Private sector lender ICICI Bank could sell its housing finance unit to private equity firms and may be looking for a valuation of about ₹4,400 crore for ICICI Home Finance, said a media report.To carry out the transaction, ICICI Bank — India’s second largest bank in terms of market capitalisation — roped in Citibank two weeks back, according to the sources close to the development.”The mandate was given recently and some private equity players and a couple of other investors have been approached by the investment bank. Although it’s too early to say but some PE players may consider entering the housing finance sector,” a source told The Economic Times.”ICICI Bank keeps receiving enquiries from time to time from interested parties regarding its stake in ICICI HFC but has not taken any decision to sell its stake in this company,” an ICICI Bank spokesman said.ICICI Home Finance accounts for nearly 10% of the “book value of total home loans” lent by ICICI.”ICICI Bank’s mortgage business is primarily done within the bank and this business has been growing rapidly. Only a very small portion of the bank’s overall mortgage business is done by ICICI Home Finance Company,” the spokesman added.However, Citibank did not comment on the speculations.The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has to give its nod for the deal, as ICICI Home Finance comes under Non-bank financial companies (NBFCs). On Thursday, the RBI notified that the sale of NBFCs requires its approval.”Even the banking regulator has time and again told banks to focus on their core business. Exiting the smaller ticket size market would also help the bank maintain a healthy CASA (current and saving account) ratio,” said a senior banking analyst at a consultancy.
Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa announces the date for the general elections in Harare, Zimbabwe on 30 May 2018. — Reuters file photoZimbabwe’s vice president Constantino Chiwenga and his wife sustained minor injuries from a blast at a political rally, a source close to president Emmerson Mnangagwa told Reuters on Saturday.“Mrs Chiwenga was slightly injured. Her husband was also affected in a minor way,” the source said.Mnangagwa’s spokesman said earlier that the president was not hurt in the blast at a stadium in the second city of Bulawayo and was taken to safety.An explosion rocked a stadium in Zimbabwe where president Emmerson Mnangagwa was addressing a political rally on Saturday, his spokesman said, adding the head of state was unhurt and taken to safety.“There has been an incident at Bulawayo (White City Stadium) where the president was addressing a rally. This is now a police issue but the president is safe at Bulawayo State House,” spokesman George Charamba told Reuters.“We are still to get information on what exactly happened as we understand that some people could have been injured as this happened in the VIP tent.”The police were not immediately available for comment.Footage from Zimbabwe state television showed the explosion took place near Mnangagwa as he waved to supporters.Mnangagwa was speaking at his first rally in the second city of Bulawayo, an opposition stronghold where the ruling ZANU-PF has not won in national elections since 2000.Zimbabwe holds its presidential election on 30 July, with 75-year-old Mnangagwa and 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, the main contenders.
Kolkata: After Bengal, it is now time for Jharkhand to pay tribute to Dr Subhash Mukherjee, the creator of India’s first test tube baby, who had almost gone into oblivion.Though Dr Mukherjee was born in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh district, Bengal had been his workplace for a very long time. After coming to power, the Mamata Banerjee government has paid due respect posthumously to Dr Mukherjee by naming prestigious chairs after him at the two state-run medical colleges in Kolkata. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeFollowing Bengal’s footsteps, the Jharkhand government has now set up a statue of Dr Mukherjee outside the Sadar Hospital in Hazaribagh which will be unveiled by the district administrative officials on Sunday in presence of Prabhat Agarwal, the father of Kanupriya, India’s first test tube baby, along with Sunit Mukherjee, one of Dr Mukherjee’s colleagues. He created the country’s first test tube baby — Kanupriya Agarwal, alias Durga, in October 1978 inside his house in Kolkata with the help of some general apparatus and a refrigerator. He committed suicide in 1981 after the Left Front government had allegedly neglected his research and was harassed by the then strong gynaecologists’ lobby. He could not handle constant criticism and the outright harassment he was subjected to. The Left Front government had argued that Dr Mukherjee lacked sufficient documentation. In 2002, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recognised his work for the first time. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedProf Sajal Mukherjee, a teacher of Economics at Vinoba Bhave University in Hazaribagh and the president of Hazaribagh Bengali Association had been instrumental and he constantly lobbied various government departments so that some respect can be shown to the great man who pioneered In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) in India. After chipping in for nearly a decade, Prof Mukherjee finally succeeded in convincing the district administration about the contribution of Dr Mukherjee in the field of medical science. Ravi Sankar Shukla who is the current DC of the district readily accepted the proposal and took necessary steps to erect the statue outside the Sadar Hospital as a mark of respect. “We are extremely happy to see that our efforts have been translated into action. The district administration has finally given its consent to set up his statue in an area which is close to the place where he was born. A book has also been published containing articles on Dr Mukherjee. We are also thankful to Partha Mazumdar, NTPC chief general manager in Hazaribagh,” Prof Mukherjee maintained. Ravi Sankar Shukla said: “After being posted here, I felt the responsibility and got in touch with the Bengali Association. The statue that has been erected here could be a befitting tribute to Dr Mukherjee. We supervised the project which was assisted by the NTPC.”