News in Numbers, Mar 03, 2017: Alibaba’s e-commerce move 💻💰📦

$200 million

What is it? Amount of investment from two investors – Alibaba Group Holding and SAIF Partners – in Paytm’s E-commerce venture.

Why is it important? This signals serious interest in the Indian market by China’s largest E-commerce firm, Alibaba, which has picked up 36% stake in Paytm’s E-Commerce venture.  SAIF Partners will hold 4.66% stake.

Tell me more: Indian E-Commerce market slowed down significantly in calendar 2016, after posting three-digit growth in previous years. It grew by 12% to $14.5 billion in 2016.

 

64%

What is it? The growth in wealth of the top 100 richest Chinese parliamentarians and members of a top advisory body, after Chinese premier Xi Jinping took power four years back.

Why is it important? This is in sharp contrast to the Chinese premier Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption and plan to remove poverty after coming to power in 2013. Instead, the wealth of those in the political upper echelons who are already dollar-billionaires, have grown from 1.84 trillion yuan in 2013.

Tell me more: Beyond the richest 100, the combined wealth of all the delegates (209), half of whom are dollar-billionaires, is around 3.5 trillion yuan ($507 billion), according to the Hurun report.

 

$24.48

What is it? The closing value of the stock of Snap Inc., owner of Snapchat, a popular photo-messaging app, on its debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

Why is it important? The stock closed 44% up from its initial public offering price of $17 a share despite steep competition from other listed players such as Facebook (with its acquired instant messaging app, Whatsapp), huge losses in 2016 and slowing user additions.  This points to investor-demand for technology stocks, this being one of the most anticipated in three years since Twitter’s debut.

Tell me more: Snap Inc. now has a valuation of $28.3 billion, and the $3.4 billion it raised in the IPO was more than the 2013-Facebook offer of $ 3 billion.

 

35%

What is it? Amount of freight discount offered by Indian Railways to bulk customers, who will guarantee minimum amount of traffic.

Why is it important? Goods traffic brings in maximum revenue and cross-subsidizes losses from running passenger trains for Indian Railways, and freight revenue declined by 8% in current financial year. This move is aimed to stem the loss and bring back traffic to Railways.

Tell me more: The discount is available to bulk customers, except for coal transport, and is valid for five years.

 

99 million

What is it? Number of TV-owning households in rural India, as compared to 84 million in urban areas, as per Broadcast India survey.

Why is it important? This could impact how Rs 181.3 billion worth of TV advertisement money will be spent. The increase in rural viewership could also make program producers to cater to this audience.

Tell me more: The survey covered 3 lakh homes in 590 districts between November 2015 and February 2016.

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The financial inclusion drive that is failing Rural India

This piece originally appeared on Livemint.com

 

So much for bringing rural India into the financial fold. Between 2002 and 2012, the number of rural households with bank accounts more than doubled in number. Yet, rural households increased their borrowings in a significant way from private moneylenders, and not the organized financial sector, shows a recently released National Sample Survey (NSS) report on indebtedness and asset holdings of 62,000 rural households across 4,529 villages and blocks.

Despite a 120% increase in rural households with bank accounts in the decade to 2011…

 

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…it’s the informal moneylender, not the formal bank, that has gained share in rural credit

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Rural households are borrowing short-term at high rates
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Indebtedness is more among poorer households, who borrow more from moneylenders and more for non-business use
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