The applications of IFCI Ltd and Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI),both controlled by the government,for a banking licence have raised eyebrows in the financial circles.
The government holds 55.5 per cent stake in IFCI,a term lending institution. However,what has flummoxed corporate watchers is that TFCI in which IFCI holds over 42 per cent
stake has also applied for the licence.
Can both IFCI and TFCI get a licence? The two companies were not on the best of terms. IFCI and TFCI were earlier locked in a legal battle after the former proposed to appoint five additional directors on the TFCI board.
While the list of contenders for a banking licence contains well-known corporates there are some surprise entries as well.
Out of 26 applicants,at least four aspirants stand out for their credentials to get a banking licence.
Take for example,INMACS Management Services Limited based in Gurgaon,headed by leading chartered accountant Vinod Jain. The companys website claims it has attained prominence as Indias leading management consultant rendering highly specialised client-specific solutions for the widest spectrum of activities including: business setup services,business support services,business expansion services and financial & capital market services.
Very little is known about the operations of Smart Global Ventures based in Noida. Suryamani Financing Company Limited based in Kolkata is another surprise applicant. The company is part of the Pawan Kumar Ruia group which controlled Dunlop,Falcon and Monotona. Both Smart Global and Suryamani are not listed on the BSE.
UAE Exchange India,another aspirant,is an RBI approved NBFC and claims its the third largest Authorised Dealer Category II in terms of branch network,with a countrywide network of 328 direct branches and 44,000 agent locations present in 20 states. BR Shetty,chairman,UAE Exchange India,says,
We have been present in India since 1999 and we also have strong presence in all the countries,from where NRIs send money to their families in India. During the financial year 2012-13,the firm claims it handled a total business volume of Rs 12,000 crore.