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JioCoin Is In The Works

 

Reliance Jio Infocomm is going big on investing in blockchain technology, specifically to create its own version of cryptocurrency- JioCoin. Cryptocurrencies are not legally recognised in India, given that challenge, it will be interesting to watch how JioCoin does after it is launched.

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What is it? The number of years for which all firms in the Price Waterhouse (PW) network have been barred from auditing listed companies and intermediaries (such as brokers), according to an order by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

Why is it important? The market regulator has found the audit firm guilty in the nine-year-old Rs 7,136 crore Satyam Computer Services scam, saying that Price Waterhouse was in connivance with the main wrongdoers of the accounting fraud and did not comply with auditing standards. The company, in response, has said was no intentional wrong by PW firms and that it was confident of getting a stay from a court before Sebi’s order comes into force.

Tell me more: In January 2009, B Ramalinga Raju, the then chairman of Satyam, shocked the corporate world by admitting to have inflated the firm’s revenues and profits over several years in India’s biggest accounting scam, which is sometimes referred to as ‘India’s Enron‘.

 

Rs 6,531 crore

What is it? The net profit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in the October-December quarter of 2017-18, which is 3.6% down from that in the same quarter a year ago.

Why is it important? The dip is mainly due to a decline in spending by banking and financial services clients. With the exception of BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) and retail, all industry verticals grew above 9.5% on an annual basis. With a tough 2017 for reasons including slow growth (mainly due to firms’ inability to grow their digital businesses) and the United States’ protectionist measures, for the IT industry, TCS’ business largely continued uninterrupted and also, won a $2.25 billion contract over nine years (the biggest by an Indian firm) from Nielsen.

Tell me more: In the quarter ended December, TCS saw a gross addition of 12,534 employees, taking its total headcount to 390,880.

 

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What is it? The size of the team Reliance Jio Infocomm plans to create to work on blockchain technology. This technology is essentially a decentralised and distributed digital ledger where information exists as a shared and reconciled database.

Why is it important? Besides working on multiple applications such as smart contracts and supply chain management logistics, Reliance Jio plans to work on blockchain technology’s most popular application of cryptocurrency to create JioCoin. However, it remains to see how the firm’s newest ambition takes off given that cryptocurrencies are not legally recognised in India. Recently, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said cryptocurrencies are not legal tender and those transacting in it are doing so at their own risk.

Tell me more: Reliance Jio, which disrupted the telecom market in the last few months with its competitively-priced plans, has a total customer base of 152 million (as of November).

 

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What is it? Number of women lawyers who have been directly appointed to be a Supreme Court judge, instead of the standard route of being elevated from a high court. Yesterday, the Supreme Court collegium recommended the name of senior advocate Indu Malhotra.

Why is it important? Besides being the first woman lawyer to take this route, Malhotra will be only the seventh woman judge since independence in the Supreme Court. At present, of the 25 judges in India’s apex court, 24 are men. The lone woman judge is Justice R Banumathi, whose term runs till July 2020.

Tell me more: The government still has to clear her appointment. As per rules, the government can return the recommendations of the collegium once, and even then the collegium has the final say on the appointment.

 

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What is it? The seeding that Novak Djokovic, six-time Australian Open winner, was awarded yesterday for the 2018 tournament, which begins in Melbourne on Monday.

Why is it important? In the last six years, Djokovic has never been seeded outside the top two at a grand slam. But a forgettable 2017, plagued by poor results and an elbow injury that saw his year end at the halfway mark, have resulted in the ranking of the 12-time grand slam winner slip. At Melbourne, Djokovic has a difficult draw, and could face Gael Monfils, fourth seed Alexander Zverev and 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka to reach the semi-finals.

Tell me more: Last year’s winner Roger Federer is seeded second behind Rafael Nadal. In the women’s draw, the top two seeds are Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki.

 

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Baahubali blazes past Bollywood

Rs 5.04 lakh crore

What is it? The market capitalisation of Reliance Industries (RIL) as on Monday, the second company to cross the Rs 5 lakh crore mark after Tata Consultancy Services.

Why is it important? Investors are betting on better business prospects as their telecom offering, Reliance Jio started charging its clients, and other investments in petrochemicals space getting realized soon.

Tell me more: Since the beginning of this year, RIL has gained 43.5%, more than double of the Sensex index (20.6% in the same period). IT major TCS crossed the Rs 5 lakh crore mark in market capitalisation on July 23, 2014.

 

Rs 510 crore

What is it? The national box office collection of the Hindi version of the mythological sequel, Baahubali 2.

Why is it important? This is nearly 42% of the total box office collections of the top six Hindi movies (Rs 1,218 crore) in the first half of the year. This is probably the first time that a dubbed movie (originally, in Telugu) has overtaken Hindi movies by box office collections by a wide margin: Shahrukh Khan’s Raees earned only Rs 139 crore while Salman Khan’s Tubelight fetched Rs 121 crore. Even last year, it was Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’ (dubbed in Hindi) that was the highest grosser at around Rs 110 crore, surpassing movies from the ‘Bollywood’ industry.

Tell me more: Dharma Productions spent Rs 95 crore in the acquisition of rights and distribution of Baahubali 2.

 

$53 billion

What is it? The potential economic losses due to a major cyber attack, according to a report by Lloyd’s of London and Cyence, a cyber risk analytics modelling firm.

Why is it important? This is roughly equivalent to the economic losses caused by a catastrophic natural disaster such as the 2012 Superstorm Sandy, says the report. The economic costs in hypothetical hacking of a cloud service provider is huge compared to the global cost of $8 billion of the ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack in May. Due to lack of historical data on cyber attacks and their potential costs, it is a great challenge for insurers to estimate their potential exposure.

Tell me more: For a hypothetical cloud service attack, the average economic losses would range from $4.6 billion for a large event to $53 billion for an extreme event, according to the report. The actual losses could be as high as $121 billion, of which as much as $45 billion may not be covered by cyber policies due to under-insuring by firms.

 

$850 million

What is it? The revised offer for buying Snapdeal, the embattled e-commerce firm, by larger rival, Flipkart.

Why is it important? It is still lower than the reported sum of at least $900 million that Snapdeal wanted from India’s largest online marketplace. But the revision is $100-150 million more than Flipkart’s first formal offer ($700-750 million). Snapdeal’s board is considering the offer.

Tell me more: Flipkart wants to pay $650-700 million in equity shares and another $150 million later. Along with the SoftBank Group, Snapdeal has 25 institutional shareholders and dozens of individual part-owners.

 

$3 billion

What is it? The penalty payable by Reliance Industries (RIL), Shell India and Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) – the joint owners of Panna-Mukta oilfield – to the government.

Why is it important? This comes after a London-based arbitration panel decided in favour of government in October, 2016. The owners of the oilfield were deducting higher taxes (prevailing at the time of getting the oilfield in early 90’s) even though corporate tax rate has dropped to 30%. Lower deduction of taxes would mean higher share of profits for government. The penalty is to recover past due from the owners of the oilfield.

Tell me more: RIL and Shell each own 30% stake in the PMT fields, while ONGC has 40%. The ruling entitled the government to a larger profit share and more royalty payment. The government is also locked in a dispute with RIL over the KG-D6 basin.

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Now, pay for dirtying Ganga 🌊

Rs 50,000 

What is it? The penalty that will be imposed for dumping waste into the Ganga river between Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, one among a slew of directions passed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday to rejuvenate the water body.

Why is it important? A pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ‘Clean Ganga’ project has progressed slowly with only $205 million spent till now as compared to the total commitment of $3.06 billion till 2020.

Tell me more: The environment regulator has declared a no-development zone 100 metres from the river’s edge (between Haridwar and Unnao) and dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river has been prohibited.

 

Rs 5,945

What is it? The net profit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software services exporter, in the first quarter of 2017-18, 5.8% lower on a year-on-year basis.

Why is it important? This is the 11th consecutive month when the firm has either under-performed or failed to meet analysts’ estimates. A survey of 20 analysts by Bloomberg had estimated TCS’ net profit to be Rs 6,203.5 crore. This is the biggest drop in profits in two years. A stronger rupee impacted TCS’ results even as concerns over US President Donald Trump’s order for a review of a visa program for skilled workers remain.

Tell me more: The company’s headcount was lesser by 1,414 people to 385,809 at the end of June 2017 compared to the previous quarter – a net decline in its employee strength for the first time since 2010.

 

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What is it? The number of people who have died due to floods and landslides in three north-eastern states – Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh – so far this season.

Why is it important? As many as 58 districts have been affected in the three states. In Assam, around 2,500 villages have been submerged and over 17 lakh people have been affected. Many district headquarters in Arunachal Pradesh have been cut off from the rest of the country while its capital Itanagar is cut off from its main connecting road (NH-415).

Tell me more: Jitendra Singh, the minister for the Development of North Eastern Region said that his team has approached the Ministry of Health to take steps to prevent the outbreak of epidemics and also, with the telecom ministry for the restoration of communication lines.

 

Rs 10 lakh

What is it? The money McDonald’s Corp will have to pay Vikram Bakshi, managing director of Connaught Plaza Restaurants, its estranged joint-venture partner for North and East India, according to a National Company Laws Tribunal (NCLT) ruling on Thursday.

Why is it important? The long-brewing dispute between the JV partners had seen Bakshi being ousted as the chief in 2013. The ruling reinstates Bakshi as the MD, restoring all the powers of an administrator to him.

Tell me more: The ruling reiterated allegations made by Bakshi, including violation of JV terms and an attempt to buy him out at a low valuation. In the kerfuffle, Connaught Plaza Restaurants recently shut 43 of its restaurants in Delhi, citing failure to renew requisite licences.

 

Rs 70,000 crore

What is it? The monthly value of card payments at point-of-sale (PoS) terminals, according to a State Bank of India (SBI) research report.

Why is it important? The report claims this average (both debit and credit cards) would have taken another three years at 25% growth in card transactions at PoS terminals if not for demonetisation.

Tell me more: The greater focus on digital payments after demonetisation, which happened in November 2016, was supplemented by the addition of 1.18 million PoS terminals. The lack of PoS terminals had held back card usage earlier.

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