Earlier this week, an online hackers’ forum released data of over 500 Million Facebook users for free! The data that included phone number, email address, first & last name, date of birth and more was first ‘scraped’ out of Facebook in 2019. Facebook addressed the original glitch and said it has since fixed it. But what is out, is out. Facebook has not intimated the users whose data has leaked out. It could be yours or, worse still, mine 😉 So, I downloaded the entire dataset and ran a quick search. Thankfully my data wasn’t in that leak. But, some of my friends’ data was! If you want to check if you are on it, here is one website that will allow you to do so.
Thieves and robbers don’t come through your house’s back door. They come through your Windows (or Macs 🙂 ).
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER
News in brief
Quiz, thought for the day
Soundbites - That's what they said
Cover story - Shhh...They are spying on us!
In case you missed it - Rs.10,000 crores in funding, Rs.4,500 crores in revenue
MARKET UPDATE (WEEK ON WEEK CHANGE)
Gold (per gram)
NEWS IN BRIEF
The consumer confidence index survey results released this week showed consumer confidence dropping marginally from February to March 2021.Current situation index was down to 53.1 from 55.5 while future expectations index was down to 108.8 from 117.1. 3-months forward inflation expectation also sharply increased from 9.3% to 10.1%. The central bank’s monetary policy committee meanwhile decided to hold the interest rates steady, probably confused with what to do next 🙂
China this week halted new admissions into a business-school backed by Alibaba fame Jack Ma. Hupan Academy, based in Hangzhou, is one of the most premium B-schools in China with tuition fees close to $100,000. China’s crackdown on Ma’s empire started with Ant Financial’s IPO and has now spread pretty much everywhere else. They also imposed a $2.8 Bn penalty on Alibaba this week. Their message to Jack is clear – ‘The party is above all else’. He probably gets it now.
Prosus NV, the subsidiary of South Africa based venture capital/private equity firm this week sold 2% of its holdings in Tencent, the Chinese multinational technology conglomerate. Speculations are rife that some of these proceeds will go towards funding Naspers’ bets in India’s e-commerce space. Naspers is the majority shareholder in Swiggy and has ownership interest in OLX & Meesho.
India’s electricity demand contracted for the first time in FY21 since the last 15 years. Demand from state electricity utility companies dropped by about 1.1%, recording the first decline in record since 2006. Demand for electricity however is projected to grow by a full 10% in FY22. That is if the virus does not wreak more havoc than it already has.
Remember Boeing 737 max? The aircraft that was involved in two fatal crashes? While it was cleared to fly in December of last year, it has been grounded once again. An issue with its electrical system which experts are predicting is potentially a ‘catastrophic’ problem that could have caused a fire. Boeing just can’t get a break.
SOUNDBITES - THAT'S WHAT THEY SAID
"Taking note of the market’s discomfort and in consonance with our commitment to ensure ample liquidity and orderly market conditions, the Reserve Bank scaled up its open market operations (OMOs) in February & March" – RBI Guv, Shaktikanta Das, trying to convey a single message – ‘Calm down bond markets!'
"If we were to just think about the level of output that it was prior to being a pandemic then that catch happens this year, which is not surprising also given the very high level of the underlying high level of growth which India has. But again, if we compare it to the path of what it would have been without the pandemic then we are getting too many larger gaps" - Petya Koeva Brooks, International Monetary Fund Deputy Chief Economist, in an interview with PTI this week.
"Securing this project is a major milestone in our clean and green energy path to fight the climate crisis that the world faces,” - SN Subrahmanyan, CEO & MD at L&T after winning a major order for a solar power plant in Saudi Arabia.
Which is the oldest stock market in the world?
Shhh..They are spying on us!
Online investment forums are being spied on by large hedge funds to understand what you and me, the retail investor, are saying about stocks. Thinknum alternative data, a data analytics company, received a lot of phone calls the week after the Gamestop frenzy, requesting them to dig into Reddit and provide sentiment analysis of the different stocks being discussed. Their algorithm pretty much started listening to every single conversation on Reddit's r/WallStreetBets forum. Here is a quick coverage on it and how we are using data analytics to monitor online investment forums.
Rs.10,000 crores in VC Funding, Rs.4,500 crores in revenues
You know all of those discounts that Swiggy has been offering – 50% off momos, 60% off for new users and others? Well turns out, the wealthy private equity investors have been footing the bill. Swiggy had to raise Rs.10,000 crores in the last 5 years just so they can clock in Rs.4,500 crores in revenues.
Last week, we were busy analysing Swiggy's financial statements submitted to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in India. And the numbers, are mind-numbing. Take a look at it yourself.
Is the oldest stock market in the world and was established in 1602 by the Dutch East India company. It was subsequently renamed the Amsterdam Bourse and was the first to formally begin trading in securities.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
How about we triple down?
Ocean eco-systems play a vital role in carbon storage and oxygen generation. Here is a a graphic showing how oceans help fight climate change. REUTERS
The thought of electric vehicles brings Tesla to mind. But there are a lot of other well-funded start-ups racing to release new vehicles. Here is a video feature. WSJ Videos
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