21/02/2017 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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the force be with your wallet. Why parents in Asia are spending so much


a birthday parties like this. It is Tuesday. Glad you could join us for


this edition of Asia Business Report. I'm Rico Hizon. The new Tata


group chairman takes up office today, ending one of India's most


public boardroom spats. A bitter feud was sparked with its


predecessor, when he was fired last year. Tata owns more than 100


companies and is one of the oldest businesses in the country. So what


are the top issues waiting for the new boss?


Seeking divine help, this man is all set to lead one of India's oldest


businesses, the Tata Group. He is the first person out of India's


community to be appointed to the post. After an acrimonious stand-off


with its previous chairman, it will be a huge shift here at the


headquarters of Tata. He is the seventh chairman of the Tata Group.


He spent his entire professional life inside the group. He is popular


amongst employees and has long in the favourite for the new role. It


is lower -- it is largely accepted that the task ahead of him is


nothing more -- short of monumental. The Tata Group has interests ranging


from steel and cars to salt and tea. But many other companies have been


struggling in recent years. Luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover and TCS


are generating enough profits to keep the group afloat. Together they


account for more than half of the combined revenues. So Natarajan


Chandrasekaran's first challenge would be to reduce the dependence on


these two businesses and turnaround others.


His second big challenge will be making a decision the future of Tata


Steel in the UK, when it has suffered heavy losses. Union workers


backed the move towards saving Britain's largest steel producer.


His other challenge will be the global uncertainty are round the IT


industry. TCS is the jewel in the crown for Tata Group, contributing


40% of its profit. But that's now threatened as a new US bill aims to


limit the entry of high skilled workers. With over 100 group


companies, many analysts compared the Tata Group to a lumbering


elephant, but Mr Chandrasekaran has the experience and many hope he will


have success with a conglomerate. There is indeed a gift for


shareholders, as he takes over today. The group's outsourcing


company says it will spend a whopping 2.4 million dollars to buy


back shares. TCS shares jumped on Monday after the company said it


would buy back their shares at a price 20% higher than on Friday.


Moving to other news making headlines. Trading in shares of


Fairfax media have been halted this morning news that the company is


considering is reeling off domain. That is its online real estate


classified business. Major shareholders have been asking


management to sell Domain, which they believe could be worth billions


of dollars. Toshiba wants to raise nearly $9 billion by selling a


majority stake in its business, according to Reuters. The troubled


Japanese companies under pressure to raise money after revealing a $6


billion write-down due to its US nuclear business. Part of the


company has been reluctant to sell a majority stake.


Unilever's rejection of a merger with Heinz has seen the stock fall


by 9%, before clawing back some losses to close about 7% lower. The


sharp fall follows the collapse of a takeover deal which would have been


the biggest in corporate history. Banking giant HSBC reports its


full-year numbers later today. The shares have surged over the past six


months in part course of a $2.5 billion buyback programme. Also a


weaker pound since Brexit mail, it was the UK-based lender does most of


the business abroad. Andrew Sullivan explained what we can expect. They


would have turned to profit in the last quarter, which will be


encouraging. A lot of that is because the year-on-year basis is a


very bad quarter in 2015. It was a disaster, the last quarter. Yes. But


things have been improving. We put a lot of structures in place.


Cost-cutting was one of the majors things mentioned last year, so it


will be interesting to see how far they've got with that. Will the bank


react to potentially 2-3 rate hikes in the US this year? A rate hike


should be good for them. That interest margin should increase as


the rates go up, but it is still a very competitive with us. It is not


like they can immediately erase the rates. It is competitive and they


will have to stay on their toes. What about return in equity in their


Hong Kong business? The Hong Kong business has held up quite well and


one of the key thing is what they will do with the US. You mentioned


share buybacks. A lot of that has come out of cash they taken out of


US operations, but obviously with Trump saying you have to be in


America to deal with America that could be problems with that.


Speaking of President Trump, trade finance is an integral part of


Asia's business and they have major businesses in China and Mexico,


which are currently the focus of President Trump. -- HSBC's business.


What will they do? I think they will focus on saying we still have the


household industry, we are still HSBC USA, which will be crucial.


Obviously a lot of the money last year came out of the share buybacks.


The question is that it opens them up to the regulators as well. That


was Andrew Sullivan on HSBC. How much money did your mum spend on


your fifth birthday party? These days children's parties are becoming


increasingly more elaborate and expensive. As part of our business


of kids series, we met some top-notch party planners who are


cashing in on the opportunity. Laser lighting, storm troopers,


Darth Vader. It looks like a big old way production, but it's not. It's a


kids birthday party in Singapore, which cost $150,000. Planning such


parties has become big business. Meet Tanya, the party plan behind


this costly soirees. She sorts everything out from the Cape to the


venue and even doubles up as an entertainer. Are you ready to have


some fun? Boast of them have an idea of how much they will spend. We


don't mention money to the kids, as the kids are just kids and they


don't understand that concept. But if the kids really want to have a


particular thing, then the parents might go, OK, we will have it. On


average parents coming to her have budgets of just over $2000 for kids


as young as one. But it would always need a party planner. For parents


like this, a party for their 100 day old baby is more than just a fun


celebration. It is part of tradition. Historically, it is kind


of like the Chinese one-month party, a celebration to say we are out of


the woods, the baby made it. These days it's a little bit more like the


parents are still alive after 100 days. They've invited their friends


to an ice cream themed party and are giving it the personal touch. In


line with the trend of big budgets, it is being held at one of


Singapore's most luxurious hotels, where celebrities like Madonna have


stayed. High end event planner augur offers advice. I think it's a bit of


peer pressure. -- plan A Olga. If one person holds a big party is an


indication for other parents to do a similar thing. So as parents strive


to create memories of that special day, it could also mean a lot of


money going up in a puff of smoke, law and after the candles are blown


out. Expensive parties for young kids!


YouTube plans to scrap the 32nd advertisements that you normally can


skip. You won't have to watch them on the video stream service from


next year. Google confirmed the plans want to focus on formats that


work well for users and advertisers. Before we go, a quick look at the


markets. As you can see on the screen is trading is very thin in


Asia at the moment. This is because US markets remain shut for the


holidays. Wall Street reopens and investors await reports on economic


data and minutes from the Fed's meeting. Thanks for investing your


time with us. Sport Today is a


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