Complete Denuclearization?


What is it? The number of points in the joint statement issued by the US and North Korea after the first meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Tuesday.

Why is it important? The points cover retooling the relationship between the two nations and working towards peace, including in the Korean peninsula, where the goal is complete denuclearisation. While a meeting between the two leaders is a step forward, the lack of operational detailing means the jury is still out. Later, North Korea’s state news agency reported that Kim had accepted Trump’s offer of visiting the US.

Tell me more: The US and North Korea are among the nine countries in the world with nuclear weapons.


What is it? The percentage of Tesla’s workforce likely to lose their jobs in a restructuring announced by the company on Tuesday.

Why is it important? In spite of its CEO Elon Musk waiving off critics in recent months, Tesla is under pressure to achieve mass production of the Model 3, its first mass-market vehicle, and turn profitable. Tesla is yet to reach Musk’s goal of producing 5,000 cars a week, originally promised for end-2017. And these job cuts in Tesla’s 40,000-strong workforce appear to be a reaction to that. The Tesla stock gained 3.4% yesterday.

Tell me more:In the first quarter of 2018, Tesla posted a net loss of $784 million on revenues of $2.73 billion.


What is it? The rate at which India’s industrial production, as represented by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), grew in April 2018 compared to April 2017.

Why is it important? This is marginally higher than the 4.4% growth recorded in March 2018, which followed four consecutive months of 7%-plus growth. In other data released by the government yesterday, retail inflation, as represented by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), increased to 4.87% for April 2018—its fastest rate in the last four months. These numbers could force the central bank to increase interest rates further.

Tell me more:In April 2018, mining grew 5.1% on a year-on-year basis, manufacturing 5.2% and electricity 2.1%.


What is it? The number of managers, among the last five, who have completed three seasons at Real Madrid.

Why is it important?On Tuesday, Read Madrid announced the signing of Julen Lopetegui, current head coach of the Spain national side, as their new manager on a three-year deal. Being the manager of Real Madrid is one of the most prestigious, and unforgiving, jobs in all of football. Among the last five, only Jose Mourinho completed three seasons.

Tell me more:The shortest tenures in this setof five were of Rafael Benitez (half a season) and Manuel Pellegrini (1 season).

20 months

What is it? The number of months the AT&T-Time Warner deal has been pending for want of regulatory clearances.

Why is it important? On Tuesday, it cleared its last hurdle, with a US court ruling that AT&T can proceed with its blockbuster $80 billion acquisition of Time Warner without any conditions. It marked a major defeat for US government regulators and set the stage for similar deals that could alter the media landscape.

Tell me more:The US government had opposed the deal, arguing that it would reduce competition in pay TV and lead to higher prices for consumers.

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PoS-itive additions 💳📊

1.4 billion

What is it? The amount e-commerce firm Flipkart raised from eBay, Microsoft and Tencent

Why is it important? It’s the biggest amount raised in a single funding round by an Indian start-up. It came at a pre-money valuation of $10.2 billion, signalling the confidence investors have showed in the company that saw a series of markdowns in the last couple of years. The funding – and acquisition of eBay India, that was a part of the deal – will strengthen Flipkart as it fights its aggressive and better endowed competitor Amazon.

Tell me more: There have also been talks that Snapdeal, the third largest commerce player in the country will be merged with Flipkart, along with additional funding from SoftBank.



What is it? The share of the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) region in the global IPOs (initial public offerings) in first three months of 2017.

Why is it important? India with 26 IPOs accounted for nearly 34% of the region’s activity that ranked it second to Asia-Pacific in IPO numbers. EMEIA ranked third with 15% share in global proceeds, behind Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

Tell me more: The EMEIA region had 77 IPOs, raising $5.2 billion in all in Jan-Mar, 2017.


>2.5 million

What is it? The number of point-of-sale (PoS) machines at merchant establishments/shops.

Why is it important? PoS machine availability in India trails that of BRIC nations such as Brazil and China where per capita PoS availability for swiping plastic money is higher. Demonetisation had brought the scarcity into focus as people had to do less cash transactions. The numbers inched from 1.5 million swipe machines in October, 2016, to 1.7 million in December, 2.2 million in February, 2017, to over 2.5 million now. SBI has led with installation of 124,000 machines.

Tell me more: The count, shared by a National Payments Corporation of India official, is a little less than Niti Aayog’s estimate of 2.8 million PoS machines in February.


17 days

What is it? The time the UK-to-China freight train would take to reach its destination in Zhejiang, travelling along the ancient ‘Silk Road’ route.

Why is it important? The time taken by the train between the two countries, spanning a route along seven other countries, is still half the duration at sea. It is also cheaper than sending goods by air. While the train had brought household items, clothes, and consumer fashion goods from China, it is transporting soft drinks, baby products and pharmaceuticals on the maiden return journey.

Tell me more: Chinese premier, Xi Jinping’s 2013 “One Belt, One Road” policy to revive land-routes for trading with the West, has made London the 15th European city with a direct rail connection.


$50.9 billion

What is it? Tesla’s market cap at the end of trading on Monday

Why is it important? It is now the most valued car company in the US, beating General Motors, the 108 year old giant, by 64 million dollars. Tesla’s position is seen more as a reflection of investors’ faith in Elon Musk’s vision for the future of electric cars, than the present financials of the companies. GM earned $9 billion in 2016, and Teslalost $674 million. GM sold nearly 10 million vehicles, and Tesla sold 80,000 globally.

Tell me more: Toyota, with its  $172 billion market cap, is the biggest carmaker by market value at present. Volkswagen, with a sale of 10.31 million vehicles in 2016, is the largest carmaker by sales volume, closely followed by Toyota.

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News in Numbers, Jan 20, 2017: Tesla’s triumph on Autopilot


What is it? The drop in automobile crash rate after installation of Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot, according to an investigation by U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Why is it important? This is big boost for Elon Musk-led Tesla as the finding indicates that driving its cars is a safer option. The study found there was a drop in crash rates from 1.3 per million miles in 2014 to 0.8 in 2016, post installation of the autopilot feature. US average crash rate is about 1.85 crashes per million miles.

Tell me more: The investigation followed a fatal crash involving a Tesla autopilot feature last year. A negative ruling – such as demanding Tesla to recall the vehicles – would have hurt the company considerably.


What is it? The estimated death toll of a head-on collision between a truck and school bus, including 18 children, in Uttar Pradesh’s Etah district.

Why is it important? It is a grim reminder of India’s unsafe roads which claimed 5% more lives in 2015 in accidents with 148,707 deaths than in 2014. UP’s deadly roads accounted for 12% of the fatalities. School buses are no exceptions to rash driving, with school children bearing the brunt. In this accident, most of the kids were less than 10 years of age.

Tell me more: The school running the bus was open despite the district magistrate’s order of shutting schools for three days due to severe fog.


What is it? The interest the Debt Recovery Tribunal in Bengaluru directed the group of lenders led by State Bank of India to levy on Vijay Mallya and his companies.

Why is it important? The directive for the consortium of 17 banks, which had moved the DRT in 2013, may signal an end to the legal battle with the absconding businessman, but actual recovery might prove tricky. Attempts to recover dues by selling Mallya’s or his businesses’ properties have not found buyers so far. Recovery of his $40 million severance-pay from Diageo, too, remains elusive.

Tell me more: The DRT included assets of all of Mallya’s companies like UBHL, Kingfisher Airlines and Kingfisher Finvest and is likely to attach his private properties for recovery as well. DRT said the 11.5% interest rate is to be charged from July 26, 2013, and be recovered along with Rs 6,203 crore.


What is it? Number of coal-fired power projects China’s National Energy Administration suspended across 11 of its provinces

Why is it important? These constitute over 66% of the coal-fired power projects capacity (150 GW) China was targeting to stop or delay between 2016 and 2020. Severe air pollution given its voracious appetite for coal has led China to try and limit use of fossil fuels.

Tell me more: Such measures will be accompanied by a focus on renewables such as the 130 GW of solar and wind power slated for installment by 2020.


What is it? The change in Axis Bank’s share price in early trade on Friday, as it reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings.

Why is it important? The third-largest private bank in India has come under fire for its monitoring of its asset quality which has dragged earnings down 73% to Rs 579.57 crore. As much as 43.4% of its slippages or Rs 1,980 crore in the third quarter was from outside its watchlist. It has been unable to effectively identify defaulting accounts leading to larger-than-expected slippage and impact on earnings.

Tell me more: Seventy per cent of the slippages were in sectors like iron and steel, infra-construction and textiles, both on its watchlist and outside it.

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News In Numbers, Aug 2, 2016: Patents filed in India, Uber’s merger with China’s Didi Chuxing…

Didi hails Uber 🚗🚕🚙

On Monday, Uber announced it’s merging its Chinese operations with a larger rival Didi – and the echo of that announcement was heard loud and clear in India: Will Uber now use its war chest and free time to dominate India? What does it mean for Ola?
Such questions only show how intertwined global markets are.
Make sense of the increasingly complex world by reading our newsletter every day, and share it with your friends too:

1.45 lakhs

What is it? The number of patents filed in India in the last three years

Why is it important? Patents are often considered to be an indicator of innovation (not by all), even though in this case it underscores India’s growing importance as a market for businesses abroad. Seven out of ten patents filed since 2013 are by foreign organisations or nationals.

Tell me more: India has often been in middle of controversy over patents – especially in pharmaceutical sector, which has failed so far to strike a balance between protecting intellectual property rights and making affordable medicines.  There have been calls to fix the system.


What is it? The number of foreign investment proposals approved for single brand retailing in India. The government also approved the proposal of Tesco, a multi brand retail chain.

Why is it important? Shows the importance attached by foreign brands to enter the Indian market, which is projected to become world’s fifth largest consumer market by 2030. The data is till March this year and is before FDI policy was further relaxed two months back. Local sourcing norms are relaxed for few years for firms that bring high-end technology.

Tell me more: IKEA, H&M, Adidas, Swarovski and Montblanc are among the brands that have been approved.


What is it? The share large industrial companies are allowed to own in a full fledged bank, per Reserve Bank’s guidelines for new banking licenses.

Why is it important? It’s among the guidelines that RBI has released on Monday as it transitions to ‘on tap’ banking license policy – which allows entities to apply for banking license any time. It’s aimedto ‘increase the level of competition and bring new ideas into the system’. The 10% cap would keep big business houses out, reducing the conflicts of interest.

Tell me more:  In February 2013, RBI issued guidelines for licensing of new private banks leading to two new banks – IDFC Bank and Bandhan.

$2 billion

What is it? The amount Uber lost in China in the last two years.

Why is it important? One of the main factors that forced Uber to merge with its rival Didi. This in turn could result in Uber stepping up on gas in India, giving a tougher competition to Ola.

Tell me more: The merger makes Apple, which has a stake in Didi, a shareholder in Uber.

$2.6 billion

What is it? The value of SolarCity, a solar energy company, per the merger deal it signed with car maker Tesla

Why is it important? The merger will create an integrated sustainable energy company that will include solar, power storage and transportation. Earlier, Elon Musk, in his Master Plan, Part Deux (the first one came ten years earlier), argued that it cannot offer a seamless experience to its common customers (One ordering experience, one installation, one service contact, one phone app), if they remained two separate companies.

Tell me more: SolarCity has been finding it difficult to raise moneyand the merger with Tesla would help it expand. The merger is expected to save the companies $150 million in costs in first full year of operations after merger.


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