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Political checkmate

The chess game can also attract fights off the board as was witnessed between the supporters of the BJP and the DMK. The former accused the Tamil Nadu government of deliberately blacking out the Prime Minister from the promotion of the 44th Chess Olympiad. The posters and advertisements for the event carried just Stalin’s picture.

Aggrieved by this, the BJP functionaries had put out posters to welcome the Prime Minister with a chess board in the background.

Hearing the matter of not carrying the pictures of both the President and Prime Minister in the Chess Olympiad advertisements, the Madras High Court directed the State government that whenever any international event is held the photos of the President and the Prime Minister should be published in all advertisements. Hopefully, this should end the fight.

Different strokes

Banking industry observers are puzzled at the turn of events over the proposed rights issue of controversy ridden PNB Housing Finance Ltd (PNBHFL). Reserve Bank of India, which earlier vetoed PNB’s plan to participate in PNBHFL’s fund raise, has now approved its participation to the tune of ₹500 crore in the proposed rights offering. While former PNB MD and CEO Mallikarjuna Rao couldn’t get the regulator’s approval (for reasons unknown) for such a proposal, the current MD and CEO Atul Kumar Goel seems to have found favour with the top honchos of the central bank.

Whatever be the reason, PNBHFL is facing the brunt of regulatory ping pong that has been playing out over the last 18 months.

Modi’s GIFT dream comes true

When a dream comes true, it fuels the confidence to dream bigger. Something similar seems to have happened with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who in the early 2000s dreamt of a thriving global financial hub in the heart of Gujarat. Eventually it took shape as the GIFT City - International Financial Services Centre (IFSC).

Recently, at the inauguration of India’s first and the world’s third global bullion exchange — India International Bullion Exchange (IIBX) at GIFT IFSC — Modi recalled: “When I inaugurated GIFT-One (first building at GIFT City), people called it Gujarat’s tallest building and for many people that was the only identity of GIFT City. But GIFT City was an idea much ahead of its time,” he said, adding that the idea has come to a stage when GIFT City has become a gateway to integrate with the global financial markets.

Untimely release of results

A seasoned hack was quite disturbed that Punjab National Bank — the country’s second largest public sector bank — was sending the press release on its quarterly results well past 10 pm (one journo in a leading newspaper got it at around 11 pm).

So when the bank’s MD and CEO Atul Kumar Goel held a virtual press conference (thankfully at noon) to discuss the results, our correspondent mustered courage to raise this issue with the chief executive of the bank during the virtual meeting itself. “How do you expect media to analyse numbers and write a well-rounded results copy at 10.30 pm?” he asked.

Goel, however, played this googly well. He said the Board met in the evening and so by the time it got over it was past 8 pm. Then, as per statutory requirements, the stock exchanges had to be informed first and then only the bank can send the results to the media. So the bank was in a way helpless about the time issue.

However, what surprised everybody was Goel’s assurance to the correspondent that efforts will be made to sort out the issue.

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