News in Numbers: India’s bad loans shrink 0.4% to Rs9.46 trillion in September quarter
What is it? The reported total stressed loans, including non-performing loans and restructured loans, at the end of the three-month period ended September 2017, according to Reuters.
Why is it important? Although this is only 0.4% lower than the record stressed loans of Rs9.50 trillion reported at the end of the June quarter, this is the first decline since at least 2015 when a clean-up of bad loans in the banking system began. This indicates the impact of stricter rules and the new insolvency and bankruptcy rules have begun to show. Earlier this week, the government said it would infuse Rs88,139 crore in 20 state-run banks, which is likely to further the downward trend of stressed loans in the Indian banking system.
Tell me more: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had initiated a major asset quality review in late-2015 amid allegations that banks were under-reporting the extent of soured loans. Last year, the central bank also sent names of some of India’s biggest corporate defaulters to banks, asking them to invoke bankruptcy proceedings as part of greater powers given to lenders through the government’s banking reforms programme.
What is it? The number of employees of big- and medium-sized firms reportedly under the scanner of the income tax department for being hand-in-glove with a Bengaluru-based chartered accountant (CA) for extracting fraudulent tax refunds.
Why is it important? The IT department claims to have busted a racket where the CA has allegedly filed nearly 1,000 returns citing loss from house property, where the cumulative loss claims amounted to Rs18 crore. This is said to be the first time such large-scale action has been initiated by the department against employees seeking fraudulent refunds. Last year, in a similar case in Hyderabad, at least 200 IT employees provided fake information regarding disability and chronic illness of their family members to fraudulently claim IT refunds.
Tell me more: Employees from reputed firms such as IBM, Vodafone, Infosys, Biocon, ICICI Bank and Thomson Reuters India are said to be involved in the racket being unearthed in Bengaluru.
What is it? The total number of smartphone shipments by Xiaomi in the three-month period ended December in India, according to tech market analyst firm Canalys.
Why is it important? According to its report, Xiaomi has overtaken Samsung to become India’s leading smartphone seller for the first time since it entered the market three years ago. Xiaomi has a market share of 27% compared to Samsung’s 25%. Counterpoint Research also agrees with Canalys and says Xiaomi is now the market leader, though it pegs its market share at 25% and Samsung’s at 23%. However, Samsung refutes these figures and says it is India’s number one smartphone company “by a distance”, and claims to have a 45% value share and 40% volume share, quoting research firm GFK, which tracks sales to end customers.
Tell me more: According to GFK, smartphone sales in India fell by 3% in the last quarter of 2017, due to an increase in sales of low-priced 4G feature phones.
What is it? The amount reportedly offered to buy the enterprise business of Tata Teleservices by a set of Tata Group executives, backed by an investor consortium led by TPG Group.
Why is it important? The Tata Group executives are reportedly led by Mukund Rajan, head of the group’s international operations and former managing director of Tata Teleservices. If the deal happens, it will be the first management buyout in the Tata Group and send a signal that the 150-year group is open to new ways of moving forward. It will also bolster the stated aim of Tata Sons chairman N. Chandrasekaran to consolidate the group’s businesses.
Tell me more: The main mobile telephony business of Tata Teleservices, which was a drag on the group, was sold to Bharti Airtel in October 2017.
What is it? The year till which Jose Mourinho could manage Manchester United, after signing a contract extension on Thursday.
Why is it important? The 54-year-old Portugese joined England’s biggest football club in 2016 on a three-year contract. The contract extension signed on Thursday was for one year, with an option for a second year. If he does end up completing his contracted tenure, it will be the longest managerial stint for Mourinho, who has made a name for himself doing two to three year stints of considerable success with some of the biggest footballing clubs in the world.
Tell me more: Although three managers have preceded him in quick succession at United, Mourinho’s tenure at the club will probably still be benchmarked to the legacy of Sir Alex Ferguson, who led United from 1986 to 2013.
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