Morning News Bulletin: Track latest stories

State Bank of India (SBI) said it is reviewing charges for certain categories of accounts for non-maintenance of monthly average balance (MAB) after receiving feedback from customers.

SBI reviewing minimum balance charges for savings accounts

State Bank of India (SBI) said it is reviewing charges for certain categories of accounts for non-maintenance of monthly average balance (MAB) after receiving feedback from customers. In April this year, the country’s largest lender reintroduced charges on non-maintenance of monthly average balance (MAB) after a gap of five years. “We have received feedback from our customers on the issue and we are reviewing those. The bank will take into account those and make an informed decision,” the banks managing director (national banking group) Rajnish Kumar told PTI. “We will internally debate whether any moderation for certain categories of customers like senior citizens and students needs to be done anywhere. The charges are never cast in iron.”

Gold imports jump three-fold to USD 15 billion in April-August

The country’s gold imports recorded a three-fold jump to USD 15.24 billion during the April-August period of the current fiscal, commerce ministry data showed. Gold imports, which has a bearing on the country’s current account deficit (CAD), stood at USD 5.08 billion in April-August 2016-17. In August this year, imports of the precious metal rose to USD 1.88 billion from USD 1.11 billion in the same month of the previous fiscal. Surge in gold imports last month contributed to the widening of trade deficit to USD 11.64 billion as against USD 7.7 billion in August 2016. The imports are expected to increase on account of the forthcoming festival season, which will start from the end of this month.

This is the reason why carmakers are set to log big festive season sales

A jump in pre-GST sales and the absence of any big launches notwithstanding, the festival season could turn out to be a reasonably good one for carmakers especially since the hike in the cess has been lower than anticipated. The only new model in the market will be Tata Motors’ Nexon — a sports utility vehicle (SUV). Dealers say the prices of mid-sized cars and SUVs are slightly lower than in the pre-GST period and consequently demand could be robust. Post-GST wholesale volumes have picked up but retail offtake has remained dull. Analysts say channel checks indicate that retail demand in August has been somewhat muted across segments ahead of the festive season. “Most dealers suggest the high levels of discounts in June and July have led to pre-purchases which continue to impact the recent retail demand,” analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote recently.

For homebuyers, here is some good and bad news; what Centre is planning to do

The government is looking for a solution for the vexed issue of homebuyers having little right to the assets of a real estate firm going for liquidation under the insolvency code. It may even put them on par with secured creditors, who are currently ahead of all others in the order of precedence. However, since this requires amendment to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016, the change, if effected, could be limited to only future cases. However, for the government to offer such a relief, the IBC has to be amended, and it won’t rush into such an amendment without weighing all angles and having adequate inputs, said a source.

Income tax: Gratuity for employees raised to Rs 20 lakh; here is how you will benefit

The Centre has approved an amendment bill that seeks to increase the maximum limit of gratuity for private and public sector employees from `10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. This amendment, once effective, will make employees in the private sector as well as public undertakings and autonomous organisations under the government, not covered under the Central Civil Services (Pensions) rules, eligible to receive a higher amount of gratuity.

Investing in IPOs of life insurance companies? 7 top risks identified; what you must beware of

With life insurance companies looking at raising money from the primary market, here are some risks investors should look at before writing the IPO cheque. Market risks arise from fluctuations in asset values, including equity prices, property prices and interest rates. These can significantly impact a company’s performance. Given the high contribution of private insurers, a large part of investment returns are from investments in the equity market. A sharp downturn in the equity market could hurt both unit-linked insurance plans sales and profitability due to lower revenue while a robust equity market could boost unit-linked insurance products’ growth and, consequently, total premium growth.

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