PNB’s Garage Sale


Rs 656 crore

What is it? The amount raised by 58 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) between April and September this year via the initial public offering (IPO) route.

Why is it important? This is more than double the amount raised (Rs 295 crore) by 32 companies in the same period a year ago and has already reached about 80% of the total funds raised (Rs 811 crore) in all of 2016-17. Over 36 million SMEs, which contribute to about 45% of India’s exports, employ around 120 million. Greater financial access for SMEs could potentially improve employment figures, a challenge the government is currently facing.

Tell me more: SMEs, which have historically struggled to gain access to capital, have found a relatively easier, quicker and more transparent way to raise funds: the exclusive platforms of BSE and NSE.



What is it? The number of companies that would be penalised for violating corporate social responsibility (CSR) norms in 2014-15.

Why is it important? Such an action is likely to improve CSR compliance under the Companies Act, 2013, which mandates companies spend at least 2% of their three-year annual average net profit towards CSR initiatives. As on January 31, 2016, of the 10,475 companies that were to spend on such activities, 7,334 reported their CSR plans to the government. Of these, only 3,139 companies or 42.8% had spent some money on CSR: 74% of the combined Rs 11,883 crore they were supposed to spend.

Tell me more: CSR compliance has improved in the recent past. According to a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) survey, 1,270 BSE-listed companies spent 27% more in 2016-17 than the previous fiscal.


1.2 million barrels

What is it? The daily capacity of a refinery to be built by three Indian state-owned oil firms on the country’s west coast, which would make it the world’s largest crude refinery.

Why is it important? Saudi Aramco, which launched its Indian unit on Sunday, has expressed interest in buying a stake in this refinery. The Saudi Arabian company is looking to invest in refineries abroad to lock in demand for its crude and increase its market share ahead of its initial public offering next year, which could potentially be the world’s largest. This could also help it regain its position as India’s top supplier, after being leapfrogged by Iraq in the last few months.

Tell me more: India is looking to diversify its crude oil supply sources. This follows its import of crude from the US at $2 a barrel lesser than what Dubai offers.


$31.5 million

What is it? The theatre collections of Blade Runner 2049 in its opening weekend in the US.

Why is it important? It’s lower than expectations for this much-awaited sequel to the 1982 film and probably the most anticipated film of the year. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, and starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, the film was made on an estimated budget of $150 million. Its worldwide collections in the opening weekend was $81.7 million.

Tell me more: In terms of all-time opening-weekend collections in the US, this R-rated film slips in at a non-descript 454. This list is led by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which released in about the same number as theatres as Blade Runner 2049 in December 2015, but raked in $247 million.


Rs 1,176 crore

What is it? The outstanding loan exposure of Punjab National Bank to loan accounts that have gone bad and whose assets it is planning to auction on November 8.

Why is it important? On November 8, PNB is planning action against 34 borrowers, including Hanung Toys and Textiles, Harbs India, United Foods and Harman Textiles. Banks are under scrutiny and pressure to resolve their non-performing assets (NPAs) problem by putting a closure to bad accounts.

Tell me more: As of August 31, PNB had 1,074 wilful defaulters with a combined loan outstanding of Rs 14,245 crore. Wilful borrowers are those who are defaulting on bank loans even though they or their promoters have the ability to repay, or they have siphoned off money, or put it some other use than was agreed on.



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