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The week that was, in charts: LIC’s IPO, rupee downfall & Lankan woes

By Sumant Sen
Ranil Wickremesinghe in the new Sri Lankan PM. (AFP)

Strong opening

India’s largest initial public offer (IPO), that of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India, closed for bids on Monday. Despite choppy markets, the insurance behemoth received bids for nearly three times the shares on offer and helped the Centre raise 21,000 crore. The insurer had earned around 5,627 crore from anchor investors before the IPO was made open to the public. The company's shares will be listed on BSE and NSE on Tuesday.

LIC IPO

Vacant seat

Amid the country’s worst economic crisis, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Monday after months of protests. The move came a few days after the country’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa requested the PM to step down. A nationwide curfew was imposed after supporters of the ruling party clashed with protestors in Colombo on the day of Rajapaksa’s resignation. On Wednesday, the President said he will appoint a new Prime Minister along with a Cabinet. The island nation is currently under a state of emergency.

Sri Lanka 

Better performance

6,563 crore: That’s the amount of loss registered by India’s third-largest telecom operator Vodafone Idea in the fourth quarter of FY22. It narrowed from the earlier quarter when the company recorded a loss of 7,230 crore. Its average revenue per user, which is a measure of profitability, also rose from 115 in the third quarter of the previous fiscal to 124 in the last quarter. This also led the telco’s revenue to grow by 6.6% in year-on-year terms to 9,717.3 crore.

Defiant Putin

During Russia’s Victory Day on 9 May, the annual commemoration of the country’s victory over Nazi Germany in the World War II, President Vladimir Putin justified the country’s war on Ukraine and said it was the only way to prevent what he said was a planned attack by Ukraine backed by the US on Russian soil. The war, which began on 24 February, is showing little signs of slowing down. Talks between both countries have borne no fruit. Nearly 3,000 civilians have been recorded killed and almost 6 million have fled Ukraine.

Russia’s Victory Day

Rupee tumbles

The Indian rupee slid to a historic low of 77.52 against the US dollar during intraday trading on Tuesday as foreign investors continued to pull money from Indian assets. Other major currencies including the Chinese yuan and the Japanese yen have also fallen in value against the US dollar. In the last few days, the dollar has reached a 20-year high as favourable data from the US job market was received. Experts feel that the Indian currency might fall further in the coming months.

Rupee tumbles

Increased output

29%: That’s the rise in year-on-year production of coal recorded in April. According to a statement by the coal ministry, coal production in the country stood at 66.58 million tonnes (mt) in the last month while it was 51.62 mt in April 2021. The ministry also said that 22 out of the 37 top coal-producing mines had achieved over 100% capacity utilisation last month. India is currently in the middle of an electricity crisis led by a shortage in coal production amid increased power demand owing to soaring temperatures in many parts of the country.

Growing buzz

Metaverse, the concept of an all-encompassing digital world running parallel to the physical world, is well on its way to becoming the next big tech revolution. The concept is expected to be a part of every industry including gaming and entertainment which are expected to benefit the most. Several top tech companies, including Meta, Infosys, Apple, and Amazon are developing Metaverse platforms. Bloomberg Intelligence expects that the metaverse has the potential to generate $800 billion by 2024.

Metaverse

Chart of the week: Stark disparity

The eastern and northeastern states of India have a high share of the country’s poor residing, found a new report by the National Family Health Survey’s wealth index. The index measures the living standards of households based on their ownership of consumer items and access to basic utilities.

National Family Health Survey’s wealth index

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