PoS-itive additions 💳📊

1.4 billion

What is it? The amount e-commerce firm Flipkart raised from eBay, Microsoft and Tencent

Why is it important? It’s the biggest amount raised in a single funding round by an Indian start-up. It came at a pre-money valuation of $10.2 billion, signalling the confidence investors have showed in the company that saw a series of markdowns in the last couple of years. The funding – and acquisition of eBay India, that was a part of the deal – will strengthen Flipkart as it fights its aggressive and better endowed competitor Amazon.

Tell me more: There have also been talks that Snapdeal, the third largest commerce player in the country will be merged with Flipkart, along with additional funding from SoftBank.

 

21%

What is it? The share of the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) region in the global IPOs (initial public offerings) in first three months of 2017.

Why is it important? India with 26 IPOs accounted for nearly 34% of the region’s activity that ranked it second to Asia-Pacific in IPO numbers. EMEIA ranked third with 15% share in global proceeds, behind Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

Tell me more: The EMEIA region had 77 IPOs, raising $5.2 billion in all in Jan-Mar, 2017.

 

>2.5 million

What is it? The number of point-of-sale (PoS) machines at merchant establishments/shops.

Why is it important? PoS machine availability in India trails that of BRIC nations such as Brazil and China where per capita PoS availability for swiping plastic money is higher. Demonetisation had brought the scarcity into focus as people had to do less cash transactions. The numbers inched from 1.5 million swipe machines in October, 2016, to 1.7 million in December, 2.2 million in February, 2017, to over 2.5 million now. SBI has led with installation of 124,000 machines.

Tell me more: The count, shared by a National Payments Corporation of India official, is a little less than Niti Aayog’s estimate of 2.8 million PoS machines in February.

 

17 days

What is it? The time the UK-to-China freight train would take to reach its destination in Zhejiang, travelling along the ancient ‘Silk Road’ route.

Why is it important? The time taken by the train between the two countries, spanning a route along seven other countries, is still half the duration at sea. It is also cheaper than sending goods by air. While the train had brought household items, clothes, and consumer fashion goods from China, it is transporting soft drinks, baby products and pharmaceuticals on the maiden return journey.

Tell me more: Chinese premier, Xi Jinping’s 2013 “One Belt, One Road” policy to revive land-routes for trading with the West, has made London the 15th European city with a direct rail connection.

 

$50.9 billion

What is it? Tesla’s market cap at the end of trading on Monday

Why is it important? It is now the most valued car company in the US, beating General Motors, the 108 year old giant, by 64 million dollars. Tesla’s position is seen more as a reflection of investors’ faith in Elon Musk’s vision for the future of electric cars, than the present financials of the companies. GM earned $9 billion in 2016, and Teslalost $674 million. GM sold nearly 10 million vehicles, and Tesla sold 80,000 globally.

Tell me more: Toyota, with its  $172 billion market cap, is the biggest carmaker by market value at present. Volkswagen, with a sale of 10.31 million vehicles in 2016, is the largest carmaker by sales volume, closely followed by Toyota.

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News in Numbers, Mar 21, 2017: How happy are you? 😰, 😒, 😌, 😃 or 😜?

Rs 27,420 crore

What is it? The amount banks will have to write off if the new Uttar Pradesh government grants its election promise of farm loan waiver.

Why is it important? The hit is around 8% of UP’s revised revenue estimates of Rs 3,40,255.24 crore, for FY17. Both the state and the banks with UP farmers as clients will get affected by the measure.

Tell me more: An SBI research which points out the write-off amount, says scheduled commercial banks have an outstanding farm credit of Rs 86,241.20 crore. Most of the loans have been lent to small and marginal farmers.

 

$1 billion

What is it? The amount Flipkart raised in its latest funding round from investors including Microsoft and Tencent.

Why is it important? This is the second $1 billion single round of funding for Flipkart. It coincides with a period of devaluations by Flipkart’s existing investors. Even though the latest funding is said to have valued it between $10-11 billion, it shows not all investors have lost confidence in the desi e-commerce company.

Tell me more: Flipkart is eyeing another $500-1,000 million in the near future.

 

$20 million

What is it? The estimated value of the sky mansion, being built for Vijay Mallya in Bengaluru.

Why is it important? The cantilevered villa being constructed atop a residential tower on land that held Mallya’s ancestral home, could join the list of Mallya’s assets which have been put up for sale to help recover the dues of a consortium of banks. It is 1.4% in value (Rs 131 crore, roughly) of the loan amount of Rs 9,000 crore banks are seeking to recover from the fugitive businessman.

Tell me more: While it is unlikely the business baron would return to stay in the mansion, it will be a challenge to sell it as lenders have found with Mallya’s other properties repeatedly.

 

122

What is it? India’s rank in the latest World Happiness Report. The report ranked 155 countries.

Why is it important? India has slipped four spots from 118 from the previous ranking, and is behind its neighbours including Pakistan (ranked 80), Sri Lanka (ranked 120 ) and Bangladesh (ranked 110) and Nepal (ranked 99). Bhutan, which measures Gross National Happiness, the only country that does it, is ranked 97. China is ranked 79.  Norway topped the list.

Tell me more: The World Happiness Report is published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The first report came out in 2012. It measures happiness in six categories, explained by GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and trust or absence of corruption.

 

2010

What is it? The number of people associated with extremist organisations in Bangladesh who infiltrated into India in 2016, according to a report by Bangladesh government.

Why is it important? India is reportedly skeptical of the exact number of infiltrations, but the report highlights the increasing risk the country faces from extremist ideologies. The extremist groups mentioned in the report are Harkat-ul-Jihadi al-Islami (HuJI) and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh. They entered Assam, Tripura and West Bengal, the three bordering states.

Tell me more: The rise of religious extremism in Bangladesh has raised concerns in the past. In July last year, 29 people were killed in a terrorist attack in Dhaka.

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News in Numbers, Feb 07, 2017: A season of crackdowns

Rs 14,779 crore

What is it? The principal balance the Supreme Court wants to expedite recovering from the  Sahara Group for its investors.

Why is it important? Striking down Sahara’s appeal for time till 2019, the apex court ordered attaching its star property in Pune, the Aamby Valley, as part of the recovery process. Around Rs 600 crore of its Rs-25,780-crore principal owed was paid on Monday.  SC’s order was the latest entry in a season of crackdowns on erring business houses/moguls. The property will be under the court’s custody.

Tell me more: The court has asked for a list of other Sahara properties free from litigation for recovery of its dues to investors in two of Sahara’s companies. The due totals Rs 37,000 crore, as calculated by Sebi, including interest, of which around Rs 11,000 crore has been paid so far.

97

What is it? Number of companies, 96% of them tech giants, that filed a court motion challenging US President Donald Trump’s order on immigration.

Why is it important? Companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, Intel, Netflix and Twitter, and three consumer-goods companies including fashion brand Levi Strauss, have taken a step further than just denouncing the executive order by taking legal recourse. They join federal judges who have legally rebuffed Trump’s move to restrict immigration of certain nationalities, with one even restraining it nationwide. The companies’ motion was filed in the very appeals court which rejected the government’s emergency request to resume the travel ban.

Tell me more: The motion filed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said the travel ban “violates the immigration laws and the Constitution”.

Rs 2.5 lakh

What is it? The upper limit of deposits for which the Income Tax department will ask no questions, reiterated by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman Sushil Chandra.

Why is it important? Amidst growing concern about the expanding reach of the tax officer with all the cash-scrutiny, the senior official’s statement should bring relief. The limit means the IT department will for now refrain from running analytics on deposits below it.

Tell me more: It would study larger single deposits or multiple deposits against a single PAN card that don’t match IT returns.

80%

What is it? Percentage of Tata Sons’ shareholder votes that were in favour of removing former chairman Cyrus Mistry from Tata Sons’ board of directors

Why is it important? The move is a part of the ongoing fight between Tatas and Mistry that started with the removal of Mistry from the chairmanship of Tata Sons in October, followed by similar actions in various Tata companies, including Tata Motors and Tata Consultancy Services. The latest was expected. Tata Trusts controls 66% of Tata Sons, and a simple majority is enough to oust a director. Shapoorji Pallonji family, to which Cyrus Mistry belongs, and which owns 18.4% in Tata Sons, now has no representation in the board for the first time in over ten years.

Tell me more: Cyrus Mistry did not attend the board meeting. Ratan Tata’s half brother Noel Tata, whose sister is married to Mistry, voted in favour of Mistry’s removal from the board.

9

What is it? The number of chief justices recommended by Supreme Court collegium for various high courts

Why is it important? If the government approves, this would likely be the highest number of appointments of chief justices in one go. Many high courts in the country are being served by interim chief justices. More importantly, it’s an indicator that the tension between the government and the judiciary over appointment of judges could be easing. At its height, Supreme Court had struck down National Judicial Appointments Commission in October 2015 and revived the collegium system in which a panel of judges make the judicial appointments.

Tell me more: Besides High Courts, the Supreme Court also faces vacancies as a result of the tug of war. The apex court has been functioning with 23 judges since early this year, falling short of the sanctioned strength of 31.

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Chart of the Day | LinkedIn User Growth

With 37 million of its members in India, LinkedIn counts the country as its second largest market after the US. Its potential is even bigger. Facebook, with 125 million users, is thrice as big in the country. So, it’s no wonder that LinkedIn has launched a lite version of its mobile app, which will work better with lower data speed, to expand its user base here. This chart shows how it has grown globally since 2009.

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