EFFECTS OF DEMONETIZATION ON THE FINANCIAL SECTORs OF INDIA

By The Editorial Board of TJEF

(Anil Shankar, Gandhali Inamdar and Isha Varma)

Introduction

Demonetization has been the buzz word since November 8th 2016 when our Prime Minister made the historic announcement about the decision to discontinue the 500 and 1000 rupee notes. This historic decision has affected almost all the sectors. Some have benefited while others have suffered. This paper intends to analyze the effects of demonetization on the major financial institutions and the Indian economy in general.

Effects of Demonetization on Banking sector

Since the advent of asset quality review (AQR), there has been a rise in the number of NPAs. To get an idea, the GNPA of banks is 6 lakh crore as of June, 2016 which is 8.2% of the total loans1. These are only the NPAs as there are an equal number of restructured loans which might transform to NPAs in future.

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Figure 1: Total NPAs as of March 2016, Source: Finance Ministry

A recent data provided by the Finance ministry, which has been depicted in Figure 1, shows that 5.3 lakh crore of the 6 lakh crore NPAs are under the public sector banks. It’s clearly visible that there has been a rise in the NPAs from October 2015. This can be attributed to the ever greening of loans which led to the creation of a distorted picture of the banks. Though the asset quality review led to the identification of such NPAs which were previously classified as standard, the problem of NPAs existed since the 2008 financial crisis but remained hidden due to the above mentioned reason.

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Budget Impact Analysis – Banking & Financial Sector

By Payal Sachdeva and Tuhina Kumar

Expectations

  1. Increase in tax concessions on bad loan provisioning as the Asset Quality Review by RBI has led to a steep increase in provisioning.
  1. The total requirement of capital infusion by banks till march 2019, as gauged in 2015, is 1,80,000 crores out of which the government has committed to allocate only 70,000 crores under the Indradhanush plan. The rest is expected to be raised by the banks from the markets. This may be difficult due to low valuation of the banks.
  1. Disinvestment in PSU banks to below 51% to help raise capital.
  1. Higher allocation to infrastructure, housing and urban development as a boost in the commodity sector would improve the banks’ asset quality.
  1. Provide a roadmap of incentives for a digital push.
  1. Enhance capital expenditure for credit demand revival.

Announcements made in the Budget

  • Abolishment of FIPB: The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) will be abolished in 2017-2018. FIPB is the body responsible for approving FDI proposals which are not cleared through the automatic route. Since 90% of the FDI inflows are through automatic route, the government has taken up this measure. Also, it focusses on ease of doing business.
  • Housing Finance:  Under the government’s aim to provide housing for all by 2020, the government proposed various measures. National Housing Bank (NHB) will refinance loans worth 20k crore in 2017-2018. This move saw a rise in stocks of HDFC (3.6%) and LIC Housing Finance (2.78%).
  • Tax relief on Masala Bonds: The government has announced that the rupee-dominated offshore bonds, called masala bonds will be subjected to a lower tax deducted at source (TDS) of 5%. This would be applicable retrospectively from 1st April 2016. This has been done to provide relief arising due to the appreciation of rupee against a foreign currency.
  • Law on Money Laundering: To curb money laundering by high net worth individuals via fake long-term capital gains, the government has tightened the screws on long-term capital gains. Only those equity investments are eligible for long-term capital gains where securities transaction tax (STT) has been paid.
  • Move to attract FPI: In order to attract funds from FPI, the finance minister made a proposal to exempt category I and category II FPIs from the provision of indirect tax transfer. Category I foreign portfolio investors include foreign central banks, sovereign wealth funds, and government agencies.
  • Recapitalization of banks: The government is going to infuse 10,000 crores out of the 70,000 crores committed under the Indradhanush plan for recapitalization of banks.
  • Set up PARA: An idea to set up a centralized Public Sector Asset Rehabilitation Agency (PARA) that will take over banks’ largest and the most challenging bad loans. PARA will help reduce NPAs and restructured loans.
  • Amendment in SARFAESI Act: The amendment in the SARFAESI act will allow listing and trading of security receipts issued by securitization company or a reconstruction company on SEBI-registered stock exchanges. This will boost capital flows in the securitization industry and aid in dealing with NPAs.
  • Mudra Yojana: The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana has been allocated 2.44 lakh this fiscal as it exceeded the target of 1.22 lakh crore allocated in the year 2015-16.
  • Attempt to push Digital Economy: In an attempt to promote digital transactions in the Indian economy, the allocation to BharatNet Project has been increased by Rs 10,000 crore in 2017-18 which will connect 150,000-gram panchayats with high-speed broadband. Also, BHIM, an Aadhaar-based mobile wallet, would be promoted under two schemes, a referral bonus scheme for individuals and a cashback scheme for merchants.
  • The Role of SIDBI: Moreover, the government wants to ease loan disbursement, where the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) would refinance credit institutions for extending unsecured loans to borrowers at reasonable interest rates based on their digital transaction history.

Conclusion

The government has met most of the expectations except for more capital infusion in the banks.  Thus, markets reacted positively to the budget and financial stocks shot up. Both Nifty and Sensex closed at a 3-month high of 28000 and 8700 respectively.

Stock Recommendation

The government’s move towards affordable housing is likely to push CanFin Homes as its loan portfolio is skewed towards the same.

 

Budget Series 2017-18 #7 Impact on IT Sector

By Anil Shankar & Divya Ramesh

The famous Greek scholar Heraclitus one said: “change is the only constant”. There was a perception that nothing can hinder the phenomenal growth of Indian IT sector. But for the past couple of years, that image has taken a dent due to various factors. In this article, we analyze major factors that have affected the Indian IT sector and the effects of the same.

BREXIT

The volatility in the British pound was one of the major points of concern which the IT sector had post BREXIT. Also, there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the structure of the financial and banking sector. One of the early victims of BREXIT was the deal between Infosys and RBS to float a new standalone bank called Williams and Glyn. The move to abandon this project forced Infosys to shift nearly 3000 of its employees to other projects. It also affected their bottom line and also had to reduce the revenue guidance subsequently. On the other hand, if structural changes are to be carried out on financial sectors, then this might actually result in more contracts.

TRUMP PRESIDENCY

The uncertainty revolving around the Trump presidency is one of the main factors which might have a detrimental effect on the Indian IT sector. More than 60% of the revenues that the IT industry generates comes from the US. Recently, a bill was introduced in the US House of Representatives which seeks to double the minimum wage of H1B visa holders to $130,000. If passed, the Indian IT companies would be forced to hire more Americans than Indians and thereby affecting their bottom line.

During the campaign, Trump made his intentions clear about the possible repeal of Obamacare. Since healthcare has been one of the areas which have been growing fast for the IT sector, implementation of such actions would have a negative impact. Also, Trump has plans to cut back on regulations and compliance related spending by Banking and Financial services sector. Since about 40% of the revenue is generated from these clients, lowering the regulations would have an adverse impact on the revenue generated.

BUDGET 2017

From the graph below, we can observe that 35% of the domestic revenue that the IT sector makes comes from government projects followed by the banking and financial sector. With the Budget 2017 containing schemes to digitalize India, the domestic IT sector would witness a lot of government opportunities knocking on its door. The Government’s motive to weed out corruption through digitalization has been shown in the Budget 2017 with a push to a digital economy. Budget 2017 has acted as a foundation for India to technologically transform and evolve into a digital economy.

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Fig 1: Shows the contribution of various sectors to the domestic IT Revenue

The e-governance portal’s traffic has been on the rise from 2060 million transactions in 2013 to 4940 million transactions in 2016 which is a 140 % increase. TCS, Infosys, Mind-tree and few other players in this sector have been handling government projects like automation of immigration system by TCS, application development and maintenance of unique identification authority of India by Mindtree and implementation of GSTN by Infosys which is crucial for the implementation of GST which was also a highlight of the Union Budget 2017. The programs like:

  1. BHIM app promotional schemes
  2. Aadhaar pay app for cashless transactions
  3. Political parties entitled to receive donations through digital mode
  4. Aadhaar based smart cards to monitor health for senior citizens
  5. High-speed internet for gram panchayats

have provided a platform full of government IT projects.

AUTOMATION

There has been a big emphasis on automation by the IT industry in the recent past. The idea is to improve efficiency and productivity of firms. Automation can lead to a smaller workforce and more revenues. Although there is a point of debate as to whether this move is good for the economy in the entirety, big companies are going all out to automate their products. Some companies build their own products to realize this goal while others take the route of inorganic expansion to acquire these capabilities. For example, Infosys acquired US based automation technology company Panaya to bring about automation in several of Infosys’s service lines. Automation, hence, would play a big role in the IT companies profitability in the coming future.

Impact of Blockchain Technology on Banking Sector

By Aditya Alamuri & Mounika Duvva 

What is Blockchain?
A blockchain is a chronological and logical sequence of transactions that are recorded in blocks. A block is a sum of all recent transactions and once completed, the block gets added to blockchain in a permanent database. They behave like bank account statements of an individual. Therefore, we can infer that a full ledger of transaction details can be obtained via blockchain of every bitcoin transaction that has ever taken place. Now, what is Bitcoin? Bitcoin a mechanism through which currency is encrypted and is also virtual in nature thus enabling bitcoin to use the Blockchain technology to complete financial transactions.

Advantages of Blockchain technology – emphasis on payment systems of banks

1. The blockchain technology eliminates all the intermediaries in a financial transaction – elimination of sites such as PayBill etc.

2. Transactions authorized by Miners – thus eliminating the threats of hacking

3. Superior Risk Management – counterparty risk, settlement risk etc.

Transactions that might get disrupted

Blockchain technology is evolving from an experimental phase to usability and adaptability phase in the payments world. Payment companies, financial institutions, have started with research on the real-world payment products and services which integrate blockchain technology. If successfully implemented, financial transactions like Domestic Payments, International Payments, Remittances have the highest probability to get affected.

Regulatory concerns and Security issues

If an economy wants to adopt the Bitcoin technology, then it must make sure that the right set of regulations are passed. Also, if countries decide upon using bitcoin as a medium of exchange (Inter country), thus eliminating cash transactions, then appropriate policies and guidelines must be ratified between the same. The primary goal of these regulations is to promote transparency and increase the security of the transaction. The problem with crypto-currency is maintaining anonymity with respect transactions. To what extent can these operations be monitored by the government of any country is a major concern. Uncontrolled transactions might be exploited by money launderers to fund anti-social activities, whereas micromanaging these transactions rules out the very basic characteristic of crypto-currency.

Questions that Industry is still working upon

Though there are several plus points for implementing blockchain technology, questions like what will happen to the current structures such as SWIFT and CHIPS are still left for open discussion until there are regulations put into place by regulatory bodies.

Rise of Bitcoin in India

By Sachit Modi

Bitcoin – World’s Best Performing Currency

Bitcoin, one of the most famous cryptocurrency, has become the world’s best performing currency for 2016, with rates hovering at around $970 per bitcoin (as of 28/12/2016), which is almost a rise of 120% as compared to the start of the year. In India, since the last 2 months, it has been trading at a premium of 10% as compared to the international markets.

Several factors have been attributed to the steep rise of this investment vehicle in the international markets, one of them being the need for currency stability in the highly volatile geo-political scenario of China and U.S. Also, Bitcoins have a relatively lower correlation with international assets classes, thus giving them the status of being an entirely different class.

The Indian Context – Demonetization and Black Money

In India, the monumental move of removing almost 86% of country’s currency out of circulation, taken by the GOI on 8th Nov’ 16 lead to the rise of this lesser known currency.  Demonetization may not have had a direct impact, but it has triggered an interest in the citizens towards everything which is cashless and digital, including bitcoins. Also, since bitcoins act as an attractive and viable option of sending remittances from abroad, it has seen a huge spike in demand. Due to these factors, bitcoins are facing demand-supply mismatch, which is being reflected in its trading prices.

There has been a widespread belief that Bitcoins are being used as an alternate option to park cash, post the ban on Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes. However, chances of this happening are remote as all bitcoin transactions are completely cashless and are only possible through linked bank accounts and KYC procedure.

Future Prospects

In India, there are 4 major Bitcoin exchanges – Zebpay, Unocoin, Coinsecure and BTCXIndia. All of these have seen an increase in queries in the last couple of months and have now been adding 50000 users per month on an average, owing to which they have levied a premium on the prices of bitcoins. However, bitcoins enjoy the benefit of having lower transaction costs (almost 90% less than a typical credit card transaction), which has worked heavily in its favor.

This year has been one of the most successful in the eight-year history of the crypto-currency, and this trend is expected to continue. There has been a widespread increase in the knowledge of bitcoin among the general public, and in India, demonetization has already set the stage for its popularity. It is just a matter of time before Bitcoin emerges as the mainstream payment and investment alternative.

Which of the following events of 2016 would have a significant impact on Indian economy in 2017?