24/03/2016 BBC Business Live


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This is Business Live from BBC News with Ben Thompson


the French president unveils plans to reform the Labour market,


but can he silence the critics and push through crucial


Live from London, that's our top story


Mr Hollande wants to create more jobs by relaxing employment law.


But critics say the plan curtails the rights of workers.


We'll be live in Paris for the latest.


Also in the programme: Japanese corporate giant Mitsubishi


could slash its earnings forecasts over the fall in commodity prices.


Could it announce its first ever loss?


We'll be live in our Asia Business Hub for the answer.


And this is how the markets are looking, the arrows tell the story,


things are not too optimistic. And, it is the biggest taxi firm in


Europe, but Karen Addison Lee fend off the likes of Google?


And how much is too much when it comes to the sharing economy?


One firm now says it will rent you clothes to wear to work


for a monthly subscription fee.


And you just return them when you're done.


Let us know, use the hashtag #BBCBizLive.


Would you share your clothes? There is a question!


We start in France, where a fierce debate is raging over the length


of the working week and the rights of workers.


Bosses have long complained France's labour laws are far too restrictive


and deter them from creating new jobs.


Later today President Francois Hollande and his Labour Minister


will unveil their plan for a shake-up at a cabinet meeting.


In France the working week is capped by law at 35 hours -


it's the only country in Europe to do this.


So is France about to abandon its cherished 35-hour week?


The government wants to let bosses negotiate longer hours


They could ask them to work 48 hours, which is the official EU


limit, or even 60 in special cases - as long as the average is still 35


calculated over a three-month period.


Companies won't be able to impose flexible working


The idea is to make the law less rigid, but critics say the reforms


Still more big protests are expected today.


These were the scenes in Paris earlier this month when the reforms


And an online petition against them has gathered more


Since then, small companies have been excluded from the reforms,


which some argue are the very firms that need flexibility the most.


Lets join our correspondent in Paris who has been following the story for


us. It doesn't really sound like the reforms that are required, more like


a forge? Your explanation of the law was very


clear as far as it goes, but it is incredibly complicated. The law on


working hours is one part of a 53 clause -- one part of 53 clauses.


The bigger picture is it is intended to give greater fix ability to


companies because the government has decided that the last thing it has


at its disposal to tackle huge unemployment is opening up the


Labour markets, so it moves in that direction somewhat but not a huge


amount, and, as you say, the original intention has already been


greatly watered down after a wave of protest a couple of weeks ago. The


law was rewritten, some of the more pro-business clauses were taken out,


that satisfied some unions and some on the left but angered the business


community, so we are left with this new version, and it is far from


clear that it will satisfy everyone because there are more protests due


today, some of the unions are still calling for the whole thing to be


scrapped, small businesses are annoyed, they said that it is all


very well for big industries to work within these measures, but they need


far greater fix ability and, as you said before, it is the small


businesses which are the generators of jobs in Europe today. So, yes,


the general picture is that it does move in the direction of greater


flexibility but the idea that it is some big rewrite of French raider


law like Germany, Britain, Spain or Italy, it is just not the case.


As you say, unemployment in France remaining stubbornly high at around


10%, there is an election next year, and I believe Francois Hollande


stated that getting the employment rate down -- unemployment rate down


was key to him staying in the job?


He said within months of coming to power


that his whole political future rested, and he pledged on his


ability to bring down unemployment. He has not brought down


unemployment, 600,000 more jobless people now than there were five


years ago. The underlying number is 5 million


people if you include those who have some work but not enough and want


more work. The unemployment situation here is catastrophic. This


last plan of his two liberalise the Labour


it to create jobs is really his last throw of the dice. But the chances


of it having an effect in the years that remain --


in the year that remains for him are very small.


A 50-year-old Chinese man has pleaded guilty to being involved


in a plot to hack into the computer systems of US defence


Su Bin is believed to have been part of a group targeting data relating


to fighter jets, cargo aircraft and weapons.


The US Department of Justice said Mr Su sought "commercial gain"


from his actions, but stopped short of saying


the Chinese government was involved in buying the secrets.


Swiss drug company Novartis has agreed to pay more than $25 million


to the US government to settle civil charges that it bribed healthcare


professionals in China to boost sales.


Novartis settled without admitting or denying the allegations.


And Uber is suing its Indian rival, alleging that it created fake


accounts to interfere with its business. It is looking for millions


of dollars in damages. Lots of stories on the business Live


page, this caught my attention, and worrying story in The Times, an


interview with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard


Hogan-Howe, who says banks should stop refunding victims of online


fraud will stop there is a huge debate about this at the moment in


the UK. It is the case that if you have online fraud in your bank


account you are immediately refunded by the bank.


The reference here is to the fact that consumers need to take more


responsibility for it, there is a suggestion that we just related to


the bank and tell them to pay us back because we have been a victim


of fraud, where is the warning is we need to be involved in taking


security, especially with finances security, especially with finances


and banking. Next is appearing on the Business


Live page, one of the main high street retailers in the UK, a


fashion retailer, basically saying it has had a pretty tough Christmas.


It was not a good festive season for them. A key period of time for any


high street retailer. That is the latest from them.


Corporate Japan is being hit by the slowdown in China, Mitsubishi


expected to announce its first annual loss since 1947.


Let's go to our Asia business hub. This is becoming a bit of a familiar


tale, which is a worry. Tell us about Mitsubishi.


Indeed, and even though it has been, I guess, a trend not just in Japan


but around the world, being hit by the sharp fall in commodity prices


as well as the slowdown in China, it comes as a shock to many people in


Japan because both Mitsubishi and Mitsui have been


around for a very long time, established names since before the


Second World War, and they have been making money until this year, a


report by one daily said that Mitsubishi was likely to have lost


some $900 million this year and the figure has not been confirmed by the


company but it has said that it is considering a downward revision to


its earnings forecast. Thanks, as always, from our Asia


business have. Let's show you the numbers.


Asian shares down on the session, energy stocks taking a hit.


The stronger dollar adding pressure to already struggling


Crude saw its biggest loss in six weeks after news that stockpiles


continue to grow - adding to that oversupply.


In the UK, within the hour, we'll get the latest retail data


for last month, expected to fall back after a strong start


That is why markets are looking a little bit like that, we will


discuss that in more detail. Joining us is Justin


Urquhart-Stewart from Nice to see you. I'm assuming today


volumes will be pretty light, we can see here we are all heading in the


wrong direction but we are going into a four daybreak for most major


markets around the world? Yes, it will be trading rather liked. You


have to be careful with markets these days because the number of


trades put through by participants could be small but the


high-frequency trades going on behind it will still be very large,


which can lead the market open to amazing volatility, which we haven't


seen in years gone by because in years gone by you had more


market-makers who acted as cushions for the volatility and the banks


themselves had their proprietary trading desks, they could trade


themselves, but those were gotten rid of by the regulator. Sharp moves


could be the order of the day? Even in low volumes. Boyle is volatile


again it doesn't need us to say it, but another fear for the market?


Yes, the two reasons, people have said their budgets against it, but


also when you have $30 oil going up to $40 oil, that sort of French, it


can be quite inflationary. Whereas at 110 dollars per barrel, going up


$10 is not inflationary at all. It is a coincidence that the US dollar


is strengthening, the Fed looking at when it is going to make a move on


rates? There is still a lot of demand with oil, but there is


oversupply because of what has happened. One of the greatest


mistakes made last year, people talk about China's slowing down, saying


they are not buying as much all, it was down 40%, but that was in


dollars. In the number of barrels it was up 10%. As far as we are


concerned, we have sterling, and it is looking about as strong as this


week and's weather, it will be extremely soggy indeed! I know you


will join us for the papers later, we will talk through some of the


stories them. Life in the fast lane,


or caught in congestion? What's it like running Europe's


biggest minicab company? Faced with competiton from rivals


like Uber and cities trying to get us to take more public transport,


we'll speak to the boss of minicab You're with Business


Live from BBC News. The high street giant Next has said


it faces the toughest year Next said it was bracing itself


for a slowdown in the global economy and for profits to fall by up


to 4.5% in a year that "may well be the toughest we have


faced since 2008". Victoria and Ben have swapped seats


today, it is like a merry-go-round! We will never meet, Victoria! They


are trying to keep as a part! I am the other woman! Victoria, tell


us about Next? Some of the figures are striking,


despite the fact that we saw profits and sales rise over the last year. I


want to read one more to you, this is fascinating, Lord Folsom, the


chief executive of Next, saying, it may well feel like walking up the


down escalator, he says, with a great deal of effort required just


to stand still. That encapsulate what is going on with the British


retail industry at the moment, and Next is seen as a bellwether of that


industry and a huge employer of people right across the country. One


of the major problems the Next is the erosion in the economics of its


best customers, its loyal customers that all have consumer credit. They


have seen a real decline, they have tried to stem it, though it is


continuing to fall. Let's listen to customer Gregor from Draper 's


magazine. A lot of their competitors in the online space are catching up


with them, they have a great catalogue, the Next directory, it


has been a strength, they were good at delivering to people, they had


the logistics in place, but now there are so many other people who


have caught up, offering next day delivery, they can have -- they do


not have that unique selling point any more, and the customer used to


be a higher spender, and another issue facing Next is they are now


not spending as much. They have a lot of issues facing them at the


moment. In April we will see a rise in the minimum wage, the new living


wage, which will increase their wage bill and result in a huge increase


in their costs, ?55 million over the next year, so some interesting


comments about our spending habits as well, spending more on leisure


and travel, that sort of thing, and far less on products, which will be


a problem for the retail industry. Thank you, as ever more detail on


that story and others online. Our top story; President Hollande


today unveils controversial plans He'll give his cabinet details


of moves to make the jobs Lots of people criticising it saying


it's watered down the rights of labourers.


We often take them for granted but taxis keep our cities moving.


But whilst getting someone from A to B sounds relatively


simple, it is the centre of a huge battle between taxis,


And our next guest knows all too well about that fierce competition.


Andy Boland is the boss of the global minicab


It's the biggest minicab company in Europe with a fleet


The company operates in 35 cities around the world.


The company started in London in 1975 and now carries more


than ten million passengers a year in the UK capital alone.


Andy Bolland, Chief Executive of Addison Lee, joins us now.


Thank you very much indeed for coming in. So many things to cover


in a short space of time because we all have our views and experiences


of taxis certainly in London. You have only been in the job two years,


is that right? Since the beginning of 20156789 Prior to that you were


with AA, the UK rescue company for cars that break down and what have


you? Yes. Since you have been in this job, what has been the biggest


challenge for you? Well, the market's a ?3 billion market. We are


going from strength to strength growing our business and the core


has been our business customers. We are becoming more relevant for


consumers as well so we have 300,000 people on our app and we are growing


our consumer business as well. The app is important because that's the


way much of this industry is going, it's changed hugely as a result of


technology. Talk me through the competition from the likes of Uber,


Lift and Halo, it must make it very difficult for you to compete because


there is now so much competition? Well, funnily enough we had the


first app in 2009 so Addison Lee's led the way from a tech perspective.


It's a market, a differentiated market and I think different


customers look for different things. With Addison Lee you get a very


high-quality service, you know who you are dealing with from a driver


perspective, it's a consistent product, they are always on time and


we know where we are going. We are looking at bus lanes. There's been a


row with local authorities about being able to use the bus lanes


because we know cities are congested. The likes of the black


cabs can use the bus lanes. How is the debate about ordinary cabs being


able to use the bus lane going? That's died down a bit over the last


few years. There's been a lot of change from a regulatory perspective


and Transport for London which is the regulator for us in London


who've now backed regulation issues which make the playing field a bit


more level for everybody. We like that. We like competition and


clarity in terms of that. Back to the competition, and back to the


likes of Uber which is a big competitor. You are more expensive


than Uber. So talk us through why I would choose to go with you and pay


more? For quality of service we provide, we are very good value for


money. We have reduced consumer prices to make them more accessible


to more people. We have seen a big increase in volume, about 40%, in


the last six weeks, so we are seeing that effect come through. Having


said that, if you want somebody you can talk to if you have a problem,


if you want drivers who really know where they are going, who have been


vetted, been through our training school and have a very consistent


product in terms of the vehicle, you know they're fully insure and can


pre-book a service and you know at 5 o'clock in the morning when you want


to take your family to the airport, you know Ad Lee will be there. The


business customers you mentioned at the beginning, talk me through the


response from business given everything that we have seen in


terms of many firms trying to Kuyt costs, trying to reduce overheads.


They are also aware they have to be more green so they are encouraging


more staff to take public transport rather than a cab from A to B. How


has that changed? We have got 17,000 business customers across London,


many of them small to medium sized enterprises, but we serve the London


economy from a business perspective. They really want a service that they


can rely on. Also, they want to consolidate their spend. There's a


lot of money being spent all over the place by the big business


customers and bringing it under one embrill la, we know how you are


spending your money and we can provide you with a really


competitive rate. People save money by doing that. It was the business


customers that helped you launch in New York. I assume that's a


difficult market? It's a very interesting market. Addison Lee is


unique. There is no Addison Lee in New York so we think it's a market


that we can really take advantage in. We have lots of big customers


here, the big investment banks who have operations in New York, we have


launched a business there, it's growing strongly up 40% this year


and there's a lot more to go there. Fascinating to have you on the


programme. Thank you very much indeed for coming in.


In China Premier Li Keqiang has been delivering his keynote speech


at the opening of the annual Boao Forum.


The event for top business leaders on the island of Hainan is often


Mr Li has been telling them that China must face up to its economic


problems and not resort to devaluing its currency


The BBC's Asia Business Correspondent Karishma Vaswani


This was clearly an attempt by China's peoplier Li to reassure the


financial community that China is aware of its economic problems and


has the ability to deal with them. He sought to address all the


concerns ranged by China recently, ranging from the slowdown in


economic growth to the volcanotity in China's currency, and whether


China can manage this stricky transition that it's currently


facing. He also talked about the fact that the world economy is going


through a turbulent patch and said that's having an impact on China's


fortunes too. TRANSLATION: Domestically, there are


deep-rooted problems and an increase in downward pressure on the economy.


In particular, we are experiencing some unavoidable and temporary


problems in the process of transformation and upgrading.


Premier Li stressed China has enough policy tools left to deal with the


risks the economy is now facing. He also addressed implicit worries that


Beijing is trying to manipulate the currency in an attempt to boost


exports by saying China won't violate market rules even if growth


rates fluctuate. This was very much about China putting on a good show


for the rest of the world. But the premier has made these sorts of


statements before and it's doubtful whether they'll be convincing enough


for those who still have concerns about China's economy.


Joining us again is Justin Urquhart-Stewart


Good to have you back. I know this story sands shiver down your spine


having worked in the City of London all of your career and it's


something you are passionate about how things have chained so much


since you started and this is the flash crash trader, losing his fight


against extradition to the United States. This allegedly caused the


2010 drop in the Dow? Yes. It was interesting, this is the long arm of


the American law reaching out to Britain because he hasn't actually


broken any British rules or if he did, the same thing would occur. But


nonetheless, this is America trying to enforce its law somewhere else


and the Americans are being strong on this, whether it's taxation or


other legal issues, and so therefore he gets pulled into the American


system. It requires the Home Secretary finally to agree to it but


nonetheless, the other side of it is, it's quite right that people


should be, at least if not prosecuted, then


accountable, because we need to make sure the reputation of the City


back in. After all, the Stock Exchange, my word is my bond, and if


you don't trust people's words and how they behave, frankly they should


go. The Trust has been eroded big time?


Hugely. Since 2008. Does anyone trust a banker - the answer is


probably no. White-collar crime isn't seen as a real crime where off


none America we see the black-and-white cars turning up,


police turn up and you get taken away in handcuffs but you haven't


been properly arrested but they go through the theatre of it. Here,


they put it to one side and say, it doesn't really matter, yes it does,


it's clients' money. Something you may have an interest in, renting


clothes. Work wear. You could rent your work wear, pay a subscription


every month, you get three items you can keep as long as you want then


return them. That sounds weird. Do Do you get to choose the items or do


you get random squirrels turned up. It says it's for women. You said you


are more than happy to rent out your braces? They should be Rennesed out


on a regular basis. How much would you charge? What's it twoing to be,


a glass of claret! If you think about it, Moss Boros in terms of


renting out clothes, that's what they do in effect. I can quite


understand in terms of formal dresses and jewellery and things


like that, why not? ! Thank you for coming in. Thank you for your


comments that came in, no time to mention them I'm afraid.


. Hello. Some of you will be aware there is a significant change in


progress with regard to the weather


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