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This is Business Live from BBC News with Ben Thompson and Sally Bundock.
France at a standstill - that's the aim of French unions
as they call for a show of strength with workers downing tools
in a battle with authorities over labour reforms.
Live from London, that's our top story on Tuesday 14th June.
Striking air traffic controllers and train drivers are expected
to trigger disruption for travellers today.
Protests are due to kick off in Paris later as the country
As the E3 gaming expo opens in the US, we'll look at the latest
And markets across Europe look like this as the countdown begins.
Just nine days until the UK votes on its future in Europe.
Leasing rather than buying business machinery is soaring in popularity.
Is it just another extension of the so-called sharing economy?
We'll meet the head of one of Europe's biggest leasing firms.
Plus what would you pay for a buffet with Buffett?
One anonymous bidder parted with $3.4 million to have lunch
with the infamous billionaire investor Warren Buffett,
so we want to know who would you like to lunch with?
Let us know, use the hashtag #BBCBizLive.
I would always want to have lunch with Sally, everyday.
Unions in France have urged members for a show
of strength in Paris today as a general strike gets underway.
Striking air traffic controllers and train drivers are expected
to trigger transport disruptions, with protests in due to begin
The reforms make it easier for companies to lay off staff,
reduce pay and introduce flexible working hours.
The government hopes it will help to lower the country's
high unemployment rate, which has been stuck at about 10%
for the past four years, by encouraging companies to take
It's also hoped the measures - which are now going through
the Senate - will help to boost the country's persistently
GDP in the first three months of the year was 0.5% but it's
expected to slow significantly by the end of June.
We will keep a close eye on that and have a little more for you later on.
Of course you are 2016, all of this happening at this moment with this
stubbornly high unemployment rate really affecting what happens there,
so the unions are hoping they can put this walk out on to keep staff
with a brighter future but of course it could affect trains, planes and
of course the rest of the economy. More on that a little later.
Microsoft is buying the professional networking website LinkedIn
And it is also unveiling two new systems at the East three gaming
Expo. E3 is the biggest shop window for
the biggest firms in the world and as ever Microsoft went first and
announced two new consoles. The first is a new slimline version of
the Xbox, due later this year, the second will be out in 2017, a souped
up console capable of running virtual reality games. When it ships
next year we believe it will be the most powerful console ever built,
with six Terror box of power it is hardware built specifically to lead
the console industry into high Fidelity virtual reality. Sony
always go second at the event which often gives them the upper hand and
they used to this year, coming out straightaway to save their existing
PS four is already good enough to play virtual reality and their
headset will come out in October. The time has finally come for
everyone to enjoy Villar in their own homes. At PlayStation we have a
combination of the necessary processing and graphics power
already built inside 40 million PlayStation fours that have been
sold worldwide. It gives Sony at Headstart in what
many people say is the future of gaming but if the headset does not
live up to expectations it could seriously backfire.
Our economics correspondent Andrew Walker is joining us. From France,
it is a familiar tale, but the current government seems determined
to get through this labour reform. He has pushed it very hard, he is
looking for re-election next year, so clearly he is prepared to take
some significant political risks. On one hand he would like to have some
sort of signature major reform to go to the electorate with but clearly
this, if he were to get this through, it would create serious
difficulties in the labour movement, an important part of his own
political base. He is determined, he has been pushing hard in the French
assembly, and as we have seen it is proving to be extraordinarily
difficult. Some of the labour movement would take a lot of it but
they do want to see some of the provisions, for example, on
precedents being given to firm level agreements, they would like to see
some of that drop from the legislation, but he is having a hard
time with it. Looking at the timing of this, Euro 2016 underway in
France, people trying to get around the country to get to the matches,
the timing particularly relevant because it could disrupt those
plans. And bearing in mind it is the summer anyway so there will be a lot
of tourism in France quite apart from the Euro championship, so it
will be disruptive. It has presumably been kind to specifically
with that thought in mind. It is not as if this is a new debate, it has
to be said. The many years there has been concern from within France and
expressed by international organisations that it is harder and
more expensive for French businesses to hire people and that, it is
argued, is one of the key reasons why French unemployment is
relatively high, something like 10%, and France have a particular problem
with high unemployment amongst low skilled young people. High
productivity has been a factor in maintaining the high French standard
of living but businesses are reluctant to take on people with low
skills who are relatively low productivity because it is an
expensive thing to do in France. Thank you very much indeed,
perspective from Andrew Walker. We will keep you across how the day
develops there because it is not just the general strike but also the
airline strike underway as well today.
Good luck if you are travelling. Microsoft is buying the professional
networking website LinkedIn The software giant
will pay $196 a share - that's a premium of almost 50%
on Friday's closing price. The deal will help Microsoft boost
sales of its business Malaysia's first Islamic-compliant
airline, Rayani Air, has been barred from flying
for breaching regulations. The Department of Civil Aviation
said it was revoking the airline's certification because of concerns
over its safety audit Rayani Air launched last December
offering only halal food, no alcohol and crew wearing modest
clothing. The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba
has released figures Sharanjit Leyl is in Singapore
and has been following the story. Big ambitions?
Big ambitions, it was unveiled at an investor 's conference in the
headquarters of Alibaba, projecting these striking big numbers,
expecting transactions to nearly double in volume in four years to
$912 billion, that is how much they are projecting. These numbers, I
should add, should be taken with a grain of salt. They referred to
gross merchandise volume numbers, the measure that eBay and other
e-commerce sites have used, referring to the total value of
third-party sellers transactions on the company's platforms and it
should not begin to used with Alibaba's revenue. The way it
calculates its gross merchandise volume is being queried by
regulators on concerned that it is defined differently. The executive
chairman said it is not the only index that can be used to measure
their success and if you are inclined to doubt those numbers he
also made another striking prediction, saying Alibaba would
have 2 billion consumers by 2036, up from 24 million active buyers this
year. As always, thank you very much.
Japanese stocks hit a nine-week low, with ongoing worries over
the referendum next week and fears that it could push Britain
out of the European Union and trigger turmoil
They are all red, that tells you what you need to know.
It's also approaching the first anniversary of the near-meltdown
Despite several attempted rallies since, the country's shares have not
pulled much above their levels of last August.
Here's how Europe is looking in the first hour of trade.
A similar picture in the first hour of trade, nothing moving anywhere
fast. And Samira has the details about
what's ahead on Wall Street Today. On Tuesday the US Federal Reserve
begins its two-day meeting on interest rate policy. While many
believe there is little chance of a rate rise this month, investors will
be focusing on when the next rise in interest rates may happen. Also
happening on Tuesday, US retail sales are out and it looks like they
may be up for the second month in a row. In May, Americans bought more
cars and higher gas prices meant people were spending more at petrol
stations. And finally, top executives from major financial
firms will be speaking at a two-day Investec conference in New York.
People from JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, bank of the, so on.
There could be some updates on what they are expecting to see in the
coming quarter. We will keep an eye on that.
Joining us is Jessica Ground, UK Equities Fund Manager at Schroders.
Good morning, Jessica. We seem to be in a very... Not as scary place,
that is exaggerating, but a very nervous place as far as my kids are
concerned, looking at the breaking news right now, yield on ten year
German debt turning negative, people putting their money into safe
places? Definitely, all eyes, not just in the UK but globally now,
with policymakers in the US and Japan referencing the referendum in
nine days' time, and I think with the release of the latest polls what
we are seeing is that people are looking to head some of their
positions, so we have seen people betting against sterling, sensing
some sort of flight to safety with the safe Government debt from
Germany going negative. I mentioned the anniversary of the meltdown in
the Chinese stock market and that nothing has really changed since. We
saw the big sell-off at the time, a lot of nervousness about its barking
the beginning of the end for the rally in China but nothing has
really changed, investors are a bit more sangria about it? You have got
to look underneath that what is happening on the ground in China.
Much of the excitement in the rally was as the Chinese built up their
infrastructure, built out property and real estate, and they have been
clear about needing to move more towards consumption. Global trade
has increasingly become difficult. But I think that it has been more
difficult to engineer that shift from infrastructure investment
towards more consumption, away from exporting to more domestic demand. I
think that is why we have not seen those highs that we saw a year ago.
It is important to take a step back and think, 2015, until the meltdown
that we had this times of months ago, some of these assets had run up
to very high levels. I cannot believe that is a year ago.
Time flies when you are having fun talking about market!
Jessica will be back to talk us through some of the stories in the
papers today. Leasing rather than buying
equipment is soaring We'll meet the head
of one of the region's You're with Business
Live from BBC News. Around 120,000 jobs are thought
to have been lost in the UK's oil and gas industry over the last few
years after that Today industry leaders are gathering
in Aberdeen where many of those Just talk us through this, Aberdeen
was hit particularly hard by the downturn in oil prices, how is it
manifesting itself day-to-day? Aziza, Aberdeen is the self-styled
capital of Oil Gas UK Europe. This is a bridging system, normally the
kind of thing juicy offshore, today definitely onshore along with
hundreds of delegates here at the Oil Gas UK annual conference.
Within the last year there has been dramatic changes since these
industry leaders last gathered, a huge drop in the price of oil
globally, thousands of job losses in the industry, Aberdeen significantly
hit because it is such a call for the whole of the European oil and
gas sector. I am joined by Mike from Oil Gas UK. It is a difficult time
for the industry and you are predicting more job losses?
We could be seeing further job losses, 120,000 have gone across our
sector and our society. Aberdeen say it has been impacted by this. It is
not just those working offshore, it is not just those working onshore,
but supply chain industries. Yes, our theme is around Aberdeen and the
UK continental shelf open for business. We can compete globally,
this is part of our ability to show that. We are seeing a reduction in
the amount of oil that can be extracted from the North Sea, what
kind of a future do you see for North Sea oil and gas? Production
has fallen to a third of what it was 15 years ago, but it has started to
increase. Can we keep it growing at a time when investment is under
pressure? The conference is just getting under way.
A rough ride for people in Aberdeen as a result of that downturn in
prices. The UK fashion brand Ted Baker,
revenues are up 11% in the last five months.
French unions call for a show of strength as workers down tools
in a battle with authorities over labour reforms.
All of this while Euro 2016 is taking place.
That's the dilemma facing many businesses as they grapple
with the cost of new technology, updating equipment
And despite record low interest rates which make borrowing cheaper,
more and more European businesses are choosing to rent equipment.
The industry association Leaseurope says it's seen strong
In the last three months of 2015 it was up nearly 13%.
It reported $29 billion worth of new business in the region.
And software is one of the biggest growth areas, with companies
using a lease to spread the costs of installation and deployment.
Your company is in the thick of this. Tell us how your organisation
works. We are a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, the largest bank in Europe.
We provide to our client leasing solutions. When a company wants to
purchase an asset, for example a tractor or a truck, instead of
buying it using the investment capability, they will ask as to
provide it and then we will rent them the asset. At the end of the
contract, which is usually a contract between two and four years,
they will bring us back the asset, and if they want they can renew the
asset, so it will have a new one with new technology. It is aborted,
because they can shift to new technology easier, and we. Another
contract. Instead of having to invest, they just rent the asset. It
is important for them, because most of the time they have a limited
investment capability. This reflects the sharing economy, you don't own
the thing anymore, you just wrote it and you pay for the time you have
borrowed it. This is that on an industrial scale. Exactly. You can
do that for equipment but also for software, printers or whatever. It
is a good way for you to get an asset which is brand-new with new
technology without having to bear all of the costs related to the
change of those assets. You can even get additional services,
maintenance, and this is how we operate, we offer the full solution,
which is much better for the client. I understand it is great for a small
or medium-sized company, they don't have the money to spend, we have
seen this business go up in Europe but for off in the United States.
You would think it would be the other way round, as the economy is
growing more, you would see more of this activity? There is one
specificity. You look at their market, especially agriculture, it
has been growing very fast in between 2005 and today or last year.
At that time it was related to the growth of the agriculture in
general. Why did we have this? It is because more and more use of new
products for corn. They grew the size of the cornfield and the
production, so we have an increase of agriculture. But it is on the
drop. The market is dropping in the US. There is so much more to
discuss. The debate over the EU referendum
has been dominated by big business. Their views are well known,
but what about smaller firms? There are more people working
in small and medium-sized businesses, and they account for 99%
of all firms in the UK. Today we've got the first
in a special series looking at what small businesses make
of being in the EU. I am Ed Salt, the managing
director of Delamere Dairy. We have been established for 30
years, and we have been supplying goats' milk to the market
and speciality dairy products The farms that supply us benefit
from EU subsidies. There is a lot of red tape around
Europe and I am sure there are times when Europe can be criticised
for the amount of paperwork and how awkward it can be to deal and be
part of the EU, but from a farming point of view
the subsidies that the farms get If they are disappearing
or were to be taken away, the only thing that can happen
is food prices would increase, or there is a process of us
absorbing those costs, You can get more on what businesses
think on the referendum as well as what both sides say on a range of
issues at the BBC referendum web page. Do check it out. The big
decision is in just nine days' time. What other business
stories has the media been Jessica Ground, UK Equities Fund
Manager at Schroders, The big announcement, Microsoft
buying LinkedIn, it hit the wires, diverse your take on it. This is
solidifying Microsoft's desire to become a business to business
player. LinkedIn has got the relevance to recruitment. They are
trying to talk about almost a dashboard, so you have your
Microsoft Outlook calendar, and flashes up who you are meeting, the
fact you have been to school with them and the fact they have e-mailed
you the Microsoft presentation. A big acquisition, a quarter of a cash
that they have on their balance sheet. They have had a mixed track
record, they bought Nokia, not so successful, although people feel
that Skype, which they have integrated, has been better.
Interesting to see them moving away from the traditional software to
networks. I hope the app improves, I find it hard work. Do you use it?
Yes, but I am not going to get involved!
I am just saying! In the New York Times they are
talking about the Washington Post being barred by the Donald Trump
campaign. Things getting nasty. Yes, this is not the first time we have
seen Donald Trump bark different news outlets, but it is the most
mainstream one that we have seen. A lot of the others had been websites.
He has run an unconventional campaign. That shows no signs of
changing, even though he becomes the mainstream candidate. Does it not
show he is scared by negative press? Most people would be courting the
media, but he does not want them. He makes these public bands of news
outlets, and the journalists, he is then getting exclusive interviews to
them, so I am not sure it is a consistent strategy, but you are the
experts. We will see how it works out for the BBC. This is a story
that was out at the weekend, who would you like to have lunch with?
Somebody has paid $3.4 million to go to lunch with Warren Buffett, which
goes to charity. Who would you have lunch with? I would like to have
lunch with Mark Carney, not just because of his George Clooney
resemblance! He is doing interesting things, not only the Bank of England
but how he is addressing climate change and the long-term impact.
Mark Carney, if you are watching, lunch, I will come as well!
It is like a dating show! Goodbye! Than a familiar steel behind me, low
pressure the dominant feature through the course of the morning.
Not a great deal of change in the overall pattern, although there will
be regional variations. The showers