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ISRO Offers Battery Tech

0.25%

What is it? The rate by which the Federal Reserve increased lending rates on Wednesday. The benchmark overnight lending rate was increased to 2%, from 1.75%.

Why is it important? This is the second time the US central bank has increased the rate, and has indicated to increase twice again in 2018. Apart from higher borrowing rates for mortgages and credit cards, the move will also impact Indian markets as more foreign portfolio investors will pull their money out of India because of higher returns in US.

Tell me more: Inflation registered at 2.2% and has passed the level that the Federal Reserve considers healthy. The policy statement did not mention the discussions surrounding the Trump administration’s trade policies on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico. Wednesday’s increase was the 2nd this year and only the 7th since the end of the Great Recession.

6

What is it? The number of Apache AH-64E helicopters the United States has approved to sell to India.

Why is it important? Apart from 6 Apaches, the Pentagon has agreed to sell Hellfire and Stinger missiles, control radars, night vision sensors and inertial navigation systems to India for $930 million. The announcement of the deal comes ahead of the first 2+2 dialogue between Indian external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman and their American counterparts.

Tell me more: Bilateral defence trade between the US and India has now reached $15 billion from near zero in 2008. In 2016, India was accorded the status of a US major defense partner which allowed India to receive license-free access to a wide range of military and dual-use technologies regulated by the Department of Commerce. The lead contractors are Lockheed Martin SA, General Electric Ltd and Raytheon.

45

What is it? The number of employees at mobile payments startup Chillr who will be joining Truecaller post the acquisition.

Why is it important? This is Truecaller’s first ever acquisition in India. Truecaller, which started as mobile directory, is now betting on mobile payments space via the Unified Payments Interface, a real-time payment system for inter-banks transactions in India. The value of the deal between the two companies – which had Sequoia as a common investor – was not announced.

Tell me more: With this deal, Chillr will have access to Truecaller’s 150 million Indian customers in its fight to capture the online payments market.

2

What is it? The number of days before the FIFA World Cup that Spain sacked its National team coach.

Why is it important? The move by the Spanish Football Federation (SPF) – two days before the first match against Portugal – comes after Julen Lopetegui was selected as manager of Real Madrid club. SPF claims it was a breach of trust, as the coach did not keep the association informed about this move to Real Madrid.

Tell me more: Lopetegui was appointed Spain’s coach in July 2016 and has never tasted defeat since, leading the team through 20 unbeaten games ahead of the World Cup. Also, for the first time since 2006, the Spanish national team has more players in the team in a major tournament from Real Madrid (6) than any other club.

1 crore

What is it? The one-time fee that ISRO will charge to transfer its in-house technology of Lithium-ion cells non-exclusively to a qualified production agency

Why is it important? ISRO, through its rocket sciences node, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre has invited an RFQ (Request for quotation) for a contract that will allow Indian industry to manufacture indigenously made lithium ion batteries on a large scale. This will help realize India’s plan of shifting to electric vehicles and will help automotive companies reduce battery costs.

Tell me more: ISRO uses lithium-ion batteries to power satellites and launch vehicles. Lithium-ion batteries were used last week to power the launch of GSLV-Fo8. This lithium-ion technology can be used to produce cells of varying size, capacity, energy density and power density thereby catering to the entire spectrum of power storage requirements including electric vehicles.

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SLQ

Robbing ONGC To Pay…

Rs 1,000 crore

What is it? The cash reserves of Oil and Natural Gas Corp.(ONGC) as on March 31.

Why is it important? It has declined by a massive 90% from Rs 13,000 crore a year ago, after the company was asked to buy the government’s 51.11% stake in state-refiner HPCL for Rs 36,915 crore earlier this year and a record dividend payout of Rs 8,470 crore in 2017-18. The government has been tapping state-run companies to get its fiscal deficit math right and the cash depletion of ONGC comes at a time when it has been asked to increase investments to help cut down India’s crude imports.

Tell me more:India’s biggest energy explorer ONGC, however, has a good credit rating due to the government’s backing and easy access to the domestic banking system.

16

What is it? The number of airports that are operational under the government’s ‘regional connectivity scheme’, which is almost half of the 31 airports that were targeted to be operational by the end of 2017.

Why is it important? This indicates that the scheme which aims to build new airports in small towns and upgrade existing facilities is moving at a slow pace. This could affect the government’s goal of making an additional 100 million passengers fly in the next five years. India is the world’s fastest growing aviation market and, recently, smaller towns under the scheme have started contributing to the overall passenger traffic growth.

Tell me more:Some of the reasons for the delay in the progress of the scheme include states having insufficient funds to buy basic equipment and the longer-than-anticipated duration in building air traffic control or setting up terminal buildings.

4

What is it? The number of months since news broke of jeweler Nirav Modi defrauding Punjab National Bank of Rs 12,600 in loans.

Why is it important? On Monday, an official of India’s top investigative agency said it had asked Interpol to help locate and arrest Modi. This follows a report in the Financial Times on Sunday that Modi was in the UK and seeking political asylum. Previously, there have been reports of Modi being in New York and Hong Kong.

Tell me more:If Modi is in the UK, he would be the second Indian fugitive businessman holed up in Britain after defaulting on loans worth thousands of crore to Indian banks.

6

What is it? The number of FIFA World Cup tournaments Brazil would have won, if Goldman Sachs Group’s prediction for the 2018 edition comes true.

Why is it important? The investment bank has used 200,000 statistical models, analysed data on individual players and recent team performance in addition to running 1 million simulations to come up with this prediction. However, its 2014 prediction, which had also bet on Brazil, saw the team lose in the semi-final. Danske Bank also says the winner is likely to be Brazil, while Commerzbank and Swiss Bank UBS give it to Germany.

Tell me more: Brazil is the most successful team in the history of FIFA World Cup having won the finals for a record five times, the last time being in 2002.

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FIFA World Cup: Which Teams Would Make It To The Knockout Stage?

The FIFA World Cup 2018 draws took place at Kremlin, Russia on December 1, 2017. There are 32 teams in the World Cup broken down into 8 groups of 4 teams each. The UEFA, European football’s governing council has 14 teams qualified. CONMEBOL (South America), CAF (Africa), and AFC (Asia) have five participating teams each while CONCACAF (Central and North America) has 3 teams qualified.

All teams are split into four different pots based on their FIFA world rankings, with Pot 1 being the strongest while Pot 4 being weakest. The host nation, i.e. Russia this year, is automatically placed in Pot 1.

FIFA has slightly altered the draw system this time round, which will prevent any “Group of Death” kind scenario in the group stages. Earlier, the pots were determined on a geographic criteria, however now, they are seeded solely based on their rankings.

Below are the seeds for all 32 teams:

 

The groups are then decided on the basis of a draw from each of these pots. Russia, being the host country was seeded into Pot 1, and hence was impossible to be grouped along with a powerhouse like Brazil or Germany. Based on ELO ratings – a measure of team’s quality that takes into account factors such as margin of victory, game importance, game location amongst several others, Russia’s group – Russia, Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia has an average rating of 1720, which is 98 points worse than the average of all World Cup teams. Additionally, this is the largest difference in group strength and WC average ever seen for any group in the World Cup since the previous decade.

Russia’s luck shone each time another group member was added from the pots. After Uruguay, Egypt, second weakest team of Pot 3, and Saudi Arabia, the weakest team of the WC based on both ELO and FIFA rankings were pooled into Group A, making it by far the most easiest of the Groups in FIFA WC ’18.

Using a combination of ESPN’s SPI (Soccer Power Index) and ELO ratings, we predicted the chances of each team advancing into the knockout stage. In SPI, each team is assigned an offensive and a defensive SPI rating, which is expressed in terms of number of goals it is expected to score and the number of goals it is expected to concede. Thus, a higher offensive SPI rating is good, while a higher defensive SPI rating is bad. After weighing the SPI and ELO ratings, we then ran Monte-Carlo simulations to play out each group fixture 10,000 times for each individual match forecast. For the group predictions, the Monte Carlo simulations remained static.

Following are the chances of each of the teams advancing into the knockout stages:

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The ‘Tower’ing Burden Of Telecom

 

Vodafone and Idea are trying to save costs by shedding their tower businesses. Retail inflation has hit a 7-month-high, dimming hopes of a rate cut. The government may be scrambling to meet the fiscal deficit target. Italy, the football nation, failed to qualify for the FIFA world cup, the second time since 1958 edition. And, in tech world, chipmaker Qualcomm rejected Broadcom’s takeover bid.

 

3.58%

What is it? The rate at which retail inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose in October from the same period a year ago.

Why is it important? This is the fastest pace in seven months, dimming hopes of an interest rate cut on December 6, when the central bank’s next monetary policy review is scheduled. This was driven by an increase in food prices—combined food inflation was 1.9% in October, against 1.25% in September, while vegetable prices increased from 3.92% to 7.47%–and fuel inflation of 6.36% last month as against 5.56% in September.

Tell me more: Retail inflation in June was the lowest (at 1.46%) since India started publishing these datasets in January 2012 and has been steadily climbing since then. Last month, it was higher in the urban areas (3.81%) than the rural ones (3.36%).

 

12

What is it? The number of state-run companies from which the government is reportedly seeking dividend amounts of 30% to 100% of their 2016-17 and 2017-18 net profit.

Why is it important? This indicates the government is scrambling to make up for the shortfall in tax revenue to meet its fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of GDP (gross domestic product) for 2017-18. It raises questions on how these public-sector firms would be able to shoulder the twin responsibility of handing out dividend payouts to the government as well as stepping up investments in an economic environment where the private sector remains hesitant.

Tell me more: India’s fiscal deficit stood at Rs 499,000 crore at the end of September, which translates to 91% of its full-year target.

 

Rs 7,850 crore

What is it? The total amount for which Vodafone India (Rs 3,850 crore) and Idea Cellular (Rs 4,000 crore) are looking to sell their standalone towers businesses to ATC Telecom Infrastructure.

Why is it important? This would help these telecom firms reduce their debt levels, which are currently straining under a five-year borrowing spree to acquire spectrum and a fierce price war introduced by Reliance Jio in a highly competitive market since 2016. Idea and Vodafone have a cumulative debt of Rs 108,000 crore. This sale is likely to generate property revenue of Rs 2,100 crore and around Rs 800 crore in gross margin for ATC in the first year.

Tell me more: Idea and Vodafone had announced a $23 billion-merger (excluding the latter’s 42% stake in Indus Towers) in March to create the world’s second largest and India’s largest telecom firm by subscribers, which the competition regulator approved about four months ago.

 

0

What is it?  The number of goals scored by Italy in the two legs of its elimination tie against Sweden to decide who will go to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Why is it important? Italy’s 1-0 loss on aggregate to Sweden means this high-profile footballing nation failed to qualify for the football World Cup for the first time since it missed the 1958 edition. Italy, along with Germany has the second-highest number of World Cup tournament participations (18), after Brazil (20).

Tell me more: Italy also has won four World Cup titles, the last one coming in 2006. Here, too, it is at par with Germany and ranked second only to Brazil, which has five titles.

 

78%

What is it?  The percentage of shares of chipmaker Qualcomm that are held by institutions, as of June 2017, according to Nasdaq.

Why is it important? Yesterday, Qualcomm formally rejected an unsolicited $103 billion acquisition bid from Broadcom, in what would have been the largest merger in the technology space. This shifts the attention to institutional shareholders as Broadcom CEO Hock Tan, while announcing the bid last week, said he was open to exploring more aggressive options to acquire Qualcomm.

Tell me more: The 78% institutional shareholding in Qualcomm is fragmented and spread across 1,512 shareholders. Blackrock and Vanguard have the largest holdings, of 7.2% and 7%, respectively.

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