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Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allows Banks to issue Masala Bonds in Overseas Market to shore up their Capital Base

The central bank had first announced its intention for letting banks tap the overseas market with rupee bonds on August 25, 2016

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Reserve Bank of India. Twitter

Mumbai, November 4, 2016: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday allowed banks to issue rupee-denominated bonds, or masala bonds, in the overseas market to shore up their capital base as well as for financing infrastructure and affordable housing.

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To strengthen their capital base, banks can raise perpetual debt instruments, which can be considered for calculating a bank’s additional tier-1 capital, or debt capital instrument that can go into calculating a bank’s tier-2 capital. These bonds will be issued according to the Basel-III norms and therefore, will have loss absorption clause. Under this clause, a bank can choose not to honour the coupon payment in case of financial stress.  For financing infrastructure and affordable housing, the banks can issue long-term bonds, which doesn’t have the loss absorption clause.

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The central bank had first announced its intention for letting banks tap the overseas market with rupee bonds on August 25 when the RBI announced a slew of measures to develop the bond and currencies market. Companies were already allowed to raise money through masala bonds and a few issuances totaling Rs 7,472 crore have been done.

The rupee bond route will open an additional avenue to raise funds for banks and will help develop the market of rupee-denominated bonds abroad, the RBI said.

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The borrowing by the banks would still has to be within the overall limit of foreign investment in corporate bonds, which is pegged at Rs 2,44,323 crore at present. Of this, foreign investors have exhausted Rs 1,66,120 crore so far. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google comes up with a new feature

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?