FRESH MISSIVE TO BANKS ON EXPOSURES 

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By FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT in Mumbai
  • Published 10.04.01
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Mumbai, April 10 :    Mumbai, April 10:  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has sent a fresh directive to all commercial banks asking them to submit details of their capital market exposure for the quarter ended March 31 this year. RBI officials, however, insisted that the directive had nothing to do with the current controversies engulfing the banking system wherein bank funds were used in the stock markets amid reports that some banks even exceeded the prudential limits set by the central bank. "This has got nothing to do with all this. This is a routine practice which is done every quarter,'' an RBI spokesperson said. Bankers, however, say that the directive, which is the second in a span of a month, is crucial in view of the forthcoming monetary and credit policy due on April 19. The policy is expected to announce a revision in norms for banks' exposure to the capital market. It is believed that the data gathered from all banks will be reviewed by a joint committee of the RBI and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). The committee will submit its recommendations to the RBI. In view of the present crisis, it is expected that the apex bank will tighten guidelines on banks' capital market exposure and risk management norms. In the first week of March, the RBI had directed select private sector, foreign and large state-run banks to submit their exposures to the capital markets. Meanwhile, the RBI said that it had asked all nationalised banks to extend the one-time settlement plan for recovery of bad loans by another three months to September 30. Earlier, the RBI had extended the deadline under this plan to June 30 from March 31. In a press statement issued today, the RBI said that it "has advised all public sector banks that they should process all the applications for recovery of dues relating to non-performing assets received up to June 30 and decide on them not later than September 30''. The decision was taken after a recent meeting of the chiefs of public sector banks with finance minister Yashwant Sinha.