Wondering if you are up to speed with topics that are likely to pop up at your upcoming dinner meet? Here’s a list of the key developments in finance that you should know:
Bank of Shame:
ICICI Bank’s Chanda Kocchar and Axis Bank’s Shikha Sharma have made headlines for all the wrong reasons. For starters, they were interrogated for loans given to Gitanjali Gems (owned by Nirav Modi’s uncle, Mehul Choksi.
Shikha Sharma’s career has also been on the line due to her incapacity to solve Axis Bank’s growing number of bad loans. Last week, the RBI asked Axis’ Board of Directors to reconsider her 3-year tenure as CEO. Hoping for a dignified exit, Sharma decided to step down instead.
Chanda Kocchar has been accused of nepotism. In 2012, ICICI Bank granted loans worth Rs. 3,250 cr to 5 Videocon companies. Soon after, the ownership of 1 company (NuPower Renewables) was transferred to Deepak Kocchar for a mere Rs. 9 lakhs.
Battle Of The
U.S. and China are headed for a full on b***h fight and they are dragging the world with them. Last month the U.S. slapped tariffs (a kind of import tax) on Chinese steel and aluminium worth $60bn. In a tit for tat move, China imposed its own tariffs on a host of U.S. imports – from soy beans to wine, from apples to pork – worth $50bn dollars. This trade war has already affected economies around the world, leading to a global decline in stock markets
RBI Says No To Crypto:
RBI’s new aim is to starve India’s unregulated virtual-currency marketplace of liquidity. Their latest circular says that banks won’t be allowed to provide financial services (bank accounts, loans, etc.) to anyone or any entity that deals with currencies like Bitcoin. This move has pissed off some 50 lakh Indian cryptocurrency investors, who will no longer be able to transfer money from their bank account to their crypt-trading wallets.
Veggies Slice Down Inflation:
At this time last year, an increase in onion and tomato prices pushed up India’s retail inflation (then 1.54%), and it’s been rising ever since (even touching 5%). But now, thanks to a great tomato crop in December, and an equally great onion crop in early March, retail inflation is slowly but steadily dropping again (now 4.28%). Fingers crossed that a decent monsoon and good Government food-supply policies help it stay there (or lower!).
ATM’s running dry, but why?
Yesterday many parts of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Rajasthan were facing a serious cash crunch at ATM’s. According to the government, one possible reason for this shortage is the unusual rise in cash withdrawals in the last three months. And Finance Minister Arun Jaitley spoke up calling this a “temporary shortage” assuring the situation will be “tackled quickly” and that there is “more than adequate” currency in circulation. The government is even checking with banks and RBI to ensure that there is enough cash. Meanwhile, Twitter and other news channels have had a laughter riot calling this another demonetization attempt!
Now that you know these topics, the next time someone mentions them you know what to say. If there are any such topics spoken about at a party that have made you feel out of the loop, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will cover it in our next edition.