15/03/2016 BBC Business Live


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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,




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