15/02/2018 Asia Business Report


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15/02/2018

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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to those still opposed to Brexit

and says it's cause for hope not

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fear.

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Now on BBC News, all the latest

business news live from Singapore.

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US stocks shrugged off the latest

inflation report despite worries

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that rising prices would trigger

more rate hikes. We will find out

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why. And as Donald Trump cracks down

on immigration, the spouses of

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thousands of Asian immigrants

working there could soon lose their

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jobs. Good morning, Asia. Hello,

world. It is the eve of Chinese New

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Year. Glad you could join us. We

have been waiting for this piece of

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data all week. The latest inflation

number from the world's biggest

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economy. American consumer prices

rising farther than expected in

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January, balancing up by 0.5%.

Economists were expecting a rise by

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0.3%. In increased by 2.1%, the same

pace as the month of December. This

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time, markets were shaken by the

numbers. The NASDAQ gaining 1.9%.

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Our business reporter Joe Miller

explains why.

Job numbers we got a

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couple of weeks ago are up. People

have more money to spend. Really,

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this is quite good news and that may

explain why in the markets haven't

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really reacted in the way we

thought. My inbox has been full all

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week with Wall Street analysts

saying if inflation figures were

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higher than expected, you would see

another sell-off like last week but

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it hasn't happened and that is

because 2.1% in the year of

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inflation is a normal figure for an

economy doing well.

Tens of

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thousands of Indian and Chinese

women in America could soon lose

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their right to work as President

Trump looks to overturn another

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policy from the Obama era. In 2015

the US government granted the

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spouses of highly skilled immigrants

the right to work. Most of these

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foreign workers come from India and

China and the men are liars --

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largely holding the primary visas.

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America is the only home her

children have ever known. Neham

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Majan migrated from India a year

ago. Her husband is on these of a

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highly skilled workers and as a

spouse, she was given the right for

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the first time ever to work in this

country. Now, President Trump hopes

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to revoke that.

I am getting back

into a holding cage. -- it feels

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like I am. It's as if they are

sending a message to me that my

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skill sets and ability don't matter

in this world and I should live the

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life of a homemaker than being a

contributing member of the society.

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Earlier this month she was among a

group of Indians who gathered

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outside the US capital. Tens of

thousands of women from India and

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China are most impacted by the

proposed change because the number

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of immigrants from these countries

are high in the primary visa holders

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are normally men. This is a little

bit of India in New Jersey just

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outside of New York. It is one place

where Indians with technical skills

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have really thrived over the

decades, living the American dream

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and employers have benefited too

because hiring foreigners is

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cheaper. The Obama administration's

decision to allow spouses of foreign

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workers to get a job was opposed by

some groups. It was even challenged

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in court. A case that might be

rendered irrelevant now, given the

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new president's views.

That's

something Trump has been vocal

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about. He wants jobs for Americans

and wages to increase. If you keep

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bringing in more workers, the

employer wins, he gets cheaper

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Labour but that does not help the

American worker.

For many who make

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the journey from India, a country

with social pressures often forced

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women to quit jobs. The idea that

America would deny them that right

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is hard to come to terms with.

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Jacob Zuma has agreed to resign,

avoiding a no-confidence vote

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planned for the same date. We

explain what all this uncertainty is

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doing to the country's currency, the

rand.

The rand will sit as a

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stagnant level as they wait this

change of leadership for more

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business friendly leadership and

that hope, perhaps we're not going

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to see too much movement in the rand

but if things go pear shaped in the

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current state President digs in his

heels and refuses to resign and

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things become chaotic, analysts, as

they say, will see movements as much

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as four, 5% in the rand.

One of

India's biggest banks as detected

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fraud in one of its branches and are

concerns the scandal could spread to

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other banks. We are joined by our

business correspondent in India

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Devina Gupta.

There is a big loop

all in the system that has been

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exposed by this scandal. According

to initial investigation, bank

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employers from the Punjab National

bank were given a letter undertaking

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that is guaranteed that a leading

luxury jeweller can be given loans

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on the basis of that and they were

leased 30 banks which trusted this

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guarantee given by the bank. The

only difference is, these employers

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did not register the guarantee

interbank books which led to about

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$1.8 billion going out of the system

without any record.

How big a blow

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is this to the banking industry?

Well, in India, at least 70% of the

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banking system is owned by the

government and a fall of the

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second-largest government bank with

its employees taking advantage of

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the system speaks of big trouble

because at least 30 banks. The

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government is looking at cleaning up

bad loans in the system. They need

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to start by looking at the scandal

very closely.

They given an update.

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-- thank you for an update. Cisco

Systems has beaten expectations on

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its latest earning report. Revenues

jumping for the first time in two

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years as the company starts to shift

to a software focused company. Cisco

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also announced a $25 billion share

buyback plan helping send shares up

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more than 5% in after-hours trading.

Workers at General Motors factory in

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South Korea have protested after the

automaker said it would shut down

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the plant earlier this week. The

factory in Gunsan had been

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struggling and was running a 20%

capacity in recent years. The moves

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to revamp its loss-making South

Korean odds -- operations a series

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of steps to boost profit ability.

Finally some good news for Toshiba.

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It's got a new boss and it's likely

to have made money for the first

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time in four years. I am joined by

my colleague Marika Oi. It seems the

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fortunes of Toshiba are turning

around in the Year of the Dog.

Every

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time we talked about Toshiba, it was

bad. The accounting scandal, the

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mounting loss of the nuclear

division, and there were read and

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fears that the company could be

delisted from the Tokyo stock

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exchange because of this ballooning

loss. As you say, some good news.

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The company now has a new boss

starting in April. I think we can

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show you the picture of the new

boss. He is Nobuaki Kurumatani, and

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has even worked with ko, which was

at the heart of the Fukushima

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nuclear disaster. -- TEPCO. He looks

like a man on a mission. He is,

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because his first task is to make

sure the sale of the chip business,

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which makes money for Toshiba, goes

smoothly. It is a controversial deal

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and some people have opposed it but

Toshiba really needs that sale to go

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ahead. It needs the money. As you

mentioned, the company has also said

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it may have made money for the first

time in the fiscal year ending in

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March for the first time in four

years which is good news. That means

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the company would avoid being

delisted.

All right, it looks like

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it will be a good year for Toshiba

with this new Chief Executive.

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Marika Oi, how business report. A

quick look at the market 's before

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we go. It is the eve of Chinese New

Year. I'm sure that traders are

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smiling from ear to ear. You have

Australia gaining 0.6%. But the

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Chinese and South Korean markets are

closed today due to the Lunar New

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Year holidays. Have great Thursday,

everyone. Sport Today is up next.

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