In The Making: The Largest Ever Tech Takeover


Broadcom has offered to acquire smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm. The average surface temperature is above that of pre-industrial era’s now. Telangana government has decided to supply electricity to the farm sector for the whole day for 4-5 days.


$105 billion

What is it? The value of the offer in cash and stock by Broadcom to acquire smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm.

Why is it important? If it goes through, it would be the largest-ever takeover in the technology sector, and Broadcom would become the third-largest chipmaker after Intel and Samsung. However, Qualcomm, which is in the midst of a $38.5 billion takeover of NXP Semiconductor, is likely to reject the bid on the argument that it undervalues the company. Further, this deal would face tough anti-trust scrutiny.

Tell me more: Including debt, the total transaction value would be $130 billion. Qualcomm is currently fighting a legal battle with Apple and facing an anti-trust investigation in Europe.


1.1° Celsius

What is it? The amount which the average surface temperature was above the pre-industrial era from January to September 2017, according to the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization.

Why is it important? This has set 2017 to be on course to be among the three hottest years on record, which means many high-impact events such as floods, catastrophic hurricanes, heatwaves and droughts. The warning signs for governments to act couldn’t be more compelling as long-term indicators of climate change worsen, including a rise in sea levels, and increasing carbon dioxide concentrations and ocean acidification.

Tell me more: As many as 200 countries began discussions in Germany on Monday to strengthen a global climate accord even as the United States plans to quit.



What is it? The number of Indians whose names figure in the ‘Paradise Papers’, a global investigation that reveals financial dealings in tax havens of some of the world’s most powerful people and companies.

Why is it important? The income tax department and the capital market regulator said on Monday they would investigate if any of these people were involved in illegal transactions. The Central Board of Direct Taxes has asked its investigation arm to re-check tax returns filed by individuals and companies named in the Paradise Papers. And the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) will seek information from stock exchanges on listed companies’ offshore entities, which will be matched with statutory disclosures.

Tell me more: Of the 180 countries featured in Paradise Papers, India ranks 19th in terms of number of names.


24 hours

What is it? The number of hours a day the Telangana government is aiming to provide power supply to the farm sector for “five to six days” this week, beginning Monday.

Why is it important? This dry run of sorts is a precursor to its goal of 24×7 power being available to all 31 districts from March-April 2018. Usually, state governments have focused on subsidising power to the farm sector, whereas Telangana, on the face of it, is strengthening delivery.

Tell me more: In the April to September 2017 period, Telangana registered a 25% increase in power generated on a year-on-year basis, which was next only to the much-smaller states of Sikkim and Meghalaya.


$9.75 million

What is it? The interest payment on a dollar-denominated debt instrument that Reliance Communications missed on Monday.

Why is it important? This is the first debt-related default in a foreign currency by the Anil Ambani-owned company, whose telecom business lies in shambles, and which is now dependent on asset sales and lender restructuring to salvage an exit.

Tell me more: Elsewhere, it was a red-letter day for a part of Ambani’s financial services business: the company that manages his group’s mutual fund business listed yesterday and closed at a 13% premium to its issue price.


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The way to a man’s purse

$80 million

What is it? The Series E funding raised by online food delivery startup Swiggy (Bundl Technologies) from Naspers and existing investors such as Accel Partners and SAIF Partners.

Why is it important? The funding will help Swiggy take on its rivals, including the well funded Zomato Media, in the highly competitive hyperlocal food delivery space. This is Swiggy’s largest funding to date accounting for 51% of the amount it has raised so far. The startup will use the money to step up its investments in automation and customer behaviour prediction to improve user experience.

Tell me more: Naspers, South Africa based internet and entertainment group, has been making a series of investments in food delivery startups across the world – including iFood in Brazil, SinDelantal in Mexico and Delivery Hero in Germany.


Rs 25,000 crore

What is it? The debt amount Reliance Communications (RCom) has said it would repay by September 30, 2017.

Why is it important? The money, to be recovered from two transactions, is over 50% of its debt (Rs 44,34547,332 crore till March, 2017). The reassurance follows a few days that saw RCom’s stock get pounded, to a record low of Rs 20.5 on Monday, as investors were wary about its debt. Rating agency Moody’s has downgraded the company on the back of its “weak operating performance, high leverage and fragile liquidity position.”

Tell me more: Compounding its problems is the telecom market’s intense price competition with Reliance Industries’ Jio’s entry. The price war led to a Rs 948 crore-loss for RCom in the March quarter.


1 billion Euro

What is it? Development assistance Germany has pledged to India during prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country.

Why is it important? PM Modi is on a four-country tour with Germany as the first stop to strengthen trade ties. Germany has alsobeen reported to push for the European Union free trade agreement with India during a meeting between Modi and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Tell me more: The free trade agreement is seen as a counter to the growing protectionism propagated by US President Donald Trump, including his recent rant against German-made cars sold in the US. China’s One Belt One Road policy is also a cause for concern for European trade as it strengthens its hold on Asian trade networks.



What is it? Underwriting fees charged by investment banks for initial public offerings in the US.

Why is it important? Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, in a recent report, cited absence of competition as a reason for the high fees. It said it was akin “akin to tacit collusion” and called for review by competition authorities. In Europe, the underwriting fee is about 3%, while in China it has doubled to 8% in the last few years.

Tell me more: The high fees is a strain on businesses that want to raise money from capital markets, and it’s particularly so for smaller businesses which shell out 11% of the amount raised as expenses. In India, IPO related expenses come to about 7% on average and 10% for smaller companies.



What is it? The number of harassment cases filed by “Anti-Romeo” squads of Uttar Pradesh police.

Why is it important? The drive to check harassment of women in public places is among the most criticised policies launched by Yogi Adityanath government. Rights activists called for disbanding the squads, arguing that it won’t stop harassment, and will increase the risk of infringement on civil liberties.

Tell me more: According to data released by the state, 3.38 lakh people, among the 7.42 lakh who were checked, were warned between March 22 to May 28.  Lucknow zone had the highest number of people who were warned by the squads – 1.14 lakh.

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FIPB: A symbolic move


What is it? Percentage of value addition that need to be done in India for goods and services to qualify under the new government procurement policy.

Why is it important? The preferential policy will help domestic manufacturers and service providers as procurement by government, state-run companies and autonomous bodies is estimated at Rs 2 trillion a year. The policy gives preference to local manufacturing, not domestic ownership.

Tell me more: Purchases below Rs 500,000 are exempt from local sourcing norms, and for orders above Rs 50 lakh, local suppliers will be allowed to match the lowest bid if their bid is less than 20% costlier.


28 years

What is it? The number of years after which a ratings agency has downgraded China’s credit rating. Moody’s, a ratings agency, downgraded the Asia’s largest economy to A1 (low credit risk) from Aa3 (very low credit risk), citing mounting debt.

Why is it important? The ratings cut could increase the cost of borrowings for the Chinese government. China’s debt stands at 260% to GDP, as compared to 160% in 2008. However, external debt is only 12% of GDP.

Tell me more: Even after the downgrade, China’s credit rating is five notches higher than India’s rating of Baa3 (moderate credit risk).



What is it? The percentage fall in Reliance Communications’ stock price on Wednesday, following a sell-off in its bonds.

Why is it important? The telecom company is facing investor doubts about being able to repay its loans. Larger competitors are losing money in a fierce competition with a deep-pocketed new entrant (Reliance Industries’ Jio). In the Oct-Dec, 2016 quarter RCom had posted its first consolidated loss leading agencies such as Icra to downgrade its ratings. It has been trying to pare down debt, reportedly at Rs 42,700 crore since last year.

Tell me more: The company came out with a statement saying it had paid half-yearly interest on the 2020 bond and there was no outstanding dues on it.


25 years

What is it? The number of years for which Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) is in existence. Government on Wednesday decided to scrap FIPB to ease flow of foreign investment into India.

Why is it important? A symbolic move to show government’s intent to ease investment flows as 11 sectors that still require prior permission would still need approval from respective ministries. Further, foreign investments more than Rs 3,000 crore would still require approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

Tell me more: Between 90% and 95% of foreign investment came via automatic route.



What is it? The number of Benami cases the Income Tax department has attached property for.

Why is it important? The number of cases with provisional attachment of property under the Act, implemented in November, is bound to rise as the IT department has identified 400 Benami transactions till May 23, a jump of 70% since February’s 235 cases. The Benami Act’s section 24 has been invoked to attach properties worth Rs 600 crore for the 240 cases. The Act refers to transactions and property in the name of someone other than the beneficial owner.

Tell me more: Last week, the IT department set up 24 Benami Prohibition Units to tackle the issue.

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News In Numbers: September 15



What is it? The decline in subscriber base of Reliance Communications in the five-year period between March 2011 andMarch 2016, according to figures from the telecom regulator.

Why is it important? The Anil Ambani-owned entity was the only one among the main telecom companies to lose subscribers. Yesterday, Reliance and Aircel, India’s fourth-largest and sixth-largest telecom company by subscribers announced a merger to create the third-largest company by subscribers. Both companies are challenged on many fronts, and there remain questions on the alliance details.

Tell me more: During the same five-year period, Aircel grew its subscriber base by 58%. Similar growth was registered by the market leaders: Bharti (52%), Vodafone (47%) and Idea (95%).

$ 1 billion

What is it? The development aid India has offered Afghanistan during the two-day visit of Afghan president Ashraf Ghani.

Why is it important? Reflects the changing dynamics between India and Afghanistan. Even last year, Afghanistan was seen as being too close to Pakistan for India’s comfort. This year, it is changing. While the aid is towards at Afghanistan’s education, health, agriculture and other sectors,  the two countries also agreed to strengthen “security and defense cooperation.”

Tell me more: In May, India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a deal to develop a port in Iran that will let the three countries trade directly bypassing Pakistan.

$66 billion

What is it? The amount German drug and chemicals major Bayer will pay to buy American seed company Monsanto.

Why is it important? This is the largest ever cash acquisition on record. The merged entity would be the largest supplier of seeds and pesticides. Bayer has been gradually increasing its offer to buy Monsanto, in a sector that has been consolidating over the last several years. The resulting industry structure will impact farm and food systems across the world.

Tell me more: The merger is also expected to come under significant regulatory and legal scrutiny – both in US and Europe.


1.142 billion

What is it? The number of stars cataloged in a map released by European Space Agency.

Why is it important? This is the most detailed 3D map yet of Milky Way galaxy, and gives the precise positions and brightness of 1.142 billion stars, besides distances and motions of more than 2 million stars. It could “revolutionise our understanding of how stars are distributed and move across our Galaxy,” according to Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s Director of Science.

Tell me more: The data is from ESA’s Gaia spacecraft — a space observatory which began its mission in December 2013, and is located about 1 million miles above Earth.



What is it? The number of doubles matches won by Leander Paes of India in Davis Cup, the world team format in men’s tennis.

Why is it important? Paes is one victory short of matching the all-time record of 42 doubles wins in Davis Cup by Nicola Pietrangeli of Italy. It’s, however, unlikely to come this weekend, when India takes on Spain, one of the world’s best all-round teams.

Tell me more: Nicola Pietrangeli’s doubles record was set over 66 Davis Cup ties, and included 12 losses. By comparison, Paes’ doubles compilation has been over 52 ties and includes 11 losses.

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