News in Numbers: Amazon Prime to have 25 million items for delivery, up from 11 million
What is it? The increase in the net profit of Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector lender, to Rs726.4 crore in the October-December quarter, from Rs579.6 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago.
Why is it important? This is due to a decrease in provisions against bad loans, a sharp slowdown in bad loan additions and an increase in fee income. Axis Bank’s provisions and contingencies decreased by 26% to Rs2,811 crore, while it added Rs4,428 crore of bad loans, less than half the levels in the September quarter. Its fee income grew 24% to Rs2,246 crore from a year earlier, of which retail contributed almost 50%.
Tell me more: Shares of Axis Bank rose 3.5% on Monday to close at Rs612, their highest levels since September 2016.
What is it? The world’s projected GDP (gross domestic product) growth in 2018 and 2019, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Why is it important? The projections for both years have been revised upwards by 0.2 percentage points. If these hold true, the world economy would grow at its fastest pace since 2011. The IMF says the world economy is gathering speed, though the present economic upturn is a “reflection of confluence of factors that is unlikely to last long”. The US tax policy changes passed in December and enacted this year would account for about half the increase in global growth projections.
Tell me more: The primary reasons the upturn will taper off is that advanced economies are reaching the limits of their growth potential and the growth in the world’s two biggest economies, US and China, may slow down. The IMF retained India’s GDP projections for 2018 and 2019 at 7.4% and 7.8%, respectively.
What is it? The number of years since the 2008 Ahmedabad bombings, where 21 bomb blasts occurred in 70 minutes.
Why is it important? The Delhi police arrested Abdul Subhan Qureshi, the alleged mastermind of the blasts that hit Ahmedabad on 26 July 2008, which killed 56 people and injured over 200. He is the co-founder of Indian Mujahideen, which has been behind some of the most deadly bombings in India. Qureshi is wanted by the National Investigation Agency in connection with terror attacks in Delhi, Bengaluru and the 2006 local train bombings in Mumbai.
Tell me more: Qureshi was reportedly planning a revival of the Indian Mujahideen in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, where it had a stronghold earlier.
What is it? The number of items that Amazon will make available for delivery within two days under its priority programme Amazon Prime, as against 11 million earlier.
Why is it important? It signals greater use of Prime as a lever by the e-commerce major, which is locked in a tough fight against Flipkart in India, to build customer stickiness while growing at a fast clip. Other forthcoming enhancements in Prime—which costs Rs999 a year—include a wider video selection and a music service. Flipkart, too, is reportedly looking to revive its customer loyalty programme.
What is it? The singles ranking of Hyeon Chung of South Korea, who on Monday upset 12-time grand slam winner Novak Djokovic to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.
Why is it important? Chung is the first South Korean to reach the quarter-finals in the singles of a grand slam. He thus completed an eight-player lineup whose average ranking is a high 29 and which has three rank outsiders in the form of Chung, Kyle Edmund of UK (world ranking 49) and Tennys Sandgren of US (world ranking 97).
Tell me more: Even as the younger brigade makes a charge, the draw is set up nicely for the two old guards, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have been the two best men’s singles players in the past 12 months and who played an epic final last year.
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