News in Numbers, Feb 03, 2017: 2G scam’s half a dozen

6

What is it? Number of those acquitted, including erstwhile telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and two companies, in two different cases on the Aircel-Maxis 2G deal, by judge, OP Saini, at the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Delhi on Thursday.

Why is it important? The efforts of the CBI and Enforcement Directorate, probing the wide-ranging offences in India’s 2G scam, took a beating with the exoneration. Maran was mired in the controversial spectrum allocation, favouring Aircel, and brokering a deal in Aircel for Maxis since 2010 onwards. In one of the cases, there was an alleged money-laundering of Rs 742.58 crore in kickbacks, by two companies South Asia FM and Sun Direct TV. The other involved criminal conspiracy of pressurising one of Aircel’s promoters to sell his stake to Malaysian Maxis Group.

Tell me more: The others acquitted include Maran’s brother Kalanithi, Kalanithi’s wife Kavery Kalanithi, South Asia FM (SAFL) Managing Director K Shanmugam and the companies SAFL and Sun Direct TV.

 

5

What is it? Number of states in the US where federal judges have objected, in part, to president Donald Trump’s executive orders for restricting entry to people of seven nationalities and refugees.

Why is it important? Trump’s move is not only inviting widespread protests but also facing legal challenges by federal judges in the country. Most of them are taking up parts of the order as challenged by cases brought to them by affected parties. US District Judge Andre Birotte Jr followed four other instances to limit the order issued last Friday to bring relief to plaintiffs in a case. But he widened the sphere of his ruling by including anyone from the seven countries with a valid immigrant visa to the US, unlike the earlier rulings

Tell me more: Reports claim that immigration/customs officials were ignoring the judges’ earlier orders by refusing access to the detainees who had moved court. At the same time, the Trump administration tweaked their’s to allow green card or valid US permanent residence holders to enter, irrespective of nationality.

 

10

What is it? Number of warheads on China’s recently-tested long-range missile.

Why is it important? A flight-test in January is being seen as China flexing its military muscles, even though its nuclear stockpile might be smaller than United State’s traditional rival, Russia. The missile, DF-5C, is clear evidence of China increasing its nuclear arsenal. Its warhead count has likely gone up from the estimated 250. Not just over trade relations with the US, China has also had recent disagreements over its military activities in the South China Sea.

Tell me more: Chinese state television had broadcast another nuclear missile, DF-41’s deployment and strike path into the US last week.

 

$487 million

What is it? Amazon.com’s international losses in the fourth quarter, ended December 31.

Why is it important? It increased by four times year-on-year. The business arm, which includes Amazon’s India concerns, grew 18% to $ 13,965 million but could not keep losses at bay. Last month, Amazon India’s FY15 losses were found to be Rs 1,724 crore, rising by five times. The perseverance of the US-based e-commerce company goes to show its deep pockets as it is prepared to dig its heels in a promising market by advertising and discounting aggressively.

Tell me more: While its North America and cloud Amazon Web Services arms posted profits, this was its international business’ biggest operating loss. In many of its international markets, Amazon also offered its Prime Videos at no additional cost to its Prime members, streaming original content that it had produced.

 

Rs 1,085

What is it? The listing price of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on rival bourse, the National Stock Exchange, on Friday.

Why is it important? The shares listed at a premium of 34.6% of its IPO issue price of Rs 806. Investor faith in the stock of the world’s 10th-largest and India’s largest bourse gets reiterated by its debut, as it beats the 5-15% premium that analysts expected it to launch at. It reflects the 51.22 times oversubscription of its IPO in January.

Tell me more:  At 10:30 am, it was trading at Rs 1,119.50.

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News in Numbers, Jan 24, 2017: WTO sugars the pill

2/3rd

What is it? Members of the 164-country-strong World Trade Organization’s (WTO) that agreed to permanently waive restrictions on poor countries accessing generic medicines.

Why is it important? It permanently removes hurdles (such as a mandate to primarily supply local markets) for poor WTO members who cannot afford to produce generic medicines. They can now import more affordable version of medicines for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. WTO’s Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement had to be amended for a permanent waiver. Despite their low cost, the demand volume for generics worldwide makes it worth 36% of the global pharma market.

Tell me more: The waiver was in place since 2003, but in a temporary mode, being renewed every two years. The permanent status agreement took 12 years in the making.

 

Rs 3,000 crore

What is it? The MoU investment amount signed by Vodafone with the West Bengal government for capacity increase and other business initiatives in the state for the next three years.

Why is it important? The amount constitutes 1.3% of the Rs 2.35 lakh-crore-investment proposals received by the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government in its Bengal Global Business Summit over the weekend. With over 20 million subscribers in West Bengal and Kolkata, Vodafone would look to consolidate over 10% of its total customer base.

Tell me more: Vodafone has previously invested over Rs 8,400 crorein West Bengal to upgrade its network.

 

35.5%

What is it? The rate of growth of gross premium income of private general (or non-life) insurers in December, 2016 over 2015.

Why is it important? Private general insurers grew faster than public general insurers, underwriting Rs 4,775.35 crore in gross premium income, compared with the latter’s Rs 3524.13 crore, that grew at 17%.

Tell me more: Private non-life insurers are growing faster on a smaller base as they command the smaller half or 42% of the market.

 

9

What is it? The number of people arrested in Kingfisher Airlines loan case on Monday. Those arrested included former managing director of IDBI Bank and former CFO of Kingfisher Airlines.

Why is it important? The loan default by Kingfisher promoter Vijay Mallya and his companies has turned political and the Indian government is under increasing pressure to show that it’s making progress. The public pressure to show visible results has intensified since demonetisation, as the government was seen as being too soft on big businesses and too hard on the common man.

Tell me more: Former IDBI Bank Chairman Yogesh Agarwal, former Kingfisher Airlines CFO A Raghunathan and seven of their colleagues were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

 

-0.2%

What is it? The day’s fall on Monday for two of Wall Street’s indices:S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite.

Why is it important? The markets were reacting to President Trump’s protectionist trade moves and Qualcomm’s shares stricken by Apple’s lawsuit. Trump abandoned the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and is on the verge of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. The anticipated protectionist measures combined with the embattled Qualcomm’s lawsuit from Apple to bring down indices.

Tell me more: The Dow Jones Industrial Average also inched downby 0.1% on Monday.

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News in Numbers – September 4, 2015

News In Numbers: September 4, 2015

 

Rs 20,000 crore

The one-time impact on profitability of banks in 2016-17 if the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) draft guidelines on computation of base rate are implemented in their present form, according to ratings agency Crisil. This would be about 15% of their collective estimated profits in the next fiscal. The central bank on Tuesday invited comments on these guidelines. Currently, banks use different methods to compute their base rate and the one suggested by RBI “should be more sensitive to changes in policy rates”. However, Crisil says this would create an adverse impact as banks would be reluctant to cut deposit rates given its impact on their profitability. Banks are already battling rising bad loans, which is affecting their profitability.

 

$7.94 billion

Mumbai’s economic output at risk in the event of a terrorist attack between 2015 and 2025, according to Lloyd’s, the world’s oldest active insurance marketplace. In the terrorism context, Mumbai ranks number one among 301 cities, with 16.8% of its GDP (gross domestic product) at risk. The Lloyd’s City Rank Index says 10 Indian cities, including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, are the top ones in terms of GDP at risk. In terms of overall threats (besides terrorism, volcano, nuclear accident, market crash, etc), the three cities with maximum economic output at risk are Taipei, Tokyo and Seoul, and none of the Indian cities figure in the top 20.

 

721

The number of state quota seats illegally filled between 2009 and 2013 in private medical and dental colleges in Madhya Pradesh, according to the state government. Known as the DMAT scam, it came to light when a whistleblower filed a complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The DMAT exam is conducted by the Association for Private Medical and Dental Colleges (APDMC) to fill 58% of around 2,800 seats in 15 private dental colleges and six private medical colleges. The rest are filled under the state quota, through Vyapam. The whistleblower alleged that almost all admissions under the management and NRI quota are rigged. The CBI recently told the Supreme Court that the DMAT scam looks bigger than the Vyapam scam “in its scope and depth”.

 

Rs 300 crore

Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, has moved the Supreme Court challenging the sales tax demand of Rs 300 crore made by the Maharashtra government on the royalty it earns from its subsidiaries for using the ‘Tata’ brand name. In January, the Bombay High Court had ruled in favour of the Maharashtra government. The Tata Group had argued that the right to use the trademark was not exclusive and conditional, and therefore, should not come under the provisions of the ‘Transfer of Right to use any Goods for any Purpose Act, 1985’. Tata Sons earned over Rs 400 crore in royalty in 2014-15. According to Brand Finance, the Tata Group ranked 65 globally in terms of brand value in 2015 and was valued at $15.4 billion.

 

August 28

The air quality in Delhi has been in the ‘poor’ zone since August 28, almost a month earlier than usual. Typically, air quality drops gradually at the onset of winter and reaches its peak in January, when cold air and fog trap more pollutants. This year, due to the receding of rainfall a month earlier, PM2.5 (fine particulate matter) which is an air pollutant causing serious health problems, had started rising since August 26. In 2013, when rainfall was normal, the air quality was better in the corresponding period. The forecast for the next three days in Delhi shows ‘poor’ air quality, while Mumbai and Pune fare better with ‘good’ air quality predictions. Recently, the World Health Organization named Delhi as the worst of 1,600 cities globally in terms of PM2.5 particles.

 

 

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