Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2014 - Page 7

EC: Messages on blogs, social media not to be treated as political advertisements

The Election Commission (EC) held that any political message in the form of comments, pics, videos or messages on blogs, social media would not be treated as a political advertisement. Thus, these don’t need any pre-certification and are not subject to any rules or guidelines released by the Election Commission. Even any such message in accounts of political parties or candidates also would not be treated as a political advertisement.

Earlier, EC had brought in social media under its radar for the very first time ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in order to supervise spending by political parties. Consequently, the EC was maintaining a close watch on Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube, etc. and expenditure on these platforms by political parties.

At the state and district levels, the Election Commission has established State and District level Media Certification and Monitoring Committees respectively to keep a watch on the spendings by political parties and control cases of paid news in the print and electronic media.

RBI panel headed by Anand Sinha releases Draft Report on ‘Pricing of Credit’; suggests Indian Banks Base Rate (IBBR)

RBI panel headed by RBI Deputy Governor Anand Sinha has recommended bringing a benchmark floating interest rate, especially for home loans. Panel also suggested Indian Banks Base Rate (IBBR).

Objective: To inspect the matters linked to inequity in pricing of credit and suggest measures for transparent and suitable pricing of credit under a floating rate regime.

Why there is a need for change in current credit pricing framework?

Notwithstanding the policy attempts to bring transparency and candour to the credit pricing framework, there have been certain concerns from the customer service perspective. These chiefly refer to the downward stickiness of the interest rates, prejudiced handling of old borrowers vis-à-vis fresh borrowers, arbitrary modifications in spreads, etc.

Recommendations:

Key recommendations made by the Working Group headed by RBI Deputy Governor Anand Sinha are:

  1. Banks should be able to prove to the RBI the rationale of their pricing policy i.e. how the bank decided the pricing of a banking product.
  2. Banks, peculiarly those whose weighted average maturity of deposits is on the lower side should move towards calculating the Base Rate on the basis of incremental cost of funds. More transparency in pricing, less customer complaints, better asset liability management at banks. The Bank boards should make certain that the use of a different methodology in calculating cost of funds should not doesn’t leads to any discrimination amidst borrowers, especially between old and fresh customers.
  3. Banks should have a Board sanctioned policy delimiting components which are utilized to decide the spread like specific operating cost, credit risk premium and tenor premium, competition, business strategy and customer relationship.
  4. Bank Board should make certain that any price differentiation is coherent with bank’s credit pricing policy factoring Risk Adjusted Return on Capital (RAROC).
  5. The internal policy of the Bank should explain the rationale for the spread.
  6. Except in cases where the credit profile of a customer goes down, the spread charged to an existing customer cannot be raised without properly communicating to the customer at the time of contract. The same information should be properly exhibited by the banks via notices/ website.
  7. There may be interest rate reset periodicity for the Floating rate loan covenant.
  8. A sunset clause for Benchmark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR) contracts should be there in order that all the contracts thenceforth are linked to the Base Rate. Banks should ascertain that if any of its customer shifts from BPLR linked loans to Base Rate loans are (s)he should not be charged any extra interest rate or any processing fee.
  1. Indian Banks Base Rate (IBBR): The RBI panel asked Indian Banks Association (IBA) to develop IBBR, a fresh benchmark for floating interest rate products, which may be compared and released by IBA on a periodical basis. In the beginning, IBBR may be used for home loans. IBBR should comply with the standards benchmarks set by the Committee on Financial Benchmarks. Banks may extend floating rate products linked to the Base Rate, IBBR or any other floating rate benchmark, ascertaining that at the time of sanction, the lending rates should be equal to or above the Base Rate of bank.
  1. Bring in more transparency in banking which enables comparability amongst banks and informed decision making by customers. 
  2. If there is a pre-payment made by a customer, then any gain of interest reduction on the principal should be given on the day the money is obtained by the bank without  holding off for the next EMI cycle date to effect the credit.
  3. RBI and Banks should both bestow financial education to customer.
  4. At the point of getting into a contract, the Options of “with exit” and “sans exit” should be given to Customers in case of Retail loans.
  5. The industry association, IBA, should:
    • Build up case studies and illustrations of best practices for customer service;
    • Carry on studies to discover areas of best market conduct practices for betterment;
    • Train industry representatives
  6. In Banks the grievances redressal systems should be quick in responding to customers’ demands and the Banks not putting in place enough measures should be penalized by the RBI.

Sun Pharma to buy Ranbaxy in $3.2 bn deal

Screenshot_2Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited acquired Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited (owned by Japan’s Diiachi Sankyo) in an all-share deal with total equity value of $3.2 billion. Earlier  in 2008, Daiichi Sankyo had bought Ranbaxy Laboratories for $4.6 billion. In the combined entity, promoters of Sun Pharma will hold close to 56% while Daiichi Sankyo will hold 9% stake .

Why acquisition of Ranbaxy is an important Strategic deal for Sun Pharma?

Sun Pharma has strong presence in US markets while Ranbaxy has strong presence in Emerging Markets and Rest of World markets. In India, the Sun Pharma is strong on Chronic side while the Ranbaxy is strong on Acute side. The combined entity SUN + Ranbaxy will now be the 5th largest generics company in the world and the largest Pharmaceutical Company in India.

The Top 4 names in the World in Generics are: Teva, Actavis, Sandoz and Mylan.

Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy are competitors in Indian as well as US Market. With the acquisition of Ranbaxy, Sun Pharma plans a phase out sales of generic drugs branded as ‘Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd products’ in the US market. The Ranbaxy products will be rebranded as Sun Pharma treatments in the US market.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries LimitedIndian multinational pharmaceutical company that sells pharmaceutical formulations and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) primarily in India and US.

  • Founder: Dilip Shanghvi
  • Founded: 1983, Mumbai
  • CEO: KalyanaSundaram Subramanian
  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Ranbaxy Laboratories LimitedIndian multinational pharmaceutical company that was started by Ranbir Singh and Gurbax Singh (RanBaxy name is a portmanteau of the names of its founders) in 1937 that sells its products to 125 countries.

  • Founders: Ranbir Singh and Gurbax Singh
  • Founded: 1937
  • Incorporated in: 1961
  • CEO: Arun Sawhney
  • Headquarters: Gurgaon, Haryana, India
  • 1952: Bhai Mohan Singh bought the company from his cousins Ranbir and Gurbax Singh.
  • 1961: Incorporated in India
  • 1967: Parvinder Singh (son of Bhai Mohan Singh) joined and from here the company saw a huge increase in scale.
  • Acquisition: In 2008, Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo acquired 63.92% stake in Ranbaxy

Highlights of the Sun Pharma – Ranbaxy Merger:

  • Daiichi Sankyo sold its entire 63.4% share in Ranbaxy to Sun Pharma
  • Acquisition is an All Stock Transaction (All Share Deal)
  • Ranbaxy shareholders get 0.8 shares of Sun Pharma
  • Value of each Ranbaxy Share as per deal = Rs 457
  • Daiichi will hold 9% in merged entity
  • Daiichi will have one board member
  • Daiichi will become second largest shareholder in Sun Pharma

What is a Generic Drug?

A Generic Drug (or Generics): A drug product that is available as a substitute (as it is conforming in every respect) to brand/reference listed drug product in strength, route of administration, dose form, character and performance and meant usage. A Generic Drug is also many a times referred to any drug which is marketed under its chemical name free from any advertisement or publicity.

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