Banking Awareness Current Affairs 1st - 5th August 2015

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HSBC India plans to launch ‘green bonds’
  • HSBC India’s chairman Naina Lal Kidwai announced to launch ’green bonds’ in India for raising funds for investments in environmental projects.
  • The total investment attracted by Green Bonds in last two years is 37 million dollars. 
  • HSBC is the fourth largest issuer in the world.
  • Green Bonds in India was initially launched by Axis Bank and Yes Bank in February 2015 that attracted investment of 1,000 crore rupees against the target of 500 crore rupees.
What is Green Bond?
  • A bond is a debt instrument with which a bond issuer gets capital while the investors receive fixed income in the form of interest. The issuer of green bond gets capital from the investors only if the investment is being raised to fund ‘green’ projects relating to renewable energy or emission reductions etc.
Besides green bonds HSBC is also emphasising on creating ‘Yieldcos’. It is a product that enables access to low cost liquid and generates predicable cash flows by bundling up renewable assets with long-term power purchase agreements.

Yes Bank raises close to $50 million green bond
  • India's private sector lender, Yes Bank has raised $ 49.2 mn or Rs 315 crore from by International Finance Corporation, the private sector financing arm of the World Bank. The funds are raised for a term of 10 years at 8.95%. 
  • Yes Bank will invest the proceeds from these bonds in energy efficiency projects and renewable energy projects mainly in the solar and wind sectors. 
  • The bond has been issued under IFC's commitment to raise $ 3 billion under its offshore rupee 'masala bond' programme. IFC has already issued bonds worth over Rs 10,300 crore in a range of tenors creating a triple A yield curve thereby attracting new investors to the offshore rupee markets. 
  • This is second green bond from Yes Bank. In February this year also Yes Bank had raised Rs 1000 crore from the market by issuing green infrastructure bonds. 
IDFC Bank to start lending services from October 1
  • With the demerger of financial undertaking from IDFC Ltd, IDFC Bank will kick-start its lending operations from October 1, 2015. 
  • RBI had granted license to IDFC Bank on July 23, 2015. 
  • The new bank plans to start operations with an initial loan book of around Rs 55,000 crore and with 20 branches. 
Bajaj Allianz ties up with Snapdeal to sell insurance for 2-wheelers
  • Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, the general insurance arm of Bajaj Finserv, is tying up with Snapdeal to sell two-wheeler insurance to the growing number of people who are buying motorcycles from the online marketplace. 
  • Snapdeal sold 180,000 motorcycles in over six months, a sign of its growing popularity as a portal for purchasing motorcycles. 
  • The annual two-wheeler motor insurance policy will be available only for new vehicles and later it will be rolled out for the used vehicles as well, he added. 
IDBI Bank launches self service of cheque dispensation
  • IDBI Bank launched its first self service Mini Branch Kiosk at its Cuffe Parade, Mumbai Branch which will address the customer's request of personalized cheque leaves dispensation and issue of Demand Draft & Pay Order on 24X7 basis. 
Vakrangee to leverage Jan Dhan Yojana bank accounts to spur online sales for Amazon
  • Vakrangee will help Amazon India leverage Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) bank accounts for online payments as a part of its tie up with the ecommerce giant. 
  • It will also expand the number of centres it has in the country to more than 50,000 from about 12,500 now. 
  • Company signed a strategic partnership with Amazon to provide marketing, sales and pickup services through its centres known as Vakrangee Kendras. Vakrangee expects to leverage its role as a provider of financial inclusion services to help spur online payments. The kendras already serve as ATM, insurance and e-governance kiosks. 
K Sanath Kumar takes over as acting chairman & MD GIC Re
  • K Sanath Kumar has joined GIC Re as general manager and will be holding additional charge of Chairman-cum-Managing Director. 
  • A K Roy, the former CMD retired from the post last month. Prior to GIC Re, Kumar was general manager & director, New India Assurance. 
ICICI hits overseas debt market with USD 500 million issue
  • India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank hit the US dollar debt market with a benchmark issue, under which it plans to raise up to USD 500 million.
  • The five-year bond sale is a part of the bank’s USD 7.5 billion global medium-term note programme and will be carried out from its Dubai IFC branch. The bonds will be listed on the Singapore Exchange.
  • International rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service have rated the proposed US dollar-denominated senior unsecured notes at BBB- and Baa3, respectively.
  • The drawdown will be carried out from the bank’s Dubai branch and the bonds will have a maturity of 5 years and will be listed on the Singapore Exchange.