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This is Business Live from BBC News, with Ben Thompson and Sally Bundock.
The world's biggest online retailer gears up for "Singles Day".
Live from London, on Wednesday 2nd November.
Alibaba is expected to post a big rise in income.
But what about its plans for global expansion?
Markets in South Korea take a beating as the country's
corruption scandal forces out the finance minister
Our Asia business hub will bring us the latest.
They're super fit and super talented.
So how do you handle a global sporting superstar when they decide
We'll find out from one of the big bosses at a major sports agency.
And, as internet use on mobile phones overtakes desktop
computers for the first time, we want to know, have
you ditched the desktop and manage on mobile?
We start with news of a true titan of the business world, Alibaba.
The Chinese firm is the biggest e-commerce platform in the world,
so when it reports its latest results in a few hours,
it's going to attract a lot of attention.
This gives you a sense of its enormity.
Last year, transactions on Alibaba sites totalled some $462 billion.
That's more than eBay and Amazon combined.
The company became one of the globe's most-valuable tech
firms after raising $25 billion from its US stock-market launch.
Investors will be looking for news of its plans for global expansion.
Its mobile payment system Alipay is key to that,
with plans for it to be introduced in Europe, the US and Asia.
Alipay is also important for the company's moves to cash
in on a shift in how consumers shop, now increasingly doing
Ben Preston is a director at Orbis Investment Advisory and is with us.
The profits news is expected to be fairly robust, but many are asking
questions about the outlook. China is already a world leader in terms
of the proportion of goods that are bought and sold online and on
mobile, and in that market Alibaba are the biggest player, so they are
huge. Over 400 million customers, larger than the UK and US
populations combined. It has grown strongly, it becomes harder to
maintain the growth rate, and there is the element of competition. The
more money you make, the more you attract competitors. There is
home-grown competition, and from Amazon prime, who have just arrived
on the scene. Can Alibaba, because of first mover advantage, keep hold
of its market share? Amazon are still very small in China. Alibaba
has a huge advantage will stop we are not interested in what is
happening today, but in several years in the future. The scale that
you have today is imported, but what is critical is what you offer
customers. Some local competitors have come in with a slightly
different business model Emma and are growing faster than Alibaba.
Their payment system is on the agenda, enabling us to pay for
things on our mobile devices, that is important to any mobile retailer,
but talk about Alibaba's intentions outside mainland China, when will we
see us considering Alibaba in Europe as opposed to Amazon? They have this
ambition that 50% of their business will be outside China in the future.
That will be hard to do, because we already have our established
businesses. We often use Amazon and eBay, and it is hard to disrupt
customers with fake IDs to a particular marketplace. In the US it
is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to online shopping,
Amazon, but will it come to a point where it is about price wars and
going for the cheapest version's --? I don't think so, you need
accommodation of price, quality and service.
When the results come out, we will let you know how they are doing.
Tesla has written to shareholders ahead of a vote on its $2.6 billion
acquisition of solar-panel company SolarCity.
It needs to win their support for the deal despite reports of
Tesla says the takeover would provide a boost to profitability.
Investors are due to vote on the deal later this month.
Tesla's founder Elon Musk say he's confident the takeover
A leading think tank is warning inflation in the UK will quadruple
to about 4% in the second half of next year.
The National Institute for Economic and Social Research says the rise
in prices will "accelerate rapidly" during 2017 as the fall
in the value of sterling is passed on to consumers.
In September, the inflation rate rose to its highest level
We have been following the woes of Deutsche Bank. Shares in the Italian
bank falling 6% in early trade today, prompting an automatic
trading suspension. This after the withdrawal of the alternative rescue
plan for Italy's third largest lender.
A lot of concern about exposure to the Italian banking sector. That
bank is one of the Weakest Link in Italy. Real concern about the
outlook for that bank and the implications it may have for other
banks in Europe exposed to Italian banking.
It is all about bad debts and what it means for the wider economy.
Fast-moving developments in South Korea's corruption scandal
are having a real impact on the markets there.
Sharanjit is across this for us in Singapore.
Expert on what has happened and why this affects the market. The South
Korean currency and shares have fallen to their weakest level since
early July. That is as political boys inside and outside the country
made investors uneasy. The benchmark stock index closed down about 1.4%.
The currency touched a low of 1152 during the session. A lot of concern
around the scandal, South Korean prosecutors have accused a close
friend of the President of fraud. The woman is accused of siphoning
woman -- money from a fund that received millions of dollars in
donations from national firms. It is a political scandal that are
threatening to undermine the President. A new Prime Minister as
well as a Finance Minister have been named. The fourth time minister to
serve under the President, while it will be the fifth Finance Minister
in four years. The moves are not likely to result in any policy
changes, but there is a lot of uncertainty of how much longer the
president will remain in power. That is impacting the market sentiment,
and her approval ratings have sunk to single digits in the wake of the
allegations. We also see the tightening American presidential
race, which is also weighing on market sentiment and across Asia.
Joining us is Justin Urquhart-Stewart, co-founder
and director of Seven Investment Management.
We saw all markets in Asia sliding today following the fear factor on
Wall Street, and it is carrying on into Europe. Markets, or investors,
are running for safety. The nasty phrase, comp dump! But it puts a
frisson of nerves through. A bit like dealing with the referendum,
everybody knew which way you were going, but the risk is not that
side, it is the other side, and like with a referendum, the risk is that
if you voted to go, therefore the impact on sterling, exactly the same
with Donald Trump, so what will you do? The interesting thing about
Donald Trump, when we voted to leave the EU, sterling fell like a stone,
but that will not necessarily happen with the US dollar is Donald Trump
or to get the job. The US dollar is seen as a place of safety. One
currency would be affected, the Mexican peso, because one of the
issues was if Hillary Clinton gets in, the Mexican peso would recover
quickly. Down 2% today. Further pressure the, further dollar
strength, perversely. Federal Reserve data not expected to hit the
headlines, they want to keep a low profile. Everybody is getting into
trouble, making decisions at the moment! It will be next month. There
is a very good chance there will be a rate rise, because the American
economy is doing quite well. Jobs figures are quite good, growth
figures are quite good, the types of jobs are not quite so good. It is a
change. We'll be markets get nervous? They have known about it
for some time, but they will still get nervous, because it is a change
in that direction. We move into the cycle, rate start rising. How much
did you use your mobile device? It is fascinating how it is changing.
We have this argument about which one is being used. Now I think I use
my mobile and my tablet the most. It is fascinating. When you look at the
surface pro, which bridges the two, there has been a change. A lot of
offices doing that, you take your device with you, but when you get
in, you plug it in. The much loved tablet.
It never works! It drives us round the twist.
Shulman mentioned some viewer comments? Catherine says she merely
uses her laptop. She says the mobile screen is too small to see and hurt
her hands to type. Karen says a combination is best,
mobile for faster customer response, plus big screen for planned work.
Scott says, the phone is the only way when I am not at my desk, but I
prefer to use the desktop. It is about scale, there is only so long
you can stare at a tiny screen. Maybe that is a sign of me getting
older as well. They're full of ambition
and talent, but not always We'll talk to a leading sports agent
about how you handle a global You're with Business
Live from BBC News. We've had a trading update
from the British high street. Retailer Next has given detail
of its sales for October. Sales down nearly 6% in the third
quarter. What more do they have to say? Next has been struggling in the
third quarter, and it did expect it would be, because this time last
year the company was doing very well, but this year things have been
different, there has been the fall in the value of sterling, but also
unseasonably warm weather. No surprise there shareholders, the
share price has had a bit of a rough ride. A big fall after the
referendum, and back up, and then fell again. The problem is that the
high street stores are not doing well, sales are down nearly 6%.
Online, catalogues, a bit better, but the picture for the third
quarter has been fairly rough. For the year as a whole it is ecstatic
profits to be stable at about ?805 million, because it has been cutting
its costs. And we've had details on the latest
shop prices this morning, The price rise has not happened yet,
according to new figures. In the year to October shop prices fell by
1.7%, compared to last October. We remember Bob White gate, Unilever
raising its prices and Tesco protesting. The fall in the value of
sterling has not that through jet. Many retailers have hedged against
it, they have taken out insurance against a falling sterling, but
those contracts will expire soon and the British Retail Consortium says
it is inevitable that higher prices will follow next year.
Lots of earnings on our page. I have highlighted this one. Tim Martin has
been a guest on our programme if you times, the chairman of Wetherspoon
's, he was pro Brexit. Their sales have grown 3.5%, in the 13 weeks to
the end of October. The level of like-for-like sales growth slipping
to 2.3%. One thing we are keeping a close eye
on, the quarterly inflation report from the Bank of England, we will
look at that in detail tomorrow morning.
It's all eyes on the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
It reports its result later today, and investors will be looking
for more news on the company's plans for global expansion.
A quick look at how markets are faring.
Name the film that this line comes from.
It's Jerry Maguire, of course, the Tom Cruise movie about a sports
agent and his efforts to get the best deal for his client.
But away from the Hollywood portrayal, what's the sports-agency
Last year the global sports market revenue was $145.4 billion.
In the UK alone the business contributes over $24 billion
to the economy, and as an industry provides 450,000 jobs.
One of the major players in this market place is Wasserman,
a global sports agency that deals with everything
Their client list covers athletes from across football,
as well as rugby, basketball and baseball, to name a few.
They've negotiated deals totalling hundreds of millions of dollars
and represent brands as varied as Microsoft,
Lenah Ueltzen-Gabell knows the industry from both
She rose to fame as a world beating equestrian star -
and now is one of the big bosses at Wasserman.
And York area of expertise is Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
And there is a big event happening today? Yes, we are proud to work
closely with the Abu Dhabi sports Council to bring the ladies open to
the Middle East and to Abu Dhabi. It is the first ladies sporting event
ever in that region and we are so proud to bring that to life. When
you say bring it to life, what do you actually need to do to make that
happen? There is so much going into it, take a wedding and times it by
ten is probably the best thing to think about, between the organisers,
the talent, the sponsors and then taking something so momentous for
women in this industry, which is still an area where we need to do a
bit of work. It is just managing a lot of different things. You were an
equestrian sporting star moving into this side of the business. Talk us
through that transition. Presumably your experience as a sportswoman is
extremely helpful? You understand both sides of the story. Yes, I
guess I started in this industry has the talent and now I've switched
over to the business side. I think I had my first client at 13 when I was
competing. And now it really helps understand young kids as they enter
into this environment, and understand the sponsors, the money
and all the different pieces that kind of have to play together. Give
us an idea of how that relationship works. If you have a young fledgling
sports star who you have spotted potential in, they could go far,
very good at what they do, how do you start that relationship with
sponsors Westmont do sponsors want something for their money? It's not
just about exposure, so how do you manage it? Very carefully, but it's
really about education on both sides of the fence. I think when you bring
sports stars into this environment there is a lot of money and pressure
but at the end of the day it is about the sport they love. It is
about keeping them focused. Looking towards the brands, they get into
this for the Passion of the sport and the excitement around it. So you
can't have them polluting the game as well. You have to think of the
fine balance of educating both sides on what they are buying into and
what they could potentially get out of this, so that they have
understanding and respect for each other. What happens on the flip side
if things do not go according to plan? A number of sports stars have
fallen from grace. How do you manage the downward spiral rather than the
rise to fame? I think it is crisis management on both sides. Looking to
any other sponsorships and partnerships, they don't always go
as planned, so you always need a back-up plan. I think it comes down
to education. It's about having people understand the consequences
for the decisions they make and also showing them and having that sort of
built in attitude. How do you measure and protect your talent?
Especially in sports some of them are extremely young. And it's just
an incredible swift move to global fame, isn't it? If you are extremely
talented and rise to fame quickly it must be hard to manage that. It is.
But if you go back to why they are famous, right? It's about the
performance on the pitch and you never want to impact that, right?
You have to stay very focused on that. If you are not able to perform
on the pitch it goes away. If you can keep them focused, keep a good
surrounding an education, a smart client, whether they are a talent, a
brand or a property, they understand the consequences of what we are
dealing with. We talked primarily here about the sports stars
themselves, and you talked about putting on this event in Abu Dhabi,
do you have to approach that very different he? I suppose when you are
dealing with individuals it is eager management to a certain extent,
shall we say? But when it comes to event it is about profile and I
guess in the case of Abu Dhabi putting it on the map in terms of
sport. It is all about brands, whether you are a talent, a
blue-chip brand, that is your brand. And you are both brands sitting here
in front of us. It's about managing those brands and asking them what
they want to be, what are we trying to portray to the world, really
working closely with the Abu Dhabi sports Council, really working
closely with the that we have worked with here, the brands we have worked
with. What are you trying to achieve? I call it the mirror test,
and that helps the talent well. What are these guys trying to achieve?
Who do they want to be when they grow up? I think it is quite another
dealing with a brand that has its own PR team, or working with your
own talent or a venue or a country. Interesting. Thanks for coming in.
Very interesting. I still think we go through that thing of what I want
to be when I grow up. A Blue Peter presenter. How did that happen?
In a moment we'll take a look through the Business Pages but first
here's a quick reminder of how to get in touch with us.
We have loads of comments coming in about mobile devices against
desktop. You can stay ahead with all the days
breaking business news. We'll keep you up-to-date with all the latest
details with insight and analysis from the BBC team of editors right
around the world. And we want to hear from you, too. Get involved on
the BBC business life web page. And you can find us on twitter and
Facebook. Business Live on TV and whenever online, you need to know.
Joining us is Justin Urquhart-Stewart, Co-Founder
Director of Seven Investment Management.
Nice to see you again. We are going to talk about this story in the
Telegraph, mobile web usage overtaking desktop for the first
time. All of us walking around staring at our phones, not sat at
desks using traditional computers. We spoke earlier about whether you
were a convert. People now shopping, surfing, doing everything on the
move rather than being tied to a desk. You see people walking down
Regent Street, their phone is attached to their head. Sometimes
you see them moving it around so they can then see the screen, then
putting it back to their head again. It has just fundamentally changed.
It's not so much the phone, it's seeing how much growth there is in
the tablet side of things. The issue with the screen has aways been the
construction, you cannot just look at the little screen the entire
time, you'll get boss eyed. That screen gets a little larger, then
you have all those things you have on your desktop capable of going on
to the pad, life then suddenly changes. I remember our team in
Singapore did a piece, I can't member which city it was, but a city
in China, where they have mobile aims. So you know you have a cycle
lane, the pavement, the road. The amount of times I have almost bumped
into somebody not looking where they are going. The most dangerous person
in London is a young lady armed with a hot cup of coffee and a phone. Why
does it have to be a young lady? Because men can only do one thing at
once. Julie says she only uses her so or tablet for browsing. Luke is
not a convert, he says he has and always will use the desktop for
browsing, it is much easier than having to use your phone. Chase says
I ditched my desktop PC for my mobile, I can't carry my desktop in
my pocket. Indeed. Let's look at some other stories with Justin. The
highest-paid jobs of 2016 have been revealed. Ayew on the list, just in?
Luckily they don't have the names. Who's doing what and being paid
what? Not unsurprisingly, Chief Executive and senior officials,
they've put that at ?85,000, which compared with Sir Martin Sorrell, I
would think is a day 's pay. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
and air traffic controllers are below that. These must be the legacy
carriers, I'm guessing? I would suppose so. I'm guessing if you are
on Ryanair or any of the other discounters, you will not be
well-paid. Number four is transport associate professionals, I have no
idea what they are. No idea. Legal professionals comes sixth, I'm not
surprised. I'm surprised it's so low actually. And brokers that. Broking
what? That covers all to multitude of sins. Financial directors at
number ten, that cannot be right, surely. Justin, what did you want to
be when you grew up? If you had an agent at the age of 13, where would
they have taken you? To Egypt, I wanted to be an archaeologist. You
are getting there. I've got to go back to my childhood, I've been told
to go and find a relic before they become what. You are going on dig
sand allsorts. Yes, economic archaeology. Thank you for coming
in, always good to see you. Have a good day, goodbye.
For most of us a fine looking weather day with plenty of sunshine