Stress relief for ICICI

676 million Swiss Francs

What is it? The money kept by Indians in Swiss banks in 2016, according to the Swiss National Bank (SNB), Switzerland’s central bank.

Why is it important? The amount, around Rs 4,600 crore, is at an all-time low. India and Switzerland, considered a tax haven, have signed an agreement to automatically share information when money is deposited in the latter’s banking system. Exchange of information will begin from next year.

Tell me more: The amount, however, does not reflect money kept by Indians through entities from other countries.

 

Rs 16,189 crore

What is it? The amount paid by UltraTech Cement to acquire Jaiprakash Associates and Jaypee Cement Corporation.

Why is it important? It marks the biggest sale of stressed assets by lenders, a consortium led by ICICI Bank in this case. Loans worth Rs 12,000 crore of Jaiprakash Associates will move to the books of the Aditya Birla Group-owned cement major. The debt will now be labelled as AAA status from a non-performing asset.

Tell me more: By December, 2016, Indian banks had stressed assets/bad loans worth Rs 9.64 lakh-crore, up from Rs 8 lakh-crore a year ago. The deal also marks the largest acquisition of cement assets in India.

 

7th

What is it? India’s rank among countries most affected by the recent ‘Petya’ ransomware.

Why is it important? India is the worst hit in the Asia Pacific region. Russia’s oil firm Rosneft, international advertising behemoth WPP and one of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust’s terminals were among the companies that got infected.

Tell me more: Ukraine, US and Russia were the worst hit globally, with France, UK, Germany, China and Japan also coming under attack. This is the second ransomware attack in less than two months, after ‘WannaCry’ wreaked havoc in over 100 countries in May.

 

1,600

What is it? The number of US local talent Indian software company, Wipro, has hired in the last six months.

Why is it important? Local staff now account for half of Wipro’s 14,000 employees in US. Other Indian outsourcing companies like Infosys have also started hiring local talent in US, the largest market for software exports from India. This comes at a time when the world’s largest economy is tightening norms for issuing H1-B visas – which allows temporary employment in US and was used extensively by Indian companies to service US clients.

Tell me more: Infosys plans to hire 10,000 Americans in the next two years, and TCS too plans to ramp up local appointments.

 

85%

What is it? The percentage of seats in 28 Delhi University colleges that Delhi government wants to reserve for local students.

Why is it important? Delhi government passed a resolution on Thursday, but it has to get the approval from the governor and Union education ministry. The Delhi government is demanding reservation in 28 out of 63 Delhi University colleges that it funds fully or partially.

Tell me more: The Delhi government says of the 250,000 students passing out from Delhi’s schools, only 28,000 are able to secure a college seat in Delhi due to intense competition.

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Stress weighs banks down

Rs 1,000 – Rs 4,000 crore

What is it? The range of stressed assets for which state-run banks will restructure the debt into equity. For corporate bad loans above Rs 5,000 crore, companies will be referred to National Company Law Board to recover money under the insolvency and bankruptcy code.

Why is it important? Evolving a rule-based approach to deal with India’s Rs 10 trillion stressed assets problem could help in faster decision making, as bankers will feel secure that their decisions will not be scrutinised later by investigating agencies.

Tell me more: Restructuring debt into equity has not been successful, as lenders are not able to find buyers. If restructured loan is not sold within 18 months, banks will have to consider the exposure as bad debt.

 

1 million

What is it? The number of subscribers of the Employees Provident Fund Office (EPFO) who can avail home loan from the Housing and Urban Development Corp. Ltd (HUDCO) by using their retirement corpus lying with EPFO over the next two years.

Why is it important? This access to EPFO database will help HUDCO to better evaluate creditworthiness of borrowers as contribution and employment records are available with the retirement fund manager. For provident fund subscribers, they could use 90% of their corpus towards down payment or paying monthly installments.

Tell me more: Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, borrowers with monthly family income upto Rs 12 lakh can avail maximum interest subsidy of 6.5% to buy houses.

 

> 10,000 people

What is it? The number of lives saved by Red Cross volunteers who safely buried Ebola victims in West Africa in 2014-15.

Why is it important? Community burials, when relations washed the body of Ebola victims, infected large number of people. A study estimates two people developed Ebola for every unsafe community burial. 11,310 people out of 28,000 people infected with Ebola died during 2014-15.

Tell me more: 1,500 Red Cross volunteers managed 50% of all burials during the outbreak.

 

3 million

What is it? The number of students studying in state-run schools whose learning outcome will be monitored through an annual government survey.

Why is it important? This will help monitor progress of students on regular basis as the current National Achievement Survey done by the National Council for Education Research and Training is done once in three years with a sample size of 200,000.

Tell me more: Only 28% of standard III children could do a 2-digit subtraction, and 43% can read standard I text, as per the survey conducted by Annual Status of Education.

 

Rs 16 lakh

What is it? Amount paid by a company to buy the registration number, ‘0001’ in Delhi.

Why is it important? A potential revenue source for transport departments to tap the craze to buy fancy vehicle registration numbers. The success was also because the Delhi auction was conducted online with no manual intervention.

Tell me more: So far, Delhi’s transport department has earned Rs 1.83 crore by auctioning ‘0001’ of different series between 2014 and 2017.

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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, May 13, 2016: Maggi yet to regain lost glory, five-year plans to end…

Rs 259 crore

What is it? Nestle India’s net profit in the three months ended March 2016, down 19.6% from Rs 320 crore in the same period a year ago.

Why is it important? The firm has attributed the slide to the ban of its popular snack Maggi noodles last month for nearly six months, pointing to the fact that it is yet to recover the lost market share last year. The snack, which accounted for nearly a third of its total sales in 2014, commanded an 80.2% of market share in instant noodles segment in the first quarter of 2015, which is now at 50%.

Tell me more: The company’s net sales declined by 8.4% to Rs 2,296 crore in the first quarter of 2016. Popular yoga guru Baba Ramdev has said that Patanjali noodles would overtake Maggi as the top noodles brand and that their production of ‘atta’ (wheat) noodles would be increased from the current 100 tonnes to 300-500 tonnes, without specifying a time frame.

 

Rs 13 lakh crore

What is it? The estimated stressed assets, a fifth of total bank loans, in the Indian banking system, according to a director at India Ratings and Research, Fitch’s Indian affiliate.

Why is it important? If true, then this indicates that the situation is worse than acknowledged by the bankers – at the end of December, the total stressed assets was over Rs 8 lakh crore. This is likely to hurt the banks’ profitability even further and restrict credit growth, which could affect economic growth – again leading to defaults and slowdown in production.

Tell me more: This would make it difficult for banks, especially the public sector ones, to raise capital, putting additional burden on government finances. The central bank has directed the banks to clean up their balance sheets by March 2017. Stressed assets include bad loans, restructured assets and written-off assets.

 

4

What is it? The number of Indian cities among the top 10 most polluted in the world, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

Why is it important? Though this number has come down from six to four and also, Delhi has been pushed to the 11th spot from the top, smaller cities such as Gwalior (second), Allahabad (third) and Raipur (seventh) have recorded higher air pollution levels. Some measures taken in the recent times such as not allowing pre-2000 trucks into the city have helped reduce pollution levels in Delhi. This calls for a concerted national plan to reduce pollution levels across cities.

Tell me more: According to a research, 5.5 million die prematurely due to the effects of air pollution globally and India accounts for a fourth of such deaths.

 

15

What is it? The number of years for which India’s vision documents would be reportedly prepared, replacing the current 5-year plans.

Why is it important? This would have a bearing on the way policies are framed and implemented, hopefully leading to a long-term focus on issues. According to unnamed officials, the 15-year vision documents would also deal with internal security, defence and external security – in addition to social and economic issues, which the five-year plans largely focus on.

Tell me more: The new plans include a seven-year National Development Agenda, which would outline the schemes, strategies and programmes to achieve the 15-year-vision. The seven-year agenda would be reviewed every three years to ensure it is aligned with financial resources. The current 12th year plan ends by March 2017 and the 15-year vision plans would be implemented from 2017-18.

 

34%

What is it? The stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp that Nissan Motor Company has agreed to buy for $2.2 billion.

Why is it important? This makes Nissan the scandal-hit company’s single-largest shareholder with Mitsubishi group companies’ stake coming down to 22.4% from 34% earlier. This deal assuages Mitsubishi’s viability concerns, which augurs better for the 7,777 companies and 410,000 people it deals with (estimates by Teikoku Databank, a corporate credit research firm).

Tell me more: A few days ago, Mitsubishi admitted to having tampered with the fuel economy data of cars sold in Japan for the last 25 years, including some sold to Nissan.

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