News in Numbers, June 14, 2016: Microsoft acquires LinkedIn, air ambulances in India…

$26.2 billion

What is it? The size of Microsoft – LinkedIn deal.

Why is it important? This is Microsoft’s biggest acquisition ever. It’s expected to help Microsoft in its path to become a business services company, and strengthen its suite of products – with Linkedin’s networking platform complementing Microsoft’s work tools including Office (which has 1.2 billion users).

Tell me more: Microsoft is buying Linkedin at $196 per share, a 50% premium to the closing price on Friday. “Essentially, we’re both trying to do the same thing but coming at it from two different places: For LinkedIn, it’s the professional network, and for Microsoft, the professional cloud,” according to Jeff Weiner, chief executive officer of LinkedIn.

 

210-220 million

What is it? Overall estimated iPhone shipments in 2016, 8.6% lower than those in 2015.

Why is it important? This would the first fall in Apple’s flagship smartphone since its launch in 2007. Apple still relies on iPhones for two-thirds of its total sales and reported its first quarterly revenue decline since 2003 in the January-March 2016 period.

Tell me more: In a May report, Yuanta Investment Consulting had estimated that iPhone shipments would see a year-on-year decline of 12% to 207 million units this year. Apple is expected to launch its new model (iPhone 7) in September and new versions tend to boost sales, if they are significantly better than the previous ones.

 

Rs 2,250

What is it? The amount passengers of Spicejet, Indigo and GoAir need to pay (in addition to fare difference) for changing the name on tickets now. In 2010, this was Rs 1,500 plus fare difference, according to a study.

Why is it important? An example of how Indian airlines have increased the prices for almost all the different services including seat cancellation and infants or minors travelling unaccompanied, except for the tickets. While this may be viewed as an additional burden on unsuspecting passengers, experts say such a move would encourage first-time customers and expand the market.

Tell me more: Last weekend, the Civil Aviation Ministry proposed some new norms for services/charges including excess baggage, denied boarding and cancellation, and has given two weeks to its stakeholders to submit their suggestions and comments on the same.

 

21

What is it? The number of MLAs whose fate hangs in the balance after the President rejected a Bill of the Delhi government that seeks to amend the law on ‘Office of Profit’.

Why is it important? The Delhi government passed a bill that seeks to retrospectively exempt these MLAs, appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries last March, from the list of ‘Office of Profit’ and validate their posts. An elected member cannot hold an office of profit or hold positions that give them more financial and executive powers. There is a possibility that the 21 seats may now face by-elections.

Tell me more: The President has referred the issue to the Election Commission, which has sought the replies of the legislators and will fix a date for hearing to decide the fate of the legislators.

 

Rs 17,999

What is it? The annual subscription for a family for helicopter ambulance services to be launched by Bengaluru-based Aviators Air Rescue in the five southern states – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – in three months.

Why is it important? The company would be the first one in India to offer services under the recently notified Helicopter Emergency Medical Services guidelines. Besides being airlifted to a healthcare facility in case of an emergency, the subscription would also cover last-mile ambulance charges of Rs 15,000 and preliminary hospital charges of Rs 85,000.

Tell me more: The air ambulances would land on pre-approved helipads and has partnered with 2,000 hospitals and ambulance services for the last-mile connectivity. The company, which will launch its services with three helicopters, plans to add seven more to its fleet to extend its coverage to the entire country by April 2017. For an individual, the annual subscription is Rs 8,999.

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News in numbers, Apr 28, 2016: Pollution in tier-II cities, record wind energy capacity addition…

41

What is it? The number of tier-II cities that exceed the ambient air quality standard, according to the government.

Why is it important? This is contrary to the popular perception that only the big cities or the tier-I cities are polluted in terms of air or water. The Indian government will spend over Rs 550 crore over five years to bring down pollution levels in these tier-II cities, which include Rishikesh (Uttarakhand), Tezpur (Assam), Vapi (Gujarat), Sangrur (Punjab) and Angul (Odisha).

Tell me more: Water pollution in these cities is caused due to discharges of untreated water. Cumulative sewage generation in these tier-II cities has been estimated to be 2,696.7 million litres per day but their treatment capacity is less than 10%.

56%

What is it? Apple’s iPhone year-on-year sales growth in India in the three months ended March 2016.

Why is it important? Apple is looking to emerging markets such as India to boost its sales, even as it posted its first quarterly revenue decline in 13 years. A government panel recommendation to waive 30% sourcing norm (required for foreign owned single-brand retailers) for Apple would further help its sales in India. The recommendation is pending finance minister’s approval.

Tell me more: Currently, Apple sells its products through distributors such as Redington and Ingram Micro. Reportedly, this waiver may bring prices of Apple products down in India. The panel has recommended the waiver because of the cutting-edge technology Apple would bring to the country, a conditional clause present in the government policy. Two Chinese mobile companies – LeEco and Xiaomi – have also asked for the waiver of the 30% sourcing norm.

3,460 MW

What is it? The wind energy capacity addition in India in 2015-16.

Why is it important? This is the highest ever annual capacity addition, surpassing the previous high of 3,197 MW added in 2011-12. It has also exceeded its target of 2,400 MW by 44.2%. However, India needs to step up its pace of wind energy addition if it has to meet its target of 60,000 MW by 2022. The country’s cumulative wind energy capacity, the primary source of renewable energy, was 26,904.16 MW at the end of 2015-16.

Tell me more: Madhya Pradesh accounted for over 37% of wind energy capacity addition in the last financial year followed by Rajasthan (nearly 20%), Gujarat (over 11%) and Andhra Pradesh (10.5%). The data is by the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers’ Association, which expects an increase in capacity addition by 4,000 MW in in 2016-17.

17 million

What is it? The number of former and current government officials Maruti Suzuki is all set to target for selling its automobiles.

Why is it important? These government employees would soon be the recipients of the Seventh Pay Commission payout – and consumer businesses such as Maruti are hoping to get a boost from their shopping. Maruti itself hopes to get nearly a fifth of its sales over the next 2-3 years from them. In 2015-16, government employees accounted for 16% of the 1.3 million cars the company sold in India.

Tell me more: Maruti Suzuki launched the ‘Wheels of India’ programme in 2006 specifically aimed at government employees, to whom it has sold 1.5 million cars so far. The new database prepared has 4.7 million central government employees, 7 million state government officials and 5.2 million pensioners.

21 lakh

What is it? The number of farmers in 26,670 drought-hit villages in Maharashtra whose crop loans would be restructured.

Why is it important? This would extend the loan repayment duration for farmers by 1-5 years and also, enable them to apply for fresh loans for the sowing season beginning June. The loans total Rs 8,503 crore (includes last year’s crop loans and 2014 kharif sowing season). Maharashtra is one of the worst drought-hit states in the country and accounted for half of the farmer suicides recorded so far this year. As many as 20,504 farmers have ended their lives in the state since 2001.

Tell me more: The government also plans to seek the central bank’s help in restructuring loans worth Rs 2,438 crore taken by 4.4 lakh farmers from drought-affected villages in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

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News in Numbers, Apr 27, 2016: Mitsubishi scandal, Apple’s first quarterly fall in 13 years…

Rs 2,800 crore

What is it? The amount the Indian government wants to raise by selling a 11.36% in hydropower producer NHPC today.

Why is it important? The first disinvestment in the current financial year. The government hopes to raise Rs 56,500 crore in 2016-17 by selling its stake in state-owned companies. It remains to be seen if it can achieve that, given that it missed its disinvestment target for the sixth year in a row in 2015-16.

Tell me more: The government, which holds 85.96% in NHPC, will also be able to comply with the market regulator’s rules to increase minimum public shareholding in listed state-owned firms to 25%. The issue price has been set at Rs 21.75 a share, a 5.6% discount to NHPC’s closing price of Rs 23.05 on Tuesday.

25

What is it? The number of years Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors has been falsifying fuel emission tests for the cars it sold in its home country.

Why is it important? The Mitsubishi scandal is much bigger than previously thought. Last week, Japan’s sixth-largest automaker admitted that it had manipulated test data for four domestic mini-van vehicles (including two made for Nissan Motor) and had said the non-compliance was from 2002. This follows German automaker Volkswagen’s admission last year where it admitted to cheating on fuel emission tests that has cost the company €16 billion so far.

Tell me more: The Mitsubishi scandal has affected over 600,000 cars, 157,000 Mitsubishi models and 468,000 Nissan models. It’s share prices have fallen by nearly 50% since its first admission last week and has lost around $3.9 billion in market value.

$50.6 billion

What is it? Apple’s revenue in the three months ended to March 2016, down 12.8% from same period last year.

Why is it important? This is Apple’s first quarterly decline since 2003. iPhone sales, which contribute to around two-thirds of its total sales, declined by 10 million to 51.2 million from a year ago. The company is still best known for its iPhone and given the absence of any major product launch, it remains to be seen if Apple’s growth has already peaked. It expects to earn $41-43 billion in the next quarter.

Tell me more: The company earned $2.1 billion from its ‘Other Products’ category (includes Apple watches, Apple TV and Beats) during the quarter, a 30% increase from the year-ago quarter.

116

What is it? The number of farmers who have committed suicide so far this year, according to the Indian government.

Why is it important? Impact of a back-to-back drought, which is being made worse by the soaring temperatures in different parts of the country and dipping water reserves in India’s main reservoirs. The government said it has approved a Rs 12,773.3 crore relief package to 10 drought-hit states during the summer season of the crop year of 2015-16.

Tell me more: 57 farmer suicides were reported in Maharashtra (as on February 29), one of the worst-drought affected states while 56 farm labourers have ended their lives in Punjab. Three farmer suicides have been recorded in Telangana.

Rs 333-467

What is it? The likely increase in the cost of basic mobile handsets after the global positioning system (GPS) feature is enabled and the emergency/panic button is introduced.

Why is it important? The Indian Cellular Association fears that this would make it unaffordable for people at the bottom of the pyramid to buy mobile phones. The least expensive phone retails at Rs 500 apiece. However, it is likely that entry-level mobile phones would mirror smartphone pricing trends – with increasing volumes, prices would come down even further.

Tell me more: The government notified on Tuesday that all phones rolled out from January 2018 must have the GPS feature and those sold after January 2017 must have a panic button. India crossed the 1-billion mark in mobile phone subscribers in January this year.

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News in numbers, Dec 15, 2015: November inflation numbers, iPhone sales estimates…

 

5.41%

 

What is it? Increase in consumer price index (or growth retail inflation) in November.

 

Why is it important? This is the highest in 14 months. The increase is mainly due rise in food prices, especially that of pulses, which rose 46.1% in November on a year-on-year basis. High inflation rates suggest the effects of deficient monsoon in two consecutive years have begun to show on the rural economy. This also shows the challenge the Reserve Bank of India in containing retail inflation under 6% in January 2016.

 

Tell me more: Overall wholesale prices fell by 1.99% in November, the 13th consecutive monthly fall and the highest since January. Wholesale food prices increased 5.20% in November compared to 2.44% rise in October.

 

130

 

What is it? India’s rank among 188 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2014 according to the Human Development Report 2015 released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The HDI looks at three factors – longevity, education and income.

 

Why is it important? It has shown a slight improvement from last year – up by one spot. India’s HDI has marginally gone up from 0.604 in 2013 to 0.609 in 2014. This puts India in the “medium human development” category where its HDI is lower than the average HDI of countries (0.630) in this section. India’s poor ranking in the human development index is mainly due to high inequality and low education levels. The index is widely followed, even it’s considered to be a “somewhat crude measure” of human development.

 

Tell me more: India ranks the lowest among BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Norway, Australia and Switzerland rank the top three in the HDI, falling under the “Very High Human Development” category along with 46 other countries.

 

6%

 

What is it? Estimated drop in iPhone unit sales in 2015-16, according to Morgan Stanley.

 

Why is it important? If the estimates turn out to be right, it could well be that the sales of the most successful tech product in the recent years has peaked. Apple earns most of its revenue from iPhones and in the three months ending September this year, iPhone sales accounted for nearly two-thirds of the company’s revenue.

 

Tell me more: Other analysts such as JP Morgan Chase & Co, Drexel Hamilton and Credit Suisse have similar predictions for Apple. For instance, JP Morgan Chase has lowered its Iphone sales’ prediction for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 – it says sales of iPhone units are likely to come down to 75-77 million, down from an earlier prediction of 75-80 million units.

 

€25.3 million (around Rs.186.7 crore)

 

What is it? The amount Mahindra and Mahindra and affiliate Tech Mahindra would pay to purchase 76.06% stake in Italian car designer Pininfarina SpA, through a special purpose vehicle (SPV).

 

Why is it important? Shows Indian companies’ drive to expand their design capabilities – and their global footprint. Pininfarina has designed cars for Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls-Royce and Cadillac. Mahindra group had acquired controlling stakes in South Korea-based Ssangyong in 2011 and PSA Peugeot Citroen’s motorcycle unit this year. As for Pininfarina, it has been unprofitable for the last decade and struggling with high debt levels.

 

Tell me more: The SPV would make an open offer to public shareholders of Pininfarina for the balance 23.94% stake. Mahindra and Tech Mahindra would fund the acquisition in the ratio of 40% and 60% respectively.

 

10%

What is it? The data point that Maggi noodles removed from its masala noodles package. Prior to the ban, the package cited this number as percentage of recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein that a 70g packet of Maggi noodles had.

Why is it important? Could be seen as an indicator that food regulators are getting increasingly strict about labelling. Or it could be just that Nestle India, which makes Maggi noodles, is trying to be more cautious after the ban. Maggi noodles was banned for a few weeks due to higher than permissible lead content. It’s woes are far from over as the Supreme Court recently issued a notice to the company after the food regulator appealed against the lifting of ban on Maggi Noodles.

Tell me more: The pack now also doesn’t have the following: “Maggi masala noodles is a source of protein and calcium: essential nutrients for you at all stages of life”. And, this has been replaced with “Consume along with fruit and milk”.

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