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  • Writer's pictureAK & Partners

AKP Banking & Finance Digest- July 31, 2023

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Weekly Round-up | Updates

1. Regulatory Updates

1.1. India

1.1.1. Reserve Bank of India clarifies stance on banknotes with a star symbol

With regard to the ongoing discussions on social media platforms on the validity of banknotes marked with a star (*) symbol, the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) clarified that the star (*) symbol has been added to the number panel of a banknote denoting those banknotes that were defectively produced in a packet of 100 (hundred) pieces of serially numbered banknotes. The Star (*) symbol indicates that such banknotes were replaced or reprinted. However, such star (*) marked banknotes are legal tender. RBI

1.1.2. RBI releases Digital Payment Index for March 2023

As per the data released by RBI, the Digital Payments Index for March 2023 is 395.57(Three Hundred Ninety-Five point Five Seven) as opposed to 377.46 (Three Hundred Seventy-Seven point Four Six) for September 2022. The calculation for mapping the digitalisation payment in the country has been done, keeping the index for March 2018 as the base period. RBI

1.2. Bangladesh

1.2.1. Bank Company Act 2023 amended; increases regulatory power of the Bangladesh Bank

Bangladesh Bank, the Central Bank of Bangladesh, has been vested with the power in the amended Bank Company Act 2023 to initiate forced mergers of any bank if the board of directors and management are involved in activities that are against depositors' interest. The central bank can also reconstruct the board of state-owned banks and inspect the banking transactions of public organisations. Dhaka Tribune

1.3. Sri Lanka

1.3.1. Central Bank of Sri Lanka temporarily limits certain outward remittances.

The Ministry of Finance in Sri Lanka, through orders under Section 22 of the Foreign Exchange Act,2017, limits certain outward remittances for capital transactions and lifts restrictions on current transfers of emigrants. The current order is to be effective for six months from 28 June 2023. This is in addition to continuing its previous orders relating to other suspensions and limitations. Central Bank of Sri Lanka

2. Trends

2.1. JCB joins hand with NPCI to operate in UAE, Thailand, Malaysia and Spain

JCB International Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Japan’s international payment brand, JCB Co. Ltd. (formerly known as Japan Credit Bureau), has announced the third phase of a limited-time cashback campaign for all RuPay- JCB Debit and Credit Cardholders operating in UAE (United Arab Emirates), Thailand, Malaysia, and Spain from May 15 to August 15, 2023. As per the latest offer, a 40 per cent (Forty per cent) cashback will be offered to all RuPay JCB Debit and Credit card holders between May 15 to August 15, 2023. NPCI

2.2. Razorpay launches MoneySaver account for Indian exporters

Razorpay, an Indian fin-tech company, has launched a MoneySaver export account for Indian exporters, offering up to 50 per cent (Fifty per cent) savings on international bank transfers. Small and mid-size exporters can avoid the chargebacks and transfer costs by opening an account in the United States of America, Canada and Australia. They can receive the payment locally via bank transfers through Razorpay’s platform. Additionally, this effort enables exporters to accept transfers from 160 (Hundred Sixty) nations.

2.3. PhonePe launches Income Tax Payment feature

The ‘Income Tax Payment’ feature launched by the PhonePe application will facilitate taxpayers to pay self-assessment and advance tax directly using Unified Payments Interface (UPI) or credit card payments. This comes after the company partnered with a Business to Business (“B2B”) payments and service provider, PayMate. A 45 (Forty-Five) day interest-free period and reward points will be provided to the users on their tax payments. Taxpayers will receive a Unique Transaction Reference (UTR) number as an acknowledgement within one working day and a challan for tax payment within two working days. The Economic Times

2.4. Jio Financial to establish a joint venture with BlackRock

Reliance's Jio Financial and BlackRock have formed a USD 300 Million (United States Dollar Three Hundred Million only) joint venture (JV), Jio BlackRock, to offer tech-enabled, affordable investment solutions in India. It aims to be a significant player in the Indian mutual fund industry. The venture leverages BlackRock's expertise and Jio Financials’ local market knowledge and digital infrastructure. Mint

2.5. Oxyzo enters the debt marketplace business

Oxyzo, the financial arm of the B2B e-commerce unicorn OfBusiness, has entered the debt marketplace business by partnering with banks, non-banking financial companies (“NBFCs”), corporate houses, and family offices. The startup works on a commission model and earns money by taking shares from every loan it disburses via its platform. The platform will enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to raise working capital loans and access long-term finances and supply chain financing options from banks and NBFCs. Inc42

2.5. Piramal Alternatives plans to raise funds for its private credit fund

India’s Piramal Alternatives is planning to raise USD 1.5 Billion (United States Dollar One Point Five Billion only) for a new fund that will invest in India’s high-yielding companies through private credit. As of now, Piramal Alternatives have four existing private credit funds, which together have raised USD 4 Billion (United States Dollar Four Billion only), and the returns on the same have exceeded 20 per cent (Twenty percent) annually. The Economic Times

3. Sector Overview

4. Business Updates

4.1. Supreme Court of India allows extension of tenure of ED director Sanjay Kumar Mishra

The Supreme Court of India has allowed for the extension of the tenure of Enforcement Directorate (“ED”) Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra for the third time till September 15, 2023. The request for the same was sort by the Central Government on the ground that his services were required in relation to the review visit to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) team, consisting of 200 (Two Hundred)-odd member countries, formed for preventing offences of money laundering, terrorist financing and increased financing. Telegraph India

4.2. Indian Video Gaming Industry writes to PMO, MeitY and I&B seeking clarity on categories of video games

The Central Government in India has decided to levy 28 (Twenty-eight) per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) for video games with an inherent element of wagering agreement or staking. The stakeholders of the Indian Video Games Industry have written to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I & B) and have asked them to categorising video games, real money games and fantasy sports. The Indian Video Gaming Industry is valued at USD 812 Billion (United States Dollar Eight Hundred Twelve Billion only) as of 2022. CIO News

4.3. Cert-In empanels 150 bodies to support and audit information for enhancing security practices

Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (“Cert-In”), along with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), has empanelled 150 (Hundred Fifty) auditing bodies for the enhancement of information security practices in India. For safeguarding the personal and biometric data of citizens present in the CoWin app and portal, specific steps have been taken by MoHFW, including only requiring One Time Password (OTP) from the beneficiary for the authentication process while accessing vaccination details, masking Aadhar card number and photo identity card numbers, and visibility of last four characters of the beneficiary to the service provider. The Hindu

4.4. Cert- In issues advisory against ‘Akira Attack’

CERT-In officials, the central technology arm to combat cyber-attacks and provide safe internet, have issued an advisory warning against currently active computer malware named ‘Akira’. The virus targets Linux and Microsoft-based systems, accesses the Virtual Private Network (VPN), terminates active Windows services, and encrypts files found in hard drive folders, excluding recycle bin, boot, system volume information, and Windows folders. It typically targets users without multi-factor authentication, and in case the target user does not pay the money, the attackers release the user’s data on their dark web blog. National Herald


The note is prepared for knowledge dissemination and does not constitute legal, financial or commercial advice. AK & Partners or its associates are not responsible for any action taken based on its contents.

For further queries or details, you may contact:

Mr Anuroop Omkar,

Partner, AK & Partners

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