News in Numbers, Mar 29, 2017: 🚗 Bangalore’s long commute 😳

Rs 6,193.9 crore

What is it? The value of Bharti Airtel’s stake in tower operator Bharti Infratel, sold to a group of PE players, including KKR and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).

Why is it important? The funds will be used by the telecom operator, India’s largest, to reduce debt and become limber to take on competition. Net debt of company in the December quarter of FY17 rose to $14.4 billion from $12.2 billion in the previous quarter.

Tell me more: The deal values Bharti Infratel at 4% premium over Rs 312.55 closing price.

 

Rs 263.10 crore

What is it? The value of movable and immovable properties of Deccan Chronicle Holdings attached by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Why is it important? The value is 22% of the alleged loss caused by the media group to six public sector banks. The agency calculates a loss of Rs 1,161.93 crore, as the group understated previous loans and cooked the books to show fabricated income.

Tell me more: The case snowballed from the first complaint in 2012 when Canara Bank ran up losses of Rs 357.7 crore due to Deccan Chronicle’s alleged cheating.

 

10%

What is it? The import tax on wheat to be levied with immediate effect.

Why is it important? Wheat was seeing large overseas purchases as an import duty was scrapped in December, 2016. The reintroduction is being seen as a move to aid Indian farmers as they ready to harvest their crop this season. Biscuit manufacturers and flour millers were resorting to imports going into millions of kilo to meet a shortfall after two years of drought. Wheat import in FY17, till December, increased by 60% over the whole of FY16 in volume.

Tell me more: The import tax on wheat was 25% till last September, after which it was slashed to 10% till December.

 

Rs 260 crore

What is it? The amount Indian Railways has reportedly earned from the flexi-fare system, where ticket prices in premium trains go up (with a cap of 50%) as seats get filled up.

Why is it important? While the revenues went up (13 times more than expected), occupancy rates have come down in some premium trains. At present, the flexi-fare applied to 90% of the seats. Railways is now planning to bring it down to 50%, in an attempt to reduce vacant seats.

Tell me more: Flexi-fares were introduced in Rajdhani, Duronto, Shatabdi trains last September.

 

47 minutes

What is it? One-way commute time for a Bengaluru tech worker to reach office, according to a study by Savills, a property consultancy.

Why is it important? It’s ranked worst among the 22 cities surveyed by the study, and explains the constraints faced by the tech companies in Bangalore. Once known as retirement haven, Bangalore’s journey as a tech city began in the 70s, and grew rapidly with the rise of outsourcing. It became a natural hub for tech startups as a result. The rapid rise has put pressure on its creaking infrastructure.

Tell me more: The study looked at five areas including business conditions, tech environment, quality of life and cost of accommodation to rank the cities. Overall, Bangalore is ranked 20. Austin, San Francisco and New York claimed the top three spots.

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