08/04/2016 BBC Business Live


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This is Business Live from BBC News with Victoria Fritz


We have the latest from the Panama Papers -


as the spotlight continues to focus on the global elite's tax havens.


Live from London, that's our top story on Friday 8th of April.


The end of a week of stunning revelations, but no end to the fall


out from the leak that reveals where the rich stash their cash!


Also in the programme, as Marriott and Starwood set to tie


the knot to create the world's biggest hotel chain -


we ask, is it a marriage made in heaven for the customer?


And the markets - most of Asia down this Friday -


the yen up and Europe opened higher - we'll tell you what's


And we'll be getting the inside track on the turmoil


if there's light at the end of the tunnel for this


Let us know what you think of the stories we are covering.


The end of the week, but not the end of the fallout


As the spotlight shines on the world's richest and most


powerful people hiding their wealth in tax havens on a massive scale.


In Argentina, President Mauricio Macri has denied any wrongdoing


He's due to appear before a federal prosecutor


And the British Prime Minister has revealed he had owned shares


in an offshore trust set up by his late father.


On Thursday, David Cameron said he sold the shares before he entered


Number 10 in 2010 and had paid all UK taxes due on profits


Meanwhile, Panama's vice-president admitted revelations from the leak


are extremely bad for her country's image.


Isabel Saint Malo told the BBC, she believes her country had been


I want a separate, this is not an evaluation of Panama. This


publication has information on many jurisdictions, over 21 jurisdictions


where banks are based, not just one bank based in Panama, regarding


societies and offshores, 60% of those referred so far on the papers


are not in Panama. Only 20% are registered in Panama. So, this has


been given a name that has put our country in a wrong and bad way, of


focus of attention in the world. And it's very unfortunate, given that


the government we lead, it's a government that particularly and


strongly is committed to transparency. We reject and have


zero tolerance of irregular activities.


Panama's Vice-President Isabel Saint Malo speaking to the BBC.


And you can watch the full story in a special programme "Panorama,


tax havens of the rich and powerful exposed",


with Richard Bilton on BBC World News, at these


We can talk through some of this week's revelations now.


Extraordinary, 140 politicians and officials, 12 current or former


presidents, and 33 people who have been back listed, or companies


blacklisted, for dodgy dealings. There is a sense that all the good


has been thrown in with the bad, and that's the issue with the Panama


papers. Owning an offshore company or a shell company is not in itself


a crime or indicator of a crime. But you have the right to hold these


assets from the taxman if you want. It is a popular option for those who


have acquired money through illegal means or want to shelter their


income from the taxman. When politicians steal it means there is


less money for things like building roads and infrastructure. When they


give contracts to their friends, they are defrauding the tax payer.


Should we be surprised that people have been so incensed by this?


Absolutely not. The anger was at its most fierce in Iceland where the


Prime Minister had to step down. In that case it emerged that his wife


owned a stake in an offshore fund that had interests in Icelandic


banks which the Prime Minister was responsible for legislating. He


insists he has done nothing wrong but there was a public outcry and he


has had to step down. As the vice president, as we heard from the


Panama vice President, she said it was a bit unfair and rough on


Panama, because it could have been a leak from a law firm in Delaware or


Wyoming in the United States, or the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin


Islands, Jersey, the Isle of Man. Is there any difference between Panama


and those tax havens? No, but Panama has particularly strict rules on


banking and corporate security, so it's a prime location for those who


want anonymity as a key factor. There are other tax havens around


the world with varying degrees of secrecy and they might be worried


about this because the Panama papers have shown nothing can be guaranteed


to be secret. We will leave it there, but thank you for coming in


to take us through the latest. Ride-sharing company Uber has agreed


to pay $10 million to settle a dispute over its background


checks for drivers. Uber was sued in 2014 after it


claimed its vetting process was better than systems traditional


minicab firms used. Prosecutors said Uber had failed


to prevent 25 people with criminal convictions from becoming drivers,


including several sex offenders Uber said it had dealt with many


of the concerns in the case, and said settling was not


an admission of any wrongdoing. US telecoms giant Verizon is poised


to make a bid for Yahoo - according to a report by Bloomberg


News. It says the offer for the struggling


internet business could come next week, and would also involve buying


Yahoo's share of its Bloomberg suggests Google


is also considering a bid - however all three companies have


refused to comment. It will be a busy week next week for


us. Only you, I'm on holiday next week. Some of the stories breaking.


Not so much a profit warning here, but there has been a 16% slump in


shares following comments that trading conditions will will become


challenging. The retailer sells stylish and affordable quality


clothing and accessories. A UK story now, Brighton peers, an iconic part


of the South coast has been sold for ?18 million to the man behind Pizza


Express. It could be a big restaurant! It said they made


profits of around ?3.5 million last year. Only ?18 million, what's the


going rate for a pier. Luke Johnson believes it's around ?80 million.


In China, shoppers eyeing foreign goods online will find them more


expensive as of today thanks to new e-commerce rule.


Robin Brant in Shanghai is here to explain.


Good to see you. I believe Beijing has said it's all about putting


foreign goods and domestic goods on an even playing field. Who are you


kidding? If it's more expensive to buy foreign goods, it's good for


made in China. There is no doubt it's a better situation going


forward from today for many manufacturers and retailers of goods


that are made here in China. For years hence, the e-commerce giants,


and they truly are giants in this country, they have had preferential


tax arrangements when it comes to goods that are made abroad and then


bought by people here and then shipped into China, stuff that comes


in from Japan and South Korea, for instance, has been subject to what


is known as a parcel tax of around 10%. Those days are over. From


today, those goods will be subject to VAT, and also part of a


consumption tax meaning a price rise for plenty of consumers and a price


rise for plenty of businesses to deal with as well. The Chinese


government maintains this is about creating a level playing field, and


there is no doubt it's a bit of a prod for Chinese consumers to buy


more home-grown goods. There might be the issue of quality though, they


buy from Japan and Korea for a reason, and whether this is enough


to change the buying habits, we will have to wait and see.


Most of the markets in Asia will lower today. Tokyo, not lower


because the finance minister has said they will do all they can to


suppress the rise they have seen in the yen with the Japanese currency


reaching all-time highs, we haven't seen these figures in around 17


months. The stronger yen is not good for the Japanese economy, especially


the Japanese companies making goods at home to sell abroad, as it makes


it more expensive to buy here. The European markets opened higher not


too long ago. On the back of a strengthening oil price as well as


metal prices, quite dominant stocks, particularly in the FTSE 100.


shareholders of the Marriott Hotel chain - and luxury rival


Starwood Hotels and Resorts - are expected to vote


through a merger to create a giant in the hospitality industry.


The combined firm will have a stock market value of almost $30 billion


and will control over 5,500 hotels worldwide.


With brands like the courtyard, Marriott has 4200 hotels worldwide


including a large invention and resort business. To this it wants to


add the luxury and resort service that Starwood gives it guests, with


1300 hotels under some prestigious brands including Sheraton and Saint


Regis. Starwood is popular for business customers for its preferred


guests scheme, offering late checkout, room upgrades and personal


travel ambassadors to make bookings. Mariette has 54 million people in


its rewards scheme, but it is not as generous. Starwood's regular


customers are worried their exclusive privileges could be


watered down following a merger. The proposed tie-up between the two is


being seen as just the first of seven in the pipeline. Other Hotel


chains like Hyatt and Intercontinental also looking for


mergers. Nandini Ramakrishnan,


Global Market Strategist at JP Happy Friday and welcome to the


programme. That is talk about what's going on in the markets. We are


seeing a huge rise in the value of the yen and money going into


Treasuries and gold, and that spells trouble because they are all safe


havens. I think the first quarter of the year was very rocky for


investors. Many people are taking a step back now, going into


traditional safe havens like gold and yen, which is a particularly


safe currency in the region. We know a stronger yen is not good for


Japanese exporters or the Japanese economy, but it is also not good for


the global economy. I wonder if the finance minister of Japan has said


they will do something, to stem this rise in value. I guess the question


is, what is that, and when? They will not wait too long. And the


third question, will it work? These are the top questions discussed in


Japan. The high yen will hurt exports and the equity market, and


it's not causing inflation in Japan, which they are looking for. Nobody


is spending money and the market is stagnant. They want to provide


vouchers or stimulus to get the Japanese economy going. If it does


get going, it will help the worldwide economy as a whole. Japan


has not had inflation for ten, 12, a long time. All those arrows have


been firing. You know where I am going. There are three arrows of


economics, the monetary policy, like cutting of interest rates, and we


seem to be at a point where that can't push any further. The other


two, fiscal stimulus and reform, and we hope the Japanese government will


put some of that in place to get the economy going. You will come back to


take us through the papers. We will be talking about frankfurters. It's


the wurst story I've ever read. Testing its mettle -


the global steel industry faces more turmoil as thousands


of jobs are under threat. We will ask our guest


editor what's going on. You're with Business


Live from BBC News The level of productivity among UK


workers has fallen at its fastest pace towards the end of last year


since 2008, according Ben is at a factory in Rotherham


in South Yorkshire where they're trying to help businesses solve


the productivity puzzle. You are not on any machines, you are


going hard-core in a factory. And Stelling


staying well away from the cleaning machines. We call this a factory but


it is not a factory, they do the research and development, high-tech


things for applications that aeroplanes, power plants, and they


do one of them here you might be able to see, which looks like a


dishwasher. What they are doing here is coming up with better ways of


making the kit that goes into aeroplane engines and it is about


making it more efficiently and quicker and cheaply. The UK cannot


compete based on cost around the world but it can compete by doing


things better with innovation and research and development and doing


things more efficiently. It seems we are working longer, more hours, but


producing less and that is important because if we can be more efficient,


we can create things like this, we can sell things like this around the


world and the UK can hold its own on the international stage and means


for us there could be a pay rise because if productivity is low there


is no reason for employers to pay us more. If you sell this around the


world UK can hold its own on the international stage.


I think that looks like a piece of art. That is beautiful.


I want to share this with you. We heard from Marks Spencer 's


yesterday with sales falling, quite disappointing. A retail analyst made


an interesting observations saying there was little adjustment because


of Easter and food sales were down like the like. A big challenge for


the new boss, Steve Rowe. You're watching Business Live -


our top story - the end of a week of stunning revelations,


but no end to the fall out from the Panama Papers leak that


reveals where the rich And now for our regular


Friday slot, Simon Jack It is a big week for the steel


industry. And the pharma industry. The future of making British steel


is under threat. We thought we had a white knight with Gupta.


Tata Steel got into trouble, battling against cheap Chinese


imports and losing millions of pounds every week and he comes along


and says he might buy some of these assets of Tata Steel. But he does


not want to buy the bit where the people of Port Talbot are employed.


He wants to convert the blast furnaces into something that uses


less energy, recycling steel. He does not want to take over Port


Talbot, the South Wales plant, as it stands. He is aware the government


is desperate this will not fail. He is aware of his saviour status and


he is trying to extract concessions. The vision he is selling is not the


vision the faithful want to see. I think we have a way to go.


Meanwhile, the Business Secretary's reputation has to be rusting away.


You did say rusting away? I did. I thought I would get it in secretly.


Does anyone believe there are more people out there interested in the


business? There may be people interested in bits of it. One has


already bought bits of Tata, from a steel plant in Scunthorpe from Tata


and Liberty bought some of their plants in Lanarkshire. The plant as


it stands, it is a short list and the Business Secretary was in


Australia when the shock decision came and it looks like he was in the


wrong place at the wrong time and he has been scrambling. He did not come


out of the meeting in Mumbai with very much. Just saying they would


explore all options. They did not rule out nationalisation. There was


a deal done with the Scottish Government that temporarily took


control of a couple of plants very quickly before selling them on to


someone else. The government is hoping someone will come along. But


Mr Gupta is in a good negotiating position. We can talk about Pfizer


ruling out buying Allergan. This is where a


bigger company buys a smaller one and yet moved its headquarters into


the small the base, in this case in Dublin, because they pay lower


taxes. This is not the only deal the US Treasury has put a lid on because


we have seen similar ones. Another example of that. The US


administration is taking an aggressive approach to stopping this


happening. They realise they are losing tax dollars overseas. The


bankers are hopping mad. The administration has obstructed $370


billion of deals. More than previous administrations. Wall Street bankers


are saying it is a leftist rhetoric. You cannot stop people lowering


taxes. It is almost your patriotically duty! Bankers hoping


mad. Very much part of the sit with the administration and what they


have done previously. One thing people like Donald Trump and Tim


Cook have said and they do not offer the Greek, if you want to stop


chasing companies overseas, lower the taxes in the US. -- they do not


often agree. What are American companies supposed to do when their


tax rate is 11% higher than the average? It is a dilemma because


part of their cost bill will be tax. 35%. 20% in the UK. Tim Cook says he


wants to bring some of that money back. He said 35%, he would be sued


by shareholders if you did that. Asia's super-rich


and their super yachts. In focus aS the Singapore Boat Show


gets under way, why an increasing number of boat makers


are setting their sights This marina in Singapore holds some


of the city's most expensive parking lots. The waiting list to dock your


boat is several months long. Is this a luxury people are still splashing


out on, given the global downturn? I spoke to the organiser of the yacht


show and an Italian boat maker. Two years ago there were more than 90


yachts on display and this year 71, what has happened? It is about how


many we can get into the marina and this year we have a lot of big boats


and on this road there are five very big boats and we have limited space.


Who is buying? They are tycoons, industry leaders, people with a lot


of money. Millionaires and billionaires of mainland China, of


Hong Kong. A lot of companies say they look to Asia for growth and the


Chinese are driving demand, but we are seeing a downturn, we cannot pin


our hopes always on the Chinese? Bonetti is optimistic about the


Chinese market. China has surpassed the US with 570 billionaires in


mainland China plus 100 in Hong Kong and Taiwan, which is a large number


of potential clients. There is cautious industry optimism about


Asia, especially given the rising number of high net worth individuals


of the region, but if the downturn gets any worse, who is to say that


business will still be smooth sailing?


We are going to get straight into it. The first story, explain it,


Germany's AGM. Not providing enough sausages for shareholders. But the


highest dividend ever. Give and take for the shareholders. Apparently


there was one person at the buffet, taking the wurst and wrapping it up


to take it home. They calculated they should each get 2.3 wursts. The


AGM is six hours long. I am not surprised they were hungry.


I am sure there was other food on the buffet. Sauerkraut, not to


stereotype! Somebody from Daimler said they either get more sausages


or... Have a great weekend. That is it.


Plenty more business news throughout the day on the live page and world


business report. Goodbye.


It is Friday and the question is what is in store for the weekend?


Rain will clear to showers on Saturday. Breezy on


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