Flipkart’s Suitors

Rs 1,250 crore

What is it? The amount Hero Enterprise Investment Office and the Burman Family (promoters of Dabur) have offered to jointly invest in Fortis Healthcare.

Why is it important? This comes after the company reportedly received a potential bid of $1.3 billion from IHH Healthcare Bhd., opening a possible takeover battle for India’s second largest hospital chain. Asia’s largest hospital operator offered to pay Rs 160 per share. A day ago, Fortis Healthcare received a revised offer from Manipal Health Enterprises, of Rs 155 per share.

Tell me more: The firms backed by the Munjal and Burman families have offered to invest in Fortis through the preferential allotment route: Rs 500 crore binding upfront and the balance after due diligence within three weeks.


What is it? The number of months within which (by end of June) Walmart is reportedly likely to reach a deal to buy a majority stake in Flipkart.

Why is it important? If the deal goes through, it would be the US retail giant’s biggest acquisition of an online business, opening a new front in its fight with Amazon, vying for a bigger share in India’s e-commerce market. Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce firm, is also reportedly considering to acquire Flipkart in a deal that would value the latter at $18-20 billion, though any potential deal between the two is likely to face intense scrutiny from India’s competition watchdog.

Tell me more: Walmart is said to have completed its due diligence on Flipkart and has proposed to buy 51% stake or more for $10-12 billion.


What is it? The number of large corporate accounts that were referred by the central bank for immediate bankruptcy proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 10 months ago and which are now in the final stages of resolution (out of 12).

Why is it important? Together, these borrowers account for a quarter of the banking system’s gross bad loans and timely resolution of these accounts would ease the pressure on lenders, allowing them to reduce their provisioning. Of the five accounts, two are facing litigations, while the committee of creditors in the other three cases have approved the winning bids.

Tell me more: Under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, a corporate insolvency resolution process must be completed within 270 days of the admission of a case. The deadline for eight of the 12 cases would expire by the end of this month.


What is it? The number of months that Matthias Mueller remained at the helm of automaker Volkswagen.

Why is it important? On Thursday, Volkswagen replaced Mueller with brand chief Herbert Diess. Mueller was appointed CEO in September 2015, when the company admitted to tampering with its engines for better emission readings, a scandal that resulted in the company coughing up $30 billion in fines. The new appointment, in a sense, turns that page, and shifts the company’s focus from protecting reputation to reorganising business.

Tell me more: Under Mueller’s watch, weighed down by the corporate scandal, the company’s share price has never really broken out.


What is it? The world ranking in men’s singles of Indian badminton player Kidambi Srikanth.

Why is it important? The 25-year-old Srikanth is the first Indian male to sit atop the badminton world rankings. His ascent comes on the back of a strong rise in the last 12 months, rising from 31 in March 2017. Srikanth, who made his international debut in 2008, has career earnings of $396,978.

Tell me more: Only one other Indian player has reached the top spot in singles badminton: Saina Nehwal in 2015. Her career earnings stand at $746,548.

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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 12, 2017: While you continue to choke…

168-268 µg/m3

What is it? The annual average particulate matter (PM 10 or small particulate matter of 10 microns or less in diameter) range in the top 20 most polluted cities in 2015 in India, according to a report by Greenpeace.

Why is it important? This indicates that none of the Indian cities comply with the air quality standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, the report says very few cities in south India are compliant with those set by the country’s nodal pollution watchdog. Delhi topped the list of India’s most polluted cities with its PM 10 concentration levels at over 13 times the limits set by WHO (20 μg/m3 annual mean). The effects of exposure to PM 10 include respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity (such as aggravation of asthma) and mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and from lung cancer.

Tell me more: The Global Burden of Disease, a regional and global research program, had estimated that 3,283 Indians had died per day due to outdoor air pollution in 2015 or nearly 12 lakh people in the entire year.



What is it? The number of freshwater (flapshell) turtles seized by the Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday.

Why is it important? This is said to be the biggest haul in the country’s wildlife history, both in terms of number and weight (4.4 tonnes), according to Arvind Chaturvedi, head of the state’s Special Task Force that rescued the turtles. Indian flapshell turtles are a protected species under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. In the raid carried out at Gauriganj town in Amethi district, Raj Bahadur Singh, the kingpin of an inter-state gang involved in the smuggling of turtles was arrested.

Tell me more: The turtles were to be taken to Kolkata to be transported illegally to countries including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. An estimated 20,000 turtles are reportedly smuggled out of Uttar Pradesh annually, which is home to half of India’s 28 endangered turtle species.


$4.3 billion

What is it? The amount Volkswagen AG has agreed to pay in criminal ($2.8 billion) and civil ($1.5 billion) penalties to settle charges for having cheated on diesel emission tests.

Why is it important? This is the largest ever US criminal fine levied on a carmaker. Six company executives and employees have been indicted for their involvement in the nearly 10-year conspiracy. However, five of these six are in Germany and it is not clear if they would go to the United States to face charges as the former does not usually extradite its citizens. Volkswagen would be spending a total of $22 billion to customers, US states and dealers and environmental regulators to address their claims.

Tell me more: In addition to the penalty and indictment, the automaker has agreed to be monitored by an independent agency, besides agreeing to sweeping reforms and new audits for three years to resolve the ongoing investigations.



What is it? The number of entities under the scanner of the market regulator and the Income Tax department for misusing the Long Term Capital Gains (LTCG) provision in order to evade taxes.

Why is it important? In a season of crackdown on black-money hoarders and tax evaders, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is preparing to take to task listed companies, their whole-time directors and any others involved in trades for stock-price manipulation. It would evoke Section 11B of the SEBI Act which lets it issue directions such as bans.

Tell me more: The IT department has referred cases to SEBI highlighting how false claims for long term capital gains are raised. The bogus beneficiaries involve inactive or penny stock companies, listed on the bourses. After a series of preferential share allotment, stock splits, share price manipulation, bonus issues and inflated capital base, the beneficiaries exit at jacked-up prices for their one year of LTCG. But cash settlements between such companies and false claimants are likely to scuttle legal persecution.


$40 million

What is it? The payout from Diageo that Vijay Mallya transferred to his children’s accounts.

Why is it important? It is now being questioned by the Supreme Court. In the ongoing tussle between the lender-consortium and embattled businessman Vijay Mallya, the latest salvo was from the Supreme Court which asked him to reply in three weeks. Mallya was asked why the payment, a part of a $75-million severance package from Diageo, was transferred to his three children, even as the banks sought the deposit. The consortium claims the transfer violated orders of the Debt Recovery Tribunal and Karnataka High Court.

Tell me more: Mallya’s initial affidavit claimed he has no control of the money as his three children are US citizens and the sole beneficiaries of their trusts in which it was transferred. Absconding from the country, he and his defunct airlines owe lenders over Rs 6,200 crore (estimates go up to over Rs 9,000 crore).

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