18/02/2016 BBC Business Live


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 18/02/2016. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



This is Business Live from BBC News with Ben Thompson and Aaron


Reshaping Britain's relationship with the European Union -


businesses on tenterhooks as leaders of the world's biggest trading bloc


gathering in Brussels to try to hammer out a deal.


Live from London, that's our top story on Thursday


Trade figures from Japan shows exports falling


again, squeezed by China's waning appetite for its goods.


Is it yet more evidence that the country's Abenomics


And higher education and lower prices.


We'll get the inside track on cut-price university courses.


As the University of the People delivers online teaching


without the heavy cost, we'll find out how it works.


And since it's a topic we just can't escape here in the UK -


the Business battles over Brexit - so we want to know what do


Would British business be better off in or outof the European Union?


You can't have failed to notice the clamour and excitement


European leaders prepare for a summit today on the future


For the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, that means fighting


for changes to the way the region is run.


It's a big deal for companies, who all want certainty in a time


So amid all this Brexit chatter - what do businesses really think?


Those wanting to stay in the EU, claim trade and productivity


Then there's growth - French bank Societe Generale says


leaving the EU could "reduce British economic growth,


And that could hurt the currency, Japanese bank Nomura believes


"the pound could fall 10 to 15% if overseas investors


The voices that want out of the EU club, such as leading figures


in the Commonwealth, have cited immigration


as an obstacle, saying they face difficulties employing people


And small business groups complain about "EU red tape" and want rules


that unfairly impact small business liberalised.


Others, like white goods manufacturer Ebac, said the UK


needed its own trade policy to strike deals with growing


Professor Nigel Driffield, Strategy and International Business


at Warwick Business School, joins us from there,


and David Buik from market commentator Panmure Gordon


Let me start with Nigel. Good to have you. Viewers around the world


watching this they perhaps are starting to


What is more expensive! Bad news from Japan - exports have fallen for


a fourth straight month. The value of country's exports fell by 12.9%


in January from a year earlier. Ali Moore is in Singapore for us. I can


only imagine with all of the other bad news that Japan has been


injuring, they do need this like a hole in the head and policymakers


must be struggling to reignite the world's third biggest economy? This


is the biggest fall in annual exports since the financial crisis.


No surprise that it has been put down to weaker demand from China,


one of the key trading partners, exports fell by 17.5%. Another


headache for policymakers. On Monday we find out that the economy in


Japan is shrinking again. Partly because of a very big demand --


decline in consumption, the central bank pushing interest rates below


zero, there are not many tools left, remarkably, investors seem sanguine,


the Nikkei closed up by more than 2%. Thank you very much. We can show


you those numbers. Tokyo shares closed up more than 2% higher today,


bouncing back from losses to extend a global rally fuelled by a surge in


oil prices. And Yesterday European markets saw some of their best gains


so far this year, as financial stocks and commodity prices soared,


led by that gain in crude oil prices. Last night's Fed minutes may


well have helped, too - they showed that policymakers are cautious about


a deterioration in financial conditions around the world. Another


factor weighing on the Fed was the response of Chinese policymakers and


what they'll do about slowing growth. Michelle Dewberry has the


details of the day ahead on Wall Street. If you had to pick one


company whose performance stands as a measure for all of the consumer


sector in America you could do worse than Walmart, the world's biggest


bricks and mortar chain Alyce annual earnings on Thursday and it is


possible they would show the first decline in revenue for 25 years. It


is not expected to be by much and the company still rakes in nearly


500 billion dollars every year. But the profits are also expected to


slip slightly. However, shares have been rising in recent months as


investors improve the cost-cutting measures and its attempts to lay


claim to online shopping. Also out tomorrow, weekly job figures which,


as always, will capture plenty of investor attention. We can stay with


the markets. Joining us is Brenda Kelly, Head Analyst at London


Capital Group.. And happy birthday. Thank you for coming in on Europe


birthday! Bonjour? I am trying to keep the European theme going! We


were talking about oil, we thought yesterday that Iran will not listen


to that freezing. With all of those agreed freezes. We thought Iran will


not do that give us the update, Russia says no? They say they will


not necessarily keep it frozen in 2016 so we have record levels of oil


being pumped by these countries and freezing them is one thing but


ultimately demand is not there and over the next couple of years we


will see demand for oil dropping back considerably so with supply


still very much front and foremost, it is looking very shaky for oil


prices to consider -- maintain. The reason for the jump was the weekly


inventory which is lower than expected but that could just be one


weekly point that we do not depend on, the real driver is supplied,


which is high, although possibly frozen, and demand is weakening and


China is one of the biggest slowing down economies and that is one of


the reasons behind lower demand. Yesterday, the minutes from the Fed,


they give packed on the markets. We can see what is happening already.


Yesterday there was a big boost for the US markets and Asian markets


from what we heard from the Fed. Yes, the fact that there are


different headwinds, not necessarily just domestic, preventing this hike


in interest rates. We have seen something of a balanced but we are


still in this tightening all Aussie when it comes to the Federal Reserve


so any up the news might well make them rollback on what they said at


the last meeting. And we could well see interest rate hikes in the next


year but the market is not pressing anything. It is pressing a cut from


the Federal Reserve, albeit a small probability. That would mean a big


change in the picture. He must come back and take us through the papers.


Higher education, lower price. We will see you shortly.


We meet the firm offering university courses for a fraction of the price


And it's aiming for students in the developing world.


We look at the rise of online learning -


can you really get higher education at rock bottom prices?


You're with Business Live from BBC News.


There has been a sharp fall in profits at Centrica,


But it's a different story for British Gas itself.


Our industry correspondent John Moylan has the details.


They up, down, can you explain it? British Gas is the residential arm


of Centrica and profits soared at ?574 million, the best performance


since 2014. The two main reasons the company are stating is that the


customers used more gas in 2015. Temperatures at the beginning of


2015 were more normal whereas the previous year they had been slightly


milder so customers used less gas. The second thing is that the company


has to insulate people's homes, the equal scheme the Government insisted


on, and the cost of that were less than the previous year. However, I


sat down in front of the boss of Centrica, Iain Conn, and put to him


that surely this is because the companies have not been passing on


the big pitfalls we have seen in gas to customers over the past few


years. This is what he had to say. Because we buy some of our gas and


head of time, her cost of gas is down 24% -- our cost. People need to


remember nearly 60% of the bill is not the actual commodity, and as a


result our costs have come down just over 10% and we reduced prices --


reduced prices by 10% last year. Furthermore we made a third


production at the end of this year making a total of 14% so we really


are trying to pass everything onto the consumer to be as competitive as


we can be. Profit up at British Gas but down at the parent company,


Centrica, which has been really hit by the falling global oil and gas


prices and it also has a lot of pirate stations and the price of


power, electricity, has fallen in the UK as well. As always, thanks,


our industry correspondent there. The number of UK homes worth more


than ?1 million, set to triple by 2030. Look at that. That is just


yours? Yeah right! Unbelievable. In or out - we're not talking


about the hokey kokey. European leaders are in Brussels


to try to agree a deal on key reforms, that will ultimately decide


whether Britain stays or leaves Full coverage of that across the BBC


today. Now - if you've been


to university or college - But many believe such an education


should be available for all, And one man has set up the first


non-profit, tuition Shai Reshef, founded


the University of the People. Its open to students around


the world and currently has more than 3000 students


from 180 countries. It's not completely free, however -


there is a small charge for most students, with a payment of $100


for the exam processing fee. And it's already attracting


the high-calibre staff with academics from Harvard,


Stanford and Yale. And Unesco estimates


that by the year 2025, there will be


98 million young people seeking seats in universities that don't


physically exist. Shai Reshef, president and founder


of University of the People, Shai, great to have you with us in


the studio. This is amazing that the first question that comes to your


mind looking at the numbers, how do you make money? We don't. It is


nonprofit, however we rely on everything free on the Internet,


open source technology, open educational resources and


volunteers. We have 4000 professors who jumped on board to help achieve


our mission and as such we are able to beat tuition free. Moreover, by


the end of this year we are sustainable -- be tuition free. You


are not for profit, but I mean it must take money to run what you are


offering. Yes, as I said, we are going to be sustainable but until


that point we are supported by foundations, with many great


individuals and corporations standing behind us to make it


happen. If I fancied a change of career and came to you and I wanted


to study to be an astrophysicist or something... What would it cost me?


What would I need to subscribe to, to pay, to join the University? We


only offer a business administration...


LAUGHTER However, as I said, $100 per exam,


$100 a year for the students who study full-time. How does that


compare with cost around the world? We know that depending where you


study the cost can be very different. Give us sense of how that


compares? That is a good question. Compared to the USA, it might be


about 1% of the cost, in other countries it varies, and a fraction


of the cost here in the UK. In other countries, however, I think the most


important thing to say is it is a remission that no one will be left


behind for financial reasons and as such we offer scholarships who


cannot afford even this amount. Yes, I wanted to ask about that. Speaking


about developing countries as well. $1000 is still a lot of money for


many people, particularly in developing countries full stop what


opportunities do you have four people their? We have scholarships.


It is our aim that no student should be left behind for financial reasons


and we have scholarships to enable students to go. Right now, I mean,


lately we announced 500 scholarships for Syrian refugees. We have


scholarships for different genders, nationalities and different cultures


who need help and we bring them to study with ours. Tuition free. It is


really nice to see. I am sorry time is against us. But good luck with


it. An amazing system. Shai, the founder of the University Of The


People. Lets take a quick look


at the stories making business The Wall Street Journal has


"Overproduction Swamps Smaller Chinese Cities,


Revealing Depth of Crisis". Above a photo of stored


cement mixer bodies, it says that Beijing had hoped that


smaller Chinese cities would help drive the expansion of the middle


class and sustain economic growth. The New York Times says the battle


between Apple and law enforcement officials over unlocking


a terrorist's smartphone is the culmination of a turning


of the tables between the technology And the Daily Telegraph claims


new research shows home sellers lose out on thousands of pounds


if properties lack 'kerb appeal'. It says what people need


to do is tidy the garden, Brenda Kelly, head analyst


at London Capital Group, Where shall we start? Let's start


with this amount. China three years prior to a year ago, the use more


cement than all of the native state of the 20th century. That is not the


case? It is not the case, and certainly the way China has been


restructuring its economy it has been trying to reorganise our lot of


the rural parts of it and create a more reformed middle-class, building


itself from within rather than depending on exports but because of


the cheap credit and the fact there has been overproduction domestically


it has created a slowdown in growth in China. A very interesting story


here based on small city, which is ultimately seeing slower growth at


the moment. Did you know that China actually provides 80% of the global


supply of shiitake mushrooms? Which I did not know! No! There you go.


They are trying to provide growth because there are so many other


growers in the sector, and it is producing havoc. The smaller farmers


are starting to feel the bite so the global slowdown is starting to get


into regular people's lives. Let top national obsession, global


obsession. House prices. This statistic. You stand to lose this


money if you do not keep up, and if you have a BMW in the drive? Yes,


people prefer a mini Cooper or something. They don't like BMWs. I


don't know why. There must be some kind of connotation to owning a BMW.


You could lose up to 20% of the value of your house if you do not


pay the upper around it. That makes sense to an extent but 20% is a huge


amount for just one thing that of paint on the door and weeding run


the front. But this amounts up to about ?100,000 loss. Wonderful


stuff. Happy birthday again. Thank you for coming in.


There will be more business news throughout the day on the BBC Live


webpage and on World Business Report.


Download Subtitles