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News in Numbers: SBI minimum account balance lowered to Rs3000

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-09-2017 howindialives.com

Rs3,000

What is it? The revised minimum account balance to be maintained by customers of State Bank of India (SBI) in metro areas.

Why is it important? This will benefit customers of the state-run bank who have complained of high penalty (Rs 100 if shortfall is more than 75% of requirement) for non-maintenance of monthly average balance. Penalty is also lower and ranges between Rs 30 and Rs 50 per month, as compared to previous range of Rs 50 to Rs 100.

Tell me more: SBI has the highest number of account holders (420.4 million) in the country, covering more than a third of India’s population. A third of the accounts (138.4 million) are financial inclusion accounts (Jan Dhan Yojana) that do not require to maintain a minimum balance. The average balance in financial inclusion accounts was Rs1,345 as of June 2017.

93%

What is it? The overall collection efficiency, the percentage of monthly receipts out of total loans, in the microfinance sector in July 2017, according to ratings firm ICRA Ltd.

Why is it important? This improved from a low of 87% in December 2016, indicating that the microfinance sector may be recovering from the impact of demonetisation (announced in November) that likely resulted in lower collections on loans already disbursed. The ratings agency said the improvement was observed across all affected areas except for the Vidarbha region in Maharashtra. The 0 days past due delinquency percentage has come down to 16.3% at the end of August from the peak of 23.6% in February this year.

Tell me more: The growth rate registered by the microfinance sector in 2016-17 almost halved to 18% from the average of 36% clocked in the last few years. This excludes the performance of the top six microfinance institutions, which got converted to small finance banks in the previous fiscal.

359 petabytes

What is it? The data usage on the networks of Indian telecom firms, excluding that of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, at the end of June, according to a report by Nokia Mbit.

Why is it important? This has more than doubled from 165 petabytes at the end of December 2016. There has been no change in 3G data usage, which still has a 55% share in total usage in the country while 4G data usage has increased to 34% in June 2017 from a mere 3% in June 2015 with the latter set to become the most dominant technology in 2018. This suggests that many Indians are likely to move directly from 2G technology to 4G, bypassing the intermediate one.

Tell me more: To provide some perspective, 1 petabyte can store about 341 million three-minute MP3 files or 13.3 years of high-definition television video or 500 billion pages of standard printed text.

202 times

What is it? The earnings multiple of Prataap Snacks Ltd based on profits earned in financial year ended March 2017. The company is selling shares via an initial public offering (IPO).

Why is it important? The high earnings multiple is seen as proof of a pricing bubble in the Indian stock markets. And only a portion of money raised is towards reinvesting in the business. Some 58% of shares on sale in the IPO are being sold by promoters and existing investor, Sequoia Capital.

Tell me more: Sensex, consisting of 30 stocks, fell to the lowest levels in a month on Monday because of high valuation concerns and weak macroeconomic numbers.

134.7 million tonnes

What is it? The projected production of kharif crops in 2017-18, as compared to last year’s record production of 138.5 million.

Why is it important? The lower output is because of an uneven monsoon between June and September this year, which is 5% less than long term average. Six out of 36 subdivisions have received excess rainfall, and an equal number of them have received deficient rainfall this year. Normal rainfall is defined as 19% more or less than long term average, so one-third of subdivisions have seen a rainfall variation of more than 20%.

Tell me more: The monsoon, which accounts for over 70% of India’s annual rainfall, is the primary source of irrigation for half of the country’s cropland and refills over 80 nationally monitored water reservoirs (important for drinking purposes, power and irrigation).

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