10/05/2017 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.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 10/05/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



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


Australia logs a decade of Budget deficits, putting its AAA credit


rating at risk. Soars to an all-time high, adding $1 million to its


market value -- Bitcoin soars to an all-time high. It is Wednesday. Glad


you could join us for this midweek edition of Asia Business Report. I


am Rico Hizon. Australia's Budget is expected to be in the red until at


least 2021, and markets are down. As you can take a look at the market


boards, the ASX 200 has fallen nearly one third of a percent in


early trade. Late on Tuesday the government announced a huge


infrastructure spending plan worth $55 million -- $55 billion and the


stimulus is expected to create thousands of jobs across the country


but will also lead to a wider than expected deficit of $22 billion for


the current fiscal year. Earlier I spoke to the realm -- earlier I


spoke to Cherelle Murphy from ANZ bank. We are likely to get a few


more deficits from here on in. We were heavily impacted by the global


financial crisis, and we are really just still recovering from that.


There has been certainly a lot of changes in taxes, particular at the


household level, and new spending measures which were put in when


times were good and of course now that times are a little bit tougher,


and particularly with commodity prices having come off their highs


from 2011, it has been harder and harder for the government to get


revenue back up to where it used to be ten years ago. And with more


deficits to come, Cherelle, is Australia's AAA rating at risk?


Look, I think the credit rating agencies will not he urgently moving


to move our credit rating. I wouldn't say that the issue has been


put to bed though, either. There are certainly some things in the Budget


that would comfort the credit rating agencies, the fact that the


government removed the so-called zombie measures, measures from


previous budgets which were never realistically going to get through


the Parliament. The government removed all of them, it was a cost


of $13 billion to do so. Credit rating agencies didn't like that.


Also the new policy is that the government has brought in are


arguably more likely to pass the Parliament so the Budget looks more


credible. Also, of course, there is a return to surplus projected by the


end of the forward estimates, so by 2019/2020, sorry, I 2020 one. And


what that means is of course that there is a recovery plant through


both revenues and expenditure. Now, a lot of analysts, including


yourself, have criticised the government in the past for being a


little bit too optimistic about that. But you would have to say that


now, compared to more recent years, we do have a more likely outcome of


surpluses, given the economy is starting to pick up. And Miss Murphy


referred to comment on the Australian government's new bank


tax. Treasurer Scott Morrison hopes to raise $4.6 billion from the levy


from the balance sheets of the country's five largest banks. It is


estimated it will add 10% to their liabilities. The Australian bankers


Association slammed the move move, saying it is a direct attack on jobs


and growth. In business news making headlines, shares in Rupert


Murdoch's news Corp rising 2% after its earnings beat forecast, much of


the growth coming from the expansion of its real estate website which had


a big increase in traffic. As well as profits and revenue. Shares in


Walt Disney falling nearly 2% after its revenues missed market


expectations, coming in slightly under forecast at $13.3 billion.


Disney's boss says there has been significant growth in subscribers to


digital services, but not enough to make up for losses. Bitcoin surged


above $1700 for the first time ever. In the last 24 hours alone its


market cap has risen by more than $1 billion, according to an industry


website. But in India, where there have been complaints that virtual


currencies are being used for money-laundering, the government has


been pressured into figuring out how to manage them. Will regulation


help? Our correspondent spoke to Michelle Gupta, part of a foundation


to monitor transparency in India's market. The Bitcoin market has been


growing at 100% per annum. It is a million-dollar company within the


foundation. In India, the growth has been phenomenal. And I think there


is a lot of attention within the media in the country and it has led


to the government paying attention to it. But if you look at the


comments from the Indian government, they are really concerned about


Bitcoin. The Finance Minister has said that people should be cautious,


they shouldn't deal in Bitcoin. You have a Member of Parliament who has


called it a 'Ponzi' scheme, a pyramid 'Ponzi' scheme. The central


bank has warned investors, so clearly there are consequences. The


volatility involved, they will make an informed choice in terms of


making investment in Bitcoin or other crypto currencies. And as far


as people calling it a 'Ponzi' scheme, there have been some


instances in India where certain pyramid scheme companies have turned


up across India, and that is probably creating emotion, and the


popularity of Bitcoin means they have nothing to do with Bitcoin, and


they offer unrealistic returns to investors. I think it is fair for


the government to warn the general public that they need to be aware.


And people need to be more aware and understanding of how Bitcoin works.


So what are the benefits of Bitcoins? What are the advantages if


they legalise? I think Bitcoin has advantages in India. Creating a bank


account is still not easy, and we are seeing this penetration of


mobile technology and systems like Bitcoin make it cost-effective for


people who come into the financial inclusion system, and there are real


implications for that. The second part of it is value transfer. There


are billions of dollars which come in, and the costs are really high.


If the governments and banks would Hamas the power of technology and


instruments like Bitcoin, that could really bring down the costs -- would


harness the power. The problem the US economy has with migrant workers


is that it needs more of them. Agriculture and tourism is feel it


particularly badly. Our correspondent reports from a farm in


New Jersey. Farmer Kurt Dawson get to spend as much time in the field


as he used to, or as he would like. He is a first-generation farmer. For


him, agriculture was a calling, to do God's work. As we to his 600 acre


property, he admits his business would not be thriving without


outside help. Agriculture as we know it would not be able to survive if


the people who were working today as undocumented workers were not in the


workforce. During peak season, Farmer Kurt has more than 200 people


working for him. 50 are here on temporary visas, like Ivan. He


leaves his wife and two daughter 's Arica eight months of the year and


has been doing so for the last six six years. -- in Costa Rica. You


can't find sufficient Labour, and you don't know from year-to-year if


you are going to be able to find the workers legally. So you wonder why


people turn to doing things under the table, and why they turned to an


undocumented worker. Because we don't even have the resources in


place to allow legitimate employers the legal means to hire people


properly. This farm depends on guest workers, but the application process


for temporary visas is expensive and cumbersome. Farmer Kurt needs more


workers, and needs them faster, and it would seem, so does the US


economy. We have very close to full employment. That is great, and it is


good for... We want wages to grow up, and we wanted to a tight Labour


market we want the economy to expand beyond the current Labour force, so


I think you do need immigrants to come in and help that to expand. I


think that is a good thing. The rhetoric surrounding immigration has


become harsher and focused on more and more constraint. But the fact is


that a huge number of American businesses in different industries


are dependent on the Labour of overseas workers. And what these


businesses want is for the President and for Congress to focus on the


reality. Let's have a look at the markets, and Asia is currently mixed


in early morning trade, due to revive the worries about North Korea


and the lacklustre mood on Wall Street overnight. Tokyo's stocks


opening higher as the yen remains weak on expectations for global


recovery growing. Expectations are down due to lower oil prices. Thank


you for investing your time with us. Have a wonderful Wednesday,


everyone. I am Rico Hizon. Goodbye for now.


You are watching BBC News, I'm Greg Dawson.


The top stories this hour: US President Donald Trump has


Download Subtitles