11/06/2014 Asia Business Report


11/06/2014

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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Now on BBC News, all the latest business news live from Singapore.

:00:00.:00:12.

Police in Asia are cracking down on illegal betting on the eve of the

:00:13.:00:18.

World Cup kick`off in Brazil. And, game changer? Nintendo counts

:00:19.:00:21.

on toys to turn its fortunes around. Welcome to the programme. I'm Rico

:00:22.:00:35.

Hizon. Days ahead of the start of the World Cup in Brazil, police in

:00:36.:00:38.

China, Thailand and Singapore have begun targeting illegal football

:00:39.:00:45.

betting. It is an enormous market globally. The international centre

:00:46.:00:57.

for sport security estimates people bet up to $680 billion a year. Over

:00:58.:01:02.

80% of those wages are made through illegal channels. Asia accounts for

:01:03.:01:05.

more than half of that illegal market worldwide. From Hong Kong,

:01:06.:01:07.

our correspondent reports on efforts to stamp out the trade.

:01:08.:01:13.

Kicking off a new campaign. Ahead of the World Cup in Brazil, these young

:01:14.:01:25.

dancers are fronting a government`sponsored movement urging

:01:26.:01:27.

the public not to gamble on football matches. The World Cup is about

:01:28.:01:34.

sportsmanship, it is about skills. It is about football stars. They are

:01:35.:01:38.

not running around to make money for you. But, for Hong Kong's many

:01:39.:01:44.

punters, about 60% of the population, the upcoming competition

:01:45.:01:47.

is the most exciting opportunity in the world. The only legal way to

:01:48.:02:00.

gamble here is at the Jockey Club, which collected $6.5 billion US in

:02:01.:02:03.

revenue from football betting last year. Unofficial channels, like this

:02:04.:02:05.

website, are believed to make several times that amount. They

:02:06.:02:08.

offer easy access and lots of credit. They have now been targeted

:02:09.:02:16.

by law enforcement. This week, police in Hong Kong and another

:02:17.:02:19.

province seized millions of dollars in cash and detained 29 people were

:02:20.:02:21.

running an allegedly illegal online betting syndicate. About $100

:02:22.:02:24.

million had already been wagered. Mostly on World Cup matches.

:02:25.:02:30.

TRANSLATION: According to what we have confiscated, and our records,

:02:31.:02:32.

this is an unprecedented and extremely large illegal betting

:02:33.:02:36.

ring. It is difficult to estimate the size of the illegal football

:02:37.:02:41.

betting market. Both here in Hong Kong and the rest of China. Some

:02:42.:02:45.

believe it could be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. For the

:02:46.:02:49.

people affected, the real`life impact is unquantifiable. Deeply in

:02:50.:03:00.

debt, this man quit gambling five years ago and joined a church

:03:01.:03:03.

support group. That was after his wife threatened divorce. He explains

:03:04.:03:11.

why he was punting for more than four decades. TRANSLATION: For me, I

:03:12.:03:24.

loved football. It added to the excitement. The best was when my

:03:25.:03:32.

team won, and I won. Winning on the field is more healthy, say

:03:33.:03:35.

antigambling activists, and they will campaign for two more weeks, to

:03:36.:03:38.

convince the come `` to convince the public that it's a sporting, not a

:03:39.:03:45.

betting event. Looming threat of sanctions over

:03:46.:03:51.

supply cuts means Moscow is increasingly looking to China.

:03:52.:03:57.

President Vladimir Putin last month signed a 30 year gas agreement with

:03:58.:04:01.

Beijing. Economists say the shift in focus will get a mixed response in

:04:02.:04:08.

Asia. Natural gas prices in Asia are about twice what they are in Europe,

:04:09.:04:14.

four times the US. Any source of inexpensive natural gas, like in

:04:15.:04:17.

Russia, will be welcomed. The currency is different. It's not a

:04:18.:04:22.

very strong currency, it is very limited. My guess is the Asians will

:04:23.:04:27.

not be receptive to paying in rubles. It will be happy to pay in

:04:28.:04:36.

dollars or in the yuan. In other business news, the World

:04:37.:04:42.

Bank has revised its forecast for economic road in the developing

:04:43.:04:49.

world this year from 5.3% to 4.8%. If that's correct, it will be the

:04:50.:04:53.

third consecutive year of growth below 5% in these countries. It says

:04:54.:04:56.

developing nations like India need to make economic reforms might like

:04:57.:05:02.

investing in infrastructure, to promote growth but its report

:05:03.:05:05.

predicts growth will speed up in 2015. Indonesia could more than

:05:06.:05:18.

double its rice imports this year, to keep the prices down. The economy

:05:19.:05:21.

once a rise in prices ahead of the elections next month, and the

:05:22.:05:26.

looming weather system. Analysts believe imports could rise to 1.5

:05:27.:05:31.

million tons, which would be good news for growers in Thailand and

:05:32.:05:41.

Vietnam. Google is buying skybox imaging for `` half $1 billion. The

:05:42.:05:52.

technology giant says the deal is aimed at keeping the maps accurate

:05:53.:05:55.

and could help to expand Internet access. Satellites use a resolution

:05:56.:05:58.

that can see single cars along a road. It is their second acquisition

:05:59.:06:01.

year, after it bought a solar powered drone maker.

:06:02.:06:06.

Virtually every media and entertainment business today has a

:06:07.:06:09.

digital strategy to try to get to the consumer where ever they are. In

:06:10.:06:28.

a new report, PricewaterhouseCoopers says that by 2018 one third of

:06:29.:06:31.

advertising revenue across the world will be digital, but

:06:32.:06:32.

consumer revenues will come from digitally delivered content, like

:06:33.:06:36.

music, videos and games. How can they make money from the digital

:06:37.:06:40.

consumer? These days, it is impossible to

:06:41.:06:44.

escape from advertising, as you can see from the big television screen

:06:45.:06:47.

behind me in the heart of Singapore's financial district. Five

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years ago, television advertising was more than double that of

:06:51.:06:53.

internet advertising. According to a new report, that is set to change. I

:06:54.:06:56.

am joined by Greg Unsworth from PricewaterhouseCoopers. How is the

:06:57.:07:08.

world going digital? It is amazing what is going on at the moment,

:07:09.:07:11.

enabled by smart devices, the whole world is going digital. We can see a

:07:12.:07:15.

large bulk of growth will be digitally driven. That creates

:07:16.:07:17.

challenges for traditional players and opportunities for new entrants.

:07:18.:07:23.

In my hand, I have two hardcopy newspapers, some say they are a

:07:24.:07:26.

dying breed. Most people now consume information on smart phones and

:07:27.:07:29.

tablets. Media companies are now trying to monetise their products

:07:30.:07:31.

online. How successful have they been? There is progress being made.

:07:32.:07:42.

There are some successful models of online distribution of newspaper

:07:43.:07:45.

content and news content and it will evolve. It's a balance of those

:07:46.:07:51.

companies to protect their traditional core, while they develop

:07:52.:07:53.

their digital engagement with consumers as well. How do you

:07:54.:08:00.

monetise the digital customer? There are a few things, like trying to

:08:01.:08:03.

understand the consumer better. You can target different members of the

:08:04.:08:05.

community more effectively. We can see examples of that in different

:08:06.:08:09.

markets. That is what digital advertising is expected to reach the

:08:10.:08:12.

size of television advertising in the next five years globally. Thank

:08:13.:08:23.

you very much. As we can see, most companies are moving their resources

:08:24.:08:26.

to the online world. Whether they are able to make money from that

:08:27.:08:29.

still remains to be seen. Nintendo is focusing its efforts on

:08:30.:08:32.

familiar franchises. Kid friendly content. But can toys and figurines

:08:33.:08:40.

be the best way forward for the Japanese gaming giant, after it

:08:41.:08:43.

missed its own sales targets last year? Our correspondent reports from

:08:44.:08:48.

E3, the world 's largest video gaming fare in Los Angeles.

:08:49.:08:52.

Nintendo came here, needing to revive its flagging fortunes. The

:08:53.:08:57.

gaming giant is just that ` a gaming giant. Unlike Sony and Microsoft, it

:08:58.:09:04.

doesn't have anything else to fall back on. Sales of their latest

:09:05.:09:11.

console have done very well. Over the last few years, it hasn't done

:09:12.:09:16.

well. It announced a new figurine that could help to bring the real

:09:17.:09:19.

world and physical world. David is from Nintendo. Explain what the

:09:20.:09:27.

figurine system isl. `` is. They are little characters, your favourite

:09:28.:09:32.

Nintendo characters. Nintendo is all about reinvention, we keep doing

:09:33.:09:35.

that. But here, we keep reinventing something for our system. It can

:09:36.:09:38.

interact with the games in brand`new ways. You can take it, and place it

:09:39.:09:41.

on your game pad, and it exchanges information. For example, we

:09:42.:09:48.

announced that this would be a fighter, like your partner. Or a

:09:49.:09:57.

rival. With your character, it will be customised. You can build up the

:09:58.:10:05.

statistics and interact with it. This is similar to something in

:10:06.:10:10.

place, like the one from Disney. We are doing this the Nintendo way. One

:10:11.:10:22.

thing that separates us is you can use this across multiple platforms.

:10:23.:10:34.

Next year you'll be able to use it with Nintendo 3ES. It is needing a

:10:35.:10:44.

bit of a shot in the arm. We will see if this delivers.

:10:45.:10:48.

A quick look at the Asian stock markets. Currently, they arm mixed,

:10:49.:10:52.

after US stocks finished nearly flat overnight. Thank you so much for

:10:53.:10:57.

investing your time with us. Sport Today is up next.

:10:58.:11:13.

I'm Mike Embley. The top stories this hour:

:11:14.:11:14.

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