News in Numbers, Dec 17, 2015: Ban on diesel vehicles’ registration, US Fed rate hike

 

15%

 

What is it? Delhi’s share in Mercedes-Benz’s sales.

 

Why is it important? Supreme Court has banned registration of new diesel engines above 2000cc in Delhi, a big market for the luxury car maker, until March 31. The initiative is to curb alarming levels of pollution in Delhi. The ban might favour its rivals, since most of the diesel models of BMW, Audi and Volvo have engines below 2,000 cc. Mercedes-Benz has said that this order “will severely impact” their expansion plans and future investments already in place for the Indian market.

 

Tell me more: Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s largest utility vehicle maker, has said that this order would affect 2% of its monthly sales.

 

400

 

What is it? Number of start-ups Karnataka government hopes to help build with the help of its newly launched warehouse, launched in partnership with industry body Nasscom.

 

Why is it important? This is the second such warehouse by the state government and is on a bigger scale than the first, which incubated 64 start-ups. In the first warehouse, a quarter of the 64 start-ups have raised combined funds of Rs 600 crore. Bangalore ranks 15th in terms of best start-up ecosystems globally, according to a report by Silicon Valley-based start-up benchmarking firm and such measures are likely to advance its standing as a hub for start-ups in India as well as worldwide.

 

Tell me more: The state government recently launched a start-up policy with the view to aid the growth of 20,000 tech start-ups and generating 6 lakh direct and 12 lakh indirect jobs.

 

0.25-0.5%

 

What is it? United States benchmark interest rate, set by US Federal Reserve.

 

Why is it important? That’s 0.25% hike. It affects financial markets globally and therefore, is closely watched. As for India, this hike could mean investors may pull out their money from emerging markets like India to invest in the US in anticipation of higher returns and it remains to be seen how they react to the hike. Foreign institutional investors have pulled out $2.5 billion from Indian markets since November in anticipation of the hike. This, in turn, could weaken the rupee, making imports costlier and negatively impacting inflation in India.

 

Tell me more: This is the first time in nearly a decade that the US has gone for a hike in interest rates after keeping it around zero since the 2008 financial crisis. For the US, this is a sign of economic recovery.

 

0.59 hectares

 

What is it? The average landholding per rural household as of 2013, according to data from the National Sample Survey Office.

 

Why is it important? This has almost halved from 1.01 in 1992. A farm household needs to have at least 1 hectare of land to earn enough to fulfill its consumption expenditure. A farm household with 0.01-0.4 hectares of land earns an income of Rs 4,152 per month but its monthly consumption expenditure amounts to Rs 5,401. Also, farm households with less than 1 hectare account for over two-thirds of agricultural households that are indebted, with the debt levels decreasing with increase in landholding.

 

Tell me more: Every four out of five rural household have landholdings of less than one hectare and over 7% own more than two hectares.

 

€26 million

 

What is it? Amount Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has earned by launching six satellites for Singapore on Wednesday.

 

Why is it important? Underlines the commercial potential of India’s space programme. So far, India has earned around $36.7 million (at today’s exchange rate) from the launch of foreign satellites while around $74 million have been committed for those in the pipeline. It’s also yet another confirmation of the robustness of ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C29), which recorded its 32nd flight.

 

Tell me more: With Wednesday’s launch, ISRO has launched 57 satellites for 20 countries.

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News in Numbers – September 8, 2015

News In Numbers: September 8, 2015

 

Rs 9,625 crore

The investments in equity mutual funds in August, a 63% increase from July and the 16th consecutive month of inflows, according to the Association of Mutual Funds in India. This is despite Indian share markets having their worst August in four years. Also, Indian equity markets have seen the third-largest outflows in Asia since China devalued its currency last month, with foreign institutional investors pulling out pulling out $3.3 billion. Household ownership in equities , both direct and indirect, has halved in the past 15 years. Just about 2% of Indian households’ total financial assets are invested in stocks, against 35% in the US. A research report by Morgan Stanley estimates that Indian households are likely to invest $300 billion in equities over the next 10 years.

 

Rs 16,000 crore

The likely cost of implementation of the one rank, one pension programme (OROP) for ex-servicemen in 2015-16, according to an HSBC report, which adds this would “have a significant impact on the fiscal bill”. Japanese brokerage Nomura’s estimates of Rs 10,000 crore for 2015-16 are closer to the government’s calculation (Rs 8,000-10,000 crore). Both HSBC and Nomura say OROP would add to the fiscal burden, though the latter does not expect it to derail the 2015-16 fiscal deficit target of 3.9% of GDP. HSBC says the key determinant will be tax revenue growth. The government maintains it has the “fiscal space” to absorb the OROP expenses without affecting its fiscal deficit target.

 

$1 billion

The estimated valuation of Zomato Media in April 2015, which yesterday said it had raised $60 million in fresh capital. The restaurant search and review website is planning to deploy half of the funds raised to grow its India business, with the rest for services business in other countries, besides venturing into two new undisclosed markets. The Indian food services industry is expected to reach $78 billion by 2018, while the overall food ordering business was estimated to be around Rs 5,000-6,000 crore in 2014, according to India Brand Equity Foundation. Several food start-ups in India have entered the online ordering space in the last few years, including FoodPanda, JustEat, Tiny Owl and Swiggy.

 

150

British scientists have discovered a blood test that determines the “biological age” of a person, rather than the one calculated using the date of birth, to predict the rate of ageing in a person. This test, discovered by a team from King’s College London, compares the behaviour of 150 different genes. Instead of looking at genes associated with diseases or extreme longevity, the researchers found out that the ‘activation’ of 150 genes in blood, brain and muscle tissue signalled good health at 65 years of age. For instance, one might be 50 years old but have a body of a 30-year-old due to a good lifestyle. This research also found that people with lower “healthy age gene scores” had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

 


Rs 1.7 lakh

The price per sq ft of the built-up area of the property that Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla is close to purchasing in Malabar Hill in Mumbai. At a reported price of Rs 425 crore, this will be one of the most expensive residential property deals in the city. Yet, the price per sq ft of the built-up area for this property is slightly lower than the bungalow (Rs 1.9 lakh) purchased by the managing director of an apparel manufacturing company in Central Delhi for Rs 173 crore. On a total area basis, though, the Mumbai house is priced at Rs 1.3 lakh per sq ft, against the Delhi house of Rs 60,637. The iconic Mumbai property, Jatia House, is currently owned by Chem Mach, a company promoted by industrialist Yashvardhan Jatia.

 

 

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News In Numbers – August 19

News In Numbers: August 19

 

79.7%

The percentage of the total income of five national parties in 2013-14 whose sources are unknown. In all, Congress, CPM, BSP, NCP and CPI have declared a total income of Rs 845 crore in 2013-14. Among the top unknown sources of income, the sale of coupons dominated with 57%; the Congress and NCP collected Rs 485 crore, which is 57.5% of the cumulative income declared by the five parties. In November 2014, the Election Commission of India laid down certain guidelines with respect to the funding collected by political parties for elections and made it mandatory for them to submit audited reports to it. The only party to not submit its report is BJP, despite a deadline extension. Between 2004-05 and 2011-12, about 75% of the total income of these six national political parties came from funds whose sources are unknown.

 

43,818

The number of passengers affected by flight delays in July, according to the aviation regulator. About 60% of these passengers were flying Air India, while about 17% were on IndiGo. The number of people affected due to flight cancellations stood at 7,224 in July, of which nearly two-thirds had booked with Air India, Jet Airways and JetLite. They received a total of Rs 39.2 lakh compensation and other facilities. Domestic airlines carried 67.5 lakh passengers in July and Indigo continued to lead with a 35.8% market share

 

2

The number of funds of the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) launched by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday for start-ups and small firms. The India Aspiration Fund, with an initial corpus of Rs 2,000 crore, will invest in venture funds, who will subsequently invest in start-ups and micro and small enterprises (MSMEs). The other fund, called SIDBI Make in India Loan for Enterprises (SMILE), will provide soft-term loans and quasi-equity loans to MSMEs. India, which is the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world, is home to over 3,100 startups and there have been 300 venture capital and private equity and 225 angel investment deals worth over $2 billion. Ahmedabad has the highest paid-up capital of companies per person at Rs 961.

 

Rs 3,800

The proposed per capita spend on health by the government, from Rs 1,000 being spent at current prices. The government plans to increase public investment in health from 1.4% to 2.5% of India’s GDP by 2020. About 70% of this would be for primary healthcare, 20% in secondary healthcare and the remaining on tertiary healthcare. The government had slashed its 2014-15 budgetary allocation for health by about 20%. Also, since the BJP-led NDA government came to power in May 2014, India saw a cut of 20% in the National Health Mission and a 10% cut in the Integrated Child Development Services. Health budgets have remained under-utilised in the last few years in the country and India ranks 176 in terms of public health spend as a percentage of its GDP.

 

13%

The percentage of the total amount invested in the telecom sector in FY15 that went towards infrastructure. Department of Telecommunications Secretary Rakesh Garg has criticized telecom companies for spending most of their money in acquiring spectrum, and not investing adequately in infrastructure, leading to an increase in call drops. A total of Rs 1,34,000 crore was invested in the telecom sector in 2014-15. For the quarter ended December 2014, one in seven 2G mobile networks and one in six 3G networks in India exceeded the benchmark rate of 3% for call drops (service provider is unable to maintain connectivity). Telecom companies have been maintaining that these call drops are mainly because of spectrum and tower shortages, though Garg hit back at them saying this has got nothing to do with the closing down of tower sites. The government has asked the telecom regulator to check if telecom companies are making undue gains from call drops.

 

 

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News In Numbers – August 5

News In Numbers: August 5

 

$2 billion

The amount that Foxconn, the world’s biggest contract manufacturer, plans to spend in India to set up 10-12 facilities over the next 5-10 years. With plans to set up an electronics manufacturing ecosystem to produce televisions, routers, switches and batteries, the Taiwanese-based firm is also looking to invest in areas such as hardware and software integration, application software and testing and energy efficiency. It is already working with some Indian companies, including Snapdeal, Adani Enterprises and Micromax, and had announced last month it was looking to set up an India-focussed venture fund to invest in startups. Foxconn entered India in 2006 with investment plans of Rs 485 crore, when it tagged along with Nokia Corporation as its vendor. But, it had to shut down its factory after the Finnish company stopped operations, the result of being embroiled in legal wrangles.

 

Rs 7,500 crore

Amount of funds that real estate company DLF is planning to raise by pledging more than 50% of its stake in three subsidiaries: DLF Cyber City Developers, Caraf Builders and Constructions and DLF Assets. This move is aimed at paring its debt, which stood at Rs 20,695 crore in March 2015. In 2014, the capital market regulator barred DLF from accessing the capital markets for three years. Although a tribunal set aside this order, the regulator has challenged this decision in the Supreme Court. The promoters of as many as 359 BSE-listed companies have pledged half their stakes, an indicator of stressed corporate finances in an economy that struggling to get back on track.

 

19.9%

The percentage of food adulterated samples in 2014-15, an increase from the 14.8% in 2012-13 and 18.8% in 2013-14. The issue of food safety and testing came to light after excessive quantities of lead were found in certain samples of Nestle India’s popular noodles brand Maggi. However, a few days ago, the Central Food Technological Research Institute, a laboratory approved by the food regulator, had found Maggi Noodles to be in compliance with India’s food safety standards. Even as the fate of Maggi lies in balance, Nestle India posted a quarterly loss in the April-June quarter, its first in 15 years.

 

9%

Percentage of project proposals decided after making a site visit by the coastal zone management authorities (CZMAs) of nine states. Of the 4,033 projects assessed, mostly between 1999 and 2014 for most states, the respective CZMAs made site visits in only 367. This is just one of the many shortcomings or lapses in coastal regulation highlighted in a recent report by New Delhi-based thinktank Centre of Policy Research. Other points include inadequate monitoring, inappropriate staffing, lack of financial resources and inordinate amount of time spent in project proposals.

 

90.9

Percentage of respondents who believe prices will increase in the next one year, in general, according to the ‘Inflation Expectations Survey of Households’ conducted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in June. This percentage has increased from that recorded in June 2014 when 83.6% of the respondents felt this way. The equivalent numbers across all categories such as food prices, non-food prices, housing prices and cost of services have seen an increase in June 2015 from last year. The Consumer Confidence Survey by the RBI shows that the perception on economic conditions has marginally increased for the next one year, though negative perceptions have also registered an increase. Yesterday, the RBI left the key interest rate unchanged, as it was not confident about inflation levels being in a comfort zone yet.

 

 

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