News in numbers, Mar 9, 2016: Brands quick to drop Sharapova, Mukesh Ambani’s TV push…


Rs 1,165 crore

What is it? The amount the Indian government is looking to raise by selling 5% of its stake in state-run Container Corporation on Wednesday.

Why is it important? Represents progress in disinvestment. This follows its mopping up of Rs 5,000 crore from divestment in NTPC (the second biggest in six months) about a fortnight ago. The government has raised Rs 18,300 crore so far this fiscal by selling its stakes in six public sector units, which is about a quarter of its disinvestment target of Rs 68,500 crore by the end of this month. The government is likely to miss its target for the sixth straight year this fiscal.

Tell me more: The government owns 61.8% in Container Corporation is selling up to 9.75 million shares at a floor price of Rs 1,195 per share.


$29.7 million

What is it? Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova’s earnings from prize money, endorsements, appearances and royalties in 2015, according to Forbes.

Why is it important? Sharapova, who revealed she failed a drugs test at this year’s Australian Open, was the highest paid female athlete for the 11th consecutive year in 2015. On Monday, she admitted she tested positive for meldonium, which she said she was taking for diabetes and low magnesium for the last 10 years. Major brands including TAG Heuer, Nike and Porsche ended up severing ties with the five-time Grand Slam champion.

Tell me more: The World Anti-Doping Agency had included meldonium in the banned list last September, which came into effect from January 1, 2016. The player, who currently ranks seventh in the world, said she had not read the email informing her about the ban of this drug.

Rs 1,000 crore

What is it? The size of the alleged scam at Syndicate Bank.

Why is it important? The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating the case based on a complaint from the bank, has registered cases against four businessmen and five bank officials. Despite strict laws and rules such as the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, and Know Your Customer norms, it is believed that the suspects had opened 386 accounts in three branches in Rajasthan. They were allegedly involved in discounting fake cheques and bills against fake letters of credit and arranged overdraft limits against nonexistent life insurance policies between 2011-16.

Tell me more: The CBI said it was conducting searches in 10 locations across three cities – New Delhi, Jaipur and Udaipur.

$2 billion

What is it? The amount Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries plans to spend on cable and satellite television businesses over the next three years, according to anonymous sources.

Why is it important? Reliance Industries’ target is to get 1 million subscribers in six months, which would increase to 20 million in three years. This is equivalent to the number of Indian homes that have a broadband or any other internet connection. Such targets in the television space, along with Reliance’s push in the telecom sector (via RJio), are likely to affect smaller players in the space including his brother Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications (RCom). It remains to be seen if this renews the rivalry between the two brothers.

Tell me more: Reliance Industries has spent at least $18 billion for its 4G telecom business, which it plans to launch later this year.

Rs 5,000 crore

What is it? Indian Railways’ advertisement revenue target over the next few years.

Why is it important? Currently, the Indian Railways earns less than 5% of its revenue from non-tariff sources, which compares poorly with global railway systems in Japan and European countries that generate 15-30% of their revenues from such sources. The Indian Railways has appointed Ernst and Young to help them in this initiative. The utility is considering various measures to cut costs and increase sources of revenues as it looks to offset an increase in its wage bill and also, stick to its modernisation plans.

Tell me more: The ‘Sundry Earnings’ of the Railways was Rs 6,229 crore this year and the target for 2016-17 has been increased by over 50% to Rs 9,590 crore.

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