News in Numbers, May 13, 2016: Maggi yet to regain lost glory, five-year plans to end…

Rs 259 crore

What is it? Nestle India’s net profit in the three months ended March 2016, down 19.6% from Rs 320 crore in the same period a year ago.

Why is it important? The firm has attributed the slide to the ban of its popular snack Maggi noodles last month for nearly six months, pointing to the fact that it is yet to recover the lost market share last year. The snack, which accounted for nearly a third of its total sales in 2014, commanded an 80.2% of market share in instant noodles segment in the first quarter of 2015, which is now at 50%.

Tell me more: The company’s net sales declined by 8.4% to Rs 2,296 crore in the first quarter of 2016. Popular yoga guru Baba Ramdev has said that Patanjali noodles would overtake Maggi as the top noodles brand and that their production of ‘atta’ (wheat) noodles would be increased from the current 100 tonnes to 300-500 tonnes, without specifying a time frame.

 

Rs 13 lakh crore

What is it? The estimated stressed assets, a fifth of total bank loans, in the Indian banking system, according to a director at India Ratings and Research, Fitch’s Indian affiliate.

Why is it important? If true, then this indicates that the situation is worse than acknowledged by the bankers – at the end of December, the total stressed assets was over Rs 8 lakh crore. This is likely to hurt the banks’ profitability even further and restrict credit growth, which could affect economic growth – again leading to defaults and slowdown in production.

Tell me more: This would make it difficult for banks, especially the public sector ones, to raise capital, putting additional burden on government finances. The central bank has directed the banks to clean up their balance sheets by March 2017. Stressed assets include bad loans, restructured assets and written-off assets.

 

4

What is it? The number of Indian cities among the top 10 most polluted in the world, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

Why is it important? Though this number has come down from six to four and also, Delhi has been pushed to the 11th spot from the top, smaller cities such as Gwalior (second), Allahabad (third) and Raipur (seventh) have recorded higher air pollution levels. Some measures taken in the recent times such as not allowing pre-2000 trucks into the city have helped reduce pollution levels in Delhi. This calls for a concerted national plan to reduce pollution levels across cities.

Tell me more: According to a research, 5.5 million die prematurely due to the effects of air pollution globally and India accounts for a fourth of such deaths.

 

15

What is it? The number of years for which India’s vision documents would be reportedly prepared, replacing the current 5-year plans.

Why is it important? This would have a bearing on the way policies are framed and implemented, hopefully leading to a long-term focus on issues. According to unnamed officials, the 15-year vision documents would also deal with internal security, defence and external security – in addition to social and economic issues, which the five-year plans largely focus on.

Tell me more: The new plans include a seven-year National Development Agenda, which would outline the schemes, strategies and programmes to achieve the 15-year-vision. The seven-year agenda would be reviewed every three years to ensure it is aligned with financial resources. The current 12th year plan ends by March 2017 and the 15-year vision plans would be implemented from 2017-18.

 

34%

What is it? The stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp that Nissan Motor Company has agreed to buy for $2.2 billion.

Why is it important? This makes Nissan the scandal-hit company’s single-largest shareholder with Mitsubishi group companies’ stake coming down to 22.4% from 34% earlier. This deal assuages Mitsubishi’s viability concerns, which augurs better for the 7,777 companies and 410,000 people it deals with (estimates by Teikoku Databank, a corporate credit research firm).

Tell me more: A few days ago, Mitsubishi admitted to having tampered with the fuel economy data of cars sold in Japan for the last 25 years, including some sold to Nissan.

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News in Numbers – September 23, 2015

News In Numbers: September 23

 

Rs 7,269 crore

The penalty levied by the market regulator on PACL, Delhi-based realty and land development company and its directors. This is the highest ever fine levied by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) so far. PACL had launched a few schemes in 1996 through which it mopped up thousands of crore from small investors but did not register them with the market regulator. SEBI directed it to register these schemes as a collective investment scheme after which, it asked the company not to launch any new schemes. PACL challenged this in the Rajasthan High Court saying these schemes don’t come under the purview of SEBI. The High Court quashed its SEBI’s notice but was later upheld by the Supreme Court, which asked it to investigate the matter. Last year, SEBI asked PACL to refund Rs 49,100 crore to its investors and wind up operations. At Rs 49,100 crore, it is more than twice the amount Sahara was asked to return Rs 24,000 crore it had mobilised from its investors.

 

11 million

The number of cars Volkswagen said has been equipped with the same software that was used to cheat on emission tests in the United States. In the biggest ever scandal in its 78-year-old history, Volkswagen was accused by US regulators of programming around 500,000 vehicles to emit lower levels of harmful emissions during official tests than on roads. The carmaker admitted that the problem was bigger and that rigging was done globally. It has said that it would set aside $7.3 billion to cover the costs of this scandal during the third quarter of this year and that it would adjust its earnings targets for the group accordingly. The CEO of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn, apologised for the current events but has refused to quit.

 

Rs 1.06 versus Rs 2.58 

The comparison between transportation cost via inland waterways and highways per tonne per km. India has failed to develop 14,500 Km of its inland waterways as an alternative to move cargo despite 50% lower costs. The share of goods transported via inland waterways is just 0.4%. The equivalent numbers for Netherlands is 42%, for China and the US, 8.7% and 8% respectively. The Indian government would require Rs 40,000 crore to develop new fairways and funding would come from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency. According to Inland Waterways Authority of India’s chairman, contracts for waterways transport would be awarded in May next year and start work on eight waterways by November 2016. In June this year, a project to develop a fairway between Allahabad and Haldia covering 1,620 km at an estimated Rs 4,200 crore took off with a $3.5 million funding from the World Bank.

 

28.9%

The percentage of India’s diabetics who are from Gujarat, though data from some states were not available. The National Health Profile 2015 released on Tuesday estimated the number of diabetics in India to be 559,718. Rajasthan is home to about 12% of India’s diabetics. Also topping the list of highest burden of hypertension, Gujarat reported 159,150 cases, accounting for 22% of the total number of cases. According to estimates by the World Health Organization, the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension is 62.47 and 159.46 respectively per 1,000 population of India.

 

21%

The drop in pollution levels in the Delhi suburb of Gurgaon, after the area was declared a car-free day on Tuesday. PM 2.5 levels (fine suspended particles emitted by vehicle exhausts) fell by more than a fifth as over 10,000 fewer vehicles plied the roads. Starting next month, every Tuesday will now be declared a car free day. Delhi and its suburbs are among the most polluted cities in the world. Last year, Delhi replaced Beijing as the most polluted city in the world (according to the World Health Organization) and a recent research published in science journal ‘Nature’ said that Delhi had the second highest deaths due to sources of air pollution in the world. It also said in the absence of adequate measures to tackle air pollution, it may continue to be among the top three most polluted cities till 2050.

 

 

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