News in Numbers, Oct 24, 2016: The power of Five

Ink_marking_after_Vote_(India)

This February is likely to see a lot of action: the Union Budget is expected to be announced and five states likely to go for polls. The situation in each of the five states seems interesting: in Punjab, the ruling BJP-SAD alliance is looking to retain power even as Congress and new entrant AAP are looking to dethrone the alliance after two successive terms. Goa has a similar situation: BJP wanting to be back in power and up against the same two parties. In Uttarakhand, the Congress, which reclaimed power after a brief President’s rule, is all set to battle it out with the BJP. In Manipur, BJP is looking to strengthen its northeastern presence while the Congress is trying to hold on to its authority. The battle in Uttar Pradesh is getting more and more interesting by the day: the BJP is trying to re-create the magic it weaved during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections (it won 71 of the 80 seats), SP is dealing with its own set of problems while BSP is trying to get the better of both. Here’s to interesting times ahead.

 

 

5

What is it? The number of states – Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Punjab – likely to go on polls simultaneously in February-March.

Why is it important? The results in the five states would be an indicator of BJP’s popularity (which swept the 2014 Lok Sabha elections) and how people perceive its performance at the Centre whereas for the Congress, it would be a way to gauge if the party can see a revival as just 6% of India’s population live in Congress-ruled states – the lowest since Independence. For Aam Aadmi Party, it would indicate the progress it has made outside Delhi even as it nurtures ambitions to grow into a national party.

Tell me more: The Indian government has reportedly approached the Election Commission to seek its permission to present the General Budget in the Lok Sabha on February 1 in order to avoid violating themodel code of conduct that would kick in from the day the election schedule is announced until the results are declared.

 

Rs 1.25-1.5 lakh crore

What is it? The quantum of stressed assets Indian banks are reportedly looking to recover in the next few months.

Why is it important? After having identified the extent of bad loans and having provided capital for them, banks are now progressing to the next step of recovery. Last week, Essar Group sold 98% stake in its oil unit and other assets (largest debt reduction exercise by an Indian business) and three banks – ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and StanChart – got back an estimated $2.5 billion (around Rs 16,750 crore) as part of the first payment for their loans to the group. This is expected to give a boost to the recovery process initiated by the banks.

Tell me more: The lenders are hoping to recover the loans through resolution methods such as sale of assets, transfer to asset reconstruction companies and strategic debt restructuring (allows creditors to convert debt into equity and take over the management of defaulting companies).

 

Rs 3,050 crore

What is it? The penalty recommended to be imposed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular for not providing sufficient interconnect points to Reliance Jio.

Why is it important? This brings an end to the three-month long dispute between the three incumbents and the new entrant Reliance Jio. The telecom regulator ruled that the three firms deliberately blocked the calls made from Reliance Jio’s network, a move considered to have been done with the intention of stifling competition. This was in response to Reliance Jio’s complaint that 75% of the calls made on its network were failing as the incumbents were not providing it with adequate points of interconnection necessary to complete the calls.

Tell me more: For Airtel and Vodafone, the regulator has recommended a penalty of Rs 50 crore per circle for 21 service areas while for Idea Cellular, it is Rs 50 crore for 19 service areas. The regulator has floated a consultation paper that aims to review the existing provisions for interconnection. Interconnection is thearrangement under which telecom firms connect their networks, equipment and services to enable their subscribers to get access to the subscribers, services and networks of other telecom firms

 

$85.4 billion

What is it? The deal size of US telecom giant AT&T buying out entertainment group Time Warner.

Why is it important? If approved by the regulators, this would be the biggest deal in the world this year. The deal would help the third largest cable TV provider in the US (owns mobile phone, broadband and cable TV networks) to transform itself into a full service media provider – owning content would help provide a competitive advantage over the others. This is likely to spark industry consolidation and bring in changes in the way people consume content.

Tell me more: However, it remains to be seen if the deal is allowed to happen as US lawmakers and both the presidential candidates have raised questions about it – the acquisition is considered to be anti-competitive by some. A Senate sub-committee, which is responsible for competition, will hold a hearing in November.

 

$1.7 billion

What is it? The amount Chinese consumers spent on Apple-sanctioned apps in the July-September quarter this year, according to a report.

Why is it important? With this, they have exceeded the spend by Americans (nearly $1.45 billion) by 15% in this period. Chinese consumers spent five times more on Apple apps in the third quarter of 2016 than what they spent two years ago. The report noted that China is likely to drive the largest absolute revenue growth for any country by 2020. Apple recently announced the opening of its research and development centre in China even as it saw its year-on-year revenues fall by 33% in Greater China in its fiscal third quarter.

Tell me more: In terms of market share, domestic firms – Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi – command a 56% market share in China, pushing Apple to the fifth position (8% market share), according to research firm IDC.

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News in numbers, Nov 18, 2015: Tiger Global raises stake in Amazon, people living with HIV…

0.72%

What is it? The percentage of fines imposed by India’s competition regulator of India that it managed to collect, as per its annual report of 2013-14. In absolute terms, the Competition Commission of India imposed fines of Rs 9,886 crore, of which it recovered Rs 72 crore. The remainder is either stuck in appeals or has been stayed.

Why is it important? The regulator, in its six years of existence, has initiated action against prominent names in several sectors. In its latest action on Tuesday, the CCI fined three airlines — Jet, IndiGo and SpiceJet — for colluding to fix fuel surcharge in cargo transport. But seeing the cases through and collecting the amount fined has proven to be elusive.

Tell me more: Some of the other major CCI fines have been against real estate company DLF (Rs 630 crore), against 14 car manufacturers (Rs 2,545 crore) and 11 cement majors (Rs 6,200 crore).

 

 

 

36.9 million

What is it? The number of people worldwide who were living with HIV, of which, 2.6 million were children below the age of 15 years. India had 2.1 million cases in 2013.

Why is it important? On Tuesday, American actor Charlie Sheen, best known for his roles in Wall Street and Two and a Half Men, said in a television interview to NBC that he had been diagnosed HIV-positive four years ago. He also said he had been sexually active after the diagnosis, while maintaining he had disclosed his condition to his partners.

Tell me more: At least 33 states in the US have laws that mandate people infected with HIV to disclose that fact to their sexual partners.

 

0.5%

What is it? The approximate stake bought by US investment fund Tiger Global in global online retailer Amazon in the September quarter.

Why is it important? Tiger Global, one of the most aggressive investors in Internet businesses in India, is the largest investor in Indian retailer Flipkart. In India, Amazon and Flipkart are rivals, and the common presence of Tiger Global will be a source of conversation, possibly consternation. Back in 2014, Myntra was merged into Flipkart at the behest of common investors, one of them being Tiger Global.

Tell me more: As many as 1,284 institutions and mutual funds hold 68% of the shares of Jeff Bezos-controlled Amazon.

 

65%

What is it? Share of mobile phone in the Internet traffic of India, which is thrice the corresponding figure for the US, according to a May 2015 report by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB).

Why is it important? It is a measure of where the growth in Internet adoption and usage is coming from in India, and reaffirms why a high Internet penetration number in this decade might be in the realm of the possible. Another report by Internet and Mobile Association of India and IMRB International, released on Tuesday, tipped India to hit 402 million Internet users by December and leapfrog the US as the country with the second-largest Internet user base, after China.

Tell me more: According to the second report, men account for 71% of Internet users in India and women 29%, and that 69% of users were using  

 

11

What is it? The number of sugar stocks that hit the upper price band in trading on Tuesday on the Bombay Stock Exchange, suggesting some sort of a turnaround for a sector reeling under a cash crisis and dues to farmers.

Why is it important? The wide expectation is that sugar production in 2015-16 will be lower than in 2014-15, which will hold prices of this essential commodity, even fuel them. Credit ratings agency ICRA has projected a 4.6% drop in production to 26.8 million tonnes in 2014-15.

Tell me more: In October, the Central government announced a string of measures to help companies and release arrears to farmers.

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