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Mumbai: Kotak Mahindra and Axis Bank,have strongly denied rumours that the biggest consolidation in banking space is in the works. For the past few weeks, the stock market has been abuzz with prospects of a merger between the two private banks.

Most people TOI spoke to said that there are strong reasons for such a merger, which could be worth around Rs 2.5 lakh crore ($37 billion) — making it the second most valuable Indian bank after HDFC Bank.

State-owned Union Bank of India and private-sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank have reduced their marginal cost of funds-based lending rates (MCLR), effective February 1. While Union Bank’s one-year MCLR now stands 15 basis points (bps) lower at 8.5%, the corresponding figure for Kotak Mahindra Bank came down 15 bps to 8.85%.

Union Bank’s overnight MCLR now stands at 8% and those on tenures between one month and three years range between 8.2% and 8.6%. Rates are down 15 bps across tenures.

Private sector Kotak Mahindra Bank today said the RBI has asked it to bring down its promoter shareholding by half to 15 per cent in a phased manner by March 31, 2020.

“The Bank has received a communication from the Reserve Bank of India to bring down its promoter shareholding to 30 per cent by June 30, 2017, 20 per cent by December 31, 2018 and 15 per cent by March 31, 2020,” Kotak Mahindra Bank said in a BSE filing.

Largest private sector lenders Kotak Mahindra Bank on Wednesday announced its profit on standalone basis up by 38.6 percent year-on-year to Rs. 880 crore in October-December quarter.

The profit is supported by revenue, other income, operating profit and lower provisions. Asset quality improvement and strong earnings lifted stock price nearly percent percent intraday Wednesday.

Infosys delivered steady Q3FY17 performance. We detail our thoughts on three metrics that have raised concerns— decline in revenue from top-10 accounts—appears far worse than underlying trend, realisation dip; we attribute it to seasonal factors, and margin defence through lower variable comp; not sustainable.

We roll over to FY2019E and revise TP to R1,140 (15X FY2019E EPS) from R1,175 as we build in visa concerns through cuts in multiples from 16.5X. We like the strategy and execution and find valuations attractive.

December quarter earnings of the BSE-30 index post demonetisation is expected to remain flat on a year-on-year basis, along with earnings of several others which too may remain muted, says a report. According to Kotak Institutional Equities, while the December quarter earnings of Sensex companies are expected to stay flat on a yearly basis, on a quarter-on-quarter basis, it is likely to decline 2.3 per cent.

A day after SBI slashed its rate offering steeply, country’s fourth biggest private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank today announced a cut of up to 0.45 per cent in its lending rates. The bank has cut marginal cost of funds based lending rate by 0.20 to 0.45 per cent across tenors, it said in a statement.

The one year MCLR, which is used as the benchmark for a bulk of long-term consumer loans, has been reduced by 0.20 per cent while the maximum cut of 0.45 per cent has been effected in the one month and three month MCLRs.

Wipro has taken an interesting approach towards digital through Wipro Digital, a unit that is branded separately and focuses entirely on business outcomes using strategy, design and technology as the enablers. Acquisition of Designit has been a shot in the arm. We maintain our reduce stance on Wipro noting multiple business headwinds but would keep a close eye on its aggressive and interesting approach to play catch-up in digital.

ED has arrested a manager of a Kotak Bank branch here in connection with its money laundering probe in a criminal case of detection of nine alleged fake accounts with deposits worth Rs 34 crore post demonetization.

Officials said the agency arrested the manager of the bank's branch in the K G Marg area here, late last night after questioning.

Confirming that it has a robust system of regularly and proactively filing necessary reports with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Government of India, Kotak Mahindra Bank on Friday denied that they were operating any fake accounts.

Rohit Rao, the bank's spokesman, said in a statement, "The bank denies that there were any fake accounts. The bank is extending full cooperation to the investigating authorities."

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