News in Numbers | Paytm users’ base touch a record 200 mn, thanks to note ban
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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.
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.
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.”
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.
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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