Realty starved of pvt equity


What is it? The rate of growth of core sectors in March, 2017, which contribute 37.9% to the Index of Industrial Production.

Why is it important? This is faster growth than seen in February, at 1% year-on-year. Output of steel, coal, and natural gas prices spurred the increase.

Tell me more: However, the growth was slower than last year’s March, when the eight core sectors together grew at 9.3%.



What is it? The number of local hires by Infosys in the US over the next two years.

Why is it important? This is part of its plans to work around the visa restrictions the US is levying after the new administration came into power. North America (includes Canada) accounts for over 60% of Infosys’ revenues. It joins Wipro in having announced plans for local hires in the US.

Tell me more: Infosys will also set up four technology and innovation hubs in the US. The first hub will be operational from 2021.


Rs 3,326 crore

What is it? The private equity investment in residential realty projects in the first quarter of 2017

Why is it important? It is a 42% decline from the previous quarter of Oct-Dec, 2016, at Rs 5,725 crore. PE investors stayed away as sales were slow and new launches were far and in between. Sales had slowed down as buyers waited for the imminent launch of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2017. The act also calls for stricter measures against builders who do not complete projects or divert buyer’s money to other projects. Cushman & Wakefield who published the PE numbers, says builders were also seeking less funds to focus on completing existing projects.

Tell me more: Lower security of new investments in builders who were over-leveraged also made PE investors stay away.


Rs 235 crore

What is it? Cost of South Asia satellite to be launched on Friday.

Why is it important? Indian Space Research Organisation’s communication satellite is billed as India’s gift to neighbours, including Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Afghanistan. It would help in access to education, healthcare and disaster relief infrastructure.

Tell me more: The 2230 kg satellite will be launched by ISRO’s GSLV Mk-3 from Sriharikota on May 5th.



What is it? The number of robots being deployed by Credit Suisse within the bank.

Why is it important? Robots, usually associated with with large factories, are making inroads into services sector, raising fears about job losses among some sections, even as banks look to automation to maintain growth and profits. These robots will help Credit Suisse employees with regulations and compliance queries, much like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa (except that Siri and Alexa are generalist).

Tell me more: It’s not clear if these robots are hardware or only software. “Non-industrial robot revenues are likely to grow 10-fold within [next five years], and with the development of AI, Big Data Analytics and the Internet of Things we will start to perceive robots not only in hardware, but also in software terms,” an article published in Credit Suisse site last year said.

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News in Numbers, Mar 07, 2017: Landing in a small town ✈

Rs 4,500 crore

What is it? The amount the government plans to spend on developing or upgrading 50 airports which were either underserved or unserved.

Why is it important? The government is going ahead with its plans to equip small regional airports/airstrips to ferry traffic, even as only 13 out of 125 airports under the Airports Authority of India’s (AAI) are profitable. Besides the funding for developing the new airports, the authorities will also spend further on incentivising flight operators with gap-funding. Fifteen more regional airports have to be upgraded besides the 50, according to AAI’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (named UDAN).

Tell me more: Fifteen airports will be refurbished in FY18 and FY19, and 20 more in FY20.


2 paise

What is it? The rate for one megabyte (MB) of data over WiFi at local public hotspots, as proposed by Trai, the telecom regulator.

Why is it important? This would help increase the demand and setting up of local public hotspots. With one-sixth of the world’s population, India’s share in WiFi hotspots is less than one-thousandth. By reducing the price of wireless Internet access from the existing 10 paise an MB in mobile telecom services, Trai is looking provide 800,000 additional hotspots to equal the global average of one hotspot for every 150 people.

Tell me more: Trai’s proposed local hotspots could be maintained by small entities, from small businesses, communities, individuals, to application providers. Local players’ involvement would also reduce the load on strained spectrum of established mobile operators.


$2.3 billion

What is it? The value of the sale of General Motors’ Opel/Vauxhall unit and its European financial arm to Peugeot-maker PSA Group.

Why is it important? It shows one of the largest car manufacturers in the world is changing lanes from a widespread but unprofitable presence to a less-global, but profitable one. A few years ago, the top three — Volkswagen, Toyota and GM — would eye the world-leader crown every year with units of cars sold. Selling its Europe unit would increase the gap between GM and the other two, but it would also free it of an arm that has incurred losses since 1999.

Tell me more: The Opel/Vauxhall brand contributed 11% of GM’s total revenue in 2016. After bankruptcy in 2009, GM’s home market in North America has done well.


Rs 259.8 per hour

What is it? The median gross hourly salary of women in India in 2016, according to the Monster Salary Index.

Why is it important? That is about 25% less than what men earned at Rs 345.8 per hour. While the gap has come down marginally compared to a year before, it highlights the ground that needs to be covered before India has fair and non-discriminatory workplace.

Tell me more: The gender gap is just one of the many indicators of gender inequality in the country. Infant mortality rate for female is higher, the expected years of schooling is lower, unemployment rates are higher, access to finance in terms of loans and deposits are lower.


$2.46 billion

What is it? Value of investments in Indian startups by private equity and venture capital firms in 2016, according to Grant Thornton.

Why is it important? This is down by about half from $4.97 billion in 2015, and indicates that investors are more cautious about the expectations of growth in the market. It also reflects the valuation markdowns that unicorns such as Flipkart faced in the recent months.

Tell me more: Overall investments by PE and VC investors dropped in 2016, with $14 billion invested across in 971 deals in 2016, from $16 billion invested in 1,045 deals a year before.

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News in numbers, Apr 15, 2016: VC & PE investments in startups, India’s remittances…

$1.15 billion

What is it? Venture capital and private equity investments in Indian startups in the January-March quarter of 2016.

Why is it important? This is the second consecutive fall in startup investments, indicating continued investor caution. The number of startup deals fell by 4% to 116 possibly on concerns over startups’ business models, valuation and economic slowdown.

Tell me more: The data by KPMG and CB Insights show that startups received investments worth $2.9 billion in the July-September quarter of 2015, which declined by 48% to $1.5 billion in the three months to December last year.

$68.9 billion

What is it? The remittances to India in 2015, according to World Bank.

Why is it important? They declined by nearly $1 billion (2.1%) from 2014, the first drop since 2009 during global financial crisis. Last year’s decline came on the back of low oil prices in the Middle Eastern countries, a major remittance-generating source for India. However, India retained its top spot in inward remittances.

Tell me more: After India, China and Philippines topped the list of remittance-receiving countries with $64 billion and $28 billion respectively. Mexico with $25 billion and Nigeria with $21 billion in remittances came in at the fourth and fifth positions respectively.


What is it? The number of people who died due to heatwaves this year.

Why is it important? It might get worse, with the weather department warning eight states of facing heatwave conditions in the next two days. Telengana and Andhra Pradesh, which had reported over 2,000 deaths due to heatwave conditions last year, are likely to see maximum temperatures increasing by 1-2 degree celsius in the next 2-3 days.

Tell me more: As many as 100 people have died due to heatwave conditions in Andhra Pradesh and Telengana and 30 in Odisha. Maximum temperatures are expected to increase by 2-4 degree Celsius over the north-western plains, 2-3 degree Celsius over central India and 1-2 degree Celsius over west India.


What is it? The share of companies in which investors got better returns (on the shares allotted to them during the IPO) on the day of the listing rather compared to a year later. This corresponds to 198 companies of 292 analysed.

Why is it important? As many as 71 stocks closed lower on the listing day and declined further in one year from listing. Indicates that promoters tend to price their public issues with little or no room for growth, and might reduce appetite for IPOs.

Tell me more: Over 30% of the companies analysed eroded more than 50% of their offer price within one year of listing. The study included IPOs launched in the last 10 years and have completed at least a year since listing.

3 lakh

What is it? The number of rural habitations, nearly a fifth of the total, that have less than the prescribed norm of 40 litres per capita per day of safe drinking water.

Why is it important? The primary reason for lack of adequate supply of safe water is reportedly due to delay in over 3,000 drinking water schemes, some of them which are over 5-10 years old.

Tell me more: There are 66,093 rural habitations where drinking water is contaminated. According to World Bank estimates, 21% of communicable diseases are related to unsafe water and diarrhoea alone causes over 1,600 deaths everyday.

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News in numbers, Oct 7, 2015: Proposed hike in Delhi MLA salary, deposit vs lending rate cuts

7,500 km

What it is: The length of highways at risk of remaining incomplete or being abandoned due to losses, according to ratings firm Crisil. It pertains to build-operate-transfer (BOT) highway projects awarded to private developers between 2009-10 and 2011-12.  

Why is it important: This highlights the issues that plague the sector: land acquisition issues, weak financial health of the sponsors, aggressive bidding and lower toll revenue growth. Infrastructure woes would only make it more difficult as India tries revive its economy. This also puts an additional stress on banks that have significant exposure to the road sector. Remember, banks are already struggling with rising bad loans.

Tell me more: The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has awarded 210 BOT projects covering 20,000 km, of which 38 projects covering nearly a fourth of the total length have been terminated. Only 80 projects spanning over 6,050 km are currently operational. Between April 1 and July 31 this year, the NHAI has awarded BOT projects spanning 873 km and EPC (engineering, procurement construction) projects covering 627 km.



What it is: The number of times the salaries of Delhi legislators is to go up, according to an independent committee set up by the Delhi Assembly Speaker. In absolute terms it would increase from Rs 82,000 to Rs 3.2 lakh a month.

Why is it important: If the committee’s recommendations are accepted by Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, the state’s MLAs could be counted among the richest in India. Assam’s legislators get paid the highest – Rs 60,000 basic salary a month. It would be interesting to see what Kejriwal does given the party calls itself the “common person’s” party and the moral high ground it takes on various issues.  

Tell me more: The recommendations include: an increase in constituency allowance from Rs 18,000 per month to Rs 50,000, communication allowance from Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000, conveyance allowance from Rs 6,000 to Rs 30,000, daily allowance of Rs 1,000-2,000 a day when the assembly is in session, a Rs 70,000 allowance for office assistants and a one-time furnishing office allowance of Rs 1 lakh.


Rs 450 crore

What it is: The amount Infibeam wants to raise to expand its business through an IPO.

Why is it important: The first e-commerce firm to be cleared by the market regulator for public listing in India. Some experts and investors have asked if there is an e-commerce bubble in India? Skyrocketing valuations, the ease with which e-commerce companies have been able to raise money, absence of a proper business model, high cash burn rates and no profitability are worrying. This would be a good test to gauge the broader investor appetite for this sector.

Tell me more: Infibeam, which runs and, wants to set up a cloud data unit and 75 logistics centres. Unlike its peers such as Flipkart or Snapdeal, Infibeam has not gone on the typical private equity investment route.



What it is: The number of new species discovered by scientists from various organisations in the Eastern Himalayas between 2009 and 2014, according to conservation group WWF.

Why is it important: The volume and variety of species discovered (133 plants, 39 invertebrates, 26 fish, 10 amphibians, one each of reptile, bird and mammal) highlight the fact that this region is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world. The region includes Bhutan, north-east India, Nepal, the far north of Myanmar and southern parts of Tibet.

Tell me more: Some of the striking discoveries include a sneezing monkey during rains because it has an upturned nose and a blue ‘dwarf’ walking snakehead fish, which can survive on land for up to four days breathing atmospheric air. However, due to development and inadequate measures towards the protection of environment, only 25% of the “original habitats remain intact” and hundreds of species living in the region fall under the category of globally-threatened species.


130 bps versus 50 bps

What it is: Deposit rate cuts versus lending rate cuts. The average cut in one -year deposit rates by banks since January 2015 compared to the cut in lending rates, according to India Ratings. This is when the central bank has cut policy rates by a cumulative 125 basis points (bps).

Why is it important: Shows banks give importance to self-interest. Banks can make more money when it reduces deposit rates – and pay less to depositors – without proportionally cutting the lending rates.

Tell me more: India Ratings says from a 10-year study of the policy cycle and the banks, it appears that in most cases when policy rates are reduced, deposit rates have come down quicker than lending rates and the quantum of the former has also been higher. is a search engine for public data

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