Marcha_hacia_el_Palacio_de_Justicia_de_Maracaibo_-_Venezuela_11

Venezuela’s Hyperinflation Nightmare

4,57,000 barrels per day
What is it?India’s oil imports from Iran in the first three months of this financial year, according to India’s oil ministry.

Why it’s important? Iran has replaced Saudi Arabia as the largest supplier of oil to India. It’s up from 2,79,000 bpd during the same period last year, and is driven by better deals from Iran including inexpensive shipping and extended credit periods.

Tell me more: It comes amidst escalating tension between Iran and United States.  U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Iran would face dire consequences “the like of which few throughout history have suffered before” if it made threats against the United States.

 

One million percent
 

What is it?Venezuela’s inflation rate by end of the year as projected by International Monetary Fund.

Why is it important?It could turn out to be one of the worst hyperinflationary crises in modern history. The projection was to signal that “the situation in Venezuela is similar to that in Germany in 1923 or Zimbabwe in the late 2000’s,” IMF director Alejandro Werner wrote in a blog.

Tell me more: The country’s central bank stopped publishing inflation data, and the legislature said the consumer prices are up 46,305 % this year. Venezuela’s economic crisis was triggered by a sharp fall in oil prices in 2014, which brought the state’s revenues down. Unable to sustain its social welfare programmes rolled out by previous government headed by Hugo Chavez, it started printing more currency, leading to high inflation.

 

52% 

 

What is it? Percentage of Indian IT security managers who reported a data breach last year, according to a survey by technology firm Thales.

Why is it important? This is higher than global average of around 36%. It’s true of earlier years too, with 75% of Indian respondents saying there was a data breach in the past, compared to 67% global average. The results come from a survey of over 1,200 senior IT security managers globally (100 of them in India) between October-November 2017.

Tell me more: Earlier this month,a report by IBM security and Ponemon Institute placed the average cost of data breach in India at $ 1.77 million, up 7.9% from 2017, but lowest in the world.

 

24

 

What is it?The number of banks and financial institutions that have signed an inter-creditor agreement.

Why is it important? The agreement will help these banks to resolve bad loans problems faster. 12.5% of all loans given by Indian banks are categorised as bad loans. The agreement effectively gives the lead lender a bigger say in recovery of loans from defaulters.

Tell me more: This is a part of Project  Sashakt, a five pronged mechanism to solve India’s NPA problem. The agreement was signed by 17 public sector banks, including State Bank of India, five private sector banks and two financial institutions.

 

60 billion times per minute

 

What is it?The spinning speed of a rotor created by researchers at Purdue University.

Why is it important? This is the fastest man-made spinning object, and could help study quantum mechanics and virtual particles that may temporarily appear in a vacuum.

Tell me more: The researchers created a nanoscale rotor, made from silica, and levitated it in high vacuum using a laser. It is over 100,000 times faster than a high-speed dental drill. Scientists have been fighting a race to make the fastest spinning object to study the behaviour of materials in extreme conditions. A previous record was an object that could spin 600 million times a minute.

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29723649810_8cb4a06489_b

Cost Of Data Breach

10,000

What is it? The number of products that have faced sanctions in the ongoing trade war, primarily between US and China.

Why it’s important? It started with a mere 18 products in January when US imposed tariffs on solar panels and washing machine products, and shows how trade wars can escalate fast. European Union, Canada and Mexico also joined the fray. Among other things, it has hit China’s currencygold prices, and could hit US tech sector.

Tell me more:  In the latest salvo, US proposed more tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products, and China said it would retaliate.

 

$3.1 billion
 

What is it?The combined value of 19 new planes ordered by Delhi-headquartered Vistara, a joint venture between Singapore Airlines and Tata Sons

Why is it important?It will help expand the fleet of the airline which is expected to launch its international service later this year. Of the 19, it has ordered from 13 Airbus and six from Boeing, making a departure from its earlier Airbus-only fleet. Some airlines prefer to stick to a single manufacturer to keep the costs low. Singapore Airlines has a mix of both. Vistara has ordered six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, to be used for international routes.

Tell me more: Vistara has a market share of about 4%, connecting 22 destinations with 800 weekly flights, in a highly competitive market ledby Indigo, Jet Airways and Spicejet.

 

592,800 barrels per day

What is it?India’s oil imports from Iran in June.

Why is it important? It’s down 16% from May, even as the US imposed sanctions on Iran. US wants to push Iran’s oil exports to zero, till it complies with a dozen conditions including disclosure of its nuclear programme and release of all US citizens held in the country. India has said it will take a decision based on its own national interest.

Tell me more: Iran is OPEC’s third largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia and Iraq; and India is Iran’s second largest oil importer after China. Some analysts believe US sanctions on Iran will backfire as higher oil prices.

 

$ 1.77 million

What is it?The average cost of data breach in India, according to a report by IBM security and Ponemon Institute.

Why is it important? It is up 7.9% from 2017, even though compared globally, it’s the lowest in India. As India journeys into digital world – driven by cheaper data costs and mobile phones, and competition among companies to offer digital products – it exposes itself more to data breaches. IBM said India saw a rise both in the number and in the sophistication of breaches.

Tell me more: While a mega breach – where 1 million to 50 million records get compromised – could cost anywhere between $40 million to $300 million, on average it costs about $3 million. The cost is the highest in the US at $7.91 million.

 

16

What is it?Number of people killed in Manipur and Uttarakhand in rain related incidents.

Why is it important? Highlights the risks from natural disasters. Seven persons lost their lives in Dehradun, Uttarakhand after their houses collapsed in heavy rains following a cloudburst. In Manipur, landslides set off by rains killed eight children and a woman.

Tell me more: India is not alone. In Japan, landslides and flash flooding caused by rains have already claimed 179 lives, its worst natural disaster since Fukushima earthquake in 2011.

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News in Numbers, Nov 18, 2016: The right note…

15 million

What is it? The number of new Rs 500 notes that have reportedly been printed by the Security Printing and Minting Corp of India, the government agency that prints notes and coins.

Why is it important? There seems to be a delay in the printing of this denomination as the order is to print 400 million by the end of this month. The reason for the delay is due to the presses at Dewas (Madhya Pradesh) and Nashik (Maharashtra) are running below capacity. The presses operated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which are to produce the new Rs 2,000 notes, are now likely to take up the printing of the new Rs 500 notes to meet the demand. Printing of currency notes in Rs 100 denomination has been stalled, according to unnamed RBI officials, as the focus has now shifted to the new ones.

Tell me more: Before the demonetisation move, there were 16.5 billion Rs 500 notes and 6.7 billion Rs 1,000 notes in circulation.

 

789,000 barrels per day

What is it? India’s oil imports from Iran, according to a report by Thomson Reuters Oil Research and Forecasts and ship tracking data.

Why is it important? This exceeded Saudi Arabia’s oil supply to India by 92,000 barrels per day (bpd) and Iran is now the top oil supplier to India. However, Saudi Arabia still retains the top slot over the January-October period. With the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting at the end of this month to take its final call on cutting down production to boost oil prices, it remains to be seen if Iran continues to enjoy the exemption to be excluded from these price cuts, given its recent dominant position in oil supply to India, the world’s third-largest oil importer.

Tell me more: Due to the western sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear development programme, the country had slipped to the seventh position in 2013-14 and 2014-15 among the 50-odd countries from which India imports oil.

 

25 million

What is it? The capacity of a vaccine facility (in terms of number of doses) set up in Gujarat by CPL Biologicals, a joint venture of Cadila Pharmaceuticals and US-based Novavax at an investment of Rs 100 crore.

Why is it important? The company says it has become the first Indian company to have developed a vaccine to treat seasonal influenza (Cadiflu-S), which is also the world’s first influenza vaccine based on virus-like particle technology (VLP). The vaccine does not contain any viruses, which means it completely does away with the possibility of any infection to the vaccinated person from the vaccine (viruses present in vaccines can sometimes replicate in the human body, causing disease by itself).

Tell me more: CPL Biologicals says with the VLP technology, it can develop the new strain specific vaccine in 12-14 weeks compared to the 24-32 weeks it takes to develop a conventional vaccine. Cadiflu-S doesn’t contain egg proteins, antibiotics and preservatives, which would help those who are prone to allergies.

 

Rs 137.18 crore

What is it? Losses posted by food delivery startup Swiggy (owned and operated by Bundl Technologies) in 2015-16.

Why is it important? This is an increase of nearly 65 times of the loss it posted in 2014-15 (company started operations in August 2014). Swiggy’s revenue increased to Rs 23.59 crore in FY16 (from Rs 11.59 lakh a year ago) while its total expenses were Rs 160.77 crore, indicating that it burnt cash in order to scale up (a trend observed in many other startups such as Flipkart and Ola). Food startups have been struggling to get their economics right with some of them such as Eatlo and Dazo shutting down, some being acquired (FoodPanda acquired TastyKhana) and others downsizing their operations.

Tell me more: Swiggy reportedly has started charging consumers delivery fees for orders from a few food outlets, which have refused to pay a commission to the startup. Earlier, it was delivering for free from these outlets, which is unlikely to be feasible in the long-term.

 

5-100 basis points

What is it? The cut in deposit rates offered by various Indian banks. A basis point (bps) is one-hundredth of a percentage point.

Why is it important? This is a result of the government’s recent demonetisation move, which saw customers depositing old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, which have ceased to be legal tender since over a week ago. Lending rates are expected to come down as well. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has noted on several occasions that banks have not been passing on interest rate cuts to their customers. Between January 2015 and March 2016, the RBI has reduced its benchmark repo rate (the rate at which the apex banks lends to other banks) by 125 bps but public sector banks have lowered their base rate by an average of 55 bps while the private ones have decreased it by 50 bps.

Tell me more: The RBI introduced a new methodology for setting interest rates since the beginning of this financial year after which public sector banks have reduced their base rates by 15 bps on an average while the private banks have lowered it by 25 bps.

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News in numbers, Apr 19, 2016: Bullet train’s viability, global switch to a new polio vaccine…

32

What is it? The number of equity investments in private cancer therapeutic companies in the three months ended March 2016.

Why is it important? The investments into these companies – totalling $604 million in three months alone – might bring a cure for cancer closer. There were 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012 and the number of cancer cases are expected to increase from 14 million in 2012 to 22 million within the next 20 years.

Tell me more: Internet billionaire Sean Parker recently announced a $250-million funding to bring together 300 scientists at 40 labs and six institutions to work on a new area of cancer research called immunotherapy. This uses a person’s immune system to fight cancer.

88,000-114,000

What is it? The number of passengers India’s proposed bullet train connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad should carry to be financially viable, according to an IIM-Ahmedabad report.

Why is it important? Raises questions about its viability. To be viable, the train has to undertake 100 trips daily (50 trips each way), assuming ticket price of Rs 5/km for 300-km distance and an operating cost of 20-40% of the revenues. This also means three trains would be needed every hour each direction.

Tell me more: The government expects to start work on the Rs 98,000-crore project next year.

155

What is it? The number of countries (including India) that will switch to bivalent oral polio vaccine from trivalent polio vaccine between April 17 and May 1.

Why is it important? It reduces the risk of vaccine-derived polio. The bivalent vaccine protects against types 1 and 3 of wild polio strains while trivalent protects against all three strains. Wild polio virus type 2 was confirmed to be eradicated in 2015, and by switching to bivalent vaccines, these countries eliminate the risk of causing vaccine-derived Type 2 polio.

Tell me more: India was declared ‘polio-free’ by the World Health Organization in 2014. The agency’s goal is to stop all three types of polio vaccines by 2020.

$5.07 billion

What is it? India’s trade deficit (excess of imports over exports) in March.

Why is it important? The lowest in five years thanks to 80.5% decline gold imports in March and a 35.3% fall in oil imports (because of low oil prices). Low commodity prices have guarded India from the effects of global economic slowdown, which have caused exports to be the lowest since 2010-11, contracting for the 16th straight month in March.

Tell me more: India’s exports declined 15.9% to $261.1 billion in 2015-16 while imports fell by 15.3% to $379.6 billion in March.

7.1%

What is it? Revenue growth of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software firm, in 2015-16.

Why is it important? While TCS has done well financially (its profits beat forecasts), the company is facing a trial in the US. Last week a US federal court jury imposed a  penalty of $940 million on TCS in an infringement case of intellectual property and trade secrets.

Tell me more: TCS plans to appeal in the higher courts. The company’s net profit grew by 14.8% to $3.69 billion in 2015-16 from a year ago.

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