News in Numbers, Feb 10, 2017: How safe are your debit cards?

3.2 million

 

What is it? Bank customers whose debit card data was stolen in 2016 due to the hacking of Hitachi Payment Services that manages ATMs of certain banks.

 

Why is it important? While millions of users were stricken between May and July of 2016 and had their money stolen, Hitachi Payments only now admitted on Thursday it still does not know the amount of user data compromised. The hacking, detected in September, led to an audit of Hitachi Payments, whose ATMs for banks like ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, SBI were affected the most.

 

Tell me more: The audit results, now out, by SISA Information Security and commissioned by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), tells of a sophisticated malware that concealed its tracks and was able to delete them. Hitachi in its admission says containment measures have been deployed.

 

 

113%

 

What is it? The productivity of the Lok Sabha in the first phase of the Budget session for 2017.

 

Why is it important? The phase which saw the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Bill or the bill on demonetisation, along with others such as the Finance Bill, Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, passed, saw the Lok Sabha accomplish 13% more work than scheduled. This was less than the first phase productivity of 2016’s Budget session (123%). While the data was shared by the Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar, it reiterates a study by think-tank PRS Legislative Research which showed having a majority in the lower house helped keep up Budget session productivity levels for this government. While productivity hovered between 49-89% in 2010-2013 Budget sessions, 2014 onwards, it was at 103-121%.

 

Tell me more: Rajya Sabha productivity in the first phase of the ongoing session was 97%.

 

 

>3 million

 

What is it? The number of people forced from their homes by the civil war going on in South Sudan, the world’s youngest country.

 

Why is it important? The United Nations now says the fighting between the government and rebel forces is reaching “worrying proportions”. Aid workers have had to be evacuated and military supplies and reinforcements find their way to the country.

 

Tell me more: South Sudan’s brief history has been fraught with the ongoing civil war leading to a humanitarian crisis, rife with displacement and food insecurity. A tentative peace agreement struck in 2015 is still to be acted upon.

 

 

$ 250 billion

 

What is it? The amount analysts expect India to spend on defense modernisation over the next 10 years

 

Why is it important? With this large budget, it hopes to get manufacturers shift their production facilities to India, boosting its Make in India campaign. Its deal with Lockheed Martin to make its F-16 combat jets in India was in this direction. However, the defense firm has now said US government under Trump might take a fresh look at the deal, which could be a setback for Make in India efforts.
Tell me more: One of the key campaign promises of Donald Trump was to bring back jobs to America, and the indications are that he will try protectionist measures to achieve that.

 

 

2 million

 

What is it? The number of users Twitter added in the last quarter of 2016. It now has 319 million monthly active users.

 

Why is it important? In contrast, Facebook, its rival in the social media space, added 72 million users. It came during the height of American presidential campaign, with Donald Trump making his most impactful statements on Twitter. The user growth, as well as the merely 1% increase in quarterly revenues hammered the stock price down by 11%.

 

Tell me more: Despite this, Twitter suggested its users are getting more addicted to the platform pointed to the growth (11% quarter on quarter) in daily active user numbers.

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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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