France’s top literary prize awarded to Mathias Énard
- France’s oldest and most prestigious literary accolade, the Prix Goncourt, has been awarded to the Arabic and Persian scholar Mathias Énard for his novel Boussole (Compass).
- The choice of Énard, who has received a succession of prizes for his work since 2003, justified his status as this year’s favourite for the award.
- Boussole recounts how Frantz Ritter, an insomniac Austrian musicologist, takes to his sickbed in Vienna with an unspecified illness. Here he spends his days and sleepless nights musing on issues including his unrequited love for a Frenchwoman and the relationship between Europe and the Middle East.
- The novel, Énard’s ninth published work, was described by his publishers as a “poetic eulogy to the long history of cultural exchanges between east and west”.
In a first, Chinese central bank invests in Indian govt bonds
- People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the world’s second-largest holder of financial assets after the US Federal Reserve, has emerged as acreditor to the Indian government.
- The central bank of China, which functions as a monetary authority as well as a regulator of financial institutions, bought Government of India bonds soon after New Delhi’s decision to raise the permissible investment limit in gilts for offshore investors.
- PBoC is registered with the Indian capital market regulator Sebi as a registered foreign portfolio investor (FPI) — the new nomenclature for foreign institutional investors (FII) under a new regulatory regime.
- The move hints at a greater acceptability of rupee in the global financial markets and its relative stability compared with other emerging market (EM) currencies.
After nine banks, seven more likely to come under ED lens
- At least seven more banks may soon come under the Enforcement Directorate (ED) scanner in connection with its investigation in the alleged Rs 6,100 crore Bank of Baroda illegal foreign exchange transfer case.
- The agency, which has already put nine banks under investigation after arrest of two alleged hawala dealers, has now identified seven more suspected modules which used different banks to illegally route money abroad.
- ED sources said these modules are run by seven
different hawala dealers who have been using banking channels to send money belonging to various unscrupulous exporters and traders abroad for several years.
Corporation Bank makes salary account attractive to compete with private banks
- State-run banks are rarely aggressive, especially when it comes to wooing customers away from private sector rivals which are known for pampering corporate clients with extraordinary services.
- But Corporation Bank is trying to change this perception, and is taking the battle right up to the doorstep of ICICI BankBSE -0.52 % and Bank by signing with Reliance IndustriesBSE 0.10 % for its salary account.
- What’s more, Essar Steel and JK Industries are next in line.
RBI Shoots Plan to Up FDI in Private Banks to 100%
- The Finance Ministry has shelved plans to allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in private banks following objections from the Reserve Bank of India.
- According to senior Finance Ministry officials, “RBI said that there are different regulatory structures in India for public sector banks, private banks and foreign banks. If 100 per cent FDI is allowed in private banks then there will be no distinction between foreign and private banks.”
- The proposal to hike FDI limit in private sector banks was discussed at a meeting of officials from the ministries of Finance, Commerce and RBI.
- Sources said that the proposal to increase the FDI limit in private banks to 100 per cent from existing 74 per cent is not possible unless there are major structural and regulatory changes in the banking and finance sector.