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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-13th May 2023

Export lender Exim Bank Plans to Raise Record $4 Billion in FY24 for Trade Finance and Term Loans

Export Import Bank of India, commonly known as Exim Bank, plans to raise up to a record $4 billion in financial year 2023-24 (FY24) for extending trade finance and term loans. The amount will depend on market conditions and Exim, which raised $3.47 billion in FY23, has a broad investor base and will look at different currencies. Harsha Bangari, managing director of the export credit agency, stated that the funds will be used to support the bank’s growth plans.

Exim Bank Raises Funds through Sustainability Bonds for Renewable Energy and Infrastructure:

Earlier this year, Exim Bank raised $1 billion through sustainability bonds in January 2023, under its environment social governance (ESG) framework. The bank later raised an additional $100 million through a second offering of the bond. The proceeds from the bonds will be used to support renewable energy, clean transportation, access to essential services and basic infrastructure, affordable housing, and water and waste management, according to Bangari.

Exim Bank’s Financial Performance and Loan Portfolio in FY23:

Exim Bank’s net profit more than doubled to Rs 1,556 crore in FY23 from Rs 738 crore in FY22, while the total income increased to Rs 11,487 crore from Rs 8,363 crore in FY22. The bank’s net loan portfolio also increased by 17% YoY to Rs 1.34 trillion in FY23 from Rs 1.17 trillion in FY22. Loan growth is expected to be 12-15% in FY24, said Bangari. The non-fund portfolio, which includes guarantees, grew by 11.5% to Rs 17,000 crore at the end of March 2023.

Exim Bank’s Asset Quality and Capital Adequacy Ratio:

Exim Bank’s gross non-performing assets (NPA) rose to 4.09% at the end of March 2023 from 3.56% at the end of March 2022. However, its net NPA increased to 0.71% in March 2023 from nil in March 2022. Exim Bank officials added that the bank had made provisions for exposure to Ghana in FY23, which is fully covered by a scheme run by Export Credit Guarantee Corporation, India.

Exim Bank’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) stood at 25.43% in March 2023, compared to 30.49% a year ago. The bank’s present level is quite comfortable, and it will not look for capital raise in the current financial year. The bank will only consider capital raise when its CAR is about 20% for future growth.

About Exim Bank, key points:

Here are some key points about Exim Bank:

  • Exim Bank, also known as the Export-Import Bank of India, is a government-owned export credit agency headquartered in Mumbai, India.

  • The bank was established in 1982 and is responsible for financing, facilitating, and promoting India’s international trade.

  • Exim Bank’s current Chairperson and Managing Director is Harsha Bangari, who was appointed in May 2022.

  • In addition to providing trade finance and term loans, the bank also offers a range of products and services, including export credit, lines of credit, export credit insurance, and guarantees.

  • Exim Bank operates in over 60 countries around the world, with a focus on developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

  • The bank has a strong commitment to sustainability and has launched a number of initiatives to promote renewable energy, clean transportation, and sustainable development.

  • Exim Bank has been recognized for its contribution to the growth of India’s exports and has received several awards, including the “Best Export Credit Agency in Asia” award from Trade Finance magazine in 2021.

IBM and NASA Collaborate to Convert Satellite Data into High-Resolution Maps Using AI

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have introduced a new geospatial foundation model that can transform satellite data into detailed maps of floods, fires, and other landscape transformations. These maps can provide insights into the Earth’s history and offer glimpses into its future. The collaborative effort aims to make this geospatial solution accessible for preview in the latter half of this year. The platform’s potential applications include estimating climate-related risks to agriculture, infrastructure, and buildings, assessing forests for carbon-offset initiatives, and assisting businesses in developing strategies to address and adapt to climate change by employing predictive models.

A new geospatial foundation model unveiled by IBM is designed to enable first steps toward this goal by converting NASA’s satellite observations into customized maps of natural disasters and other environmental changes. The model, part of IBM’s watsonx.ai geospatial offering, is planned to be available in preview to IBM clients through (EIS) IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite during the second half of this year. Potential applications include helping to estimate climate-related risks to crops, buildings, and other infrastructure, valuing and monitoring forests for carbon-offset programs, and developing predictive models to help enterprises create strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The collaboration between NASA and IBM aims to simplify the analysis and interpretation of vast NASA datasets pertaining to Earth processes, making it more accessible for researchers. This joint effort aligns with NASA’s Open-Source Science Initiative (OSSI), which seeks to foster an inclusive, transparent, and collaborative open science community in the coming decade.

Cochin Port has bagged the Sagar Shreshtha Sammaan Award 2023

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways honoured the Cochin Port Authority (CPA) with the Sagar Shreshtha Sammaan for the best turnaround time in non-container category during 2022-23. Minister for Ports and Shipping Sarbananda Sonowal presented the award to CPA Chairperson M. Beena in New Delhi. The award is in recognition of the ‘excellent performance of the Cochin Port in handling dry bulk and liquid bulk cargo vessels’.

The port recorded 48 hours in turning around vessels of an average parcel size of 43,800 MT. The turnaround time is an important performance parameter. The function was attended by senior functionaries of the Ministry, major ports and industry representatives.

This award is in recognition of the excellent performance of Cochin Port in handling dry bulk and liquid bulk cargo vessels at Cochin. The port recorded 48 hours in turning around vessels of an average parcel size of 43,800 MT that arrived at the Port. The TRT is a performance parameter which is calculated on the basis of the notice of readiness by the vessel till pilot disembark time after operations, of a vessel that arrives at the port. Union Minister for Ports, Shipping Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal given away the Award to Dr M Beena, Chairperson, Cochin Port Authority.

5th edition of Global Ayurveda Festival to focus on health challenges

The fifth edition of the Global Ayurveda Festival (Gaf 2023) will be held from December 1 to 5 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The theme of the event is ‘Emerging Challenges in Healthcare & A Resurgent Ayurveda’. The event will bring together Ayurveda practitioners and stakeholders from around the world to showcase Ayurveda’s potential in addressing health challenges.

Top Scientists and Nobel Laureates to Attend:

The conclave will be attended by top scientists, including Nobel laureates, and over 7,500 delegates from 75 countries. The event will also feature over 750 research papers and 750 poster presentations on the sidelines.

Significance of Gaf 2023:

Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, V Muraleedharan, highlighted the significance of Gaf 2023, stating that it is happening at a time when the Indian government is making major efforts to position Ayurveda as a holistic system to address the health challenges facing humanity. The event is being organized by the Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA) in association with the Ministry of Ayush, Kerala Government, and Ayurveda Fraternity represented by AMAI, AMMOI, AHMA, KISMA, ADMA, Viswa Ayurveda Parishad, and 14 other Ayurveda Associations.

Unique Opportunity to Explore Ayurveda:

The expo will offer a unique opportunity for visitors to explore and experience the world of Ayurveda, including Ayurvedic medicines, herbal products, wellness services, and Ayurvedic equipment. The event aims to create a platform for global networking of Ayurveda practitioners and stakeholders and promote Ayurveda as a solution to the health challenges faced by society today.

London stock exchange group to set up technology centre in Hyderbad

The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has announced its plan to set up a technology centre of excellence in Hyderabad, India. This move is expected to create about 1,000 jobs a year and boost the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector in the city. The announcement was made after Telangana IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao’s meeting with LSEG Group CIO Anthony McCarthy in London.

LSEG: A Global Financial Market Infrastructure and Data Provider:

The London Stock Exchange Group is a leading global financial market infrastructure and data provider, serving customers in 190 countries and operating in 70 countries worldwide. It has over 2,000 issuers across 100 countries, and its benchmark of USD 161 is linked to FTSE Russell indexes. With its extensive reach and influence in the global financial industry, LSEG continues to be a major player.

Hyderabad as a Growing Hub for BFSI:

Hyderabad has emerged as a growing hub for the BFSI industry in India. The establishment of LSEG’s Technology Centre of Excellence in the city is expected to significantly boost this sector and create ample employment opportunities. This move is in line with the Indian government’s efforts to attract more foreign investment and promote the growth of the country’s economy.

LSEG’s Investment in India:

LSEG’s decision to set up a technology centre of excellence in Hyderabad is part of its larger investment plan for India. The company has already established a presence in Mumbai and Bangalore, where it provides a range of services to its customers. The establishment of the Technology Centre of Excellence in Hyderabad will further strengthen its foothold in the Indian market.

Ex-NBCUniversal ad chief Linda Yaccarino named as new Twitter CEO

Ex-NBCUniversal advertising executive Linda Yaccarino will take over as CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk said. Musk, who runs Tesla and Space X, said a day prior that he plans to transition to a role as executive chairman and chief technology officer. The announcement comes months after Musk pledged in December to step down as the head of Twitter as soon as he found someone “foolish enough to take the job.” Yaccarino, who stepped down earlier on Friday as the ad sales chief at NBCUniversal, oversaw an international team of about 2,000 employees, according to the NBCUniversal website.

She brings longstanding relationships with major advertisers and a strong reputation within the corporate community. Yaccarino worked at NBCUniversal for nearly 12 years, rising through the executive ranks to become chairman of global advertising and partnerships in 2020. Before NBCUniversal, Yaccarino served as an advertising executive at Turner Broadcasting Company for almost 20 years. After acquiring Twitter in October, Musk has sought to shore up the company’s finances by slashing costs and expanding revenue through a revamped version of its subscription service.

Who is Linda Yaccarino?

Yaccarino, who graduated from Penn State University in 1985, worked in media advertising for about 30 years before being named Twitter CEO. Over more than a decade at NBCUniversal, Yaccarino generated more than $100 billion in advertising sales, focusing recently on an effort to coordinate advertising across TV, streaming and online platforms, the company’s website said in a profile of Yaccarino that was removed.

When NBC launched its streaming service Peacock in 2020, for instance, Yaccarino led a campaign to offer an array of ad formats, such as binge ads that afterward allow a viewer to watch ad-free as well as ads that include a QR-code directing viewers to a product.

Retail Inflation Sees Significant Drop in April, Hits 4.7%

According to government data released, India’s retail inflation based on the consumer price index decreased to 4.7% in April from 5.66% in the previous month due to lower food and fuel prices. This is the lowest inflation rate in 18 months and falls within the Reserve Bank of India‘s acceptable range of 2-6% for the second consecutive month.

Retail Inflation Sees Significant Drop in April, Hits 4.7%: Key Points

  • However, this is the 43rd month in a row where retail inflation remains above the RBI’s target of 4%.

  • The favorable base in April played a role in this positive inflation data.

  • Food prices decreased significantly, with retail food inflation dropping to 3.84% in April from 4.79% in the previous month, while the consumer food price index stood at 8.31% in April 2022.

  • In April 2023, India’s consumer price index-based retail inflation decreased to a low of 4.7% in 18 months, with a sharper decline in food inflation observed in urban areas compared to rural areas.

  • The overall retail inflation in rural India decreased to 4.68% in April 2023 from 8.38% in the same month last year, while in urban areas, it decreased to 4.85% from 7.09%.

  • The CPI is based on data collected from 1114 urban markets and 1181 villages covering all states and union territories.

  • The core inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel items, decreased to 5.2% in April from 5.8% in March.

The RBI is expected to keep policy rates unchanged in its review in the first week of June due to the moderation in inflationary pressure, including the decline in core inflation. In its last meeting in the first week of April, the RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee decided to maintain the policy repo rate.


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