News in Numbers, Feb 28, 2017: Airports still in the red ✈

51.11%

What is it? The percentage of stake in Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) that will be transferred to the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) by the central government.

Why is it important? This will create an integrated oil company bringing together India’s largest oil producer, ONGC with HPCL, third largest refiner and retailer. This was one of the announcements made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the budget speech.

Tell me more: The transfer will have to be followed by an open offer for another 26% shares from the open market.

 

200 million

What is it? The number of wallet users (transacting users) with Paytm, a mobile wallet and payments operator.

Why is it important? The largest mobile wallet service by reach has reaped the benefits of the cash ban. Its subscriber base increased by 50 million post November 8th last year, when demonetisation was announced. By the end of November, Paytm, like its competitors, had increased their advertising spends, by 300%, to tap an audience looking for ways around the cash crunch.

Tell me more: Paytm’s immediate competitor, Freecharge, has had a rougher ride, with its parent Snapdeal struggling to raise funding for it. Its CEO quit last week.

 

120 million

What is it? The number of shares of Apple Inc. that Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway bought in 2017.

Why is it important? This makes Apple one of the largest holdings of the investment wizard’s company. Berkshire, fuelled by Buffet’s acumen, is often considered a bellwether of the US stock market. It took its total shares of the iPhone-maker to 133 million. At about $17 billion in value, the stock is now among the top six of Berkshire’s holdings worth $10 billion and above.

Tell me more: In a media interview, Buffet reasoned with “Apple strikes me as having quite a sticky product.”

 

Rs 2 trillion

What is it? Amount of central government procurement each year(excluding defence) proposed under the ‘Buy Indian’ policy.

Why is it important? The policy, if implemented, will boost local manufacturing through price preference, and relaxation in turnover and experience conditions. It might increase cost of buying goods for central government, but has potential to create local jobs given the size of purchase.

Tell me more: The proposed policy will not violate international trade rules. WTO permits governments to have sourcing preference if it’s for own consumption.

 

13

What is it? The number of airports managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) that are profitable. AAI manages 125 airports in India.

Why is it important? Shows that traffic is not adequate to support the cost incurred, and AAI was not able to monetize non-aero revenues like the ones managed by the private sector in Delhi and Mumbai.

Tell me more: There was no traffic in 30 of the loss making airports managed by AAI.

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News in Numbers, Jan 24, 2017: WTO sugars the pill

2/3rd

What is it? Members of the 164-country-strong World Trade Organization’s (WTO) that agreed to permanently waive restrictions on poor countries accessing generic medicines.

Why is it important? It permanently removes hurdles (such as a mandate to primarily supply local markets) for poor WTO members who cannot afford to produce generic medicines. They can now import more affordable version of medicines for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. WTO’s Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement had to be amended for a permanent waiver. Despite their low cost, the demand volume for generics worldwide makes it worth 36% of the global pharma market.

Tell me more: The waiver was in place since 2003, but in a temporary mode, being renewed every two years. The permanent status agreement took 12 years in the making.

 

Rs 3,000 crore

What is it? The MoU investment amount signed by Vodafone with the West Bengal government for capacity increase and other business initiatives in the state for the next three years.

Why is it important? The amount constitutes 1.3% of the Rs 2.35 lakh-crore-investment proposals received by the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government in its Bengal Global Business Summit over the weekend. With over 20 million subscribers in West Bengal and Kolkata, Vodafone would look to consolidate over 10% of its total customer base.

Tell me more: Vodafone has previously invested over Rs 8,400 crorein West Bengal to upgrade its network.

 

35.5%

What is it? The rate of growth of gross premium income of private general (or non-life) insurers in December, 2016 over 2015.

Why is it important? Private general insurers grew faster than public general insurers, underwriting Rs 4,775.35 crore in gross premium income, compared with the latter’s Rs 3524.13 crore, that grew at 17%.

Tell me more: Private non-life insurers are growing faster on a smaller base as they command the smaller half or 42% of the market.

 

9

What is it? The number of people arrested in Kingfisher Airlines loan case on Monday. Those arrested included former managing director of IDBI Bank and former CFO of Kingfisher Airlines.

Why is it important? The loan default by Kingfisher promoter Vijay Mallya and his companies has turned political and the Indian government is under increasing pressure to show that it’s making progress. The public pressure to show visible results has intensified since demonetisation, as the government was seen as being too soft on big businesses and too hard on the common man.

Tell me more: Former IDBI Bank Chairman Yogesh Agarwal, former Kingfisher Airlines CFO A Raghunathan and seven of their colleagues were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

 

-0.2%

What is it? The day’s fall on Monday for two of Wall Street’s indices:S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite.

Why is it important? The markets were reacting to President Trump’s protectionist trade moves and Qualcomm’s shares stricken by Apple’s lawsuit. Trump abandoned the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and is on the verge of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. The anticipated protectionist measures combined with the embattled Qualcomm’s lawsuit from Apple to bring down indices.

Tell me more: The Dow Jones Industrial Average also inched downby 0.1% on Monday.

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