Why we are obsessed with money

What a way to exist!

For most of us, practically the whole day all we are thinking is about money and more specifically how to have more money!

As if money was the only thing in life. Unfortunately for most of us, circumstances just do not permit any other thought!

We are running behind money most of the time which is almost akin to have become obsessed with money. Everything that we are doing in life is centred around money.

Unfortunately, this is because we need money for anything and everything that we do. There’s nothing wrong and what are you doing, however the problem is that over time, it becomes a compulsive habit to keep earning more.

That’s where the danger is. The problem is that there is a point where from we chase money as an addiction, we chase money because we like to do so. If we did not chase money we would not know what to chase now because we get out identity from money and the amount of money we have.

Another thing is that right from childhood we are always taught and our minds are conditioned that everything that we are doing is going to be for the sake of earning money.

There is no one who told you that money is just a means, and then there is something greater in life to achieve. Some examples are legacy; building something, charity; to giving something / helping someone, passion; pursuing something and living; simply to enjoy life and your money

We have got addicted to this and how!

There are three reasons for this:

First, we are what we do. It is the human behaviour. I know I should exercise and I don’t. I know I should eat healthy and I don’t. I know I should spend time with my kids and I don’t. I know that, yes, money isn’t going to make me happy and I still keep trying to make money.

We live by the laws of inertia, in a pattern which is hard to break. But we have to break it. For ourselves and for the sake of people and reasons for which we are chasing money.

Secondly, we need signals of progress. Money is a measure of how far you have progressed in life. The more the money you have the more you can make sure your progress. It’s simply the logic of evolution. People need validation of their success. Bigger house, bigger car, branded goods and list goes on.

Thirdly, it’s the easy way out. It’s only human to avoid difficult things. Important things are very difficult to measure.  Have I been a good father or husband? Have I groomed my child well?  Such things take years to measure and we still don’t have answers.

So, should we not be focused on creating money for ourselves?

I’m not saying that. Definitely create. Take care of yourself for sure!! Use it to the maximum to make yourself happy!!! You need a certain amount and beyond that is extra.

The definition of their certain amount is naturally different from one person to another. If that extra is going to happen easily, without stress and without your involvement, then its fine. Basically don’t kill yourself for that extra. Be Smart.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a certified financial planner, wealth manager and financial freedom coach.

How the RBI actually helps you

Most of us in Mumbai, see this huge structure called the Reserve Bank of India and wonder what it really does. It’s also a tourist attraction!! It has so many other offices and again one wonders why they need to have so many offices. I’m going to try and highlight a very interesting part of RBI’s work and how it helps us directly on a day-to-day basis.

The RBI does a review of the monetary policy of the country at frequent intervals during the year. So how does the monetary policy help us investors to take smart decisions?

Monetary policy is a tool by which the RBI decides to raise interest rates or reduce interest rates or keep them steady.

In our country, as we’re an oil importing nation, this decision is very closely linked to Oil. Oil to a large extent contributes to inflation. We all know what happens when inflation keeps rising. We in India unfortunately do not see too much of inflation falling and things becoming cheaper.

Oil is Not Well

So when oil prices rise i.e. we see a rise in crude oil prices almost instantly we can expect rising food prices. This is because there is going to be a rising cost pressure for manufacturing & services. This rise obviously gets passed onto the retail consumers.

When this happens RBI adopts a hawkish stance, tries to pull money out of the system by raising interest rates. Now when interest rates rise no one seems to be interested in borrowing. This immediately puts a brakes on money circulation.  Less money chasing goods decreases the demand for money. This way it controls inflation.

There is yet another tool that the RBI has and that is known as the CRR or the cash reserve ratio.  This ratio in simple words means the amount of cash that the bank must maintain with the RBI as the percentage of the total assets. So when this increases banks are forced to park more with the RBI and this is also a way to control inflation.

On the other hand when things look dull, when there is a recession of sorts, the RBI comes to the rescue and gets into action to kickstart growth in the country. It does this by lowering the interest rates. This we all will understand quite easily because we see a direct benefit of this happening. We see a fall of interest outgo in our EMI’s for the home loan that we are carrying. New loans become cheaper.

Individuals are motivated to go out and make purchases, whether it is for a washing machine or a piece of real estate. Businesses are motivated to go out and borrow to buy more machinery, to expand capacity, to hire more staff and manpower and basically do everything that will add to the growth of business.

Economic growth results as a result of all this. It is also during this time that stock market rises, we see a rally in stock prices and mutual fund NAV’s jumping higher and higher each day. There is prosperity all around.

Critical Role

As you can see that the central bank of the country has a very very important role to play.  If it makes a mistake, things can go really wrong.  Imagine like the USA or Japan if our interest rates were very low; everyone would run to borrow, they would borrow more than they require because it would be cheap and easy to borrow. And that is very individuals would run into what is known as the debt trap, because someday you’ll have to pay back.

Each day the central bank attempts to make sure that everything in our country remains stable and financially there’s nothing that goes wrong dramatically.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager & Financial Freedom Coach.

The year of the bond, once again!

We are not talking of James Bond, we are talking of investment bonds.

We are in a situation where the fixed deposit rates are at a general low and there is a lot of discontent among depositors of fixed deposits.

Whenever we see a situation like this, one way or the other, the bond markets come to the rescue. It comes to the rescue of smart depositors, who are agile to move their money from fixed deposits to bond funds.

Let’s understand what is happening and why.

What Exactly is Happening in the Bond Markets?

It is likely that in this year, investors of bond funds will make handsome gains. Bond prices may rise and there may be capital gains. Investors of bond funds not only earn the rate of interest, but also earn capital gains. So that way, they make more than the return they would make on fixed deposits. The returns could be a high single digit or sometimes as high as double digits.

Over three years, this will become practically tax free or the tax would be a very small amount. So, basically, I am thinking that a rally will happen in the bond market. There are three main reasons for this — reduction in government borrowing (which is favourable), recovery of trading losses (which is favourable) and no change in monetary policy (which is neutral).

A word of caution, however, that such bond market investments are also subject to bond-market volatility and should be considered ideally with the help of a financial expert.

Before proceeding further, let us, therefore, quickly explain a bond, bond fund and bond market. We need to do this because few people understand the bond markets and even fewer invest in the bond markets.

Bond is nothing, but a commercial transaction where the borrower is issuing a bond to the lender and the lender will earn a certain rate of interest. When interest rates fall, everyone becomes interested in owning that bond.

As a result, the demand for the bond increases, the price of the bond increases and the bondholder makes capital gains.

A bond fund is a fund where ordinary investors pool in their money and a fund manager buys them a portfolio of bonds.

Moving onto the Reasons For a Rally in Bond Funds…

Now, the fundamental reason for a rally is reduction in interest rates as it stimulates economy and growth.

Firstly, the government is a massive borrower of funds. So a reduction in government borrowing reduces the demand for money in the economy. As a result, prices of bonds rise and this contributes to capital gains for bond holders.

Secondly, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently announced that the commercial banks and RBI, which are the largest lenders to the government, will have another year to offset losses they have incurred on account of buying government bonds in the past. This action will lead to a rise in the price of bonds and this contributes to capital gains for bond holders.

Lastly, on one side due to the rise in oil prices, there is more inflation and thus more money is needed for circulation in the economy. On the other side, many government bonds are maturing, which will provide money supply. So, it is likely that we see a neutralising effect and thus RBI will take no action. This inaction here will support capital gains as explained above. Hence, this year might be a year of good gains for the bond investors.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager & Financial Freedom Coach.

Five new financial goals for you this summer

I am going to try and explain to you why the summer holidays of April and May are great months to get a lot of things started, financially speaking.

This time period in a way resets the financial clock. You also have the option to hit the reset button on everything you have done so far; financially speaking of course and hope to do better things better than you did last year.

Let’s look at some of the new and unusual things to do in April.

  • Make a learning budget

Learn something about money or anything you like. The best way to make money is to learn something about money. Just like if you wanted to learn cooking you will get into the cooking class. If you wanted to learn swimming you would enrol in the swimming class. If you find learning about money is too daunting task than learn something which is close at to your heart or related to your work. If you learn something new, there’s a possibility that you will use your new ideas to generate new income and in turn that will generate new wealth for you.  So make a budget, enrol somewhere and spend that budget. How about a % of your annual income? Spend it for sure!

  • Plan a unique holiday 

When you’re by yourself and without your mobile phone you will have the opportunity to think! When you have time to think, suddenly good ideas will come to your mind.  You may think this is silly but you can be sure that you will be amazed if your drivers experiment just once. So it might be a good idea to go for a holiday just by yourself. If you find that too intimidating, join a group of strangers. You can combine that with the adventures experience if you like.  Be extra careful if you’re going with your special buddies. Do this only if they are going to be in a position to help you discuss your idea and make it bigger. They must play the role of complimenting your thoughts. So make a schedule to do this holiday and obviously make a budget to make it happen. Think & create new ways of making wealth.

  • Make a prediction and make it happen

Be brave. Let’s aim to grow and multiply net worth by 50% by the time you come to the end of this financial year. This is not a joke and it is easier than you can imagine.  I’m speaking about NETWORTH and I’m not talking about return on investment. If your networth is Rs. 100 today, all I’m saying is that let’s aim to make this a 150 by the end of this year. This networth comprises of all your savings till date. This can be achieved by simply saving aggressively every month for the next twelve months. Just put this into a recurring deposit or liquid fund so you don’t spend it.  We just have to prove to ourselves that this is possible. Where and how we will invest this money will think about that later.

  • Eliminate a negative belief 

I want to give you an exercise here. Write down all your negative beliefs you have about money and wealth. Most people are not able to achieve the desired level of wealth because they think about wealth negatively. So even if you are earning a good amount of income you will never see yourself becoming wealthy. Examples are money causes problems, money causes a fight, managing money is complicated etc. Then for each negative thought, you have written down the positives i.e. the opposite for a few months. Soon negatively biased feelings will evaporate.

  • Make a new investment; something you have not done before

Again here you do not have to be a financial expert. The idea is to learn something new. There are hundreds of investment options. Our objective here is to learn something new. Talk to your advisor and seek his or her guidance. Just a word of caution here; don’t do anything which is speculative or is something that you just can’t understand. Do what do find easy you understand and do that then.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager & Financial Freedom Coach.

Seeking financial freedom? The time is NOW!

John Lewis famously remarked, “If not now, then when? If not us, then who?” This is so appropriate in the current financial world that we live in.

That statement will leave to rest every other argument that is conservative and against the idea of wealth creation. We are often faced with the situation where there is no option but to create wealth. Read on to know why!

Interest rates are painfully low. For all those diehard fans of guaranteed investment returns, there’s hardly any place to go to. Thinking of fixed deposits? Feeling happy with 7%? And fully taxable? That period is over. Period.

That doctrine of investing into pure fixed deposits and similar instruments is unfortunately standing challenged. There is no option but to sprinkle it with a combination of a little something that will add to the returns earned from fixed income type of securities. In fact this category of investors are in a way, best placed in terms of the current tax laws.

They can earn about 9-10% with minimal or near zero tax over about five years and more. Starting to generate rate of return above the inflation level of 7% is starting to create wealth. So there it is; there is no option but to move in the direction of creating wealth.

For more evolved investors, who invest in equities and who and still sitting on the sidelines tend to run out of patience every now and then. They are sometimes waiting for the right time, sometimes waiting for correction, sometimes waiting for valuation and sometimes waiting for just nothing. Sometimes, just too busy to take action!

I totally understand not wanting to lose hard-earned money. But if the money does not move it will stagnate. That’s the problem with money.

Hit the Ground Running

Inaction and inactivity kills it. Makes it costly to hold. Makes us lose opportunities, sometimes small and sometimes significant. I know of many people including my dad, who just kept investing into equities and holding forever. No doubt they were hugely (big HUGELY) better off then the people in the same time zone. I think they could have done far better with some smart lessons on asset allocation. This is because if they compare the growth rate of their holding over a period of 20 or maybe 30 years the compounded rate of return earned is often not impressive.

It is just marginally better or a few percentage points above the fixed deposit rate. Hence the need for asset allocation, which simply put is not to have all eggs in one basket at any given point in time. These sections of investors anyways create wealth, and, asset allocation is the tool that ensures that the process of wealth creation continues uninterrupted. So again there it is; even for this section there is not option but to start enhancing their wealth creation activities, else returns will continue to remain forever mediocre.

Then there are skeptics and there is nothing much for skeptics of everything, except that they need a serious dose of financial education. Perhaps what if needed is a proof of concept and for that, which better country to live in other than India where financial transparency in investments is so high that I sometimes feel, it comes from another planet.

 Your Money Needs Action

Today, there is a whole lot of variety to choose from and we have never been more spoilt for choice. But the most important thing in all this is to understand that your money needs action. It needs activity and for that the time is now!

And furthermore, if you asked me this question 10 years ago; I would have said that, the Time is NOW. If you ask this question 10 years hence, I will still say the Time is NOW. Any time is the right time to start the process of creating wealth. All that is important is that you take your first step; then continue it all the way with zeal and determination… till you have the level of wealth that you desire. And if you accumulate more than you need, still do it and share it with the world.

If you want your financial freedom; then the Time is NOW!

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager and Financial Freedom Coach.

Young Turks: Here’s the success story of venture fund Aspada

Venture fund Aspada was co-founded by Kartik Srivatsa and Thomas Hyland in 2012 and has made 17 investments so far across Fin-tech, agriculture, health and edu-tech startups.

Young Turks takes a look at their investment thesis, their differentiated VC model and meet three of their portfolio companies – Capital Float that underwrites unsecured loans to startups and SMEs; Dunzo, a hyper local concierge and delivery player that is also Google’s first direct startup investment in India; WayCool, a Chennai-based agriculture-tech startup.

Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe leaves Facebook

A co-founder of Facebook’s virtual-reality division is joining the exodus of executives to leave the company after striking it rich in lucrative sales of their startups.

Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe disclosed his decision to leave Facebook in Monday tweet, as well as a post on his Facebook page. His departure comes 2 1/2 years after Facebook parted ways with Oculus’ other co-founder, Palmer Luckey.

Both Iribe and Luckey joined Facebook in 2014 after selling Oculus to the company for $2 billion. Iribe had been Oculus’ CEO until 2016 when he shifted to a lower-ranking job in the virtual reality division.

Facebook issued a statement Monday hailing Iribe for pushing virtual reality “far beyond the boundaries of what people thought possible and it’s because of his vision that we’re all here working on VR today. We’re thankful for his leadership, his dedication to building the impossible, and he’ll be missed.”

Oculus is considered a pioneer in making the virtual reality headsets that immerse users in artificial, three-dimensional worlds. Despite Facebook’s backing, virtual reality remains a niche field of technology popular primarily among video game fans looking for even more compelling entertainment.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is hoping to expand virtual reality’s appeal with next year’s release of the Oculus Quest headset.

It’s not unusual for startup founders such as Iribe to leave much larger companies several years after selling to them.

But Facebook has been hit with a wave of departures over the past six months, raising questions whether Zuckerberg’s push for new areas of revenue growth beyond the company’s social networking service is raising tensions in the executive ranks.

In April, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum left Facebook four years after selling the messaging app, and last month Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom and fellow co-founder Mike Krieger bolted . Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012.

Iribe thanked Zuckerberg for his support of Oculus in his parting note on Facebook. “We started a revolution that will change the world in ways we can’t even envision,” Iribe wrote.

But Systrom hinted there might have been some discord brewing in Facebook during an appearance last week.

“No one every leaves a job because things were awesome,” he said.

Mutual fund has become very popular product in last two years: Edelweiss Asset Management

The framework for the total expense ratio of mutual funds and the commissions paid was announced by the Sebi on Monday. Radhika Gupta, CEO of Edelweiss Asset Management, spoke to CNBC-TV18 about the impact of the plan on the industry.

“The upfront fees to be paid will impact distribution model. Some shift to other products like insurance may take place due to new norms,” said Gupta

Talking about the mutual funds, Gupta said, “In the last two years mutual fund has also become very popular product from the end customer point of view.”

“Mutual fund flows have been in same Rs 7,000-8,000 crore kind of range and if you look at per equity, most of that is SIP book and it looks like we will hit those numbers, plus or minus Rs 1,000 crore,” she added.


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Market trades lower on weak global cues; Nifty slips below 10,200, Asian Paints down 5%

The Indian market opened lower on Tuesday tracking weak global cues although benchmark indexes, the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty50, outperformed Asian peers.

The Sensex started 234 points lower, at 33,899.80, while the Nifty started at 10,158, down by 87 points.

The Nifty Bank dipped nearly a percent, trading at 24,835, while the Nifty MidCap slipped a percent.

All 43 sectoral indices declined in trade with BSE Oil & Gas under maximum pressure. The index was down by 2.02 percent, while other major losing sectoral indexes were BSE FMCG and basic metal, both slipping more than a percent.

Asian Paints, IOC, Indiabulls Housing Finance, HPCL and BPCL were among top index losers, declining by 4.92 percent.

Asian Paints fell nearly 5 percent after a disappointing earnings in July-September quarter.

IndusInd Bank was leading among index gainers, jumping 1.7 percent, while shares of Adani Ports, Coal India, Tech Mahindra and Gail also rose by up to 1.11 percent.

The Indian rupee opened lower by 14 paise at 73.70 per US dollar against its previous close 73.56 on Monday.

Asian equities were deep in the red as geo-political concerns spooked investors’ risk appetite. Japan’s Nikkei dipped 1.45 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Sang slipped by 0.77 percent.

South Korea’s Kospi plunged 1.78 percent, but Shanghai Composite Index was flat.

Also, catch all the action and updates in our Market Live blog.

Reliance Jio charting plan to tempt DTH customers, says report

Reliance Jio has set up a target of bringing in two-thirds of its 50 million fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) subscribers by using various planks to woo the existing DTH households, Business Standard reported.

The company will offer a combination of broadcasting and broadband services with two-way communications, will provide unlimited use of channels as well as high technology like 4K services and will provide customers with a range of value-added services such as internet security, safety services for homes, and healthcare services, the report said citing sources close to the company.

Along with the above offers, the company will also go for aggressive tariff plans where the payout will be lower than that for DTH and will target the DTH customers who are using broadband mobile services at home offering FTTH as an alternative, sources told the paper.

A Reliance Jio spokesperson declined to comment on the issue to the newspaper.

RIL acquired 66 percent and 51.3 percent stake in Den Networks and Hathway Cable, respectively, that has provided the company over 15 million active customers.

After 20 years, Ford posts first profit in India: report

US auto major Ford has finally posted profit in India two decades after commencing its operations, reported Mint.

For the first time since it entered the country in 1995, Ford’s India operations posted a profit in the year ended 31 March, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told Mint.

The success of the company is linked to its “Emerging Market Operating Model (EMOM)” that is being applied in the country. The report said that the ‘EMOM plan has helped Ford grow its India business from $2.1 billion in 2015-16 to $2.8 billion in 2016-17 and $3.4 billion in 2017-18.’

In addition, the report added the automaker registered sales of more than $100 crore in the country for the first time in the last financial year.

A spokesperson for Ford India confirmed the piloting of the EMOM strategy in India to Mint.


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Reliance Industries, BP to set up 2,000 petrol pumps over next 3 years: report

British oil company BP Plc and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) are looking to set up around 2,000 petrol pumps in India over the next three years, Mint reported.

The joint venture arrangement is being chalked out and will be framed in a few months, two people aware of the development told the newspaper.

The two companies are considering to set up their retail outlets on the national highways, according to the sources quoted by the paper.

Reliance runs 1,343 petrol pumps independently while BP received a licence to set up 3,500 fuel retail outlets in India in October 2016, the report mentioned.

Disclosure: RIL, the promoter of Reliance Jio, also controls Network18, the parent company of CNBCTV18.com.


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No new flying rights for Dubai, Qatar and Singapore after opposition from local carriers, says report

India will keep bilateral flying rights with Dubai, Singapore and Qatar unchanged, reported The Economic Times. The decision, according to the report, comes amid opposition by local carriers.

An official close to the development claimed that the Indian carriers opposed the move as they feared it would affect their on expansion to the international market, said the report. The fear comes due to the fact that carriers based in these three destinations are known for carrying a large volume of Sixth-freedom traffic, i.e. those who take flights beyond the home base of the airline.

“The objection by Indian carriers has been on the grounds that these carriers carry a lot of sixth-freedom traffic through their hubs, thus taking away business from Indian carriers…We have accepted their concerns and would not be agreeing on any increase in foreign flying rights with these countries,” an aviation ministry official was quoted as saying in the report.

“This move would not only take away options from the consumer but also goes against the concept of free market,”  Mark Martin, CEO and founder of aviation advisory Martin Consulting, was quoted saying in the report. Further, the decision will also hurt carriers like Vistara, that is just taking steps to begin international operations, the report added.

Here’s what to expect from Ambuja Cements’ Q3 results

Ambuja Cements will report its quarterly earnings on Tuesday and investors will carefully parse the standalone results to get a sense of volume growth and realisations.

  • The consolidated numbers will including ACC’s numbers and those numbers we already have. In the last one year Ambuja Cements has corrected nearly around 30 percent odd. So some part of the bad news has already been factored in.
  • The numbers look very good on year-on-year basis because it is coming off a very low base. Topline growth of around 10 percent, most of that will be driven by higher volumes because volumes expected to jump up close to around 7.5 percent. So the remaining 2 percent growth on the topline could be because of higher realisations.


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Rupee falls 22 paise to 73.78/USD on sustained dollar demand

Indian rupee fell nearly 22 paise against the US dollar in opening trade on Tuesday on the back of steady capital outflows and strengthening of the American currency.

At 09:15 AM, the rupee was trading at 73.78 a dollar, down 22 paise from its Monday’s close of 73.56. The home currency opened at 73.70 and touched a high and a low of 73.70 and 73.78 a dollar, respectively.

On Monday, the rupee pared its early gains to settle 24 paise lower at 73.56 against the US dollar.  The rupee came under pressure following heavy selling in domestic equities and the crude oil breaching the $80 per barrel mark on geo-political worries related to killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Unabated capital outflows by foreign funds, and heavy selling in domestic equities dampened the sentiment, according to market experts.

The BSE Sensex gave up all its early gains of over 435 points to end 181 points lower at 34,134.38 on Monday.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors offloaded shares worth Rs 618.26 crore, while domestic institutional investors had net sold shares worth Rs 2.14 crore on Friday, as per provisional data.

Stronger US dollar further aggravated selling pressure on Tuesday. The dollar gained against its major peers, reining as the preferred safe haven currency.

The rupee is the worst performing emerging market currency having lost almost 15 percent since January this year. Between April and September the rupee has plummeted more than 7 percent to the dollar.

In debt markets, the yields on the 10-year government bonds rose 0.06 percent to 7.93 percent after closing at 7.93 percent on Tuesday. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.


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Laksmi Vilas Bank shortlists Blackstone, TPG, Bain Capital, among others to buy stake: report

Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) has shortlisted Baring Private Equity Partners Asia, Blackstone Group, TPG and Bain Capital to buy a controlling interest in the bank, Times of India reported.

The bank is seeking to raise capital through a large preferential allotment of shares. JP Morgan, which was appointed by the bank to handle the deal, shortlisted the investors, Parthasarathi Mukherjee, managing director and chief executive of the bank, told the paper.

The winning private equity investor is likely to acquire anywhere between 26 and 51 percent, depending on the final valuation numbers. The deal will be subject to the central bank’s approval, the report said.

The shortlisted suitors have started working on the bank with a beaten-down share price, the report added.