Real Estate Finance

BANKS’ REALTY EXPOSURE GROWS 20.4 PERCENT IN DEC 2010
The Financial Express

The Reserve Bank of India has said that the credit off-take by the real estate sector grew by 20.4 percent on a y-o-y basis in December 2010 as compared with a growth of 14.5 percent in the previous year. On a financial year basis, it grew 14.4 percent against a decline of 5.3 percent a year ago. The non-food gross bank credit grew by 23.1 percent in December 2010 as compared with a growth of 11.5 percent in the corresponding period of last year.

PNB, PSB RAISE INTEREST RATES BY UP TO 1 PERCENT
New Delhi
The Pioneer | The Tribune |

Within a week of the Reserve Bank raising its key policy rates, two Delhi-based lenders — Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Punjab & Sind Bank (PSB)— on Monday announced an increase in deposit rates by up to 100 basis points. The second largest state-owned lender PNB also decided to raise the lending rates by up to 50 basis points, the bank said in a statement.

While the hike in fixed deposit (FD) rates will benefit the savers, rising lending rates would make loans more expensive for auto, home and corporate borrowers with effect from tomorrow. The depositors can now expect to get an yearly interest of 9.25 percent on FDs. While the PNB will provide the maximum rate for deposits of 1,111 days, PSB will give the same rate for 1,000-day FDs.

CIRCLE RATES HIKE MAY DOUBLE AS CENTER CLEARS AIR OVER ISSUE
Ambika Pandit, New Delhi
The Times of India

Circle rates in the city are likely to double very soon. The Central government has finally settled the controversy over the revision of property rates after the issue had reached a deadlock with chief minister Sheila Dikshit, and lieutenant governor Tejendra Khanna locking horns over the matter. It is learnt that the Union home ministry on Monday evening conveyed the legal view to the state that the subject of circle rates falls under the transferred list of subjects and hence the L-G has to act with the aid and advice of the council of ministers of the state.

This means that the decision of the cabinet prevails and the state government’s decision to double the existing circle rates is likely to become a reality soon. The L-G’s role is limited to giving a formal approval in this case, considering the fact that the state has been unrelenting on its stance.

Infrastructure

ADB TO PROVIDE INDIA $7.4 BILLION FOR INFRASTRUCTURE
New Delhi
Business Standard

ADB and the Government of India have agreed on a new three-year business plan that will provide lending assistance of $7.4 billion to support inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth in the country,” the multi-lateral lending agency said in a statement.

Indian Economy

GDP GROWTH REVISED TO 8 PERCENT FOR FY10
New Delhi
The Times of India (Delhi edition)

The Central Statistical Organization on Monday revised growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) for 2009-10 to 8 percent from the previous 7.4 percent due to robust growth in manufacturing and services sectors. The government also revised the GDP growth for 2008-09 marginally to 6.8 percent from the previously announced 6.7 percent.

“The growth rate of 8 percent in the GDP during 2009-10 has been achieved due to high growth in transport, storage and communication (15 percent), community, social and personal services (11.8 percent), financing, insurance, real estate and business services (9.2 percent) and manufacturing (8.8 percent),” CSO said.
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CONNETICUT INTRODUCES BILL TO PREVENT LAW FIRMS FROM OFFSHORING WORK TO INDIA
The Economic Times

BANGALORE: The US state of Connecticut has introduced a bill designed to prevent law firms and corporates from offshoring the drafting, reviewing and analysing of legal documents to workers overseas. This could impact the legal process outsourcing (LPO) sector in India. LPO players are also worried that other US states may pick up the cue from Connecticut.

Under the bill, proposed by Connecticut state representative Patricia Dillon, “unlicensed” offshore workers who engage in drafting, reviewing or analysing of legal documents for clients in Connecticut could be charged with unauthorized practice of law, according to a report by The Connecticut Law Tribune.

Information Technology

IBM STAFF TO GET $1K STOCK BONUS
Business Standard

Technology giant IBM today said it will offer $1,000 worth of shares to its over-one-lakh employees in India, as part of its centennial celebrations. IBM, which will celebrate a hundred years of existence on June 16 this year, will give each of its employees globally a $1,000 stock bonus.

“IBM employees globally, except those at the executive level, will receive $1,000 in stock bonuses,” an IBM India spokesperson said. He declined to comment on IBM’s India headcount, since the company does not disclose country-level employee numbers. Industry analysts peg the firm’s India strength at over a lakh. IBM has 4 lakh employees globally.

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