Business, Economy & Banking Current Affairs - 2019
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State-owned Power Finance Corporation (PFC) has completed the acquisition of majority stake in REC Ltd by transferring Rs 14,500 crore to the government.
The merger of both the entities is expected to be completed in the next fiscal year in consultation with the government. This acquisition and merger will make PFC second-largest government-owned financial player in the country based on the current market capital after State Bank of India (SBI) and also PFC will be the third-highest profit-making financial player in India.
About the Acquisition
- PFC paid Rs 14,500 crore to the Union government to buy a 52.63% stake in REC.
- This acquisition results in an $80-billion lending giant by assets and potentially helps in faster resolution of stressed assets in India’s power sector.
- The acquisition also helped the union government exceed its disinvestment target of Rs 80,000 crore for the fiscal year 2018-19.
- The consolidation will help in raising funds at competitive costs and lead to convergence of lending policies and rates.
- Further, it will also help in improving asset quality and impress upon state utilities to improve their performance.
PFC taking over REC makes it a dominant player not only in the power sector but also in the entire financial market space. PFC’s strategic importance to the government will further increase upon completion of the acquisition as the combined entity will become the biggest non-bank finance entity in which the government holds a controlling stake.
Since the PFC and REC have a robust presence in the consortium of lenders to power companies, the consolidation will help in the faster resolution of stressed assets.
NITI Aayog had organised a day-long FinTech Conclave 2019 in New Delhi. The objective of the conclave was to shape India’s continued ascendancy in FinTech, build the narrative for future strategy and policy efforts, and to deliberate steps for comprehensive financial inclusion.
The conclave looked into various dimensions of the future of the FinTech, particularly the areas of:
- Digital Onboarding of Customers and Merchants for Financial Inclusion.
- Building Financial Products for Bharat.
- Emerging Areas of FinTech.
- Fast-tracking investment in FinTech industry.
- Financial Inclusion of MSMEs.
FinTech in India
Fintech or financial technology companies use technology to provide financial services such as payments, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding, among others.
India is one of the fastest growing fintech markets globally and it has been projected that $1 trillion, or 60% of retail and SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) credit, will be digitally disbursed by 2029.
The Indian fintech ecosystem is the third largest in the world and attracts nearly $6 billion in investments since 2014.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is encouraging banks to explore the possibility of establishing new alliances with fintech firms to further drive the agenda of financial inclusion through innovation.