What is it? The antitrust fine amount Google is reportedly to be served with, by the European Commission in the near future.
Why is it important? If true, this would be the highest antitrust fine imposed on any company, surpassing a €1.1 billion fine on chip-maker Intel in 2009. The world’s largest search engine has been accused of promoting its shopping service in Internet searches, harming its rival services. This is likely to force Google to stop manipulating its search results, a case which has gone on since 2010 in the European Union.
Tell me more: The fine is expected to be announced in June and could go up to €6.6 billion, one-tenth of Google’s annual sales.
What is it? The number of jobs affected in the automobile sector due to the ban on diesel cars and SUVs with engine capacity of 2,000 cc and above in the Delhi-NCR area, according to an industry body.
Why is it important? The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers has contended that there is no link between engine capacity and emission levels and automakers such as Mercedes Benz have argued that their vehicles are BS VI-compliant and that diesel does not pollute the air anymore than petrol. Some have called for phased reduction, which might also give more time for transition for workers. However, Supreme Court appears to be entertaining no further debate on the issue.
Tell me more: Due to this ban between December 16, 2015 and April 30, 2016, production of 11,000 vehicles has been affected and a countrywide ban during the same period would have impacted 47,000 jobs and resulted in a loss of production of 1 lakh vehicles.
What is it? The total number of constituencies where polling is happening across Tamil Nadu (232 of 234), Kerala (140) and Puducherry (30).
Why is it important? In Tamil Nadu, which has always elected a clear winner for nearly 50 years, the fight is between J Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK and M Karunanidhi’s DMK, it remains to be seen if the combine of a few regional parties including Vijayakanth’s DMDK is able to make a mark to result in vote-splitting. In Kerala, the ruling UDF and the LDF are battling it out. In both these states, BJP’s vote share would be keenly watched as a measure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity, who campaigned in both the states.
Tell me more: In the southern union territory of Puducherry, two Congress parties are up in arms against each other – one, led by Sonia Gandhi and the other, a breakaway faction led by chief minister N Rangasamy.
What is it? The delay in the onset of Indian monsoons this year, which is now expected to hit the Kerala coast on June 7.
Why is it important? After two consecutive years of drought and with a quarter of India’s population reeling under its effects, India’s monsoon this year is highly anticipated. The monsoon accounts for over 70% of India’s annual rainfall, is the primary source of irrigation for half of the country’s cropland and refills over 80 nationally-monitored water reservoirs (important for drinking purposes, power and irrigation). The delay is unlikely to affect the sowing of the Kharif crops.
Tell me more: Monsoon usually arrives on June 1 and the India Meteorological Department’s forecast has a margin of error of four days.
What is it? The number of seconds by which Dutch teenager Max Verstappen beat Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Why is it important? With this win, 18-year-old Verstappen became the youngest winner of a Formula One race, beating four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel’s victory in 2008 at the age of 21. He is also the first Dutch race winner since the championship began in 1950.
Tell me more: Dominant players Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg collided and crashed out in the opening lap. Verstappen made his F1 debut when he was 17 for Toro Rosso, one of the two F1 teams owned by Austrian beverage company Red Bull, after which the minimum entry age was changed to 18 years.
What is it? The number of states that have reduced their rural spending in absolute terms in 2015-16 compared to the previous year.
Why is it important? The cutback in rural spending – for example, in agriculture, rural infrastructure and irrigation – comes during the second consecutive year of drought. One reason is the reduction in state revenues from their share in central taxes and grants in aid, which declined by 0.3% of GDP in 2015-16.
Tell me more: Of the 14 states that reduced rural spending, five cut down on their overall spending in 2015-16. This also raises the question if states have shifted their expenditure from rural spending by using the spending freedom got due to the implementation of the 14th Finance Commission recommendations.
What is it? The value of freebies provided by the Tamil Nadu government between 2006 and 2016, first five under M Karunanidhi’s DMK and the next under J Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK.
Why is it important? Raises questions about the economics of freebies, especially when the state’s revenue deficit (net amount received is lesser than projected net amount to be received) is estimated to nearly double to Rs 9,155 crore in 2016-17 from the previous year. The freebies offered by DMK and AIADMK included rice at single-digit prices per kg, fans, mixers, gold, laptops, bicycles and television sets.
Tell me more: In response to a 2013 Supreme Court order, the Election Commission updated its Model Code of Conduct rules and said parties should not make promises that impair the quality of the election process or exert undue influence on the voters. The rules also require the parties to explain the rationale behind the poll promises and broadly state the financial means by which they would implement them.
What is it? The prices at which the global benchmarks of crude oil (US and Brent crude futures respectively) were trading at around 6 am (Indian Standard Time) today.
Why is it important? Crude oil prices were down by 5.7% and 5.2% respectively from their last closing. This was due to the failed attempt by major oil-producers to curb their output at January levels to arrest falling oil prices, at their Doha meet on Sunday. This gives rise to concerns about continued global oversupply of crude and low oil prices in the near future.
Tell me more: Barclays estimates Brent to average at around $36 a barrel in the second quarter of this year.
What is it? The value of Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk’s total compensation in 2015.
Why is it important? Musk does not take salary from Tesla, and this amount is as per California’s minimum wage requirements. Musk has a 26.5% stake (as of December 31) in the company, worth around $9.47 billion. He received stock options worth $5.27 million in 2012 to compensate him for 10 years.
Tell me more: Other CEOs who got low compensation are Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg who received $1 as salary in 2014 (along with additional compensation of $610,455) and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey whose compensation was valued at $68,506 last year.
What is it? The amount Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer would receive if she leaves after Yahoo is sold off.
Why is it important? Telecom firm Verizon and Daily Mail General Trust (owner of MailOnline website) are expected to submit their bids to takeover Yahoo’s core business today.
Tell me more: Yahoo’s revenue has fallen by 8.5% since 2012 (Mayer was appointed CEO in July 2012) to $4.09 billion in 2015 while its adjusted profit has nearly halved to $0.95 billion during the same period. If Marissa Mayer is fired before the company is sold off, she would still receive $13 million, per reports.
What is it? Number of cars Honda Cars India will recall to replace the fuel return pipe, which leads unspent fuel back to the fuel tank.
Why is it important? Faulty return pipes could potentially result in fuel leakage and stop the engine. This is the fourth recall for the Japanese carmaker this year adding up to 3.3 lakh units in 2015. It’s about a fifth of the total number of cars that have been recalled in India since the Society of Indian Automobiles introduced a voluntary code on vehicle recall in July 2012.
Tell me more: The recall includes 64,428 units of diesel variants of Honda City (manufactured between December 2013 and July 2015) and 25,782 units of diesel variants of Honda Mobilio (manufactured between June 2014 and July 2015).
What is it? The capital Indian banks would need to ensure full implementation of Basel III norms by 2019, according to a report by ratings agency Fitch. Basel III norms require banks to have enough capital and liquid assets in its coffers.
Why is it important? It means banks will have to raise more capital. In case of public sector banks, that would mean government injecting capital to maintain its stake in the banks. The Indian government’s July announcement of providing $11 billion to state lenders over the next four years will not cover the requirement.
Tell me more: Bad loans account for 4.2% of the total lending in Indian banks, and more than a tenth of its loans are stressed (bad loans plus restructured loans)
What is it? Revenue of the Indian unit of Twitter (TwitterCommunications India) in 2014-15.
Why is it important? It’s 0.12% of its global revenue ($1.59 billion), even though Twitter is estimated to have about 22.2 million users in India, or 7% of its global monthly users. It has a much bigger mindshare, and is being used extensively in the relief efforts around Chennai floods.
Tell me more: TwitterCommunications India’s revenue is up 3 times from Rs 4.17 crore last year. Its net profit also increased threefold to Rs 1.07 crore in 2014-15 from Rs 35.7 lakh the previous year. Globally, the company has been struggling to increase its user base.
What is it? Total debt in ‘default’ category (It is considered ‘default’ if repayment is delayed by a day) as of December 8 this year, according to India Ratings and Research.
Why is it important? This is more than double of what was recorded in the entire year of 2014 – Rs 9,035 crore. It’s yet another indicator that the economy is not performing as well as the GDP numbers suggest.
Tell me more: Data from another rating agency, Credit Rating Information Services of India (CRISIL), shows that debt in the default category was at Rs 25,895 crore as of September this year compared to Rs 28,323 crore for the full year in 2014.
What is it? Extent of economic loss caused by severe rainfall and flooding in November and December in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, according to reinsurance broker Aon Benfield.
Why is it important? One of the early estimates of the loss. Expect updates in the coming days, after on ground assessments and extrapolation of insurance data (Insurance penetration is low in India – about 3.9%). As it is, this is about a third of the annual economic losses India is estimated to incur per year, as per a report by the United Nations. The annual economic losses due to disasters is estimated to be about $9.8 billion per year, of which floods account for nearly three-fourth or 71% ($7 billion).
Tell me more: Claims by India’s sole domestic reinsurer, General Insurance Corporation, is likely to reach up to $300 million.