After the allegations were leveled by news portal Cobrapost, three banks caught in the sting operation have launched their individual investigations into the matter. The three private banks that are under scanner are ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank BSE 0.75 % and Axis Bank BSE -1.28 %.
Some bankers at these banks were seen in a sting operation telling customers to avoid tax by declaring oneself as a farmer, offering lockers to hoard cash, and investing these funds in insurance products.
After the ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank (PNB) hiked the deposit and lending rates by up to 75 basis points, HDFC Bank on Thursday evening raised its retail prime lending rate by 75 basis points (bps).
The decision came after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its monetary policy announcement decided to fight with inflation. This rate hike would be effective from Friday.
Earlier this week, the central bank raised its repo rate by 50 bps and cash reserve ratio by 25 bps. Loans will be now expensive for the customers, as the rates on fixed deposits also went up.
The ATM withdrawal and shopping limits of HDFC Bank Imperia Gold Card has now been exceeded to Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 1.25 lakh, from the earlier limit of Rs. 50,000 a day.
Easy Shop Regular International/Maestro/NRO cards would now have limits of Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 40,000, upbeat from Rs. 15,000 and 25,000; Kid's Advantage card will be entitled to limit of Rs. 2,500, high from Rs.
1,500 and Rs. 1,000 and Women's card Rs. 25,000, up from Rs. 20,000.
Majority of the banks, excluding ICICI Bank have a limit of Rs. 50,000 a day.
The Union commerce and industry ministry continues to maintain that ICICI and HDFC Bank have violated the norms governing FDI in the country.
ICICI has 77% while HDFC has 64% foreign stare holding. The ministry's rigid stand on the matter could be an indication to the banks to increase their domestic share holdings.
"We are not going to revisit the foreign direct investment (FDI) norms for banks," expressed Anand Sharma, the Union Commerce and Industry minister. He further said that the present norms clearly show calculation of FDI and ownership and control criteria.
HDFC, the India’s second largest private bank posted a net profit of Rs. 2,948.70 Crore for the year 2009-10, this Saturday with a growth of 31.3% from the previous year.
Combined net profit increased by 33.6% pushing it to Rs. 3,003.70 Crore. HDFC also recorded a 13.8% increase in net revenue at Rs.12, 194.2 Crore.
The directors have recommended an enhanced dividend of Rs. 12 per share for the year against Rs. 10 per share in the previous year. As compared to the last year’s total balance sheet that recorded Rs. 183,271 Crore, this year it swell by 21.4% to 222,459 Crore.
Two among the largest banks in the country, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank will soon become foreign banks in the eyes of authorities because foreign investors hold more than 51% in these institutions.
The decision by the government to treat them as foreign banks will impact their investment strategies as they will have to adhere to caps and restriction on foreign investment in various sectors.
On Friday, India's HDFC Bank Ltd. reported that its earnings for the financial year's third quarter managed to rise by almost 32% as compared to last year's third quarter.
For three months up-to December 31, 2009, net earnings hiked to 8.19 Billion rupees ($179.6 Million), as compared to the figure of 6.22 Billion Rupees posted for last year. The numbers were confirmed by the bank in a statement on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
In its research report dated 10 August, 2009, Karvy Stock Broking has rated banking major HDFC Bank as underperformer. Karvy has given a price target of Rs 1100 for the stock.
HDFC Bank, India’s second major private sector lender, has clocked 31% growth in its net profit for the first three month period ended June 30, 2009.
During the reporting period, bank’s net profit stood at Rs 606 crore, as compared to Rs 464 crore during the first quarter of financial year 2009.