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.

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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.

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News in Numbers, July 8, 2016: Demand notices to 6 telecom firms, sale of bad loans in 2015-16…

Rs 12,488.93 crore

What is it? The amount in demand notices likely to be issued by the Department of Telecommunications to six telecom operators for having under-reported their adjusted gross revenues of Rs 46,045.75 crore between 2006-07 and 2009-10. This was pointed out by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in March.

Why is it important? The telecom industry is already reeling under debts of Rs 4 lakh crore (as of March 31) and the notices come ahead of the expensive spectrum auction scheduled for mid-July. The demand from DoT is unlikely to be resolved soon. The telecom companies had contested this earlier saying the definition of adjusted gross revenue for calculating license fee is under litigation in various courts, which calls for clearer rules and policies.

Tell me more: The CAG had pointed out various instances of under-reporting of revenue, which the telcos had contested and said those issues have either been settled or stayed by various courts.

 

2%

What is it? The percentage of Indian banks’ bad loans that were sold to asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) in 2015-16, according to a report. An ARC buys bad loans from banks, explores ways of making the asset attractive and then sells it.

Why is it important? Highlights the need for more tools for bad loans recovery. The percentage of non performing assets (NPAs) sold to ARCs decreased from 5% in 2014-15 to 2% in 2015-16 even as the NPAs pile up. Banks put up bad loans worth Rs 1.3 lakh crore for sale in 2015-16, of which only Rs 20,000 crore got sold.

Tell me more: Gross NPA increased from 4.6% of total advances in 2014-15 to 7.6% in 2015-16 (highest in 12 years) and could rise to 8.5% by March 2017.

 

2,900

What is it? The number of words reportedly copied by the Indian environment ministry from the 3,850-word Supplemental Environmental Projects Policy draft adopted by the US government.

Why is it important? Besides plagiarism, the proposal that those who go ahead with projects without prior clearance under the Environment Impact Assessment Notification must remediate the damage and provide compensation, has raised concerns. At present, starting an environmental project without the government consent is a crime and can lead to imprisonment under Indian laws. Experts say this is a misuse of executive powers to dilute laws made by the legislature.

Tell me more: In the US, environmental violations are civil offences. The joint secretary who issued the draft notification on May 10 (open for comments for two months) has denied copying the content from the US policy and has said that the idea has been borrowed.

 

53.39%

What is it? Uttarakhand’s score in the provisional ease of doing business rankings among states. The score and rankings could change based on more data that the states might submit till end of this month.

Why is it important? The state, which was ranked 23 last year, has jumped to the first position as of this morning. Gujarat, which was on top of the rankings last year, has fallen to the 11th position. Shows intense competition among states with some of the most industrialised ones such as Maharashtra and Karnataka dropping out of the top 10. Such competition might help India improve its ranking in the ease of doing business globally, which is at 130, according to the 2016 report.

Tell me more: The final rankings would be released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in August after verification of the submissions made by the states.

 

509

What is it? The number of people who have been shot and killed by the police in the US in 2016 so far, according to data compiled by the Washington Post.

Why is it important? Such police action – directed disproportionately at the blacks –  has come to global attention after two black men were killed by the police in Louisiana and Minnesota on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. US President Barack Obama called for changes to the criminal justice system and said such incidents reflect racial biases in the criminal justice system and that African-Americans and Latinos are more likely to be questioned by the police than the whites.

Tell me more: The Post has collated the numbers based on news reports, public records, social media and other sources. At this rate, 2016 might equal or surpass the number of people killed by the policemen in 2015- 990.

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News in numbers, Nov 9, 2015: Grand Alliance parties versus BJP, IPO lapses in 2015 so far…

64,911 versus 59,287

What is it? Average number of votes per seat of the Grand Alliance parties (JD(U), RJD and Congress) versus number of votes per seat of the BJP in the recently concluded Bihar elections.

Why is it important? BJP, which lost the election, stood first in terms of vote share. But that masked the fact it contested more seats compared to JD(U) and RJD. Calculating votes per seat contested reveal the extent of victory margin. Congress, which won 27 seats, has a higher average number of votes per seat than the BJP, which won 53. Also, BJP contested in 157 seats, the maximum for any single party this time.

Tell me more: BJP got 59,287 votes per seat it contested, as compared to 69,262 for RJD and 63,529 for JD(U).

 

Rs 2.85 lakh crore

What is it? The aggregate non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans of 34 of the 39 listed banks in the September quarter that have declared their financial results so far. It has ballooned by 23% since September 2014, and 6% from June this year.

Why is it important? Reveals continued stress in the Indian economy with borrowers not being able to service their loans. Higher NPAs would mean banks have to set aside higher amount to cover the loss.

Tell me more: The central bank in July this year had said that the asset quality of banks is likely to deteriorate before it shows some signs of improvement at the end of the current financial year, though it warned bad loans would increase if the macro-economic situation worsens. Stressed assets (NPAs and loans that are restructured) accounted for 12% of total lending as on March 2015.

 

Rs 10 lakh per annum

What is it? The income limit of households above which they are likely to be asked to give up their LPG subsidy.

Why is it important? The Indian government has been urging people to give up their LPG subsidy if they can afford to buy cooking gas cylinders at market rates. This is because the government is looking to reduce its oil subsidy bill, which was over Rs 40,000 crore in 2014-15. The voluntary nature of the campaign is likely to partially change, depending on households’ income limit.

Tell me more: So far, around 40.1 lakh consumers have voluntarily surrendered their cooking gas subsidy.

 

2

What is it? Number of companies that let their approvals for initial public offerings (IPOs) from the market regulator to lapse in 2015 so far.

Why is it important? The equivalent numbers were as high as 41 and 22 in 2012 and 2013 respectively, though it tempered down to seven in 2014. This shows that the improved market sentiments are encouraging companies to take the plunge even as investor appetite remains healthy.

Tell me more: After four years of near-muted responses to IPOs, Indian companies have raised around Rs 7,500 crore so far this year, which is still way below the total amount raised via this route in 2010 ( Rs 37,535 crore).

 

Rs 40 crore

What is it? The base price for reverse bid from IPL governing council’s central revenue pool to set up two new teams.

Why is it important? Number of teams to play in the tournament, which is estimated to have a brand value of $3.5 billion, would remain intact for the next two seasons (2016 and 2017). Television rights is one of the major sources of revenue for the teams and without the new additions, earnings from this stream would have been impacted for the other six teams.

Tell me more: The new teams will replace Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, which are serving two-year suspension terms for spot fixing and illegal betting. The IPL governing council has omitted Jaipur and Kochi from the list of cities that would bid for new IPL teams. Nine potential franchise venues have been finalised.

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