Locking in home-loan borrowers

3 years

What is it? The numbers of years of lock-in before home loan borrowers can transfer their outstanding amount to another lender. A demand made by mortgage loan lenders to the regulator, National Housing Board.

Why is it important? If accepted, borrowers won’t be able to transfer their loan balance to take advantage of falling interest rates. In the last six months, lending rates has dropped by 120 basis points (one basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point). Lenders say a lock-in will reduce churn in their portfolio, and better manage their borrowing and lending costs.

Tell me more: Housing loans is estimated at Rs 1,063,225 crore as on March 2015, much higher than total credit outstanding of scheduled commercial banks.

 

 

Rs 1.42 trillion

What is it? The direct taxes collected in April-June of 2017-18 financial year.

Why is it important? It is 14.8% more than the net collection last year in the same quarter and is 14.5% of the Rs 9.8 lakh-crore target for direct taxes in 2017-18.

Tell me more: The advance tax collection stood at Rs 58,783 crore in the quarter. It comprised a jump of 40.3% in personal advance tax and a corporate advance tax of 8.1%.

 

 

96

What is it? The Fifa rank of the Indian men’s football team.

Why is it important? The national football team ranked its second-best in the Fifa (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) listing, after 1996’s 94th spot. The team has 341 points and has won 13 of their last 15 matches, remaining unbeaten in the last eight.

Tell me more: The football team had to climb 77 spots from 173rd in March, 2015 to reach here.

 

 

1,155 cubic km

What is it? The volume of ice that is set to break away from the Antarctic ice shelf.

Why is it important? This is going to produce one of the largest icebergs in the South Pole. It is one of the alarming fallouts of global warming, ie. rising temperature. The rift in the Larsen C ice shelf is now within 5 km of breaking all the way, and is already 200 km-long.

Tell me more: The iceberg, thus adrift, could pose a hazard for sea traffic. The free-floating ice shelves also prevent ice from land to flow into the sea. But if these break apart then land-based ice could result in raised water levels of the oceans and seas.

 

 

Rs 6,000 – Rs 7,000 crore

What is it? The likely amount SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd is expected to rise from selling 12% equity stake through an initial public offering (IPO). The private insurer got the approval from the insurance regulator recently.

Why is it important? If successful, SBI Life will be the second life insurance company to list the shares in the stock markets. At Rs 7,000 crore for 12% stake, SBI Life’s market capitalization will be around Rs 58,000 crore.

Tell me more: ICICI Prudential, the number one private life insurer, sold Rs 6,057 crore of shares through an IPO, and is currently valued Rs 70,239 crore.

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Karnataka joins waiver club

Rs 4,000 crore

What is it? Amount raised by the Special Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (SUUTI) after selling 2.5% equity stake in engineering firm Larsen & Toubro.

Why is it important? The money will be accounted under disinvestment receipts of the central government, which owns SUUTI. So far, disinvestment receipts has touched Rs 6,400 crore out of the target of Rs 72,500 crore for the full year ending March 2018.

Tell me more: SUUTI was created when government took over assets and liabilities of erstwhile Unit Trust of India’s assured schemes like US 64 – which had promised returns as high as 18% – in 2001.

 

170 times

What is it? The number of times the initial public offering of Central Depository Services (CDSL) was oversubscribed on the last day of the offer period.

Why is it important? This demand shows buoyant primary market for companies. So far, companies have raised more than Rs 10,000 crore via IPO in 2017 – only the third time ever to cross this mark.

Tell me more: At the upper end of price band of Rs 145 – 149, CDSL will fetch Rs 524 crore from the IPO.

 

Rs 8,165

What is it? The amount of farm loans waived by the Karnataka government.

Why is it important? This will benefit 2.2 million farmers who have taken loans upto Rs 50,000 from state cooperative banks. Karnataka is the fourth state after Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab to waive off crop loans.

Tell me more: Only 20% of crop loans are taken from state cooperative banks in Karnataka, and the rest are from scheduled banks.

 

50 basis points

What is it? The amount of repo rate cut sought by Ravindra Dholakia, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in the last meeting held on June 6 and 7 this year.

Why is it important? This is the first time in the last 10 months that a decision by MPC, which sets interest rates for the central bank, was not consensual. Dholakia argued to cut rates to boost growth as inflation was less than central bank’s target of 4%. Other five members were not convinced that record low inflation will sustain. 2

Tell me more: Repo rate is the rate at which the central bank lends to banks. Lower repo rates could mean lower interest rates for retail and corporate borrowers.

 

23%

What is it? The mortality rates of heart patients in India, one year after diagnosis.

Why is it important? Indian heart patients had the highest mortality rates, except for patients from Africa. This is because patients reached hospitals at a much later stage, and have other complications like diabetes and hypertension

Tell me more: Heart failure patients in India from India, South Asia and Africa were 10 years younger than patients in US and Europe.

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A costly waiver

Rs 30,500 crore

What is it? The amount Maharashtra government was set to waive off in farm loans, according to its chief minister last week.

Why is it important? The government has now said it would waive off all farm loans, in response to farmers’ unrest.  The final amount is yet to be confirmed, but the amount the government was willing to waive off represents over 98% of the state’s planned capital expenditure of Rs 31,006 crore. The promise of the waiver of all outstanding loan payments saw farmers end their strike of over a week.

Tell me more: The strike had seen destruction of farm and dairy produce, leading to a rise in prices in the state.

 

17.79 million-tonne

What is it? India’s fuel consumption in May, 2017.

Why is it important? The country’s fuel demand rose 5.4%, the most in the last six months. It had suffered a setback in January-March, when demand fell following demonetisation. The pickup began last month.

Tell me more: Diesel, which comprises 40% of the sales, rose 8% to 7.5 million-tonne, while petrol 15% to 2.4 million-tonne, in May, 2017 over last year.

 

4

What is it? The number of days of listing time for initial public offerings (IPOs), the markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is considering.

Why is it important? It would be less than the present norm of six days taken to list a company on the stock exchanges from the end of bidding in an IPO. The reduction aims to cut the time for which investors’ money is locked in, a move Sebi had been mulling for a few years.

Tell me more: In 2015, the applications supported by blocked amount (Asba), a mandatory service for retail investors, was introduced cutting down listing times. It made banks debit the investment only after the stock allotment. By January, 2016, the time gap came down to six days from the earlier 12 days.

 

66

What is it? The number of items for which GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council has reduced tax rates.

Why is it important? The council was facing demands to reduce tax rates for 133 goods and services, and it’s an indicator of intense pressure it is facing as the government prepares to roll out GST from 1st July. The council also relaxed rules for more number of small and medium businesses – by increasing the the upper limit for the ‘composition scheme’ to Rs 75 lakh. Composition scheme exempts small businesses with a certain turnover from GST, and lets some of them pay GST at a concessional rate.

Tell me more: The items with reduced rates include some cinema tickets, insulin, instant food mixes and printers. GST council will meet again to clear the remaining issues – including e-way bills and lotteries – on June 18th.

 

$2.68 million

What is it? The amount an anonymous bidder will donate to a San Francisco charity to have lunch with billionaire Warren Buffett.

Why is it important? The bid amount is down from $3.46 million in 2016, also from an anonymous donor. Auctioned on ebay, Power Lunch with Warren Buffett has been garnering over a million dollars every year in the last ten years. The annual auctions began in 2000.

Tell me more: Glide, the charity, helps the homeless, homeless women and drug users  in San Francisco. Buffett has raised over 25 million for Glide in the 18 auctions so far.

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News in Numbers, Jan 17, 2017:

Rs 10,000

What is it? The daily limit of cash withdrawal at ATMs, raised from Rs 4,500 by the Reserve Bank of India.

Why is it important? Higher ATM withdrawal limit could be a signal from the central bank that it can now handle cash better since the withdrawal of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Though the overall withdrawal limit a week remains unchanged at Rs 24,000, the decision will reduce the number of trips one has to make to the ATM.

Tell me more: Cash withdrawal limit at ATMs has been raised from the initial Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500 two days into demonetisation, to Rs 4,500 on December 31, to the current value. Limits on current accounts have been revised from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000.

8 million

What is it? Estimated tax-payers under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, slated to be unveiled from July 1 of this year.

Why is it important? A crucial milestone was reached on Monday as the centre and the states agreed on the ratio of control over small taxpayers and when to roll out the GST. Small taxpayers with turnover below Rs 1.5-crore will be shared between centre and the states in the ratio of 10:90 for audit and scrutiny. This will be randomly generated.

Tell me more: The draft laws for GST and various tax slabs are yet to be constituted. But in the ninth GST council meeting, there was consensus to meet the new deadline.

Rs 1,243 crore

What is it? The amount of money the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) may raise in its initial public offering (IPO) next week.

Why is it important? BSE, Asia’s oldest stock exchange, will be the first IPO in 2017. Last year, 26 firms raised Rs 26,000 crore through IPOs – the third biggest in the last 25 years. Seventeen out of the 26 firms are trading above their listing price.

Tell me more: Singapore Exchange Ltd, Atticus Mauritius and billionaire George Soros’ Quantum will be selling 15.4 million shares for Rs 805-806 a share. The other Indian stock exchange, National Stock Exchange, too, is looking to dilute 22.5% stake for Rs 10,000 crore

$30-50 billion

What is it? Saudi Arabia’s investment in its renewables energy programme to produce 10 gigawatts of power.

Why is it important? The producer of 13.6% of the world’s crude oil production is betting on non-fossil fuels to generate energy for itself. The project’s first stage would be generating nuclear energy. With crude oil bringing in 85% of its forex and accounting for 50% of its GDP, Saudi Arabia is taking steps to ensure its continuity by resorting to other fuels at home and cutting back crude production to prop up global prices.

Tell me more: The first two nuclear reactors would be for 2.8 gigawatts of energy. It will also look to connect to other countries such as Jordan and Egypt for the renewables energy projects

35%

What is it? US President-elect Donald Trump threatened to levy the import tax on German-made cars if they are not locally made.

Why is it important? Trump has legal powers to impose 15% import tariff for 150 days without US Congress approval, and if companies file litigation, it will take 18 months to decide, says Simon Evenett, an international trade expert. Earlier, Trump asked GM and Toyota to shift operations from Mexico to service local demand.

Tell me more: The German automakers’ shares were hit, following the outburst. BMW shares fell by 1.5% in Frankfurt, VW by 1.8% and Daimler (Mercedes Benz-owner) by 1.6%

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