14/03/2017 World Business Report


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14/03/2017

The latest business news with informed analysis from the world's financial centres.


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Welcome to World Business Report, I'm Sally Bundock.

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Also in the programme: A smart jacket, and we are talking

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The UK Parliament has approved legislation giving

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Prime Minister Theresa May the power to begin formal divorce talks

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However, she won't do that immediately, as some had thought,

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but it will happen before the end of March.

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The negotiations will bring a period of uncertainty for the UK economy.

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Britain recorded growth of 2% last year.

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But in 2017, the International Monetary Fund predicts this

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will slow to 1.5%, though this is actually up from their previous

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The story gets worse in 2018, where growth is expected to come

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The ongoing uncertainty has also taken its toll on the currency.

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Since the referendum last June, the value of the pound has fallen

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The weakness in sterling has made imports into

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In the three months ending in January, fish prices rose 8.8%,

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tea prices were up 6%, and butter prices rose some 15.8%.

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The negotiations will take place as eurosceptic political parties

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gain ground across much of the continent.

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The Netherlands is set to head to the polls tomorrow,

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with France and Germany both set to face national elections

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Carsten Nickel, managing director Europe, Teneo Intelligence

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We have heard a lot already in this programme about what people think

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about this in the United Kingdom. What is the view now in Europe,

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given the fact that Article 50 is likely to be triggered very soon?

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Well, I think the key point, the key word, is the one that you just

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mentioned. It is uncertainty. So I think the whole question of the

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Scottish independence push obviously adds an additional layer of

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uncertainty, just in a moment when we should have really gained

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slightly greater clarity from the UK side about the Brexit process that

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is about to start now. So I think it is still very much a wait and see a

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approach from the European side, and I think there is no expectation for

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greater clarity until the end of 2017, really. As you say, the news

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coming from Scotland, that it is looking for a new referendum on its

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position in the United Kingdom, it throws in a brand-new curveball,

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which makes things that much more complicated, given the fact that

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Europe as well has an extremely interesting year ahead with the

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various general elections I have mentioned. It means these

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negotiations will be extremely critical, doesn't it? Yes, and again

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I think what we are going to see in 2017 is a pretty high-level

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conversation about a couple of points. One that we have been

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frankly reading about in the media quite a bit over the last weeks and

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months, is the ?60 billion Brexit Bill, the question of residents

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writes for EU citizens and vice-versa. I think the really

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thorny issue for the UK and the EU relationship, free trade agreements,

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the future of Freedom of movement, these kinds of issues, they will not

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be discussed until 2018 because only European side the question is, you

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know, who is going to lead France, who is going to leave the

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Netherlands, what about the next German government? I think these are

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crucial questions on the Scottish question raises the question of

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separatism in other member states of the European Union. So that will

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further complicated the talks ahead in 2017 and 2018 -- further

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complicate. While politicians try and win the election and economists

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predict what will happen next, how our business is navigating this

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uncertainty from your point of view? Well, that is really difficult to

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say at this point. Again, it is a very much wait-and-see approach

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because I think there is a strong sense that a serious conversation

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about what is ahead in the future won't really began before 2018. In

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the way the political -- in a way, the political conversation in 2017

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will be backwards looking, looking at the legacy of UK membership in

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the EU. What will be ahead is not going to be discussed until early

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next year, so I think that really complicated makes it very difficult

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for businesses to take a really forward-looking view here. Very

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interesting. Thank you very much for your time. There is a lot more to

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discussed in this story, and we will touch on some of that in our

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newspaper review. It is all about the papers, worldwide.

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Shares of Japanese conglomerate Toshiba have fallen 8% in Tokyo.

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That is after the company announced it will extend the deadline

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for submitting its earnings report, for the second time.

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Sharanjit Leyl is in our Asia business hub in Singapore.

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As second delay, that does not bode well at all in terms of what it will

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tell us when it finally announces what is going on. That's right,

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doesn't bode well. But unusually, for its shares, you mentioned it had

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fallen as much as 8%. It has scaled back those steep losses after

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announcing that earnings delay. The firm essentially asked regulators to

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extend the March 14 deadline for official earnings to a little later.

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They will be holding a news conference about this later on to

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clarify things for investors. But essentially the first time they

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delayed their earnings was in February. Doing so again, there were

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disagreements with its auditors in fabric, when its chairman stepped

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down, and all this because they are expecting a $6 billion write-down.

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Some of its US nuclear assets not worth as much as previously

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estimated, the situation leading many analysts to warn that the

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country's future is at risk -- company's future is at risk. This

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extension will need regulatory approval and failure to attain that

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would mean it needed to submit earnings by the end of the month or

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face delisting from the stock exchange. Toshiba is often

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associated with its technology products but it is now a diverse

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conglomerate. Its nuclear service business brings in the third of its

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revenue and yet that side of the business has not been making a

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profit since 2013. Nuclear services worldwide are struggling since the

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Fukushima disaster of 2011. In December the said they faced a heavy

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1-off loss due to its nuclear subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric.

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Since that announcement in December, the shares have lost more than half

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of their value. Thank you for bringing us up to date.

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Thousands of tech leaders, policy makers and celebrities have

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flocked to Texas, and not just for its famous barbeque

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The annual South by Southwest conference and festival is in full

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swing, and our North America technology correspondent Dave Lee

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sent this report about the coolest thing he has spotted at the event.

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The goal for Google is to provide our customers access to their

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favourite services and information from everywhere and anywhere and at

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any time. Whenever they are biking or walking or hiking or their hands

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are busy, they should be able to access their favourite services,

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literally from the cuff of your sleeve. Tell us what exactly is on

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my cuff here, and how it works? What we have is a woven interface

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integrated into the cuff material and the threads which capture your

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gestures integrate together, and are transferred to this little tag that

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we just snap on. You can see it is now Bluetooth head. A simple brush

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brings you the time. It to 30 seven p.m.. Time the destination. Your ETA

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is six minutes. You can control the music. Bidders is 2:37 p.m.. -- it

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is 2:37 p.m.. That is quite expensive. It is a nice jacket, but

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it feels quite pricey. How much of that money is going on connectivity?

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So it is going to be about $150 without the additional technology

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and we think that this is a really useful piece of performance

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opportunity. This is what people need when they are on their bikes.

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$350 price point is kind of where we go when we have really advanced

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technology in our clothes. So what do you make of that? Send me your

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thoughts on Twitter. It brings a whole new meaning to that is a smart

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new jacket, doesn't it? I will see you soon.

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It is claimed the amount of exercise children do starts to decline

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Researchers at the University of Strathclyde tracked the activity

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levels of more than 400 girls and boys over an eight-year period,

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