Data recap: Delhi’s air, October inflation, earnings report

On Thursday, the AQI in Delhi was 415. (Hindustan Times)
On Thursday, the AQI in Delhi was 415. (Hindustan Times)


  • News and developments from the week gone by, through numbers and charts.

Every Friday, Plain Facts publishes a compilation of data-based insights, complete with easy-to-read charts, to help you delve deeper into the stories reported by Mint in the week gone by. Delhi’s air quality has been worsening by the day since Diwali despite stringent measures taken by the state government. While the year-on-year inflation rate softened in October, retail prices saw the first month-on-month rise in three months.

Toxic air

Last week, just before Diwali, rain brought Delhi some respite from its ‘severe’ air quality. However, the relief was short-lived, as the air quality index (AQI) began worsening from the morning after the festivities, rising from 218 on 12 November to 358 the next day. On Thursday, the AQI was 415, falling back into the ‘severe’ category. To control the pollution levels, the Delhi government has taken stringent measures, including a prohibition on construction activities and the entry of pollution-emitting trucks.

Inflation dynamics

After hitting a recent high of 7.44% in July, India’s retail inflation began softening due to a correction in vegetable prices, especially those of tomatoes, coming in at 4.87% in October. While the inflation rate is continuing to soften, price pressures actually rose in October for the first time in three months, a Mint analysis showed. On a month-on-month basis, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.65%, with the food index rising 1.06%, which is a cause of concern.

Dramatic turnaround

2,096 crore: That’s the consolidated revenue EIH Ltd, the flagship company of the Oberoi Group, had generated in 2022-23, up 101% from the preceding year. Prithvi Raj Singh Oberoi, who was the executive chairman of the company until last year, died earlier this week at the age of 94. Biki Oberoi, as he was known, built a sprawling chain of 32 hotels in his lifetime, according to an obituary in the Hindustan Times.

Earnings report

The combined revenue of companies that have declared their September-quarter financial results so far has risen 5.2% year-on-year, while net profit has risen 42.8%, a Mint analysis showed. While the topline was driven by the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sectors, at the same time, they proved to be a drag on the profits. Excluding the BFSI sectors, the combined revenue contracted 0.3%, while profit was up 52.2%. The analysis covered 3,013 BSE-listed companies (including 466 banking and financial services firms).


Skewed share

The matter of adequate gender diversity in companies’ boardrooms is gathering steam but the reality is that corporate leadership remains a grey-haired men’s club. Thanks to regulatory measures, women have begun to get more spots but despite these hard-fought gains, they still are under-represented in the executive arena. The overall share of women directors was just 18.2% as of 31 March, a Mint analysis showed. Moreover, close to half of the members of this coveted club are aged above 60 years, and millennials occupy just a minuscule 1.2% seats.


Retail push

26.1%: That’s the average share of delivery value in total value of trade on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) until October this financial year, which is the highest in six years, Mint reported. Increased retail participation, directly as well as via mutual funds, pushed up delivery volumes on the exchange, with investors pumping money into small- and mid-caps directly and through mutual funds. The upward trend is likely to continue unless there are global headwinds or anti-incumbency in the elections.

Humanitarian move

With India, the world’s second-largest exporter of rice, putting a ban on exports, several countries have found themselves in a tough spot. However, India has decided to allow around 103,600 tonnes of food items to be exported to Bhutan under a humanitarian operation, making an exception for its strategic partners amid export restrictions, Mint reported. While India is Bhutan’s main import partner, its imports from China have increased in recent years, making it a potentially strategic decision to help the country.

Chart of the week: Kohli’s record


In a nail-biting semi-final of the 2023 Men’s Cricket World Cup, Virat Kohli delivered his 50th ODI century, beating Sachin Tendulkar’s long-standing record. With this, Kohli has also become the highest run-scorer in a single edition of the World Cup.

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