10/03/2016 BBC Business Live


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This is Business Live from BBC News with Maryam Moshiri and Sally


This is Business Live from BBC News with Maryam Moshiri and Sally


More stimulus is expected today from the European Central Bank -


Live from London, that's our top story on Thursday the 10th of March.


All eyes are on Mario Draghi - will the man dubbed super Mario be


able to bring sustained growth - or is Europe's central bank


High rise, high cost - we'll find out why Singapore


And the markets look like this right now as investors await Mr Draghi's


And flexible working - we'll be talking to one company


which is benefiting from the rise in professionals working from home.


And you've just heard that Singapore is the world's most expensive city -


Today we want to know......What do you think makes a city expensive?


All eyes are on the European Central Bank in Frankfurt to see if the man


dubbed super Mario can deliver a recipe to bring sustained


In just a few hours we'll find out Mario Draghi's plans to deal


with dangerously low inflation, and slugglish growth.


Let's take a look at the situation as it stands.


growth in December, central bank lowered its interest rate further


into negative territory - to minus 0.3 percent.


It's expected to be cut further todayOver the past year the bank has


also spent more than 700 billion euros -


that's 60 billion a month - buying government bonds and assets,


in an effort to tackle low inflation.


Last month prices actually fell, bringing deflation back


And in the last three months of 2015 - the region's economy barely grew


Many experts doubt whether further stimulus will work.


That includes the man who's known as the father of the Euro -


former ECB board member Otmar Issing.


Professor Lorenzo Codogno from the European Institute


What are you expecting to happen today? There are three possible


options. The ECB could do much of the same, so to speak. The same


tools that have been used so far, increasing the size of the monthly


purchase, according to the asset purchase programme. They could


extend the length of the programme, so


basically, extended by six months, and I think this is already


discounted by financial markets. Kind of policy tools that have been


used so far can be expanding. And in terms of the depositary, they can


introduce a two tier system that would reduce the costs of the banks.


We are still within the traditional tool. Then, I think the market would


want to see something more, and it is reasonable to expect something


more from the ECB. There are two options.


Improve the transmission of monitoring policies, and


on the access and the liability side, or broaden the scope of the


programme, throughout the whole of the economy.


We might see a mix of both things. In your opinion,


how effective is this all, but if they did not do any


other stimulants, where would we be now?


don't have the counterfactual. We don't know what would have


happened without the action by the ECB.


ECB has been effective in stopping a more disastrous scenario. Has it


been affected to turn expectations been affected to turn expectations


in terms of have had Germany slightly against


that? lowering the depositary even more,


so if, Honda may be preparing to compensate


dealers in the US over the massive recall linked to potentially faulty


airbags - this according to the industry magazine Automotive


News. In January Honda ordered a halt


of 1.7 million vehicles sales The latest inflation data out


of China shows that consumer prices have risen at the fastest rate


since the middle of 2014. The CPI index rose by 2.3


percent in February, with food price inflation


coming in at 7.3 percent. Last month, Lunar New Year


celebrations took place across much of Asia, with food retailers


hiking prices in response Let's take a look at some of the


stories. It is a retail sector that is in


focus, and the supermarket chain has announced declining profits for a


fourth year in a row. of the high street supermarkets in


the UK. To take a look at our website as when you


Singapore has again been judged as the world's most expensive city


Leisha Chi is in there and can tell us more.


Singapore has been ranked the most expensive city. Here, we


don't have very extravagant lifestyles! The biggest reason why


it keeps topping the ranking is the cost of


buying and owning a car here. We don't only pay to import the


vehicle, there is a feat to have the privilege of


owning -- owning it. The cost of that, you could buy a house


somewhere else. Transport costs are nearly three times higher than New


York, which is the base city in the survey. It is worth noting -- it is


worth noting the expatriates, and they packed into the calculation is.


Expats would tapped to pay for international schools. They would


pay for condos as opposed to government housing. That is worth


keeping in mind. Another thing worth noting from the survey is that


Chinese cities are also worth -- rocketing up the rankings.


Asian stocks closed higher this Thursday.


Expectations are high too ahead of the ECB meeting later.


We also had some better than expected Chinese inflation


In Europe the markets are open and it's all


about the European Central Bank today - with the prospect of more


monetary stimulus measures whetting investors' appetite.


And Michelle Fleury has the details about what's ahead


Investors here in the US will be keeping a close eye on the European


Central Bank monetary policy meeting. No change is expected here,


when the Federal reserve holds its policy meeting next week. In


Washington, President Obama has a visit from Justin Trudeau. Both US


and Canada are hoping to rebuild ties which deteriorated under his


predecessor. The head of VW's operations in the US, Michael Horn,


is leaving. In a statement, the German said on Wednesday that Mr


Hall leaving immediately. From the early days, Michael Horn was


instrumental in dealing with the response to the emissions scandal.


Joining us is Jane Sydenham, Investment Director


Michelle talking about it, we are all talking about it. In Asia, we


were talking about it. He ECB, if were talking about it. He ECB, if


they don't do anything, it is going to be interesting for markets expect


it will be disappointing, and it is a very difficult start the year,


with Chinese slowdown worries about that. So the markets would


definitely appreciate a confidence boost. If we don't get it, yes.


Having been through this year, it was not that long ago that the


German finance minister was saying that Deutsche Bank is OK. That was


this year. This is all the pressure on the ECB. A lot of what is going


on in China is adding to the deflationary fear. Could China


devalue its currency which would export deflation to the rest of the


world, and put more pressure on Europe? There is much to worry


about. Will the markets be happy whatever he does? It just seems that


whatever the ECB does do, it does not seem to be enough. I think that


is true to some extent, but suddenly having that stimulus, giving -- cone


that what Lorenzo was saying, we don't know what would have happened,


but we can be reasonably confident that we would not be much worse, and


that undoubtedly helps confidence to some extent. To what extent do other


central bankers... And the central bank in Japan, what do you think


about it diverging? It is important is Palis, the world is very


interconnected. Has anyone major trading bloc Unter particular


pressure undermines everyone else. It is important that they do


coordinate. Jane will return. We coordinate. Jane will return. We


happen to board to discuss, And flexible working -


we'll be talking to one company which is benefiting from rise


in professionals working from home. You're with Business Live from BBC


News. The Competition and Markets


Authority has announced plans this morning to fix the energy


market which is dominated Despite a big push to encourage


consumers to shop around, there are still concerns that


competition isn't working, and prices of gas and


electricity are too high. The CMA has spent two years looking


into it and last summer said residential customers have been


overpaying by an average of 5%, For the past 22 years,


Anne Gardner from Kent has been paying for her energy


in the same way. Like millions of people


across the UK, Anne uses Anne has a low income


but being on the meter means she routinely misses out on much


cheaper energy deals. You have to have a certain amount


of budget that you can spare to put And then if it turns really cold


and we just can't afford it, it is a case of, go and get


into your bed, or put on an extra jumper, an extra coat,


just something to wrap up I mean, you just cannot stretch


the money any further But an 18 month energy market


investigation has now concluded that The Competition and Markets


Authority has now proposed an energy price cap, for the 4 million


households on prepayment meters. Competitors will also be able


to access a database of users on standard tariffs,


so they can offer them better deals. And the watchdog also says the rules


of suppliers can offer just four The real headline is there is some


really good deals out But about two thirds


of us do not take them. We sit on the default tariffs,


which is about 25% or 30% more Our solution to this is going to be


to make it easier for people to switch, better informed,


cheaper, much less hassle. And we firmly believe that we're


well on the way to making this Last year the CMA found that


millions of households were paying The lack of competition has cost


consumers up to ?1.7 billion a year. That is ?500 million more


than it previously thought. If you want more information on that


story and plenty others you can go to the website.


Our top story: Reaching for the Big Bazooka again.


More stimulus is expected today from the European Central Bank.


We'll find out in a few hours' time.


Flexible working has often been touted as a way to improve company


Letting staff do hours which suit their families and work


from home has also been linked to a strong rise in the use


Powownow is a phone and video conference service which was set


It says it's one of Europe's fastest growing providers.


It operates across 15 European countries,


It's managing director is Jason Downes, who's been


You look happy in that photo. Threw is a business that lets people


thought which other for business purposes, lots of companies do a


similar service, like Skype, for example. Why would somebody choose


Powwownow, which I must admit I had not heard of until today. Lots of


our customers talk to me about the fact it is nice and easy, you can


register and the user within 90 seconds. They love the reliability,


it simply doesn't know, and we are very flexible in terms of tailoring


and approach right for their business. What kind of customer base


do you normally look at? We have a lovely spectrum, the largest group


are small and medium enterprises, they really embraced technology and


they can be spending less than ?100,000 a year with us but they use


the service for everything. Last week we had a large retailer doing a


big company announcement to 3000 people. There are various ways of


paying for this, just talk us through that, because many people


believe and assume it is quite a complicated process and quite


tricky. Again what customers tell us is as nice and simple. A number of


customers we never actually built, it is part of your phone contract


and your relationship with your mobile phone on landline provider.


-- Bill. You said it never goes wrong, that is quite of old


statement, especially with telecommunications, that is one of


the frustrations when you on a conference call and try to talk to


someone. You on hold all the connection drops or something. How


can you make the guarantee? I have been there for three years and I


have had one complaint on audio in the UK. Your company does conference


calling, never considered this sexy thing, howdy make that sexy interims


on marketing? The how do you. We try to make it fun so we talk about how


you can save money travelling but much more fun was last year we ran a


campaign about avoiding the horror of travel, talking about the horrors


of commuting around London. Sounds about right. It is Horrell pull-out


there. This year we have a theme about slightly overweight


gymnastics, the joys of bringing flexible working life. You get fat


working from home? You have more time to go to the gym. You have


looked into the issue of flexible working probably because you want to


expand your customer base but you have found that Flex for working is


not as available as we might perhaps thing. -- flexible working. We have


done some surveys and staggeringly 75% of people have no flexible


working options. In the UK. Why is that? Some of it is still fear, I


cannot see you or he, what are you doing? That is an old-fashioned


management technique. -- or hear you. If you talk about output rather


than input and regularly during the case using iMeet or even a simple


conference call chat you can find out. The new CEO of Yahoo famously


stopped working from home policy she argued that a lot of the creativity


and new ideas come when people are together working and chatting in


corridors. It depends what you want, for creativity are great but some


jobs you cannot work from home. Yes we could, we could present... The


technology is there, if you want to get people have a big video call. If


you want to find out some quickfire ideas do some messages. You can


share your screen or present what you want. It is old-fashioned to


think you cannot do things now. We could probably do the show in a


different way but you could be presenting from home. In pyjamas and


slippers. I am sure they would be some demand for that... Thank you so


much. Really interesting. Let's see what other stories


are being talked interesting. We will be talking through Singapore


and why it is the most expensive city and a massive cruise ship, but


here is a reminder first of how to get in touch with us. The business


life pages where you can stay ahead of all the days breaking business


news and keep up-to-date with all of the latest details with insight and


analysis from editors around the world. And we want to hear from you.


Get involved on the web page and on twitter. And you can find us on


What other business stories has the media been taking


Jane Sydenham, Investment Director at Rathbones Investment Management,


let's start with the Singapore straits times, reporting on the fact


that Singapore is one of the world's most expensive cities. This is the


Economist intelligence unit reporting on this. Tell us more


about this. I imagine anybody watching in Singapore would say it


is true. It all comes down to demand. Singapore is often called


the Geneva of the Far East, it has a very good legal system, lots of


companies and individuals want to go and work there. They want to have


their trusts managed there, there is a lot of demand. That pushes up the


cost of housing off course. We have talked about cars and transport and


how expensive that is. Just those things alone make life but it's


pensive, even though actually food and day-to-day essentials may not be


quite as expensive. -- they make life quite expensive. We are seeing


here that London was sixth most expensive, New York seven. This


obviously compares more than 160 items you might buy if you are


living there. What is interesting and I think is how much cities have


moved. Australia has dropped quite a long way per click because of


currency. That makes a big difference. -- partly because of.


Currencies have been volatile this last year. Let's share what you have


been saying to us. Simon saying we asked you how you would measure the


most expensive city, Simon suggesting the small chocolate bar


cost depends where I am, the same chocolate bar would sell for more in


London, even more in Singapore. He is in Farnborough. Depends on the


chocolate bar... James Newman says, expensive city is social aspects,


civilised, refined culture, social aspirations, not just expensive


goods. It is not just about how much you spend, also about the culture.


Yes, exactly. Let's talk about this, I have mentioned it a few Times, the


viewers will feel they have been short-changed, Harmony On The Seas,


almost as long as the Eiffel Tower is high, 8000 passengers. It is a


city on the sea will stop a theme park, I gather there is a water


slide over ten stories. Different entertainment errors. The


reinvention of cruising, he used to be something that only elderly


people did, now families are very keen, there is endless entertainment


and interest for children. And all age groups. Now you will see the


marketing has changed, when I was a little younger you would cruises as


being something for the older person, but actually these for a


young famine would be amazing. We have the Chief Executive of Carnival


here several times and he talked about it at length but it is


interesting, lots of people today, hardly any of them have been on a


cruise because of the stigma. Despite the fact that obviously the


industry is ill doing a hell of a lot to transform cell. My husband


was trying to persuade me. I quite like the idea of a zip file on deck.


This has climbing walls, surfing machines, all sorts of things. And


also places where people have very young children. Would you come off


the boat? You can potter around. Also that if the family goes to a


hotel or resort there is not to do but actually they do not move around


very much. If there is constant entertainment, as long as children


are happy then parents are happy. Thank you very much for coming in.


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


webpage and on World Business Report.


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