15/01/2014 Asia Business Report


Live from Singapore, the essential business news as it breaks and a look ahead to the news that will shape the business day.

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character, Ken Barlow. Now on BBC News, all the latest


business news live from Singapore. Grounded. Japan Airlines suffers a


new battery problem on one of its Boeing 787 aircraft. The Detroit


auto show is under way. But one group is not attending.


Welcome. As you may have heard from our previous bulletin, Japan


Airlines has grounded one of its early 787 Dreamliner aircraft, after


it detected white smoke outside the plane, caused by a battery issue.


The incident comes nearly one year after Japan Airlines and Nippon


Airways grounded their fleets after two batteries overheated on two


planes. Global regulators issued a worldwide grounding of the 787


fleets, which went on for three months. Our correspondent brought us


up to date. Yesterday afternoon in Japan, when


an inspection of a Japan Airlines 787 was taking place before a flight


to Thailand. During the inspection, the engineers noticed smoke coming


from somewhere. They went to investigate. Alarms went off in the


cockpit, showing the source was the battery. They found that one of the


eight lithium ion batteries appear to have overheated and melted. It


does look like it was very similar to the problems that caused the


grounding last year. But, at the same time, the company Boeing is


saying that the updated design, the containment system, works and that


the problem didn't spread. Nevertheless, new safety concerns.


Is this going to highlight issues? What it really points to is that


Boeing has still not got to the root of this battery problem. We are a


year on from the first incident and the investigation still hasn't


reported back. Although there has been a successful testing of the


design problem, these batteries still have a fundamental design


problem. That will be a worry for customers and it has affected the


share price. It could affect decisions about purchasing other


aircraft instead. This might, for example, help Airbus.


And of course, a word about the people booking flights on the


carriers. What happens to this particular flight?


The passengers weren't on the plane. They were immediately transferred to


another 787 and went to Bangkok. So, it didn't affect the operations


greatly. It's an issue of maintenance and cost. And, again, it


will raise concerns as to whether this plane is completely safe.


To the car industry. Detroit's famous motor show kicked off this


week. The focus this year has been on the big three US carmakers. But


the country with the biggest car maker and market is noticeably


absent. Walking around the Detroit Auto


Show, you'll see brands from all over the world. But one country is


not here. For the first time since 2006, there are no Chinese


carmakers. A sign of how hard it is to break the American market. That


doesn't mean that Asian carmakers are underrepresented. Toyota has


been generating a lot of buyers. -- buzz. This is a concept car that


hasn't moved to production, but enthusiasts have been excited by


what they are seeing. American carmakers have been reviving brands


like the Mustang and the Corvette. This is Toyota's offering. I'm


joined by the man responsible for what we see. This is the Toyota


FT-1. Our intent is to create a spiritual car that sets the pace. We


wanted to create an exciting, heart-tugging design that draws


people in and allows people to feel what the car looks like, rather than


think about it. What do you have to include in a car like this to get


people excited? People have to see beautiful surfaces, beautiful


proportions and excitement. Judging by the reaction so far, there has


been a lot of excitement, for a company that hasn't traditionally


been associated with that. But it's a push to try and win over the


American car buyer. India will release its latest


inflation figures in a few hours. Forecasters say the nation could see


the data edged down from a four-month high. Consumers have seen


persistently high inflation. The key question is whether it is whether


it's a long-term change. More from Mumbai.


I've just bought some tomatoes and the price I paid is about one


quarter of what it cost in November. The price of most vegetables here


are soaring. Many have become cheaper. The reason? The winter


harvest has been good, the reason why the supply of vegetables has


gone up. This has reflected retail inflation figures, which touched a


three-month low over December. This is great news for Indian consumers,


who have been battling for high food prices. Some people, did you leave


those from low income families, say they almost stopped buying


vegetables. -- particular goes. Inflation number is also expected to


have gone down generally. They say it will probably come down to about


7%, after 17.5% in November. But even at 7%, it's still quite high.


The central bank has been focusing on inflation. It has increased


interest rates twice as its -- since September. But during the last


review, rates have been unchanged because they believed inflation


would go on a downward trend and that's what we are seeing at the


moment. But the central bank is unlikely to announce any cuts off


interest rates, unless we see it go substantially lower. Stay with us.


We will bring you those figures as soon as we get them from Mumbai.


The World Bank has raised its growth forecast for the first time in three


years. In its latest estimate, the institution sees global gross


domestic product expanding by 3.2% from 2.4% last year. The bank said


the world economy has reached a turning point, as policy uncertainty


no longer weighs heavily on most of the major countries. It's expecting


strong growth in America compared to that of last year.


What makes a global property a hotspot? Our chief business


correspondent is looking at what is driving property prices. Today, she


reports from London on my some properties that are becoming more


attractive. Potential homebuyers know all too


well that, in cities like London, house prices are skyrocketing,


despite the tepid economic recovery. And it's not just London. You see


this across global property hotspots. Here, prices have more


than doubled since 2005. In Asia, Singapore had seen house prices


increased by more than 230%. In Hong Kong, they now have the most


expensive homes in the world. In New York, despite the housing crash,


prices are up nearly 50%. Why are house prices rising so rapidly? Out


of the reach of most people, high end flats like this one are a sign


of how much demand there is for housing in places like London.


Record low interest rates and even government schemes to help


homebuyers are some of the reasons why house prices of rising. -- are


rising. And London is an attractive place to own property because


there's no annual tax based on the value of the property. If you own


one of these $50 million homes, you would pay an annual tax of $60,000.


-- $16,000. That includes the local property tax. But such a property


tax based on value of the property does exist in other global cities.


Peter, who is buying in London? Brits or foreigners? Everyone is


buying in London. But the British are probably 40% of our business.


Next on the line is Russia and a few other states. We have got 15% from


the Middle East and Europe and then Asia. Different cities are becoming


concerned about foreigners coming into purchase property. In Asia,


there are new taxes foreigners buying and selling homes. In London,


a similar measure comes into effect from 2015. For all those worried


about and prices, we will be following those markets closely.


You can see more on that report this weekend. This is Asia Business


Report. Thanks for watching. The main stories: Anti-government


protestors are still paralysing parts of Bangkok. The Prime Minister


insists she won't do is -- resigned. Israel has


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