DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 28JAN10 - Sir Martin Sorrell, Group Chief Executive, WPP Plc, United Kingdom captured during the session 'Will India Meet Global Expectations?' at the Congress Centre at the Annual Meeting 2010 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2010.

Copyright by World Economic Forum
swiss-image.ch/Photo by Sebastian Derungs

Exit Martin Sorrell

 

2

What is it? The number of BJP ministers whose resignations were accepted by Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday.

Why is it important? Chander Parkash Ganga and Choudhary Lal Singh have come under fire for their participation in a rally supporting those arrested in connection with the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua. Besides this case, the ruling BJP has come under criticism for the Unnao case, where a minor girl tried to commit suicide in front of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence after inaction over a complaint where she has alleged that she was raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Senghar.

Tell me more: The counsel of the family of the Kathua victim plans to move the Supreme Court today, asking the case to be transferred outside the state.

 

35%

What is it? The drop in share price of WPP Plc, the world’s largest advertising and communication services company, in the past 14 months. Since 1995, though, the WPP share has increased 16-fold.

Why is it important? On Saturday, WPP chief executive Martin Sorrell resigned 33 years after founding it. His resignation comes in the wake of an investigation into personal misconduct involving company funds. Sorrell’s departure and the loss in market value could lead to WPP being split to unlock value.

Tell me more: Sorrell, 73, is one of the UK’s highest-earning business leaders, drawing above 200 million pounds in the past five years. As part of his separation package, he is in line to receive 20 million pounds a year for the next five years.

 

Rs 8,000 crore

What is it? The amount by which the non-performing assets of Indian banks is set to increase in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 due to just one account, Gitanjali Gems, as there was no servicing of debt in the last quarter.

Why is it important? In the wake of the Gitanjali Gems case, other banking frauds have come to light, exacerbating the problem of bad loans in the Indian banking system. In the last four financial years alone, public sector banks have written off Rs 2,41,000 crore worth of loans, of which they have recovered just one-tenth.

Tell me more: In 2010-11, a consortium of 21 banks, led by Allahabad Bank, had extended a working capital loan to Gitanjali Gems; in 2014, ICICI Bank became the lead banker, with an exposure of Rs 900 crore.

 

66

What is it? The number of medals (26 gold, 20 silver and 20 bronze) won by India in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which culminated yesterday.

Why is it important? India finished third this year, after Australia and England, whose gold medal count stood at 80 and 45, respectively. In overall medals, India finished fourth, after Australia (198), England (136) and Canada (82). This is India’s third-best performance at the

Commonwealth Games, after 101 medals in 2010 and 69 medals in 2002. It bettered its count of 64 medals it won in Glasgow four years ago.

Tell me more: There were 218 participants from India this year, of which 103 were women and 115 men.

 

7

What is it? The number of bids received by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to manage the Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports. Ahmedabad received three bids and Jaipur four.

Why is it important? AAI had invited bids for these two airports last year, but did not receive much interest due to terms and conditions that private players reportedly found onerous. Some terms have since been relaxed. These two airports are being seen as immediate test cases for state-owned AAI to improve traffic and increase private participation at more airports.

Tell me more: The AAI manages 139 airports, and 90% of them are loss-making, though AAI is a profitable entity.

 

Read More

Privacy: Our new fundamental right?

Rs 18,000 crore

What is it? The minimum additional amount Indian banks need to provide towards taking 12 of the country’s largest defaulters to bankruptcy court as directed by the central bank, according to India Ratings and Research.

Why is it important? The current weighted average provisioning of the banks towards these 12 accounts is 42% and the rating agency forecasts that this would reduce the banks’ profits by 25% in 2017-18. The Reserve Bank of India has asked the creditor banks to provide for 50% of the bad loans on cases that are being referred to the National Company Law Tribunal.

Tell me more: The non-performing assets of India’s 12 largest defaulters amount to Rs 1.78 lakh crore, which constitutes about a quarter of the overall gross non-performing assets.

 

15,000

What is it? The number of employees, including contractors, of Air India that could be offered a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS).

Why is it important? If implemented, this would be one of the largest such offers among India’s public sector companies and comes ahead of its likely sale in the future. The Narendra Modi cabinet recently gave its approval to sell a part or all of the state carrier’s operations. Air India, which has a debt of Rs 50,000 crore and a 14% market share, has been struggling to get off the ground.

Tell me more: Air India’s net tax after loss narrowed by around 5% to Rs 3,643 crore in 2016-17 while its operating profit grew nearly threefold to Rs 300 crore in the same fiscal.

 

Rs 211.7

What is it? The median hourly gross salary for manufacturing sector in 2016, according to Monster Salary Index by online recruitment portal Monster India.

Why is it important? Not only did it see a 16% decline from Rs 252.1 in 2015 but it was also the lowest paying sector last year among those analysed. This indicates that the government’s plans to transform the country into a manufacturing hub and increase the sector’s contribution to the Indian economy to a quarter from the current 16% by 2025 may not be going as intended. The sector employs around 12-13% of the workforce.

Tell me more: The banking, financial services and the insurance sector was the highest paid in 2016 with Rs 433 as median hourly gross salary followed by the IT services at Rs 386.8.

 

9

What is it? The number of Supreme Court judges on the Constitution bench that will decide whether Indian citizens have the right to privacy under the Constitution or not, starting from  Wednesday.

Why is it important? The five-judge Constitution bench deliberating on Aadhaar Act’s possible violation of a person’s right to privacy, felt it had to be first determined if privacy was one of our fundamental rights. Fundamental rights are guaranteed Indian citizens by the Constitution, but the right to privacy is not mentioned explicitly. This is why the Supreme Court is attempting to interpret the Constitution to determine the right, much like the freedom of press.

Tell me more: Past rulings have not favoured citizens’ privacy. The former attorney general of India, Mukul Rohatgi, has maintained since 2015 that Indian citizens don’t have a fundamental right to privacy. In 1954 and 1962, Supreme Court judgements, by smaller sized benches (eight- and six-judge) had held privacy was not a fundamental right. Debates around privacy say it is a non-negotiable right.

 

Rs 1.2 to 6 lakh

What is it? The monthly salary range amount quoted by specialist doctors to work in rural Karnataka. The state government has invited doctors to quote their price to fill 1,221 vacant jobs.

Why is it important? The bidding by specialists reveal the salary expectations by specialist doctors like anaesthetists, gynaecologists and obstetricians, as compared to standard government package. Obstetricians and gynaecologists quoted the highest at Rs 6 lakh per month, and the lowest salary bids were from general surgery, orthopaedics and general medicine (Rs 60,000 to Rs 1.2 lakh).

Tell me more: So far, 5,262 doctors have applied. Here too Bengaluru attracted the maximum applications.

Read More

Ola given a thumbs up

Rs 670 crore

What is it? The amount Indian cab-hailing app Ola has raised in its latest round of funding, the fifth-largest investment in the firm. US hedge fund Falcon Edge led the latest round, along with new investor Ratan Tata’s RNT Capital Advisors.

Why is it important? The company is locked in fierce competition with US-based Uber Technologies over the Indian market, and the latest investment will give it more firepower. In 2015-16, Ola posted a net loss of Rs 2,313 crore, which was thrice the loss it posted in 2014-15.

Tell me more: Ola’s latest valuation could not be ascertained, but media reports placed it at $3.5 billion, which would be a drop from $4.8 billion in August 2015.

 

Rs 697,409 crore

What is it? The value of non-performing assets in the Indian banking system, which an ordinance passed yesterday by the Union cabinet is looking to address.

Why is it important? The ordinance, awaiting the President’s approval, aims to give the central bank more teeth. It can, for example, give specific directions to banks regarding NPAs. Till December, 2016, bad loans amounted to Rs 697,409 crore, according to an estimate, with state-owned banks accounting for 88% of this.

Tell me more: The ordinance, amending the Banking Regulation Act, will let the RBI also set up committees to oversee cases of bankers being investigated for restructured loans.

 

308,000

What is it? The number of new digital news subscriptions added by New York Times in the first quarter of 2017.

Why is it important? Like several print publications in the US, NYT too has been pushing its digital subscriptions to stay relevant and drive up sales among an audience increasingly getting their news from electronic modes. The latest subscriber additions enabled a 5% year-on-year growth in revenues to $398.8 million, which was higher than analyst expectations.

Tell me more: NYT’s digital-only subscriptions to its news and crossword products brought in $75.82 million of revenues in the quarter, a year-on-year growth of about 40%.

 

50.76 million

What is it? The number of iPhones sold by Apple in the second quarter (ended April 1, 2017) of FY17.

Why is it important? Despite the launch of a signature red iPhone 7 to sustain buyer interest, Apple’s star product, the iPhone, saw an unexpected dip in volume sales: down 0.8% over the 51.2 million units sold in Q2 of FY16 and 35% over the preceding festive quarter.

Tell me more: Apple’s shares lost 1.9% on Wednesday. Its net income (profit) in the quarter rose 4.9% to $11.03 billion.

 

5

What is it? The number of appearances made by Italian side Juventus in the finals of the UEFA Champions League, Europe’s premier club competition in football since 1992-93.

Why is it important? Juventus is looking good for a sixth appearance after turning in a clinical performance to beat French side Monaco 2-0, that too away, on Wednesday night.

Tell me more: With 5 final appearances, Juventus is joint second with Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid. But it has also lost more finals than any other club—4 in all—and will be looking to break a hoodoo this year.

Read More

News in Numbers, Mar 16, 2017: Snapped 👓

$2.3 billion

What is it? The amount State Bank of India, the country’s largest bank, plans to raise from capital market in the coming fiscal.

Why is it important? It will help the bank to increase its capital adequacy ratio from  13.73% at present. It will also help in providing for bad loans. State Bank’s gross NPAs (non performing assets, or bad loans) stands at 7.23% of its total loans. Its chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya recently said that resolution of NPAs is one of the key near term challenges for the bank.

Tell me more: Bad loans is a broader problem in the country, and Indian banks need $90 billion to meet Basel III standards, according to rating agency Fitch.

 

Rs 200

What is it? The maximum a cinema theatre can charge per ticket in Karnataka.

Why is it important? In the neighbouring Tamil Nadu, movie ticket price is capped at Rs 120. It was not the only populist measure that Karnataka, which presented its budget on Wednesday, took from Tamil Nadu. The state will open 198 “Namma Canteens” in the Bengaluru to provide breakfast for Rs 5, and lunch and dinner for Rs 10, similar to the hugely popular Amma Unavagam, state subsidized canteens, in Tamil Nadu.

Tell me more:  The budget – which had a number of announcements aimed at improving infrastructure, access to finance and healthcare – also removed value-added tax on liquor.

 

$24.49 billion

What is it? India’s exports in February 2017.

Why is it important? It’s up 17.49% from same period last year. Imports went up 21.76% to $33.39 billion. The increase in trade comes at a time when there is widespread fear that the world is turning more protectionist, led by United States and Europe.

Tell me more: Trade deficit came down to $8.9 billion in February from a provisional $9.84 billion in January 2017. For the eleven months ending February trade deficit stood at $95.3 billion.

 

14%

What is it? India’s logistics cost as a percentage of GDP.

Why is it important? High logistics cost is an indicator of inefficiency, and erodes competitiveness of a country. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, said the government wants to address it and has unveiled a plan that includes aviation as a part of multi-modal logistics hubs in India. The 400 regional airports that the government is setting up across the country will have cold storage and other logistics solutions to make the sector more efficient, he said.

Tell me more: The government expects 15 logistics parks to be set up in the next five years, as a part of the larger Make in India initiative.

 

$20.77

What is it? Share price of Snap, the company that runs Snapchat, at the close of Wednesday

Why is it important? Snap made its debut in the public market on March 2 at $24, and hit an intra-day high of $29.44 the next day. Its IPO was priced at $17, and its grand debut was seen as a reflection of the high valuation that the companies at the intersection of social, mobile and hardware commanded. However, many analysts believe that it’s over-priced, and see the decline that Snap saw in the four out of last five sessions as a necessary correction.

Tell me more: Snap’s market cap is at $24.06 billion. Unlike Facebook, which has users from across age groups, Snap appeals mainly to an younger audience. It had 161 million daily active users end of December.

Read More