News in Numbers, Feb 27, 2017: Back in stock: Nokia 3310 📲

~Rs 3,500

What is it? The estimated price of the Nokia feature phone redux, the popular 3310.

Why is it important? Nokia, once the most popular mobile brand, is plotting a comeback with a slew of new phones and one relaunch by its current owners, a subsidiary of Foxconn. HMD Global has lined up four phones, including the redesigned feature phone, 3310, for global shipments. Between its launch in 2000 and 2005, the 3310 had sold 120 million units. In India, especially, it could create a stir as more than 55% of mobiles phones are still feature phones.

Tell me more: The new smartphones are priced between Rs 9,000 and Rs 21,000.

 

6.1-6.4%

What is it? The estimates of GDP growth for the third quarter of fiscal 2016-17, when demonetisation was in the full swing.

Why is it important? Surveys of economists by Mint and Reuterspoint to the slowdown caused by demonetisation. The last estimate from the Central Statistics Office of the full fiscal at 7.1% kept the cash-ban effect out of reckoning.

Tell me more: In the July-September quarter, GDP growth rose by 7.3%. International Monetary Fund recently projected 6.6% GDP growth rate for India in 2016-17.

 

9

What is it? People killed in the boat capsize in Tamil Nadu.

Why is it important? Another boat capsize in a little over a month since the Bihar tragedy. Avoidable deaths recur given India’s lax enforcement of water safety measures, mostly when boats not suited for the purpose are used and absence of life jackets onboard. In this case, while the cause remains undetermined, it is being reported that many died trapped in the fishing net inside the vessel, taking them on a joyride off Tuticorin, when it overturned. The boat was not meant for too many passengers.

Tell me more: Tamil Nadu had seen 22 persons killed in another capsize in 2011.

 

630

What is it? The number of generic drugs the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approved in 2016.

Why is it important? The US is one of the largest pharmaceutical markets in the world and generic or unbranded drugs saved its healthcare system $1.68 trillion in the last 10 years. An increase in approvals would give a boost to its healthcare system. But more significantly, nearly 80% of the generic drugs originate or get made in countries like India and China. So, it would also spell a larger market for such drug manufacturers based in these countries. USFDA Approvals are up from 580 in 2015 and 146 in 2014.

Tell me more: India, of course, will have do better to gain from it, as many of the drug manufacturers ran into trouble due to their production units failing the USFDA standards.

 

6

What is it? The number of Academy Awards or the Oscars that La La Land won, out of 14 categories it had been nominated in.

Why is it important? The movie was in the running for matching/breaking the record of the most number of Oscars won by a movie, ie. 11 or more (Ben Hur, Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. However, with a vocal critic base the movie was not able to do so.

Tell me more: For a brief moment, the movie was declared the ‘Best Movie’, the ultimate prize at the Oscars and what would have been the movie’s seventh award of the evening. But it was the presenter’s mistake.

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News in numbers, Feb 3, 2016: India’s borrowing plans for irrigation, Whatsapp’s billion users…

 

Rs 86,000 crore

What is it? Amount India plans to raise by way of overseas loans to fund irrigation projects.

Why is it important? It will add 1.3 crore hectares of irrigated farmland. India has witnessed back-to-back droughts affecting its crop production and threatening to turn it into a net importer of some commodities.

Tell me more: The Indian government is likely to approach the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and state-owned foreign banks for loans with tenures of as much as 25 years. The government-run National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development is likely to take the lead in the borrowing programme.

 

Rs 5,300 crore

What is it? Amount Sahara Group plans to raise by selling some of its assets to help free its jailed chief Subrata Roy.

Why is it important? This is about 15% of the money (Rs 36,000 crore) it has to refund its investors for a time-deposit scheme declared illegal. The group expects to sell the Sahara Star Hotel, its stake in the Formula One racing team to raise Rs 3,000 crore and the rest by selling of three of its overseas properties.

Tell me more: The Supreme Court was expected to take a decision on the appointment of a receiver to auction off some of the group’s properties on Tuesday. The hearing has now been deferred until March 29. The bail amount for Roy’s release was fixed at Rs 10,000 crore.

Rs 1.14 lakh crore

What is it? Investment commitment by electronic manufacturing firms such as LG, Samsung and Foxconn in India in the last 20 months.

Why is it important? Shows global firms’ interest in Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ programme, partly driven by the government’s incentive scheme for companies setting up electronics manufacturing facilities here. It remains to be seen if all the 156 proposals materialise.

Tell me more: The Indian Electronics Systems Design and Manufacturing industry was estimated to be worth $68 billion in 2012 and was projected to increase to $94.2 billion in 2015 at a compounded annual growth rate of 9.9% between 2011-15.

 

1 billion

What is it? Number of users Whatsapp has now, more than double of those using the service when it was acquired by Facebook two years ago.

Why is it important? Whatsapp rivals – Viber and WeChat (along with its Chinese version) – have 400 million users and 650 million monthly active users. However, in terms of monetisation, WeChat’s average revenue per user at $7 is way higher than Whatsapp’s $1.

Tell me more: Facebook reached this target in 2012 and six months ago, 1 billion users logged in on a single day. Facebook acquired Whatsapp for $22 billion in 2014, justifying the price saying it has the potential of reaching 1 billion users. “The global SMS-system does around 20 bn messages a day. Whatsapp is now doing 42 bn. With 57 engineers.” –@BenedictEvans

 

131

What is it? India’s consumer confidence index in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to a Nielsen survey.

Why is this important? India has been on the top of this index for four quarters in a row now. In terms of job prospects and personal finances, Indians were found to be the most optimistic in the world with 80% and 82% of the respondents (respectively) in India said they were confident of these attributes. However, 50% of the polled Indians said the country is in an “economic recession”, meaning the recessionary sentiment is felt strongly.

Tell me more: Consumer confidence index of China, which posted its lowest economic growth numbers in 25 years recently, increased by one point to 107 in the last quarter of 2015.

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News In Numbers – August 10

News In Numbers: August 10

 

1

After losing out to Gujarat in two of the last three years, Maharashtra is prepping itself for a return to the top of the list of states in terms of investments drawn in calendar 2015. Government data on memorandums signed in 2015, till June, between states and entrepreneurs for projects that were implemented shows Maharashtra leading Rajasthan and Gujarat. Since then, Maharashtra has beaten Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh for a $5 billion investment by Taiwanese company Foxconn, and also sealed two other significant deals with General Motors for a car factory and with the Anil Ambani group for an aerospace park.

 

6.6%

Percentage of people in Bihar in the age bracket of 20-34 years who were graduates, according to Census 2011. Among states and union territories, this is the third-lowest, after Tripura and Assam. Chandigarh was the highest, with 28.3%. On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the BJP, as part of a broadside on his party’s political rivals in the state, lamented the youth of Bihar were forced to leave the state because it did not provide them enough opportunities for higher education. Bihar goes to polls later this year.

 

0.03%

The lowest existing expense ratio for exchange traded funds (ETFs) in India currently. ‘Expense ratio’ is the cost of managing a mutual fund scheme, expressed as a percentage of the assets managed by it. Mutual funds are slashing their fees, or expense ratios, in ETFs–which mirror stock indices–to attract investors. Before the recent cut, the lowest expense ratio for equity ETFs in India was 0.07%, whereas the average was 0.6%. Lower expense ratio of equity ETFs is cited as an advantage over actively-managed funds. The total assets under management in ETFs more than tripled from Rs 4,283 crore in May 2012 to Rs 14,008 crore in May 2015.

 

105,443

Print publications are receding in the West, but not in India. Not yet anyway. The number of registered print publications grew to 105,443 in March 2015, an increase of about 12% over the March 2013 figure. Among states, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi, in that order, have the highest number of registered publications. Even as the number of Internet users  increases steadily in India, the print industry still commands about 43% share of all advertising revenue. A recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers has predicted that while the global newspaper industry will continue to decline in established markets, countries such as China and India will be exceptions, accounting for 57.3% of global average daily print circulation in 2019.

 

1,500

The number of yoga asanas the Indian government has shortlisted in order to prevent foreign companies and individuals from obtaining patents or trademarks for ancient yoga techniques. The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a unit under the Ministry of Science and Technology, is responsible for challenging claims at global patent offices. As many as 250 asanas have been video-recorded, with an aim to complete the rest in about six months. In the last five to six years, TKDL has thwarted over 200 attempts to patent Indian products/techniques. A few days ago, a British company’s bid to patent a medicinal composition containing turmeric, pine bark and green tea for hair loss treatment was foiled by India, which argued this was part of India’s traditional knowledge.

 

 

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News In Numbers – August 5

News In Numbers: August 5

 

$2 billion

The amount that Foxconn, the world’s biggest contract manufacturer, plans to spend in India to set up 10-12 facilities over the next 5-10 years. With plans to set up an electronics manufacturing ecosystem to produce televisions, routers, switches and batteries, the Taiwanese-based firm is also looking to invest in areas such as hardware and software integration, application software and testing and energy efficiency. It is already working with some Indian companies, including Snapdeal, Adani Enterprises and Micromax, and had announced last month it was looking to set up an India-focussed venture fund to invest in startups. Foxconn entered India in 2006 with investment plans of Rs 485 crore, when it tagged along with Nokia Corporation as its vendor. But, it had to shut down its factory after the Finnish company stopped operations, the result of being embroiled in legal wrangles.

 

Rs 7,500 crore

Amount of funds that real estate company DLF is planning to raise by pledging more than 50% of its stake in three subsidiaries: DLF Cyber City Developers, Caraf Builders and Constructions and DLF Assets. This move is aimed at paring its debt, which stood at Rs 20,695 crore in March 2015. In 2014, the capital market regulator barred DLF from accessing the capital markets for three years. Although a tribunal set aside this order, the regulator has challenged this decision in the Supreme Court. The promoters of as many as 359 BSE-listed companies have pledged half their stakes, an indicator of stressed corporate finances in an economy that struggling to get back on track.

 

19.9%

The percentage of food adulterated samples in 2014-15, an increase from the 14.8% in 2012-13 and 18.8% in 2013-14. The issue of food safety and testing came to light after excessive quantities of lead were found in certain samples of Nestle India’s popular noodles brand Maggi. However, a few days ago, the Central Food Technological Research Institute, a laboratory approved by the food regulator, had found Maggi Noodles to be in compliance with India’s food safety standards. Even as the fate of Maggi lies in balance, Nestle India posted a quarterly loss in the April-June quarter, its first in 15 years.

 

9%

Percentage of project proposals decided after making a site visit by the coastal zone management authorities (CZMAs) of nine states. Of the 4,033 projects assessed, mostly between 1999 and 2014 for most states, the respective CZMAs made site visits in only 367. This is just one of the many shortcomings or lapses in coastal regulation highlighted in a recent report by New Delhi-based thinktank Centre of Policy Research. Other points include inadequate monitoring, inappropriate staffing, lack of financial resources and inordinate amount of time spent in project proposals.

 

90.9

Percentage of respondents who believe prices will increase in the next one year, in general, according to the ‘Inflation Expectations Survey of Households’ conducted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in June. This percentage has increased from that recorded in June 2014 when 83.6% of the respondents felt this way. The equivalent numbers across all categories such as food prices, non-food prices, housing prices and cost of services have seen an increase in June 2015 from last year. The Consumer Confidence Survey by the RBI shows that the perception on economic conditions has marginally increased for the next one year, though negative perceptions have also registered an increase. Yesterday, the RBI left the key interest rate unchanged, as it was not confident about inflation levels being in a comfort zone yet.

 

 

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