News in Numbers, Oct 21, 2016: Fair & Handsome > Fair & Lovely


What is it? The percentage by which men’s average spend per month on moisturizers exceeds women’s in the age group of 18 and 24 years, according to data from research firm IMRB International’s Target Group Index.

Why is it important? An indicator that men in this age group are spending more on grooming products than women, which goes against the popular perception that it is the latter’s domain. Another example: men in this age group spend 6% more on conditioners every month than women. Men aged between 18 and 45 spend 10% more on body washes and 7% more on face washes and scrubs than women per month.

Tell me more: The Indian men’s grooming market is estimated to touch Rs 14,200 crore by 2020, up from Rs 7,500 crore in 2015 (was Rs 3,000 crore in 2010), according to Euromonitor International.


28 paise

What is it? The expected loss per unit of power distribution companies (discoms) that have joined the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) by 2018-19 from 64 paise in 2015-16, according to research and ratings firm Crisil.

Why is it important? UDAY scheme envisages zero loss. The scheme was launched by the Indian government last year for financialand operational turnaround of discoms and 17 states have signed up for the same so far. While the losses might not be eliminated, it’s projected to come down. The expected aggregate losses of these discoms are expected to see a drop of 46% to Rs 20,000 crore by 2018-19 from Rs 37,000 crore now. The total debt of state discoms were Rs 4 lakh crore by the end of March 2015.

Tell me more: Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Haryana are likely to do well under the scheme while Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir are expected to be laggards. The three states are expected to account for almost two-thirds of the gap or loss (average revenue realised minus average cost of supply).


Rs 1,000 crore

What is it? India’s annual losses due to corrosion of steel in structures and buildings in the coastal areas, according to Steel Minister Chaudhary Birendra Singh.

Why is it important? The government is considering a proposal to make galvanisation of steel mandatory in sectors such as automobile, infrastructure and construction to build corrosion-free steel vehicles and buildings. Discussions between various ministries are on and a Cabinet note is expected to be moved that would require regular steel to be replaced by zinc-coated steel. Galvanised steel is also likely to be used in the Smart Cities Mission as well as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (affordable housing for all).

Tell me more: Corrosion causes losses to the extent of 4-5% of India’s gross domestic product annually, as per an internal analysis of Hindustan Zinc Limited.


1.3 million

What is it? The number of people who die from traffic accidents in the world every year, according to the United Nations (UN).

Why is it important? Nearly half (49%) are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, which highlights the lack of safe walking and cycling infrastructure in many countries. The UN has asked countries to invest at least 20% of their transport budgets on such infrastructure to not only save lives but also, help in reversing pollution and reducing carbon emissions.

Tell me more: Motorised transport, which is responsible for nearly a quarter (23%) of global carbon dioxide emissions (and the fastest growing sector in greenhouse gas emissions), is likely to be responsible for a third of the carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 at current rates. The report noted that countries such as India have come up with high-quality engineering design and construction guidelines for bicycle and pedestrian facilities but have been weak in implementing them.



What is it? HSBC’s market share in the participatory notes segment in India at the end of 2015-16. P-Notes are instruments issued by registered foreign institutional investors to overseas investors who want to invest in the Indian stock markets without registering themselves with the Indian market regulator.

Why is it important? HSBC, which is one of the top five issuers of P-Notes, is planning to close down this business vertical in India. Following stricter rules, the recently-signed double tax avoidance agreement with Mauritius and with the Special Investigation Teamhaving reportedly having asked the market regulator to provide details of those investing through P-Notes to crackdown on black money, the instrument has been losing its attractiveness.

Tell me more: The share of P-Notes in the foreign portfolio investors’ (FPI) asset base has been gradually declining: from 11% of total FPI assets as on September 30, 2015 to 8.4% of total FPI assets as on August 30, 2016. It remains to be seen how the other P-Notes’ issuers would react to the changing situation.

Read More

News in numbers, Feb 1, 2016: Sugar prices on the rise, small savers’ money in Aamby Valley…


Rs 3,180 / quintal

What is it? Wholesale price of sugar in Delhi as on January 29, an increase of 20% from September 1 prices.

Why is it important? With experts predicting lower annual sugar production in India, sugar prices have seen a steady increase in the last five months, which is likely to prompt sugar manufacturers to step up their sales domestically rather than export. The Indian government had ordered mills to export 40 lakh metric tonnes of sugar in the 2015-16 season and had announced a subsidy on the shipments. But, India’s sugar exports is estimated to be less than half of that ordered by the government, according to ED&F Man Holdings (merchant of agricultural commodities) and Olam International (trader of soft commodities).

Tell me more: The government had made the exports mandatory in order to help the mills pay their dues to 5 crore sugarcane farmers in the country. Sugar mills owe about Rs 6,500 crore to the cane growers. The Indian Sugar Mills Association has reduced its estimated annual production figures from 2.8 crore metric tonnes predicted in July to 2.6 crore metric tonnes earlier this month.


Rs 1,500 crore

What is it? Amount Sahara group has invested in Aamby Valley resort project in Maharashtra from two of its credit cooperatives – Sahara Credit Cooperative Society and Saharayn E-Multipurpose Society.

Why is it important? In effect, Sahara is using money from small savers to fund the project. It could turn out to be risky. The group is embroiled in a fraud case where one of its time-deposit schemes was declared illegal and the Supreme Court had ordered it to repay Rs 36,000 crore to its investors. It still hasn’t done so. If the apex court decides to auction off its properties to refund its investors, then Aamby Valley could be hit, risking the money of the credit cooperatives put in the project. Already, the cooperatives want Sahara to return the deposits that have matured.

Tell me more: Aamby Valley’s net profit dropped to Rs 9 crore in 2012-13 from Rs 69.4 crore in the July 2011-March 2012 period.



What is it? Growth in profits of 114 of the BSE 500 companies (representing over 90% of the total market capitalization on the Bombay Stock Exchange) in the quarter ended December 2015 from a year ago. (Banking, technology, oil and gas companies have been excluded from analysis).

Why is it important? This is the highest in at least three years and mainly due to a decline in commodity prices. Paints, tyres, batteries and cement companies got the benefit of the drop in crude oil prices (which they didn’t pass on to customers), according to Ambareesh Baliga, an independent market analyst. However, revenue of these companies have grown only 4.38% in the third quarter of 2015-16 compared to 4.29% in the previous quarter, reflecting poor demand conditions.

Tell me more: External factors including a likely economic slowdown due to China’s poor growth and volatility in global markets along with poor growth in Indian companies’ earnings have caused the BSE Sensex to lose 4.7% in January compared to 5% in 2015.


What is it? Likely increase in power tariffs in states such as Rajasthan, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

Why is it important? This is a result of the agreement signed by the states, their power utilities and the Union Minister of Power under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) where states would take over the debts of the power utilities. The central government has asked the states to cover a third of the difference between cost of power production and rates charged to consumers by effecting tariff increases. The remaining losses would be covered by introducing efficiency measures such as curtailing theft of electricity.

Tell me more: Reluctance on the part of the power utilities to increase power tariffs among other reasons have resulted in their outstanding loans ballooning to Rs 4 lakh crore, which are being borne by the taxpayers.



What is it? The number of employees a firm can have before it has to mandatorily provide employees’ provident fund, according to a new proposal.

Why is it important? Under the current rules, firms with 20 workers or more have to mandatorily take up EPFO’s schemes. The Indian government is planning to halve it through amendments to Labour laws, which do not require the Parliament’s approval. It intends to change the limit by a notification and two months’ time for consultations. This would bring in an additional 50 lakh workers under EPFO’s schemes.

Tell me more: The EPFO’s apex decision making body, the Central Board of Trustees, had decided to reduce the threshold from 20 to 10 workers in 2008 but hasn’t been implemented it so far.

Read More