Banking Activities October 2015

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Himalayan Bank, KFA Join Hands to Provide Bancassurance
Himalayan Bank and Kathmandu Frontier Association (KFA) have agreed to provide bancassurance service. Ashoke Rana , Chief Executive Officer of Himalayan Bank and Resta Jha, acting president of KFA signed the agreement on behalf of their respective institutions. As per the agreement, Himalayan Bank will provide life insurance and non life insurance services to its customers.

NB Bank and NCC Call Off Merger
Nepal Bangladesh Bank and Nepal Credit and Commerce (NCC) Bank have called off the plan to merge with each other, even though the merger was pushed by the country’s central bank. “The bank's investors and employees were not interested in a merger, even though we had put in a lot of effort to make the banks merge,” said a Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) official.

The central bank wants the two banks to merge to dilute the shares of the NB Group, whose members have been accused of financial mismanagement. With NRB’s new policy to increase the minimum paid-up capital to Rs 8 billion in effect, the Group’s stake in the two banks will automatically be diluted as it will not be able to invest further, according to industry insiders. 

At present,the paid-up capital of NCC bank stands at Rs 2.28 billion, and NB Group has a 30 percent share in the bank. But with the new NRB directives, this figure will go down to 7.60 percent. Similarly, NB Bank's paid up capital is Rs2.43 billion and NB Group has a 9 percent stake in the bank. When NB Bank raises its capital to Rs 8 billion, NB Group’s stake will be limited to 2.73 percent.

Machhapuchhre and Janata Sign Merger MoU
Machhapuchhre Bank and Janata Bank have signed an MoU to enter into a merger. Chairman of Machhapuchhre Bank Dr Birendra Prasad Mahato and Janata Bank Chairman Uday Nepali signed the MoU amid a programme in the capaital recently.

The board of directors formed after the merger will have three members each from the boards of directors of both banks. After the merger, the bank’s head office will be in Pokhara, and corporate office in Kathmandu.

The banks decided to go for merger following an NRB directive to commercial banks to raise their paid-up capital to Rs 8 billion. The new bank will have a paid-up capital of Rs 5.71 billion. After the merger, the bank will have a total of 92 branches and 98 ATMs. Following the merger decision, share transactions of both banks were suspended on September 21.    

Global IME Starts Smart Mobile Banking
Global IME bank has launched a first-of-its-kind smart technology-based Global Smart Mobile Banking Service. The service allows customers to perform banking transactions through their mobile phones. To operate the service, customers can download the application ‘Global Smart’ from Google Playstore. The app can be used to check accounts, transfer money, pay credit card bills, service bank installments or locate the nearest branch. The bank has opened help desks at Kantipath, Panipokhari and Kamaladi for information about the service.

Prime Life, Siddhartha Development Bank Sign Pact
Prime Life Insurance Company Ltd and Siddhartha Development Bank Ltd have signed an agreement to launch the 'Prime Life Secure Residential Life Insurance' scheme for the bank's home loan borrowers. Manoj Kumar Bhattarai, CEO of Prime and Ajaya Kumar Mishra, CEO of Siddhartha Development Bank, signed the agreement at a ceremony held on September 1. 

Global IME Adds 3 Branches
Global IME Bank has opened three branches, one each in Banepa, Gwarko and Thankot. The branches were declared open by bank Chairman Chandra Prasad Dhakal. Global IME has Rs 60 billion in deposits, and has issued more than Rs 50 billion in loans. It has 88 branches, 10 revenue collection counters, 90 ATMs, four extension counters and 35 branchless banking service centres. 

Nabil’s ‘Nabil Science and Technology Awards’
Nabil Bank has announced a new award called ‘Nabil Science and Technology Awards’ to reward scientific and technological achievement. 

The award carries a purse of Rs 25,000 and will be given annually to individual scientists or institutions demonstrating a positive impact on humanity with the prospect of instant use in science and technology.

Winners of the annual award will be decided by the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). Similarly, Nabil Bank will contribute Rs 100,000 towards meeting NAST’s administrative costs. Sashin Joshi, CEO of Nabil Bank, and Prof Dr Jib Raj Pokharel, Vice Chancellor of NAST, signed the agreement early September.

Citizens Bank Opens Branch in Chabahil
Citizens Bank International has opened a branch in Chabahil, Kathmandu. The new branch was opened by Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Ganesh Raj Pokharel. The bank now has a total of 55 branches, 46 ATM counters and 55 branchless banking points. 

NMB Mutual Fund to Launch Three Schemes Worth Rs 1.28 Billion
NMB Mutual Fund has said it is preparing to launch three new schemes worth Rs 1.28 billion.

The three funds are NMB Hybrid Fund L-1, NMB Hybrid Fund H-1 and NMB Hybrid Fund M-1. “We have sent the proposal to Sebon. We will be able to launch all three of the schemes after about two months,” said NMB Capital’s CEO Srijesh Ghimire.

The schemes will have NMB Bank as its promoter and NMB Capital as its manager. According to NMB Capital, the L-1 Fund will have Rs 600 million, H-1 will have Rs 20.8 million and M-1 will have Rs 400 million. This is the first time that a mutual fund has been rated according to level of risk, in Nepal. According to the rating, ‘L’ funds have the least level of risk and ‘H’ funds have the highest level of risk associated with them.

Civil Bank Offers Solar Loans
Civil Bank Ltd has announced it will provide loans at 2.25 percent interest rate to households wishing to buy solar power equipment. For commercial purposes, the rate has been fixed at 4.5 percent. Executive Director of Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) Ram Prasad Dhital and Civil Bank Chief Executive Officer Kishore Maharjan signed the agreement on Sept 6. 

Siddhartha and Ekata Development Banks Merge
Siddhartha Development Bank and Ekata Development Bank have signed an agreement to merge with each other. The merger was endorsed by Ram Bahadur Bhandari, merger committee head and director of Siddhartha Development Bank and Dr Dhurba Prasad Dhakal, Chairman of Ekata Development Bank on Sept 7. As per the unaudited report of FY 2014/15, the paid up capital of the merged entity will reach Rs 840.50 million and reserve funds will stand at Rs20.57 million.

NRB Directs BFIs to Make Capital Increment Plan Public
Nepal Rastra Bank has directed banks and financial institutions (BFIs) to publish their capital increment plan on their websites.The central bank had issued a September 17 deadline for BFIs to submit their plan to meet NRB’s minimum paid-up capital requirement. The NRB had earlier directed BFIs to make their plan public through the Nepal Stock Exchange, once it was approved by the central bank.

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