04/08/2017 Asia Business Report

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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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that uncertainty over Brexit has hit high-street spending and business


Now, all the latest business in Singapore.


Tour to reverse its earnings. Will profits be next to roll off the


assembly line? And we size up the petition as Amazon dies into the


already crowded Southeast Asian e-commerce market. Good morning,


welcome to Asian business report live from Singapore with me, Marika


Oi. Our top story, Toyota is due to release its earnings this afternoon.


The focus is also on media reports that Toyota and Mazda will announce


a $1.6 billion assembly plant in the US later today according to The Wall


Street Journal. Toyota was the only Japanese carmaker which saw its


sales rise in the most important market, the United States, in the


month of July. Its smaller rivals struggled in the US but Honda posted


strong results next with cheap Japanese yen and solid demand in


Asia. Not as good for Nissan which reported a sharp drop in profit. One


analyst told me why Honda is doing much better than the others. There


are some earnings in the United States which have been very weak


across-the-board soap Honda as well is Nissan did seek a very weak


market sales in the United States. The things which Honda did well is


the motorcycle business and earnings and profitability from motorcycles


did improve quite a bit in this first quarter, partly because they


had serious damage in the first quarter last year as a result of the


earthquake. In the case of Nissan, they do not have any motorcycle


business and their US sales have been so, so. In terms of


profitability, we did see a big dip in the United States in this first


quarter so as far as automobiles are concerned, not so much of a


difference between Honda and Nissan. I want to ask you about Takata which


provides seatbelts and airbags. Takata recently filed for bankruptcy


and it's been making headlines for all the wrong reasons and Japanese


carmakers have been affected by it. Will that continue affecting those


automakers? The worst is over. As far as the losses associated with


this recall, it's was almost reported last you buy this Japanese


car makers so we're not really expecting so much of a continuous


damage from this deal, even though having said that, there still seems


to be class-action cases in the United States going on and there


might be some legal impact out of this class action case. Especially


Honda, Toyota, Nissan. Ridesharing service Uber has apologised to be


using recall Honda vessels in Singapore that had not been


repaired. The Wall Street Journal says Uber was aware of the fact --


the defects and rented them to drivers. Our report has been


monitoring the story. Uber has acknowledged in a statement to the


BBC that it could have done more to avoid this problem and they have


since introduced much more robust protocols. Essentially they bought


more than 1000 defective cars. Some of these had been recalled last year


over a faulty electrical component. And catch fire, the Vezel did. One


driver had his dashboard and interior burst into flame and crack


a big hole in his windshield. This was first reported by The Wall


Street Journal and thankfully the driver is unhurt. This is just the


latest in a long line of scandals that Uber has been facing this year


so it may be a case of Uber expanding too fast, too quickly


without putting proper systems in place. Amazon's entry into


Singapore's tiny market last week has shone a spotlight on the island


nation's driving e-commerce sector. We have been finding out more about


this market. We just found out the location of the first Australian


warehouse. Amazon seems to be investing a lot of money in the


region, putting a lot of pressure on local competitors. This is a


potential market in Southeast Asia of 600 million customers across the


ASEAN area and even though these countries are a different economic


stages, the prize is getting into these big markets, Indonesia,


Thailand, millions of people who are getting on to their mobile phones


and shopping away not nobody's business. I went on a bit of a


shopping trip to find out for myself.


Traditionally this is how most Singaporeans have shopped, adding to


the supermarket to pick up their weekly supplies of fruit, vegetables


and other groceries but the statistics show that this is


changing and it's not just in Singapore. It is a pattern being


observed across the Asia-Pacific region. Increasingly, people are


stepping out of the shops and doing their shopping on line. By some


estimates, e-commerce in Southeast Asia is currently thought to be


worth some $55 billion. By 2025, that will shoot up to more than $80


billion. And these are just conservative figures. Which is why


US on line retail giant Amazon decided to make its Singapore debut


last month with this 100,000 square feet facility. We know that


Singapore consumers are busy, they love convenience and really,


consumers would love the idea of having a range of products available


and make don't want to or can't make a trip, this is where they come. But


Singapore is just an entry point and it's a crowded market. Meet


Rosalita, who was a housewife and get paid to do it for others. She


works for a Singapore e-commerce firm. The reason why South East Asia


is attractive today is because everywhere else is slowing down. The


collection of different Southeast Asian states are accelerating the


growth, be it Indonesia or Thailand or the Philippines. There is a lot


of competition. The biggest player is China's Alibaba, which owns


Lazada. There are dozens of other players vying for space across the


region but they will not all survived. We will expect


consolidation of next year, to compete with a lot of the bigger


players. But for those employed in the Southeast Asian e-commerce


space, time are good, for now at least and for customers, well, a


little competition can be a good thing.


Do you like to go fast because Elon Musk's last transportation system


could be sent a reality. Hyperloop One what in the Nevada desert reach


speeds of up to 650 kilometres an hour. This is the beginning and the


dawn of a new era of transportation, the first new major former trust the


patient in 100 years and it sounds incredible, it's the future, it is


the sound of the future and it's going to basically change the way we


live, where we work and make the world a much smaller place and turn


cities into Metro stops. Let's show you the markets before we


go because all markets you are trading lower. Japan is down under


0.5%, mainly the case of the Japanese yen which has been quite


strong against the US dollar. Overnight in the US, will be -- Wall


Street fell slightly after the blue-chip index hit a new all-time


high on Thursday. That's if this of Asia Business Report. We will be


back next hour. Thank you for watching.