Yes Bank is in talks to buy the local retail and commercial banking operations of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), according to a source. A plan by RBS, majority owned by the UK government, to sell the Indian businesses to HSBC Holdings fell through in November last year, more than two years after the two banks started negotiations. Yes Bank, India’s number four private sector lender with assets of nearly $11 billion, is likely to start a due diligence on the RBS unit soon.
IRFCL to raise R8,886.40 cr via tax-free bonds
Indian Railway Finance Corp (IRFCL) plans to raise R8,886.40 crore through public issue of tax free bonds. IRFCL's first tranche issue is pegged at R1,000 crore with an option to retain oversubscription up to R8,886.40 crore. The fully-government owned company will offer a coupon of 7.18% and 7.34% per annum for 10- and 15-year maturities, respectively.
‘Life insurance premiums growth to rebound in Asia’
Life insurance premiums in Asia will rebound in 2013, growing by about 10% in real terms. Life insurance growth will increasingly focus on risk protection products such as term life insurance, because regulatory changes and low investment yields will continue to dampen savings product growth, according to the Swiss Re study 'Global re/insurance review 2012 and outlook 2013/14'.
Macquarie issues ‘short USD/INR’ call on reform hopes
The "short USD/INR" recommendations are piling up, with Macquarie the latest foreign bank to issue the call. The impact of expected rate cuts on economic growth and continued government policy reforms are turning analysts more optimistic about the rupee. “We acknowledge India's lingering longer term risks from the twin fiscal and current account deficit," Macquarie said on Tuesday. "But for the short term, we are of the view that the rupee could benefit from the reform measures and a strong demand for EM equities, even as direct investment inflows begin to rebound," it added. Macquarie said the current bounce in USD/INR was an opportunity to go tactically short via a three-month NDF as policy reforms start to pay off via capital inflows.
Aviva Life Insurance launches new online term plan
Private insurer Aviva Life Insurance launched i-Shield, an online term plan with return of premium. Aviva i-Shield provides life cover with a provision of return of 110% of paid premium, in case the insured survives the policy term, the private insurer said in a release.
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