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This is Business Live from BBC News with Ben Thompson and Sally Bundock.
France says "bonjour" to the big banks.
As Brexit creeps closer, it's been revealed that British
banks are actively preparing to shift across the Channel.
Live from London, that's our top story on Thursday 8th December.
Could Brexit mean a new financial dawn for Paris?
A top official there tells the BBC that big banks are already
Also in the programme, From Russia With Love -
the Kremlin has sold an $11.3bn stake in Russia's largest
oil company Rosneft to Glencore and Qatar.
And we'll be getting the inside track on a firm
named one of the top 50 disrupters in the world.
In Europe, we are going up and up. How long will the rally last? We
will get an expert view. And we'll be getting
the inside track on a firm named one of the top 50 disrupters
in the world. It lets customers buy online
with just one click. We ask the boss how it works
and whether it's safe. And as a new study lists the top ten
places to work, we want to know - what's the one thing you'd change
about your workplace? We start with Brexit -
and the growing concerns within Britain's financial industry
about the coming departure In Paris, a top official has told
the BBC that major banks are in advanced stages of planning
to shift some operations from London Financial firms contribute some 12%
percent of the UK economy. Currently, they can
operate across the EU a right they may lose when Britain
leaves the EU. In the City of London, some of the
world's biggest financial giants are pondering how to react to an
uncertain future. In Paris, they are in full swing. I am told
international banks are being wooed with special deals on income tax,
corporation tax, schooling. They corporation tax, schooling. They
have even been told contracts will be written in English. You have had
lots of interest from international institutions. What state are you at
now with negotiations? In some cases, we are still at the level of
informal consultants be with lawyers and so on. But in other cases,
especially regarding international banks, it is no more informal. There
are already undertaking reels due diligence and we receive a lot of
practical questions. So we now know that companies have
taken big steps towards moving. And if they do come to Paris, there will
probably come here, where 70 new office buildings are being planned
and where an influx from Britain is seen as key to attracting the rest
of the world. We are also aiming at world companies that are today
established in London, or thinking about establishing themselves
somewhere in Europe. For instance, we have a lot of contact with
Chinese companies who are looking for a base in Europe and are very
interested by France in Paris for many reasons, and they are very
interested by the Paris business Institute. Do you think these are
companies that would otherwise have gone to London? Probably. But now
that is off the table? Yes. I have spoken to bankers and lobbyists and
politicians across Europe, and it is clear that there isn't one city, not
even Paris, that thinks it can take on everything that the City of
London does. But there are lots, like Luxembourg, Amsterdam,
Frankfurt, Dublin and yes, the French capital, that think they can
take a big chunk of that business, and if you put all those chunks
together, you end up with a very big problem for one of Britain's biggest
and most lucrative industries. We will stay across that story about
the banks that are actively preparing to move overseas.
The world of big oil deals doesn't come much bigger than this.
The giant commodities trader, Glencore, and the sovereign wealth
fund of Qatar are buying almost a fifth of Russia's state-owned oil
The big bucks for the deal are coming from Qatar,
with Glencore putting up around $320m.
Our reporter from the BBC Russian Service joins us from Moscow
This is a big-money deal? Yes. The Kremlin say this is another victory.
They say they have managed to sell Rosneft despite the sanctions and
that investors are still interested in Russia. However, if you analyse
it carefully, you can see the opposite. You can see that Russia's
economy is struggling and the Kremlin urgently needs to take steps
to heal holes in its budget. This was another example of that. It
shows how the Russian economy is struggling and how some of the
Russian firms are struggling to repay their debts and how volatile
the Russian economy is and how dependent it is on oil, which is
still unstable and is not growing. So put this in perspective for us.
Russia has of course been grappling with western sanctions for some
time. How key is this deal for Rosneft and the Russian economy? It
was very important for Rosneft and Moscow on the one hand to get some
profit and somehow get money to heal the holes in the country's budget.
But on the other hand, it was important to remain in control of
this strategic asset, and they managed to achieve both of these
goals. However, the Russian rouble is still heavily dependent on oil
and the Russian economy is still struggling to overcome the outcomes
of Western sanctions to deal with the volatility in the oil market. As
you said, a welcome boost as far as the coffers are concerned in Moscow,
and President Putin has talked about this, highlighting that it is the
biggest sale in the energy sector so far this year? Yes, Russia's state
news has shown this in their headlines. They are showing that
this is a great success of the Russian economy and of the Russian
president. On the other hand, we are waiting for markets to react and we
are seeing that Russian oil companies had a meeting with Mr
Putin earlier and they had to agree on cuts which may hit the Russian
economy later this year. Big Russian companies will have to repay their
debts, and this is also adding to uncertainty in the market. All that
is part of our Russian service. Thank you for your time. -- Olga.
Let's take you to do Business Live page. But the UK retailer is
dominating the stories, Sports Direct. It has reported a this
morning, so staff morale has been hit, they say. -- it has reported a
loss. It was hit by accusations of Victorian conditions in its
warehouses. It has come in for a lot of criticism, not least by MPs, who
have been calling for an improvement in working standards. There is
plenty of detail, because they have issued their figures this morning.
We have had a fierce fightback from the boss, lashing out at critics. He
says his business is all ethnically motivated.
Financial markets in Europe will be looking to Frankfurt today
where the European Central Bank holds its meeting.
Analysts are expecting the massive monetary stimulus
The bank is currently buying up 80 billion euros of bonds a month
to push down borrowing costs for governments and firms as well as
Japan's economy grew at 1.3% in the three months
That's down sharply on the original estimate of 2.2%.
It's a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,
the world's third biggest economy through an asset purchase
scheme which he hopes will push inflation up.
Tata Steel has announced plans to secure jobs and production
at its UK steelworks including Port Talbot in Wales.
The one billion pound - that's about $1.25 billion -
commitment looks set to end eight months of uncertainty for employees
However, changes to workers' pensions are still to be agreed,
Let's see how things are going with the markets in Europe. Where are
heading into the European Central Bank meeting. There is an
expectation that the ECB will step in with further stimulus because of
the uncertainty about the outlook for Italy. For now, markets in
Europe are following the lead from Asia and Wall Street the night
before. And Samira Hussain has the details
about what's to watch out All eyes will be on US markets
Thursday. It has been a record-breaking streak as of late,
repeatedly closing at record highs since the presidential election. The
financial sector has been a big winner on markets, up some 15% since
November. President-elect Donald Trump's plans to reduce corporate
tax and regulations, along with the likelihood of the Federal Reserve
raising interest rates next week, have all been big boosts for the
banking sector. Also happening Thursday, a department store will be
reporting earnings. Investors will want to know how the struggling
retailer is getting ready for the holiday shopping season. They will
also be looking for any updates on its financial position, business
restructuring or sale plans. Back here, Justin Urquhart-Stewart,
co-founder and director of Seven Investment Management, is with us.
Let's start with the US markets, doing particularly well as a result
of Trump. As Sally said, the Trump pump. Let's enjoy the party. No one
has said anything yet! We haven't got a clue what the policies are
like, but we have an idea, so we enjoy it. It is like Brexit, we have
a phoney war there too. Everything carries on until someone explains
the policies. At that stage, does the guild suddenly come off the
lovely polish? If we add the result of the US election to the
traditional December rally, it will that have an impact as well? There
is that warm feeling to it, but behind it, people are looking at
what he's actually saying. People are saying he will pump a lot of
money into the economy, so things will benefit from that. But the
other side is what will actually happen about trade, if he is
actually going to be more isolationist and break up trade
deals, that is very bad for global trade. So at the moment, they are
looking on the good side. What would burst the bubble? It would burst the
bubble if he said, our policies are going to be directly anti-trade when
it comes to Nafta. If it is cancelled, which is unlikely, and if
he suddenly turns on Europe. It is more likely that the global carry on
for a while, and then you will start seeing the policies coming through
and at that stage, people will say maybe it is not quite as good,
because things like infrastructure don't happen immediately. It is a
nice policy, but it takes a while to come through and at that stage
reality will come back. But enjoyed it for the moment. Did European
Central Bank were due to wrap up their stimulus programme in March.
But they may carry on because of concerns about the banking system
not just in Italy, but also the concerns over Deutsche Bank in
Germany, and making sure the confidence is still there. Europe is
an economy overall, the general picture is not that bad. But they
need to make sure there was enough assurance behind the banking system.
Everything is woefully negative at the moment. But if it has more
support, that could turn around. Justin will be back to talk to us,
amongst other things, about what you would change about your office. Lots
of you are getting in touch. Some things, we can't say out loud. Chris
says, a better owner, a company that doesn't insist on you working eight
hours without a break. David says, I would move my office to another
country. Keep your comments coming in.
All very negative. We want Trump pump style reaction.
We meet the firm named one of the top 50 disrupter
It allows customers to buy online with just one click.
We ask the boss how it works and whether it's safe.
You're with Business Live from BBC News
Sports Direct has reported a big drop in half-year
profits after being hit by the fall in the pound.
It caps off a tough year for retailer, which has included
paliamentary and newspaper investigations into how it treats
its staff and a vote of no confidence from investors.
Justin Bones is in our Salford Newsroom.
Just tell us a bit more about what the figures show about Sports
Direct. Yes, it really does seem like hardly a week goes by without
us talking about Sports Direct. It has been warning for some time that
profits could be hit this year. If you look at the underlying pre-tax
profit, that is down 57%. If you prefer reported pre-tax profit, that
is 25%, down by about ?140 million. That is despite sales actually going
up in shops to about 1.6 billion. The company is blaming a number of
things, including the decrease in the value of the pound. Some of the
fall in the value of the assets as well. Also, it is investing more in
people. The reason for that is a lot of the controversy that we have been
hearing about. You may remember it got in trouble for underpaid people,
not paying the minimum wage, because it was taking them so long to get
through stringent security checks at the end of the day. They have also
done away with the six strikes and you're out rule, for one people were
not following rules in the warehouse, and produced a more
standard grievance system. Because of all that trouble, the majority
shareholder, Mike Ashley, reappointed himself as the company
's chief executive just a couple of months ago. One of his first
acquisitions? Well, a new private jet for the company, that will sit
alongside Sports Direct's private helicopter. What is the company
saying in response to this? Keith Halliwell, the company chairman, has
gone on a bit of a rant in the report. A bit of a diatribe. I will
really what he said. I have no doubt that extreme political, union and
media campaign against the company has impacted negatively on the
morale of people. It says it has been disproportionate, inaccurate
and misleading. Thank you very much indeed. Much more on the website.
France's financial regulator has told BBC News that major banks
are in the advanced stages of planning to move some operations
from London to Paris as they weigh up the implications of Brexit.
Benoit de Juvegny said the French capital was seeking to attract
businesses concerned about being able to operate
A quick look at how markets are faring.
Still higher, how long will that last? For now, enjoy the rally.
With Christmas fast approaching, many of you may be avoiding
the last-minute dash for presents by shopping online.
Yes, the convenience of e-commerce has revolutionised the way
we shop and next year, the annual total of all online
purchases is set to top 2 trillion dollars for the very first time.
But some people say the process can be made even simpler.
Klarna is a Swedish payments provider that allows you to complete
This means that you no longer need to go through the long-winded
process of entering your personal information and bank details.
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the company's boss.
He sat down with our colleague Joe Lynam and began telling him how
We wanted to make payments really simplistic and realised
the things people don't like is exposing a credit card,
We said, why wouldn't we just use the data that you already
provided to the merchants, just allow you to buy
Does the consumer take the risk before the payment is confirmed,
We take the full risk, both from a credit risk perspective
So, if something happens, it is up to us.
This is really where a lot of the technology has been built
around how do we recognise fraud, how do we protect both the consumer
We have been doing this for 11 years and I think we are processing
So, it has worked really, really well, but it has taken
How do you assess risk of the consumer given the fact that
all you have as their name and e-mail address usually?
Basically what we do is we use what we call a risk-based approach.
Now it has become more and more used by other financial
It was very revolutionary when we started it.
It basically means when we look at a specific transaction,
a lot of data might be what time of the day is it, what type
We are one of the few companies in the world that actually
have a security level for the items that you are buying.
So we look at this data and make an assessment.
If it is a transaction with low risk, it might be just enough,
If there is someone buying four iPhones in the middle of the night,
you might want to ask a couple of more questions
Does the consumer lose out, does the bank lose out,
You don't have to sign up before, you can just go
If consumers appreciate our experience, it might be
that they start using it more and more often, instead
of using their card, and eventually it replaces their need for the card.
So, obviously, if you are a credit card issuer, if your bank
is supplying this kind of payment products, this is the person that
could potentially lose out if it is successful.
When you started this company, you are just out of university,
in your early 20s, with no financial experience or education,
and yet your company is now worth $2.2 billion.
Why should we trust a guy with no financial experience ten years ago?
I have actually been doing this now for 12 years.
If you bring somebody in and say, yes, that person has been working 12
years in the financial industry, you'd say that is quite all right
To me, being one of the largest shareholders
Basically, I am the one that is going to suffer
I think that is actually the difference, with a lot
of the banks, what we saw in the financial crisis,
because there was no skin in the game for the executives,
when things hit the fan, basically, they didn't mind that much.
I have invested sweat, blood and tears, the last 11 years on it,
and make sure that compliance is number one.
Because that is the license to operate we have been given.
Speaking about that idea of simple fine payment processes. It is too
simple already, you spend too much when it is simple. You need the
barriers! I can see you clicking away. You need the barriers so you
put it off and don't spend. Justin is waiting to chat some more about
some of the other stories. This one in the Washington Post is
interesting. Company bosses turn to Jamie Diamond, the boss of JPMorgan,
lead to outreach to the Trump administration. He was the one that
was vaguely friendly with Mr Trump. All of the others are busily erasing
their previous speeches and comments about him. Trying to get into the
golden elevator in Trump Tower? The question is, isn't Jamie Diamond
part of the establishment, part of the haves? Is he in the swamp that
he is trying to drain? Is Mr Trump part of the swamp? In terms of
trading and business arrangements, Mr Diamond is part of it as well. He
is a firm supporter of things like immigration controls and some of
firms. -- some of the tax reforms. Is he a supporter when it comes to
trade agreements? He has been quite combative on the trade issue. The
problem would be, if you move to a period of more trade barriers, it is
bad for global trade. There is this view that globalisation is bad, the
world will move against it, but we need to be careful. The world has
got wealthier as a result. There is a balance between liberalising,
making sure you have money coming in, and putting up more barriers. At
the moment, the good side is winning, everybody is ignoring the
other side. The best places to work in the UK, I am sure that seven
investment management, you would say it is the best? Does everybody have
to wear braces? Of course, it is the uniform. No, not really. The only
time they did was my 60th birthday. We have seen the pictures on
Twitter. We asked what he would like to see. Let's talk about air
conditioning. I want the air conditioner switched off in the
winter and better job security. I don't know which order that should
come in. Madelyn says bringing dogs to work. If my cat could stand it, I
would bring him in. Let's talk about Expedia, number one? They have cars
and computer games in the office, I can tell why they like it. It is all
about issues, you know, how is my career, is there good training? Are
they flexible over time off work and things like that? It is basically
careers and training, that is what people want to see. I was surprised
there was not a spark of originality. We went through a phase
of people having games rooms and things like that. That seems to have
changed. It seems quite serious. Important stuff like training, as
opposed to table tennis and computer games? But if the BBC wants to put
them on, that is fine! He won't make it on the air, he'll be playing a
game! Once again, incredibly mild out
there. The sort of temperatures we have been getting overnight are
closer to what we have in the summer. 14