to Business Standard, bankers will meet with investors this week. As per the Green Bond Framework, the proceeds from the bonds will be invested in research and development of ecological solutions to make this world a better place for our future generations.

The Green Bonds market as per July 2018 stands at $80 billion against $170 billion against the full year of 2017. The estimated investments in Green Bonds stand at $250 billion.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni