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ICICI Bank posts 17 per cent rise in Q4 net profit at Rs 10,707cr; declares dividend of Rs 10 per share

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Mumbai, April 27 (IANS) The country’s second-largest private sector lender ICICI Bank, on Saturday reported a 17.38 per cent increase in net profit to Rs 10,707 crore for the January-March quarter of the financial year 2023-24, compared to the corresponding figure of Rs 9,122 crore in the same quarter a year ago.

The bank has recommended a dividend of Rs 10 per share.

ICICI Bank recorded an 8 per cent increase in net interest income (NII) at Rs 19,093 crore for the quarter compared to Rs 17,667 crore reported in the same quarter of 2022-23.

The bank also recorded an improvement in its asset quality with gross non-performing assets (NPA) dropping to 2.16 per cent of total loans from 2.81 per cent in the same quarter last year.

The net NPA for the quarter fell to 0.42 per cent from 0.48 per cent in the previous year.

–IANS

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Greece aims at tenfold increase in electric taxis in Athens by 2026

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Athens, June 20 (IANS) Greece aims to increase the number of electric taxis circulating in the Athens wider area tenfold by 2026, as part of efforts for a shift to climate-friendly electromobility, officials said.

Currently, only 100 out of 13,661 taxis in Athens are electric. The target of a program formally launched on Wednesday is to increase this number to at least over 1,000 within the next 18 months through the support of the state and the private sector, Xinhua news agency reported.

Under the existing Green Taxi scheme, which was announced last year and expires in 2025, taxi drivers can receive subsidies of up to 22,500 euros (24,189 US dollars), amounting to about 40 per cent of the cost of a new electric taxi, said Christos Staikouras, infrastructure and transport minister.

“It is funded by the Recovery and Resilience Fund, and the budget can cover the replacement of up to 1,770 old, polluting taxis with electric ones. The precondition is the withdrawal of the old vehicle,” he said.

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A total of 40 million euros (42.8 million dollars) are available. So far, just 100 applications have been submitted, he added.

In order to step up the pace, a supplementary program named Zap Taxi Club was created by the private sector in coordination with the state. It offers taxi drivers the additional funds needed to take the step through a leasing proposal by the leasing branch of National Bank, one of the systemic banks in Greece.

With a monthly fee in combination with the state subsidy, taxi drivers can eventually own a new electric car within a few months. They can choose between vehicles manufactured by seven companies, including Chinese BYD.

In parallel to the Green Taxi program, the Infrastructure and Transport Ministry also subsidises the purchase of electric cars by non-professionals and some 28 million euros (30 million dollars) have already been allocated, they said.

–IANS

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Sensex jumps 141 points, Nifty closes above 23,550

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Mumbai, June 20 (IANS) India’s benchmark indices closed in the green on Thursday following a rally in metal and banking stocks.

At closing, Sensex settled at 77,478, up 141 points or 0.18 per cent, and Nifty was up 51 points or 0.22 per cent, at 23,567.

Banking stocks were also up during the day. Nifty Bank closed at 51,783, up 385 points or 0.75 per cent.

Buying was seen in midcap and smallcap stocks on Thursday. The Nifty Midcap 100 index was up 522 points or 0.95 per cent at 55,473 while the Nifty Smallcap 100 index was up 110 points or 0.61 per cent at 18,266.

JSW Steel, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, Reliance, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Asian Paints, and HUL were the top gainers on the day while M&M, Sun Pharma, NTPC, SBI, Wipro, and Bharti Airtel were the top losers.

Among the sector indices, Metal, Banks, Realty and FMCG were major gainers. Auto, pharma, and PSU Bank were major losers.

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According to market experts, “Despite experiencing significant volatility, the domestic market concluded the day positively. In the near term, market attention is expected to centre around the upcoming Union budget and the progress of the monsoon.”

“On the global front, the decline in US bond yields has facilitated robust FII inflows in recent days. The fertilizer stocks exhibited good momentum, driven by the proposed removal of GST & hike in MSP,” analysts said.

–IANS

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Ola Electric gets SEBI's nod for Rs 5,500 crore IPO

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New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Bhavish Aggarwal-led Ola Electric has received the go-ahead from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for its initial public offering (IPO).

This move marks the first IPO by an electric vehicle (EV) startup in the country.

Ola Electric’s public issue consists of a fresh issue of Rs 5,500 crore and an offer-for-sale (OFS) of 9.51 crore equity shares, according to the draft red herring prospectus.

As part of OFS, Aggarwal will offload 4.7 crore equity shares, and the promoter group, Indus Trust, will sell 41.78 lakh shares.

In December 2023, the EV startup had filed draft IPO papers with SEBI to raise as much as Rs 5,500 crore, including a pre-IPO placement of Rs 1,100 crore.

According to the draft papers, proceeds amounting to Rs 1,226.4 crore will be used for the capital expenditure of its subsidiary, and Rs 800 crore will be used for debt repayment.

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Proceeds worth Rs 1,600 crore will be invested in research and product development, while another Rs 350 crore will be utilised for organic growth initiatives, the DRHP mentioned.

Meanwhile, Ola Electric has captured 49 per cent market share in the electric two-wheeler (2W) segment in May, with 37,191 registrations (as per the government’s Vahan portal) riding on its S1 scooter portfolio.

–IANS

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RBI Governor urges banks to adopt AI for reducing risk of fraud

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Mumbai, June 20 (IANS) RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Thursday underlined the importance for banks and NBFCs to adopt advanced and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) to prevent financial fraud.

Addressing the Global Conference on Financial Resilience here, the RBI Governor said, “Integrating advanced and emerging technologies such as AI, ML and big data analytics in organisational functioning can transform the way financial institutions operate. AI and ML can enhance predictive analytics and enable banks and NBFCs to identify potential risks and trends more accurately. These technologies can improve fraud detection by recognising unusual patterns and transactions in real time. Thus, they can protect the institutions and their customers from financial crimes and frauds.”

“As the financial sector gets increasingly digitised, adoption of advanced technologies can significantly strengthen the ability of banks and NBFCs to withstand and respond to various risks. It has to be, however, ensured that these technologies are secure, reliable and aligned with the institution’s overall strategic goals,” Das said.

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He observed that operational efficiency can be improved through the automation of routine tasks, which reduces human error and frees up resources for more strategic activities. Robotic process automation (RPA) can handle high-volume and repetitive tasks, such as data entry and transaction processing, more quickly and accurately than humans, the RBI Governor added.

Das also pointed out that as financial institutions increasingly rely on advanced technologies to enhance their operations, the dependence on third-party vendors and service providers may increase. A vendor’s inability to deliver services reliably can directly impact the regulated entity’s operations and customer service. Therefore, thorough due diligence becomes necessary before selecting third-party vendors, he added.

The RBI Governor also observed that while the pursuit of business growth is important for banks and NBFCs, it should never come at the expense of taking on unacceptable risks.

Robust risk mitigants are essential for ensuring the long-term success and resilience of a regulated entity as well as the overall financial system, he added.

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Das also highlighted the importance of ethics in the governance of financial institutions which involves compliance with laws and regulations, both in letter and spirit; pursuit of sustainable business practices; and avoidance of mindless pursuit of bottom lines.

–IANS

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Indian tech professionals saw median salary hike of 150 pc post upskilling: Report

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New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Indian tech professionals have secured a median salary hike of 150 per cent and 110 per cent, respectively in the last two years post-skilling, a new report showed on Thursday.

According to the tech education company Scaler, the increase in average salary hike reflects the continuing demand for skilled professionals in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

As per data assessed by B2K Analytics, the agency that audits IIM-Ahmedabad’s placement reports disclosed that the top 25 per cent of software development programme learners secured an average package of Rs 48 Lakh Per Annum (LPA), while the middle 80 per cent received an average package of Rs 25 LPA.

“The findings of this placement report underscore the tangible benefits of upskilling in enhancing career prospects and meeting industry demands,” said Anshuman Singh, Co-founder of Scaler and InterviewBit.

The report is based on learners whose placements happened between 2022 and 2024 and those who have completed their mandatory modules and completed a period of 6 months post-that, as of January 1, 2024.

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Moreover, the report highlighted a significant jump in the average salaries of learners.

Pre-upskilling, the average CTC of learners stood at Rs 17.77 LPA, which has now surged to Rs 33.73 LPA post-upskilling.

At the same time, the average salary of learners from the data science cohort before upskilling stood at Rs 15.47 LPA. Post upskilling, the average CTC secured by them shot to Rs 30.68 LPA.

–IANS

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