Race To Buy Fortis


What is it?The number of years for which Usha Ananthasubramanian was the MD and CEO of Punjab National Bank (PNB).

Why is it important?The government has asked the board of Allahabad Bank to divest her powers as MD and CEO of the bank (her current position) after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) detailed her role in the PNB scam. The latter’s board has been asked to take away the powers of its executive directors, KV Brahmaji Rao and Sanjiv Sharan, for the same reason. The CBI filed its first chargesheet related to the $2-billion scam against 25 entities, including individuals and three firms, on Monday.

Tell me more:The chargesheet also describes the role of diamond merchant Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi and Subhash Parab, an executive in Modi’s firms. 



What is it?The amount per share that the Manipal-TPG combine is willing to pay more over its initial offer to acquire the hospitals business of Fortis Healthcare.

Why is it important?On Monday, the Manipal-TPG combine increased its offer for Fortis from Rs 160 per share to Rs 180 per share. This comes on the heels of the Fortis board last week expressing its preference for the Sunil Munjal-led group. Since any deal has to be cleared by 75% of shareholders, the new offer adds more intrigue to the race to buy Fortis.

Tell me more:Among these recent ongoing developments, the Fortis stock has moved in a narrow range, a possible indicator of how everything is still open.



What is it? The number of years since Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s wife was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a luxury hotel suite in New Delhi.

Why is it important?The Delhi Police, in its nearly 3,000-page chargesheet filed yesterday, has accused Tharoor of abetting her suicide. He is the only person named as accused. The leader says he intends to contest it vigorously. He has questioned the methods/motivations of the Delhi Police, who, he said, stated in Delhi High Court that they had not found any evidence against anyone.

Tell me more: The Delhi Police wants Tharoor to be present when the trial resumes on May 24. The Congress says it will back the leader and called the chargesheet a politically motivated one.



What is it?The reported number of people killed in violence during panchayat elections’ polling in West Bengal as on Monday evening. Various media reports have reported different numbers.

Why is it important?Though the number of deaths this time are fewer than those killed in 2003 (76) and 2013 (39), this year’s polling reportedly saw rigging on an unprecedented scale, besides booth capturing and burning of ballot papers in the presence of media personnel and, in some places, in front of policemen too. Over 60,000 security personnel were deployed from West Bengal and neighbouring states for the polls.

Tell me more:The central government has asked the state to submit a report on the violence, which opposition parties have blamed it on the ruling Trinamool Congress. Of the 14 dead, five were CPM supporters, four TMC workers, two BJP and two independent candidates’ supporters and a voter.


What is it?The number of teams in contention for three playoff spots in the Indian Premier League, with two matches left to play for each side.

Why is it important? Yesterday, Royal Challengers Bangalore hammered Kings XI Punjab to not only stay in contention, but also make significant gains in the net run rate calculation, which could come into play given the bunching up of teams in the points race. There are three teams with six wins and two teams with five wins.

Tell me more:Among these six teams, RCB have the fewest wins (five), along with Mumbai Indians, but have the third best run rate. Today, in one of the several remaining decisive games, Kolkata take on Rajasthan.

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In Malaysia, A Nonagenarian Upsets



What is it? The total number of deaths in northern India due to thunderstorms in May.

Why is it important? After 124 deaths in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan due to thunderstorms on May 3, 11 more people were reported dead on Thursday after more thunderstorms hit select parts of UP. In UP alone, thunderstorms have left 75 dead and 91 injured.

Tell me more: With western disturbances in Jammu and Kashmir moving eastwards, the IMD has warned of fresh disturbances and dust storms till May 13. In 2017, 2,057 people died due to natural disasters, according to a Ministry of Home Affairs annual report.



What is it? The number of wholesale stores that Walmart plans to openin the next four to five years.

Why is it important? A day after announcing its purchase of 77% in India’s largest online retailer Flipkart for $16 billion, Walmart announced these plans for its existing offline business in India, where its performance has been patchy. Going forward, one of the points of interest will be what kind of synergies can Walmart create between the offline and online parts.

Tell me more:Walmart currently operates 21 stores across India. These are Best Price wholesale stores, mostly in India’s tier-II and tier-III cities, offering close to 5,000 items. The $ 16 billion deal, gives the offline retail giant, an online presence.



What is it? Age of Mahathir Mohamad, who was sworn in as Malaysian prime minister on Thursday.

Why is it important?In a huge political upset, former strongman Mahathir’s opposition alliance, Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope), defeated the Barisan National (BN) coalition, which has governed Malaysia uninterrupted since 1957. The 92-year old leader came out of retirementto defeat corruption scandal-ridden PM Najib Razak, who has been in power since 2008.Mahathir ruled Malaysia from 1981-2003.

Tell me more:Indian-Malaysians make up 7% of the country’s population, and 36 contested in this election. The number of Indian expats working in Malaysia is 130,000 and India is Malaysia’s 10thlargest trading partner.



What is it?The number of times private American company SpaceX has launched used rockets into space.

Why is it important?On Thursday, SpaceX had to abortthe launch of a satellite owned by Bangladesh’s Bangabandhu Satellite-1 on top of a reusable Falcon 9 rocket. The booster was supposed to land back on a drone ship and be reused, something that SpaceX has done 24 times: 11 by land and 13 by sea. However, less than a minute before takeoff, SpaceX received an “abort” message from ground systems. The launch is now rescheduled for Friday.

Tell me more:Friday’s launch will feature the final upgrade to Falcon 9 rocket, the Falcon 9 Block 5. The new rocket, with a stronger heat shield and new retractable landing legs, is designed to do 10 or more flights with limited refurbishments.


Rs 1,800 crore

What is it? The amount that the family offices of Sunil Munjal (of Hero Enterprise) and Anand Burman (of Dabur) have offered to jointly invest in Fortis Healthcare.

Why is it important?The Fortis board on Thursday chose the Munjal-Burman joint bidfor the healthcare chain’s hospitals and diagnostics businessover the bids from the TPG-Manipal Health combine and IHH Healthcare. The deal still has to be cleared by shareholders.

Tell me more:The Rs 1,800 crore investment will comprise Rs 800 crore upfront via preferential shares and Rs 1,000 crore through a preferential issue of warrants convertible after 18 months.


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The Federal Front



What is it? The number of days within which the committee constituted by the Election Commission is expected to submit a report on the alleged date leak of the Karnataka election schedule.

Why is it important? A few minutes before the official announcement of the Karnataka state election schedule, BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya tweeted the poll dates (though he got the counting day wrong), which raises questions about the credibility of the EC. It is reportedly likely to seek a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Intelligence Bureau.

Tell me more: In a letter to the Commission, Malviya said he got the information from Times Now and attached screen grabs of the channel and screenshots of his tweets to prove his point. He also said the person in charge of Congress social media in Karnataka had tweeted out the dates at the same time as him.



What is it? The number of districts Kerala announced as drought-hit on Tuesday.

Why is it important? It is among the first few states to declare drought in 2018 ahead of the summer season that threatens to dry up taps in major Indian cities, which is a topical problem but fast developing into a long-term one. Like Cape Town, the first major city globally to count to ‘Day Zero’, major Indian cities are likely to follow suit, with depleting groundwater that is over-exploited, erratic rainfall and climatic changes, increasing population and no long-term water management measures.

Tell me more: According to a report, groundwater is the most over-exploited in Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi.



What is it? The number of years ahead of which efforts have gathered pace to build a federal front to take on the BJP in the 17th Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

Why is it important? West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee met leaders of a string of political parties, including the NCP, TDP, TRS, SP, RJD and BJD, on Tuesday to unite opposition parties to put up an organised fight next year. Banerjee said the format of Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav combine, which defeated BJP in the recent UP by-polls, could be replicated in other states.

Tell me more: The Trinamool Congress chief reportedly favours a federal front sans Congress, as some of the parties may not join the alliance if the national party is a part of it.



What is it? The number of shares of Manipal Health Enterprises that shareholders of Fortis Healthcare will receive for every 100 shares held by them.

Why is it important? Late last night, the board of Fortis announced that the sale of its hospital assets to Manipal Health Enterprises and TPG Capital, effectively meaning the smaller entity buying the larger one. It also potentially brings to close a turbulent, decade-long chapter for Fortis under a promoter group whose debt and legal issues resulted in their shareholding being pared from above 80% to below 1%, and under whom the hospital chain grew but the stock didn’t.

Tell me more: As of December 2017, Fortis had 34 hospitals and Manipal 11. For the nine-month period to December 2017, Fortis earned revenues of Rs 3,727 crore and Manipal 1,503 crore.



What is it? The number of Australian players sent back yesterday from South Africa for their role in the ball-tampering fiasco, ahead of the fourth and final test, which starts in Johannesburg on Friday.

Why is it important? The three cricketers are captain for the tour Steven Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, and no immediate action was taken against coach Darren Lehmann. This was the first of the measures by Cricket Australia, and it is expected to announce more punishments in the days to come.

Tell me more: Tim Paine was appointed the 46th captain of Australia in test cricket. The 33-year-old has played just 12 tests.


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Don’t Like Aadhaar? Don’t Say it.


Rs 15,935 crore

What is it? The total cost of proposals cleared by India’s Defence Acquisition Council to purchase assault rifles, sniper rifles, carbines and light machine guns on Tuesday.

Why is it important? This brings an end to a 11-year-wait by the armed forces, which had flagged the need for new guns. Indian soldiers have been using AK-47 and indigenous Indian Small Arms Systems rifles since 1988, and there has been an urgent need for arms upgradation, especially in border areas and for counter-insurgency operations. Having rejected a few indigenous weapons recently, India needs an overhaul of its defence planning and procurement system, with due consideration to local requirements and strategic interests.

Tell me more: The approvals include procurement of light machine guns through the fast-track procedure at an estimated cost of Rs 1,819 crore, while 740,000 assault rifles will be ‘Made in India’ under the categorisation of ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ at an estimated cost of Rs 12,280 crore. Over 5,700 sniper rifles will be procured at a cost of Rs 982 crore.



What is it? The number of researchers, activists and journalists that news agency Reuters has interviewed who have complained of being harassed by government agencies or being slapped with criminal cases because of their critique of Aadhaar.

Why is it important? This raises questions about the right to dissent and free speech with respect to Aadhaar, the country’s national identity project that has seen various instances of data and security breach. Recently, the Unique Identification Authority of India filed a criminal case against Tribune newspaper for publishing an article that claimed that the details of the database were up for grabs for just Rs 500.

Tell me more: As of last year, over 1.11 billion Indians had an Aadhaar number, which covered 99% of the Indian adult population.



What is it? Samsung’s market share in India’s smartphone market in 2017, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).

Why is it important? Samsung maintained its market leadership position when the entire year is taken into account. However, Samsung slipped to the second position in the last quarter of 2017, overtaken by China’s Xiaomi, which had a share of 26.8% compared to the former’s 24.2%. This report echoes the findings of other research firms such as Canalys and Counterpoint Research that said Xiaomi had ended Samsung’s dominance in the fourth quarter of 2017 to command the highest market share for the first time ever.

Tell me more: In the feature phone segment, Samsung had the highest market share of 20.5% in 2017, whereas in the last quarter of 2017, Reliance Jio pushed ahead of it to gain a share of 24.1% compared to the former’s 14.5%, according to IDC.


15 days

What is it? The number of additional days that Fortis Healthcare has sought to file its financial results for the second quarter and third quarter of 2017-18.

Why is it important? Yet another delay on this front turns the spotlight on financial dealings of the company with its promoters, Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh, who last week resigned from the board. Bloomberg last week also reported that Fortis could not declare its Q2 results within the stipulated 45-day period as its auditor refused to sign off on the results until about Rs 500 crore the promoters took out from the company without board approval was accounted for or returned.

Tell me more: In another filing with stock exchanges, Fortis said that credit rating agency ICRA had downgraded the rating of the company and four Fortis subsidiaries.



What is it? The results count in the ongoing one-day international bilateral series between India and South Africa.

Why is it important? Yesterday, in the fifth of the six-match series at Port Elizabeth, India beat South Africa to win the series—its first in South Africa in five attempts, dating back to 1992-93. Before this, South Africa had only lost two ODI series of five matches or more at home, both to Australia. With this series win and the manner of it, India has conquered another overseas bastion and also bolstered its credentials in the one-day sphere, be it at home or away.

Tell me more: India won yesterday’s match by 73 runs, anchored by a century by Rohit Sharma and six wickets by wristspinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.


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