14/06/2016 BBC Business Live


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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


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