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This is Business Live from BBC News with Sally Bundock and Ben Thompson.
Japan's central bank holds fire on further stimulus -
but what's left to do to boost its slowing economy?
Live from London, that's our top story on Tuesday 15th March.
Japan's Central bank holds fire on further stimulus and gives
a bleaker view of the future - so how will it boost
Music to Sony's ears; the entertainment giant buys part
of pop legend Michael Jackson's music empire with lucrative rights
share markets are under pressure with the price of oil remaining
below 40 dollars a barrel, we'll talk you through
And predicting the future, we'll get the inside track from one
entrepreneur who says she can tell business what the future holds
by taking the guess work out of forecasting.
The global cosmetics firm moves its headquarters
But is it a vote of confidence in the country despite
Let us know, use the hashtag, BBC Biz Live.
It's the big week for central banks in our major economies;
Japan, the US and UK are among the five laying out rates decisions.
Today, the Bank of Japan held fire on lowering rates
The BoJ gave a bleaker view of the economy,
raising questions about how effective its policies are.
In January Japan made the surprise move of diving into negative
That was to spur bank lending and consumer spending.
Other central banks have followed suit.
Only last week, the European Central Bank cut interest rates
and unleashed quantitative easing to kick-start
Joining us is Dr Pippa Malmgren, founder of London-based economic
Nice to see you. Sally running through the
details there of the policy action we have seen so far from many of the
Central Banks but we are getting to the point where they are running out
of options? That is the point of going into negative interest rates.
It's a last-ditch effort to compel people to stop saving and to take
their capital and go put it to work in the economy.
But why is it not working to the same extent they might have hoped?
The Bank of Japan held off taking further action, they are keen to let
the first round of action settle down a little bit, but it's not
working in quite the way they might have expected? No, in fact we have
record sales of safes in Japan now because if you put your money in the
bank you have to pay the bank for holding your cash, that's a negative
interest rate. That's exactly what they don't want.
They want people to put their capital into the real economy one
way or another. The other thing is, you have to understand the purpose
of negative interest rates is to raise the cost-of-living. It's to
cause inflation to rise. It should make the price of assets like homes
or the stock market go up. So another thing is, people start to
think, well, if that's true, I need to save even more, so it's a
circular problem. Let's zoom out a little bit. In
terms of the options that are available to Central Banks, this is
one of them. We have seen record interest rates and other policy
action. Are there any moves they still have up their sleeve or, is
this really the last-ditch attempt to kick start what we have seen,
sluggish recoveries, in some cases teetering on the edge of recession
again, and they are really trying to find something else they can
deploy but they are running out of ways to do that? I'll tell you
what's left. They could start buying things
in the open market, they could buy debt, they could buy corporate debt,
they could put the money into things like infrastructure. But Central
Banks are very reluctant to become price-makers,
they prefer to create the conditions. So the question is, if
the public doesn't take the money and push it into the real economy,
how will Central Banks make them do it? One of the ways, is, you go to
electronic cash, you dock somebody's bank deposit, if I put ?100 in the
bank, that takes ?2 out, that'll make me get my money out of there.
Many suggest it's storing up problems for labour down the
line. Lovely to see you A worker sacked by Volkswagen
in the US has launched legal action He's accusing it of deleting
documents and obstructing justice in relation to the
emissions scandal. Daniel Donovan, who worked
in IT for the company, says he refused to delete the files
and reported them to a supervisor. He says he was wrongfully
dismissed in December. The head of Bangladesh's central
bank has resigned after hackers The money was stolen last
month from its account at the Federal Reserve
Bank in New York. Last week bank officials say
the gang behind the raid used stolen credentials to make
the transfer requests. Initially some money
was recovered from Sri Lanka, but more than eighty million dollars
was laundered through casinos Oil prices have fallen nearly 3%,
trading under $40 a barrel after Iran put off plans
to join countries proposing Iran's oil minister says the country
will only join discussions to cap output after its own production
reaches a pre-sanctions levels. A lot of data on our website.
Just to highlight on there, we had news from France, consumer
prices falling. The live page pointing out, more deflation over in
France, consumer prices confirmed by falling % year on year. So that
problem of deflation continues to stalk the eurozone.
Also, this is the copper company Antofagasta, 83% fall in annual
profits mainly down to the fall in the price of copper and slowing
growth in China, becoming a real theme. The other mining companies
out with news prior to this BH Bilton
Rio Tinto, also having to take steps. The price of metals going
down and the slowing economy in China. Full details on the website.
As Sony snaps up Michael Jackson's interest in a massive music catalog
Leisha Chi is in Singapore and has more for us.
I didn't realise Michael Jackson had the rights to so many songs? Neither
did I, but we have to go all the way back to
1995 when Michael Jackson partnered with Sony to set up
the world's biggest music publisher. They split the business and Sony is
now paying $750 for Jackson's 50% holding, so now they are going to
own the rites to about three million songs. This includes most of the
works by The Beatles, as well as sales by Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Kanye
West and Taylor swift. The deal does not include Michael Jackson's master
recordings or the songs written by him, but essentially this deal shows
he wasn't just the King of Pop, he made one of the smartest investments
by investing in the titles and, importantly, the sale is going to
help reduce his estate's debts and he still has three living children
and they'll get more financial flexibility from the money that's
going to come in. It's been seven years since Michael Jackson left us
but he's still ranked amongst the highest
earning deceased celebrities. Coke owe had a downbeat day
yesterday. The -- Tokyo.
Export goods become more expensive, down in
Hong Kong adds well, well street the night before. -- as well.
The European numbers now: Sainsbury's as well, its shares down
1%. The spark retailer in the UK coming out with disappointed numbers
as well. Losses across-the-board, oil prices
and energy stocks lower. A familiar tale. Michelle is here to tell us
what we should be watching. Wall Street will have plenty of economic
data to digest as the Federal Reserve begins a two-day meeting on
interest rate policy. The retail sector generally has been a bright
spot as the world's largest economy has recovered. American consumers
have opened their wallets. Spending surged in January. Investors will be
watching the commerce department's retail sales figures to find out if
that momentum carried over into February or if it stalled. Valiant
pharmaceuticals get its chance to respond to its detractors. The
embattled drug-maker releases its fourth quarter results.
It's been under scrutiny for accounting
and business practices. And the US Senate
is holding a hearing into driverless cars with testimony expected from
the likes of Google, Lift and others.
Joining us is Maike Currie, investment director at Fidelity
Let us turn our aFengs to oil. Japan isn't going to take part in this
freeze. -- attention to oil. A lot of concern about whether Iran would
join that group and it's not doing so yet? That is right. The sanctions
have been going on for so long. The equity markets keep moving in step
with oil price. That is one to keep an aye on. Markets washing the Fed
now. We have had the Bank of Japan, the next one to make decisions,
makes key economy Federal Reserve, again nothing expected this time?
Central Bank policy never far from the Spotlight. This week we have got
five Central Banks announcing policy and out of those, the Fed is
arguably the most important. There is the press conference and it will
all be carefully dissected. We could see the next move up in the next
June meeting but nothing at this one.
A quick word on the budget hear in the UK. We'll get details from the
Chancellor, the Finance Minister tomorrow. Fuel - details about that
today, transport spending, all of that being leaked ahead of the
budget but clearly a big balancing act for the Chancellor to play?
Yes. The Chancellor is walking a tightrope. Back in the Autumn
Statement in November, he was very bullish, he said the UK economy was
looking a lot stronger, there was ?27 billion
extra in the Kitty, now there's a black hole of ?4 billion because the
economy's shrank and George Osborne's really made himself a
hostage to fortune. He needs to pull a show-stopper of a budget and
wrestle back the Spotlight from his political opponent, Boris Johnson.
The question is, can he afford it One we'll all be watching very
closely tomorrow. Thank you. See you later.
Still to come, predicting the future - we meet the software entrepreneur
who's taking the guessing out of business forecasting.
You're with Business Live from BBC News.
Cross-channel rail operator Eurostar has just announced
The firm runs services between London, Paris and Brussels.
But it was badly hit by the terrorist attacks in Paris
Profit last year fell to ?34 million, that's down
Nicholas Petrovic is the chief executive of Eurostar,
and I put it to him that it had been a difficult year.
An unusual year. Everything went in different directions. There was a
migrant issue. There was also some good news. The big thing for us, we
had a new fleet of trains at the end of last year. That is the future of
Eurostar. So a very, very eventful year actually for us. An eventful
year and one in which passenger numbers were flat. You are operating
profits down by ?20 million, so a lot going on. But what are you
thinking for 2016, how is it going to look because the migration crisis
is difficult to predict and it's very hard to counter it really,
there's not much you can do about that? There is been a lot of
investment. For 2016, I'm quite actually optimistic. I think with
the new fleet of train and there is an appetite of people to travel and
I think we are expecting to grow. The summer looks
good at the moment, bookings are very strong, so we expect, after the
effect of the Paris attacks, now to grow again and to have a very good
2016. We saw footage of the fancy trains,
running between Paris and London currently, but you are going to
expand that significantly which which would be costly I would
imagine? We are investing ?1 billion into the float to complete it. This
year it will be mostly on the Paris route, so most trains will be new.
We have more space, Wi-Fi on board, plugs, everything. And then we move
that to the Brussels route and other routes, to the South of France.
Putting on the brakes - Japan's central bank holds fire
on rate cuts and stimulus but gives us a bleaker view of this major
Japan's already in negative interest rate territory -
so will this mean a fresh dose of stimulus down the line to nurse
The next company offers something we could all do with -
it works out exactly where you stand financially,
I am talking of the start-up CrunchBoards.
Its software lets companies to work out their financially situation -
who owes what and whether they're in a position to expand or hire.
The UK based company is relatively new -
it launched just two years ago - but now has offices in London,
CrunchBoards now has over 8,500 customers in over 82 countries.
It's the brainchild of entrepreneurs Hannah McIntyre and Amy Harris.
With us now is one of the duo, Hannah McIntyre.
Hannah, nice to see you. We touched on it briefly, it is trying to get
businesses more information about themselves. It sounds a bit obvious
that these are the things that firms should know, how much money they
have, where rents how they can spend it but, crucially, they don't? Often
this is the case. CrunchBoards is about driving business growth. Most
businesses are sat in a meeting with their accountant at the end of the
year having a history lesson, but what you want to see is where you
will be in the next three, six, 12 months, five years, then build upon
your foundations. This started because you and Amy were running a
company prior to CrunchBoards and you needed this service? Yes, and it
is pretty extreme to build your own software because you cannot find
something to the illiterate you need, but we
did. We had a company looking at incident management accounts for the
hospitality sector, we realised we needed this. We were spending lots
of time exporting data, putting it into the dreaded spreadsheets, there
were lots of inefficiencies and we were always running at a massive
time like. All the time, you need to have answers today, that is what
CrunchBoards does. We spent a lot of time talking about uncertainty,
weather it is the referendum, the oil prices, China. You can see the
need for some planning, but how do you navigate that? There is knows
urge think as a certain future. Scenario planning is really key. --
there is no such thing. There is no fixed feature for any company. You
need to be able to test different options, that is what the software
does. It has helped small businesses to explore opportunity. This does
not altogether remove the accountant, it works alongside that?
Absolutely. There is an interesting shift in the accounting industry.
Traditionally it has been compliance based, tax etc has been looked at.
But is there a shift towards advisory services? Small businesses
want expertise and knowledge to help them grow. What we do is facilitate
collaboration between adviser and the client, so that the time spent
is not this history lesson looking back at last year, it is hopefully
monthly meetings etc looking towards the future. Many watching this
looking at you, you and Amy, you are both really good friends and
starting businesses together. It is amazing, we still are really good
friends! If you are watching, Amy, it is official. Many might be
watching you, thinking, well, you are operating in 80 countries, how
do you make that happen? We do not sleep a lot, I should say that. It
has been a process. We did not launch with 82 countries and a huge
amount of learning has happened. We launched in Australia, lots of
people would say, why have you done that? That it is the emerging market
for cloud accountancy technology in the world so it was the obvious
place. And then, this growth has happened and we have not really done
much marketing either. It has been amazing. There is validation in the
marketplace. It was not just us that needed that solution, clearly others
did, too. A quick word on the technology that lets this happen,
like lots of technology firms that is the software that makes it more
accessible, and you can do that right here? Absolutely, we are based
in the clouds we are accessible in any device anywhere in the globe. As
long as you have an Internet connection, of course! We work
really, really hard to make sure it is as accessible as possible. And
secure, presumably? Absolutely, any cloud business has to take that
incredibly seriously. We're working very hard to make sure that is case.
Really nice to see you, Hannah, thank you for coming in.
I am definitely not inputting any of my numbers! I know it is easy but it
would reveal all sorts of nasty things I do not want to know!
Innovations in the financial world are swift.
Take banking apps, which millions of us use.
In fact, the UK's Royal Bank of Scotland is replacing hundreds
of staff with so called robo advisers!
But what are they and can they really do better
Don't worry, you won't have to see a scary chap like him,
you won't even have to see a human being.
In fact, you can get everything you need from a mobile phone app.
There's a list of questions that help us to understand as much
as we can the risk attitude and risk profile of our clients.
One company that recently entered the UK market is the Italian firm
MoneyFarm, it uses robo advice rather than a human personal
financial adviser to help its customers make investment
decisions in a variety of markets taking
With this technology you can build a different way to explain
And the robo concept comes from the fact there is no need...
At least it's not mandatory to have someone interfacing
with the clients, the computer or the app
on the mobile phone can help you do so.
Lets take a quick look at the stories making business
The Wall Street Journal reports that the cosmetics company Avon
plans to move its headquarters to Britain and cut 2,500 jobs
worldwide as part of a turnaround plan.
That is also elsewhere in the financial press and we will talk
about it in a moment. The Daily Telegraph warns that
global recession risk rises to 30% this year, according
to Morgan Stanley. And in the Gulf News,
Kuwait looks set to impose a 10% tax They are looking to claw in more
money with the price of oil going down. Maike from Fidelity
International is back to talk about the papers. Avon is really
interesting, any time that we are told that the Brexit debate will
cause uncertainty and firms to leave the UK, Avon is moving headquarters
from New York to the UK, it is not worried? Avon has much bigger
worries than the EU referendum and Brexit. Its direct selling market is
struggling in an age where everything is set -- technology
driven and it needs to come are swift e-commerce rivals -- compete
with. Its commission -based model is struggling. Also the name? The Avon
lady is calling, even you are familiar with, growing up in South
Africa, it was a big deal in the UK. It is the issue of rant? It is a
very good example of how digital disruption can disrupt all business
models and you really need to keep up with the times. The other thing
about Avon, they were dead set on keeping the business in the US,
where the route 's worth. When they have been pressed to expand into
emerging markets. I think they missed a trick. Turning our
attention to collate, like many big oil producers it is feeling the
effects of a falling oil price. -- let's turn our attention to Kuwait.
It is imposing a 10% tax. The Gulf is known for being tax-free and it
attracts many people to move there. These oil producing nations need to
diversify revenue sources. A major change for the Gulf countries. A
similar story in Saudi Arabia not so long ago, increasing taxes. It is
very interesting how the price of commodities going on is forcing
countries to take steps they really do not want to take.
This is a story in the Telegraph, the global recession risk rises to
30%, according to Morgan Stanley, not least, for many countries,
because of falling oil prices. That has been the big worry. We were
expecting the low oil price to feed through to consumers. We have not
seen that will stop we expect this year to be different. We seek US and
EU consumers who use a lot of oil benefiting, I think it will trickle
through. We have seen a lot of warnings, we should be careful not
to manufacture a crisis. That is something we will watch very
closely, we will not manufacture a crisis. Nice to see you, as always,