Business & Finance - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   Which bank is being merged with SBI to ensure banking outreach to women?
- Published on 21 Mar 17

a. Regional Rural Bank
b. Central Bank
c. Punjab National Bank
d. Bharatiya Mahila Bank
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Bharatiya Mahila Bank

Explanation:
GoI on 20th March 2017 announced the decision to merge Bharatiya Mahila Bank with the State Bank of India to ensure greater banking services outreach to women at a faster pace.

The decision to merge BMB with SBI has been taken in view of advantage of a large network of SBI.

In the 3 years since BMB was set up, women have been granted loans of INR 192 crore by the bank and INR 46,000 crore by SBI.

SBI has a wide range of more than 20,000 branches and the lowest cost of funds among banks.

Of the 200,000 workers, 22% are women. SBI has 126 all women branches across the country. BMB has 7.

This merger will help SBI get paid capital worth INR 1,000 crore lying on the books of BMB.

Bharatiya Mahila Bank had a loan book worth INR 620 crore and deposit base worth INR 927 crore at the end of March 2016.

The government on 23 February indicated 1 April will be the record date for the merger of SBI with five of its associate banks—State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Patiala.

All the shares of these associate banks would cease to exist as individual entities and would stand transferred to SBI.

According to the RBI, all branches of associate banks will now function as branches of SBI.

After the merger with its associate banks, SBI is set to be among the top 50 large banks of the world.

SBI was ranked 52 in the world in terms of assets in 2015 and a merger will see it break into the top 50.

Bharatiya Mahila Bank: Know More

  • Industry: Banking, Financial services
  • Founded: 2013
  • Headquarters: Delhi, India
  • Head: S. M. Swathi (ED)
  • Products: core banking, credit card, consumer banking, corporate banking, finance and insurance, investment banking, mortgage loans, private banking, private equity, wealth management
  • Owner: Government of India


2)   Which two telecom majors have started a mega merger deal on 20th March 2017?
- Published on 21 Mar 17

a. Vodafone, Airtel
b. Idea Cellular, Vodafone
c. Ideal Cellular, Airtel
d. Aircel, Airtel
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Idea Cellular, Vodafone

Explanation:
The U.K.’s Vodafone and Aditya Birla group firm Idea Cellular on March 20, 2017 announced that they have kickstarted a mega merger deal.

Vodafone will own 45.1% of the merged entity, after it transfers about 4.9% to promoters of Idea and/or their affiliates for ?38.74 billion rupees, Idea said.

Idea will have the sole right to appoint the chairman.

Kumarmangalam Birla will be the Chairman of merged Vodafone-Idea entity and both the companies will have equal stakes in the merged entity over a period of time.

The combined market share of both the telcos add up to 43%, making it the largest telecom firm, surpassing Bharti Airtel.

The merger will create an entity with a revenue of around INR 77,500-80,000 crore besides eliminating duplication of spectrum and infrastructure capex, Ind-Ra assesses.

The spectrum of Vodafone India in seven circles and that of Idea in two, whose permits are expiring in 2021-22, is together valued at around INR 12,000 crore as per the last auction price.

These permits are not in common circles, and hence there could be potential spectrum capex synergies between the two companies, the report said.

The Merger Deal: Know More

  • Complete business of VIL and VMSL, excluding VIL's investment in Indus Towers, international network assets and IT platforms, to vest in co.
  • Once amalgamation of VMSL becomes effective, co shall issue shares of co to VIL equal to 47% of post issue paid-up capital of co.
  • Vodafone to own 45.1% of combined co after transferring about 4.9% to promoters of Idea and/or affiliates for INR 38.74 billion in cash
  • Board of combined entity will be comprised of 12 directors including 3 directors appointed by each of Vodafone and Aditya Birla Group
  • Promoters of Idea, Vodafone have the right to nominate 3 directors each
  • Promoters of Idea have the sole right to appoint chairman
  • Vodafone has the right to appoint CFO of company
  • Appointment of CEO, COO will require approval of promoters of Idea and Vodafone
  • Promoters of Idea have right to buy up to 9.5% additional stake from Vodafone under the agreed mechanism with view of equalising shareholdings over time
  • Agreement contemplates completion of proposed amalgamation with a period of 24 months
  • Till equalisation is achieved, voting rights of additional shares held by Vodafone will be restricted and votes will be exercised jointly
  • Idea to give all of its assets including standalone towers with 15.4k tenancies and 11.15% stake in Indus Towers
  • Vodafone to give Vodafone India including standalone towers with 15.8k tenancies but excluding 42% stake in Indus Towers
  • Vodafone will add 25 billion rupees more net debt than Idea at completion
  • Post-closing, combined company will be a JV by Vodafone and accounted for under equity method
  • As combined entity will be controlled jointly by Vodafone & Aditya Birla Group, Vodafone will de consolidate Vodafone India immediately


3)   World Bank Group approved USD 210 million loan for strengthening gram panchayats in which state?
- Published on 20 Mar 17

a. West Bengal
b. Bihar
c. Jharkhand
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: West Bengal

Explanation:
The World Bank Group on March 15, 2017 approved USD 210 million loan to strengthen gram panchayats in West Bengal.

The loan amount will be utilized for implementation of Phase 2 of the West BengalSupport to Institutional Strengthening of Gram Panchayat Program- ISGPP-2

The ISGPP- II will support 3,342 GPs in the state to utilize untied and discretionary funds provided under the inter-governmental fiscal transfer system.

The program seeks to strengthen local community participation in the financial management, planning and budgeting of projects introduced in rural areas.

During the first phase of the project, performance based block grants were given to 1,000 better performing GPs within 9 districts for investing in priority local infrastructure and service delivery projects.

Till now, 92,000 activities were carried out by GPs under the ISGPP.

Around 54 percent of the activities belonged to the transport sector, and 23 percent in areas concerned with water and sanitation.

The ISGPP-II will accelerate the pace of decentralization to gram panchayats across West Bengal through state wide unified performance based grant allocation system.

To access the PBG, GPs will be assessed on an annual basis through independent Annual Performance Assessment

The APA will be conducted for all 3342 GPs in special performance areas such as project execution, budgeting, planning, service delivery, accounting,financial reporting, auditing, transparency and accountability.

Certain other areas the program focuses on comprise building human resource capacity for enhanced transparency and accountability in local government functioning.

A robust internal audit system will be developed and implemented in gram panchayats.

West Bengal: Know More

  • Area: 88,752 km²Capital: Kolkata
  • Population: 90.32 million (2012)
  • Official animal: Fishing cat


4)   RBI will create polymer based currency notes of which denomination?
- Published on 20 Mar 17

a. INR 5
b. INR 10
c. INR 20
d. INR 25
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: INR 10

Explanation:
The Union Finance Ministry has given permission to the Reserve Bank of India to conduct field trials of plastic currency notes of INR 10 denomination.

These notes will be introduced in 5 cities across the country with diverse climatic and geographical conditions.

The procurement of the requisite plastic substrate material has been approved. Plastic INR 10 notes will now be printed.

Benefits of Plastic Currency Notes

  • Plastic currency notes were first used by Australia in 1988
  • Plastic notes are cleaner than paper and will last longer (around 5 years); these are difficult to counterfeit.
  • These notes are now used in more than 20 countries.
  • Notes were smaller and stronger than cotton based paper notes.
  • They have more security features making them harder to copy.


5)   Which of the following countries are included in G20?
- Published on 20 Mar 17

a. India
b. Germany
c. France
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:
G20 finance chiefs will fight attacks regardless of origin and there will be promise of cross border cooperation to maintain financial stability.

Resilience of financial services and institutions in G20 jurisdictions against malicious use of ICT technologies including from countries outside the G-20.

Earlier reference for enhanced security requirements for financial services were dropped.

Cyber crime has become a massive priority after the heist on Bangladesh central bank account at the Fed Reserve Bank of NY in 2016.

This theft has exposed the vulnerability of the system. Agreement will be finalised on March 18, after the United States charged 2 intelligence agents from Russia, another G20 member with leading the 2014 theft of 500m Yahoo accounts.

This indictment was the first time US authorities have charged Russian spies for cyber offences.

This includes computer fraud, economic espionage, trade secret thefts and wire fraud.

There were allegations of a Kremlin backed hacking of the 2016 US Presidential election and possible links between Russian figures and the associates of President Trump.


6)   Bandhan Bank has signed an agreement with which payment solutions provider to offer seamless access to PoS?
- Published on 20 Mar 17

a. Avenues India Pvt Ltd
b. Paytm
c. BillDesk
d. DirecPay
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Avenues India Pvt Ltd

Explanation:
Bandhan Bank Ltd has signed an agreement with Avenues India Pvt Ltd, a payment solutions provider to offer merchants seamless access to Point of Sale and payment gateway products.

With this partnership, merchants have speedier and direct access to PoS machines, competitive financing options and payment gateways.

Additionally, the agreement facilitates that two parties will cooperate and benefit from the networks, customers, techniques, systems and expertise for enhancing consumer experience.

As a fastest growing bank, ways are being explored and means for smart transactions studied.

Online business banking is the backbone of the economy at present. The entire merchant base will get the support of the combining of e-payment gateways.

Bandhan Bank: Know More

  • Bandhan Bank presently has 3,546 touch points pan-India.
  • It is comprising 828 branches, 2,437 Doorstep Service Centres (DSCs) and 281 ATMs.
  • The bank has mobilised deposits worth more than INR 22, 000 crore and its loan book stands at about INR 22,000 crore.
  • It has two divisions - general banking and micro banking.


7)   SEBI has allowed celebs to endorse which products?
- Published on 17 Mar 17

a. Stocks and shares
b. Mutual funds
c. Dividends
d. Insurance
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Mutual funds

Explanation:
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has allowed celebrities to endorse mutual fund products at the industry level.

The purpose is of increasing awareness of mutual funds as a financial product category.

However, such endorsements will be not used as a branding exercise of an asset management company or promoting scheme of a particular mutual fund.

Prior approval of SEBI will be required for issuance of such advertisements which feature celebrities.

SEBI also issued new advertising code that will require fund houses to communicate in a simple manner with the public.


8)   Which Asian vendor become the first platinum member of OpenStack Foundation?
- Published on 16 Mar 17

a. Xiaomi
b. Honor
c. Huawei
d. Baidu
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Huawei

Explanation:
Chinese ICT solutions provider Huawei has been chosen as a platinum member of the OpenStack Foundation, on March 15, 2017.

The OpenStack Foundation promotes the global development, distribution and adoption of the OpenStack cloud operating system.

This is the first time an Asian vendor has become a platinum member of OpenStack Foundation.

Huawei has provided cloud services to contribute to the OpenStack community.

It has cooperated with carriers, such as, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and China Telecom to provide public cloud services for customers and has also developed its own public cloud services.

Huawei: Know More

  • Headquarters: Shenzhen, China
  • CEO: Ren Zhengfei (1988)
  • Founder: Ren Zhengfei
  • Founded: 1987, Shenzhen, China
  • Parent organization: Huawei Investment & Holding Co., Ltd.


9)   US Chipmaker Intel is to buy which Israeli firm?
- Published on 14 Mar 17

a. Mobileye
b. Mobilquick
c. Mobilex
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Mobileye

Explanation:
US chipmaker Intel is set to purchase Israeli technology firm Mobileye for USD 14 to 15 billion.

The companies are set to announce the acquisition, which is the largest ever for an Israeli hi-tech company.

Mobileye is a top supplier of collision avoidance car sensor systems.

Mobileye and Intel were already collaborating for a project with BMW, which announced a partnership with the two in July 2016 to develop completely autonomous vehicles to the market by 2021.

About Mobileye

  • Founded with a mission to reduce vehicle injuries and fatalities.
  • Mobileye listed in 2014 on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Its market cap is $10.6 billion.
  • Goldman Sachs invested $130 million in the company in 2007.
  • CEO: Ziv Aviram (since 2010)
  • Founded: 1999
  • Headquarters: Jerusalem, Israel
  • Founders: Amnon Shashua, Ziv Aviram
  • Subsidiaries: Mobileye Technologies Limited, MobilEye Vision Technologies Ltd., Mobileye Inc.


10)   Reliance Capital saw the end of which leading executive's term in March 2017?
- Published on 14 Mar 17

a. CMD
b. Managing Director
c. CEO
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: CEO

Explanation:
Reliance Capital's long time CEO Sam Ghosh will leave the company w.e.f. March 31, 2017.

He spent 9 years at the financial services arm of the ADAG business conglomerate.

Ghosh had joined the company in April of 2008 as Group CEO of Reliance Capital.

He was elevated to the board in May 2015.

Ghosh will complete his term of office on March 31, 2017.

Reliance Cap is on track to become a CIC or Core Investment Company by March 31, as per RBI guidelines.

Ghosh was a CA from the UK. He played a key role in expanding core businesses during divestment of non-core assets to step up resources.

What is a CIC?

  • A CIC-ND-SI is a Non-Banking Financial Company with asset size of INR 100 crore and above
  • It is carrying on the business of acquisition of shares and securities
  • It holds not less than 90 percent of its net assets in the form of investment in equity shares, preference shares, bonds, debentures, debt or loans in group companies;
  • Its investments in the equity shares (including instruments compulsorily convertible into equity shares within a period not exceeding 10 years from the date of issue) in group companies constitutes not less than 60% of its net assets
  • It does not trade in its investments in shares, bonds, debentures, debt or loans in group companies except through block sale for the purpose of dilution or disinvestment;
  • It does not carry on any other financial activity referred to in Section 45I(c) and 45I(f) of the RBI Act 1934 except investment in bank deposits, money market instruments, government securities, loans to and investments in debt issuances of group companies or guarantees issued on behalf of group companies.
  • It accepts public funds


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