14/03/2017 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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and the introduction of more driver-only-operated trains.


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


Brexit is a reality. After a revised bill is passed in Parliament, we


look at what it means. And tech industry leaders compete for centre


stage in one of the well's largest interactive festivals. -- world's.


Hello and welcome to Asia Business Report, I'm Sharanjit Leyl.


Parliament in Britain has given its final approval to a bill setting out


plans for the country to formally start the process of leaving the


European Union. Parliament has also voted by a clear majority to reject


two amendments put forward by the upper chamber, the House of Lords.


The proposals would have guaranteed the rights of EU citizens in the UK.


Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also announced plans to


hold a second independence referendum by early 2019. She said


the vote was necessary after British Prime Minister Theresa May refused


to search for a compromise to allow Scotland to remain in the single


market after Brexit. What Scotland deserves in the light


of the material change of circumstances brought about by the


Brexit vote is the chance to decide our future in a fair, free and


democratic way and at a time when we are equipped with the fact that we


need. Nicola Sturgeon speaking there.


Earlier I spoke with David Quo and asked about the implications of


another Scottish referendum. This has surfaced again and I think there


will be continual... I wouldn't say problems but unease, not only in the


UK but in Europe as well. I think we're beginning to seize certain


parts of the union, not only in the UK but the European Union as well


starting to unravel and that will cause some dismay and probably some


consternation as far as Asia is concerned. Some people will see this


as an opportunity. As we saw with Brexit, the pound has fallen so


therefore Asian investors are saying, are there any opportunities


in the UK? Some have actually found those opportunities. Let's take a


closer look at the pound, it's going up, even going up on this news where


we heard Nicola Sturgeon make her announcement, which is unusual, it's


only a little bit, but we've only ever seen it go down, it is 2017's


was performing currencies of our. Where is the pound heading? --


currency so far. I can't see it strengthening until the Bank of


England increases interest rates. America is in a position to do that


now so that will heap more pressure on to the Bank of England. But the


Bank of England can't do anything, after Brexit we saw they had to cut


interest rates and they also had to fire up their muggy printing


machines to try and inject more sterling into the UK economy. --


money. That was just to try and keep it going. And that will continue for


a while I think because they simply don't have any option. What has


happened around the world now is investors have begun to believe the


central banks... All that they can do really is whenever there's a


problem, cut interest rates and let's start quantitative easing


again and I think that will happen in the UK. If that were to carry on


this year and maybe next year as well then I can only see the


sterling weakening. We haven't seen markets react too negatively, we've


seen all these huge gains on Wall Street for instance, why don't


markets seem fazed by these political changes? They know there's


a backstop and that is the central bank. In America, it is certainly


the better reserve and in the UK it's the Bank of England and in


Japan it's the Bank of Japan and they know the central banks will


step in because they can't take the risk of armageddon -- Federal


Reserve. Therefore it's almost like governments can do whatever they


want and then you will get the central banks coming in and saying


we will save the day by printing money.


Since that interview with David Kuo earlier, the pound has changed


direction and is currently slipping in Asian trade. In other business


news, US search making giant Intel is forking out $15 billion for


mobile eye, and of Israeli company that develops autonomous driving


systems. They've been working together along with Ian W to put 40


test vehicles on the road later this year. -- an Israeli. Intel says the


driverless market could be worth $70 billion by 2030 -- BMW. Japan has


joined the list of suitors for a huge share sale. Shinzo Abe has


asked King Salman to list shares in Tokyo. Hong Kong, Singapore, New


York and Toronto have been courting the Saudi Iran to share sale. King


Salman said he would consider the request from the Japanese Prime


Minister. Toshiba shares in Japan have fallen 4% in Tokyo on reports


the company will extend the deadline for submitting its earning report


for the second time. There's a reason for the delay, the


conglomerate expects to announce losses of up to $6 billion. Toshiba


is likely to also have to sell off some of its business, so where did


it all go wrong for one of Japan's corporate icons? Here's our Asian


business correspondent Karishma Vaswani.


When you think of Toshiba you probably think of televisions,


computers and possibly cameras but it's no longer the giant it used to


be. Today Toshiba runs businesses in all sorts of sectors and that's part


of the problem. Toshiba started its nuclear business


around ten years ago. It now runs and operates nuclear power plants in


the US, UK and Japan. In fact, the nuclear division makes up about a


third of revenues. Things really started turning sour, though, after


because she in Japan when governments started asking questions


about how much they should depend on nuclear energy for their power


needs. And then Toshiba's nuclear assets in America turned out to be


worth far less than initially thought, so the company's having to


take losses of several billion dollars because of that.


Well, Toshiba has already sold off some of its more profitable


businesses after an accounting scandal back in 2015. But the real


jewel in its crown is the semiconductor business. That makes


chips for smart phones and computers. Toshiba has already said


it will sell off a slice of that business, but it still may not be an


off to plug that whole. What does that mean? Well, Toshiba may not sub


Don Max abide without a Japanese government bailout, which it may get


because it is so important to the economy -- may not survive. In other


news Thailand's company has turned down a bid for the owner of the


Golden Globe TV awards. A clampdown by the Chinese government on


overseas investments is thought to be the main reason. Elrich


industries, the owner of Vic Clarke productions, who owns the Golden


Globes, said they fail to honour contractual obligations -- Dick


Clarke. The financial arm of Siemens has been granted approval to operate


as a merchant bank in Singapore. They want to operate project and


financial lending. Last year they provided $3 billion in funding for


projects in the Asia-Pacific. Thousands of tech leaders, policy


makers as well as celebrities are all flocking to Texas and it's not


just for the famous barbecue and breakfast burritos. It's the


Southwest Southwest conference festival and it's in full swing. Our


North America technology correspondent Dave Lee told us about


the coolest thing that he spotted at the event.


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


favourite services and information from anywhere and at any time


whether they are biking, walking, hiking, when their hands are busy


they should be able to access their favourite services from the cuff of


their sleeve. What is on my calf and how does it work? The interface is


on the material and the other threads integrate together. -- my


calf. We snapped on the tag. You can see it is Bluetooth, a simple brush


gives you the time. It is to 30 7pm. We have the destination in, time to


destination. -- it is 2:37pm. You can also add music. It is 2:37pm.


That is quite expensive. A nice jacket but it feels quite pricey,


how much of that is going on, give it the? Levi's commuter trucker is


going to be $150 without the technology and we think this is


really useful. -- how much of that is going on conductivity? Hope they


come in women's sizes as well. Looking at the markets, they are all


flat to lower at the moment, the Nikkei coming into some profit after


hitting 15 month highs. There's lots of data we are awaiting from China,


getting manufacturing retail sales as well as investment data. That's


it for this edition of Asia Business Report, thanks for watching.