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This is Business Live from BBC News with Ben Thompson and Sally Bundock.
Oil prices surge after producing nations agree a cut in output.
Live from London, that's our top story on Monday
It's taken a while, but both Opec and non-Opec nations have finally
They're hoping to end more than two years of low oil prices.
Spanning the globe in a single leap.
Now travellers can fly non-stop from Australia to the UK.
We'll get the details from our Asia business hub.
And after more record rises on global stock markets -
that rise in crude prices has also pushed the numbers higher.
And we'll be getting the Inside Track on an energy
company that's electrifying African homes and businesses with a little
We'll be telling you how a little later.
It's being reported that Amazon workers have been sleeping in tents
close to the company's warehouse in Scotland.
Today we want to know what lengths have you gone to to be close
to your workplace in order to save time and money?
A very warm welcome to the programme. We are starting with oil.
Oil prices have surged in overnight trading.
Brent crude rose as high as $57.89 per barrel,
It has fallen back a little since then and a short while ago
it was trading at $56.64, still up 4%.
Well, the rise in prices comes after an historic deal was brokered
over the weekend at the Opec HQ in Vienna.
Opec of course is the cartel of oil-producing nations -
Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter,
has committed to cuts of almost 500,000 barrels
In response, other non-Opec members - including Russia -
also agreed to cut their output in order to boost prices.
They are pledging to slash output by 558,000 barrels per day.
Also there were producers representing Azerbaijan,
Oman, Mexico, Malaysia, Sudan, South Sudan and Bahrain.
The moves come after more than two years of low oil prices, which have
The deal marks the first global pact for 15 years.
Manouchehr Takin, International oil and energy consultant is with me.
As Ben says, this is key, because you have Opec and non-OPEC members
agreeing. Yes, we have to remember that from January onwards they will
start cutting gradually, so they haven't reduced yet, but the market
despite sceptic and negative commentators, the market has reacted
positively. My feeling was that Opec would agree, and now they and
non-OPEC are agreeing. As you say, there are sceptics out there about
whether these countries would deliver on the promise in the New
Year. What makes you think they will do this time? Because it has taken
two years, the stand-off, who is going to blink first, and they have
all blinked together. Because they are all losing, so the amount of
reduction of volume they do compared with the increase in price, the
total revenue will be higher for all of them. And just to say that try to
counter that scepticism, Opec are saying we are having a meeting in
Vienna in May next year to review how it is all going. Yes, they are
setting up a steering committee. They had this before on previous
occasions, but they are serious. All these mechanisms are there, but they
will have change, if one country over produces, it will be seen in
the statistics. Mostly they have all suffered, even Saudi Arabia, the
richest country, has gone to loans and debt, so they are all cutting, a
little bit of price going up, it is worth their while. Just briefly,
Manouchehr, when this all kicks in on the production cuts take effect,
what are we looking at? That is the million dollar question, but they
are definitely up, we go to $60, $70. I don't think it will go much
higher. Opec is hoping for something about $60 or a little bit more,
because shale oil and other producers have come back a little,
and they will increase supply, and that will cap the price. The price
cannot go up that much. Manouchehr, thank you viewer time. Many energy
stocks higher, the likes of BP and Shelter trading higher today.
The Venezuelan government has announced it will replace
the country's highest denomination bank notes - the 100-bolivar note -
It hopes the move will combat smuggling and tackle
the chronic shortage of food and other basic items.
President Nicolas Maduro says smuggling gangs that operate
in border areas won't have time to repatriate the money.
A similar move in India recently caused chaos.
State carrier Iran Air has signed a deal to buy 80 passenger planes
It is the biggest US-Iran deal since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Boeing says the deal is worth $16.6 billion
at current list prices, and had been approved
The first planes are scheduled for delivery in 2018.
It's being reported that Italy is ready to pump capital into Monte
dei Paschi di Siena, if the ailing bank fails to raise
the money it needs from investors to remain in business.
A source at the Italian Treasury is quoted as saying that "The bank's
existence and its clients' savings will be preserved under
On Sunday the bank had announced it would go ahead with plans to seek
It is a brand-new week, and we are struggling with technology. They
might not notice! We are just trying to find the live page, and we have a
new iPad, you may notice. We can't get the pictures to load on the
website. I have got it! But there are no pictures, for some reason.
Guys in the office, can you sort the pictures out, please? There we go!
We have a picture! You can tell it is a Monday morning, can't you? Some
of the stories they are covering, Italy is the story of the day,
because as we just mentioned there, Monte dei Paschi will be preserved,
that is crucial because that is the one that is most at risk as far as
debts are concerned in Italy. And shares are up in Italy on that
story. Australia is to build
a new airport in Sydney, PM Malcolm Turnbull gave the project
the green light just hours after it was confirmed that
new direct flights are to be launched between
Australia and the UK. It is quite phenomenal where we are
today given that in the 1930s when they first tried to get from London
to Australia by plane. That's right, but the deal to build Sydney's
second airport comes after seven decades of political squabbling, so
it is also big deal. It will be built at Badger's Creek, and the
first runway will open in 2020, and will take about a quarter of
Sydney's current capacity. Qantas announced plans to fly nonstop
between London and Australia, the 17 hour flight will start in March 2018
from London to Perth. This is just about boosting visitor numbers. The
new airport is central to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's drive to
keep the economy turning over after the end of the money drive. Think
about how many films you will be able to watch in 17 hours on that
flight! Let me show you the market numbers. That is what has happened
in Asia, heading higher as a result of the stronger oil price. And that
is what you need to know as far as oil is concerned. A similar picture
we should savour Brent Crude listed in the UK. But let's take you to
Europe. We will keep a watch on events, markets tending to be
looking towards the US about what happens as far as Donald Trump is
concerned, that business friendly rhetoric we have heard from him, and
whether that comes to fruition, we will find out in the New Year. Let's
head stateside. Michelle Fleury has
the details about what's ahead The main focus for Wall Street is
this week's Federal reserve meeting. The bank is expected to raise
interest rates by a quarter point for the first time in 12 months. It
is a move that has been widely telegraphed, but what investors want
to know now is the size and frequency of future rate hikes.
Given the potential boost to the economy from a Trump administration
that has focused on tax cuts and stimulus spending. And Mr Trump was
my own business interest will be under the microscope this week. He
would announce his plans to avoid conflict-of-interest while he is in
office. For those looking for a diversion, Oracle launched its
second quarter earnings on Thursday, and how much longer will the
post-election rally last? They are keeping a night on the Jones
industrial average, which is surging towards 20,000 points.
That was Michelle Fleury. Joining us is Kathleen Brooks,
research director at City Index. Nice to see you. All of us touching
on lots of issues to talk about. Michelle talks about the Fed in
midweek, although everybody seems to agree on what is going to happen,
but it is a big deal? It is, not because of what they are going to
do, which is 100% likely that they will hike interest rates, but it is
what they say about next year, the year after. Will we Mbaye, rate hike
cycle in the US? Trump has lifted the market, his expectations,
wanting to boost inflation, but will the punch bowl be taken away before
the party has begun by the Fed signalling rate hikes? And if you
add that to oil prices rising, that will mean more inflation and higher
interest rates. And that will also be an issue for other inflation
targeting central banks like ours, like the ECB, so I think we could be
in the deathknell of the low interest-rate environment. Alex has
tweeted to say he likes how I pronounce Monte dei Paschi, so I
will say it again! So about this cash injection, reports say they
will bear it out at all costs, because they have to protect
investors? Yes it looks like they are going to get ready to bail it
out, but it is still banking on potentially Qataris coming in with
private capital. And surely the state isn't allowed to bailout the
bank according to rules set by Brussels. What they will do with
Monte dei Paschi is that will determine whether or not banking
union can go ahead. The banking union tried to split the impact of
banking risk and what goes on on a sovereign balance sheet, but they
may not be able to do it this time because it is too painful to let a
bank go to the wall. Too big to fail. Kathleen, good to see you,
have a good week. Why buying electricity in the UK
could help power parts of Kenya. We speak to the energy firm helping
thousands of Kenyan villages You're with Business
Live from BBC News. The British Chambers of Commerce has
upgraded its forecast It now believes GDP will grow
by 2.1% in 2016 up from 1.8%. But the long-term picture
isn't looking so rosy - it's now lowered forecasts
for 2018 to 1% from 1.4%. The Director General
of the BCC is Dr Adam Marshall Good morning. Talk us through these
numbers, because it strikes me given all this uncertainty we have seen
big predictions, up, down, left, right, for what the economy is going
to do. How confident are you that you have got these numbers right? We
always forecast steady growth in 2016, and we have raised it or not,
because we have seen a lot of firms adopting a business as usual
attitude, and cracking on doing deals through the course of this
year. But we do think it will come off the boil next year, we are
predicting 1.1% for next year and 1.4% for 2018, and the main factor
is inflation following the devaluation of sterling. Businesses
and consumers will be hit with inflation, and that will affect
their decisions. And what about Brexit? That is what prompted the
rise in inflation, and that devaluation of sterling as well, so
it is one of many factors. Luckily we are not looking at a recession,
nor are we looking at a spike in unemployment. We are just looking at
less inspiring growth over the couple of years to come. So what are
you saying to your members in the light of that? What do they need to
do to counter the falling growth? The first thing to do is make sure
your company is ready for change and uncertainty, and IAC businesses day
in and day out who say they are not just ready for it but looking
forward to it. At a micro level, you have a lot of firms out there who
are seen disruption and change as an opportunity to grab new markets and
grow and look at new places around the world they can export to. That
is fantastic. The economy as a whole other macro level doesn't feel quite
as confident, there is still uncertainty out there, so businesses
need to get ready and the Government needs to back up. Good to talk to
you, Dr Adam Marshall. Thank you very much indeed. Let's take you to
the live page, Asos is hiring 1500 staff and will put them in its
London HQ, this coming at a time where conditions were described as
exploitative. You're watching Business Live.
Our top story: Oil prices have surged after both
Opec and non-Opec nations The agreement comes after more
than two years of depressed prices. We are seeing the oil price surging.
You can see the markets in Europe fairly mixed, but the ones that are
winning today are the big oil majors, Total, BP, Shell, those
companies are pushing up the main indexes in Europe today.
Now, chances are you don't much think about your power provider.
You might shop around for a cheaper deal, but that's about it.
Well, now one firm says as well as offering cheaper prices,
Brighter World Energy says it can undercut the big six energy
providers in the UK and at the same time help areas in Africa
that don't yet have an electricity infrastructure.
The company says that for every 20,000 customers in the UK who sign
up, it will install a solar power rig in, an African
village that doesn't currently have any electricity.
The first solar powered micro-grid is expected to start operating
The company was founded just this year by 33-year-old former
journalist Cheryl Latham and hopes to invest ?1.4 million in Africa
I want to clarify, it is 2,000 customers, isn't it? For every 2,000
customers. Not 20,000! Just so we get that right because
20,000 is a big goal for you to achieve and you think you will hit
your 2,000 in the New Year, your first 2,000? Yeah, we do. We think
that people in the UK really under estimate the pour we are of their
purchase. Here in the UK we under estimate pour we are in general,
that's the power running to our homes, but the power that we've got
to talk about the world we want to live in and doing something
differently. We are being told that in the UK that the big six are
keeping prices higher. And we should be switching and we are not
switching as much as the regulators are telling us to and some companies
have gone bust in the meantime? Yeah, well GB Energy went bust
because it was selling energy too cheaply and we are here to inspire
customers, the majority of customers who are sitting on the expensive
standard tariffs to come over to our's and give back while they
switch on the lights at home. You will be making a profit and you will
be staying in business? We are a procht for purpose company. We are
backed by a not-for-profit energy Ofgem relayed supplier. It is a
very, very secure business model, so we cut out comparison sites and
don't pay inflated salaries and we want to ensure that UK customers can
give back to the world around them as well as make sure that they've
got the best presents under their own Christmas tree this year. Let's
talk about what you're doing internationally then. How does that
translate? If I'm a customer of yours, how does my money get used in
Africa? Energy equals opportunity. So if we can put down some solar
power grid where the sun is in abundance, children can study into
the evening, vaccines can be stored safely, streets and homes can be lit
at night. It sounds wonderful, but in terms of the logistics of it,
what have you had to do in terms of working with the authorities to make
sure this does happen. Do you have a team out there that install these
things? We have got a team out in of a rick rick and we have been out to
Africa on numerous occasions, we have spoken to the World Bank and
Government officials and there is a huge appetite because I think many
African nations know that rolling out grid infrastructure is
particularly extensive and reaching the most remote, the last mile
communities will be difficult and you have got to include the private
sector. What does it cost you as a company to put out one of the grids?
Between $70,000 and $100,000. US dollars? That's why it is a
community of people here in the UK switching on a community over in
Africa. It costs $70 for every customer to switch. If we cut that
out, we can use that to give back to people elsewhere. You are a former
journalist... Yes. Now you are running the company and heavily
involved in the work in Africa. How do you make the leap from there to
there? Well, this was the kind of company that I wanted to buy from
and it didn't exist and there is a whole new generation of people out
there that want it do good with their money and care about where
their money goes. I was a business editor on a national newspaper and I
was looking, I realised that businesses had a huge opportunity it
do some fundamental good in the world. So I ditched my career at 30,
I went and studied an M BA, I got involved in merge, in clean
technology and I built the business over the last two years and raised
investment and launched last month. Well, all the best. Thanks. Good
luck. I look forward to your switch! We will keep an eye on you, that's
for sure. 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. The Business Live page is where you
can stay ahead with all the day's breaking business news. We'll keep
you up-to-date with all the latest details with insight and analysis
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Business Live on TV and online whenever you need to know.
The BBC's Dominic O'Connell is with us.
What lengths have you gone to to get to work on time or save money? Let's
talk about the massive Italian bank to start with. Sources from the
Treasury are saying a rescue is in place. What do you know? Yes, I
don't know if it is completely done and dusted. Overnight the third
largest lender in Italy, it is very old, it is the oldest continuously
trading bank in the world, it has a long track record, but it trying to
stay afloat. If it is going to do the rescue deal, it will have to
bail-in its lenders. Some of the lenders are ordinary retail
investors. So you can imagine the Government coming to power, saying,
"You have to foot the bill for a banking collapse." Where is this
money coming from? The cornerstone was meant to be the state of Qatar.
Between the two of them you get to five billion. Whether it will
happen, without the Italian state having to intervene against Europe's
rules and you have another clash between the Italian national
Government and Brussels, the whole thing is not done and dusted yet. It
is very, I think, this has a long way to run. Dominic, an astonishing
story. Amazon workers in Scotland sleeping near the warehouse in
tents. That picture really is damning,
isn't it? It is actually. There have been a number of investigations into
Amazon's workplace practises and some of them uncovered some
unhealthy and unsavoury tactics. It is part of the whole two-speed
economy. Asos said it was going higher another 1500 people in --
hire people in London. These are in IT and marketing and planning. You
have this idea that in London and around the M25, highly skilled well
paid workers. Outside the M25, working for the same company,am
sorngs aso, you're not so secure and not so highly paid.
It is not just about Amazon, but it is the delivery people. There was
concern about the different smaller courier companies and the people who
work for them? Amazon, of course, subcontracts the delivery and a lot
of the delivery firms are subcontracted so they don't have
responsibility for the employment. Who are these people really working
for? We were discussing that, the crux of this is they have to pay ?10
to get on the bus to travel there because there is no other public
transport, but that takes a big chunk out of their money, but we
have to pay to get to work, is it fair this is a particular problem
for Amazon? It is wrong to decry Amazon, this is one example a few
people. We need to talk to the workforce, do they enjoy their job?
What would they be doing if they didn't have Amazon?
Thank you for your time. We're back tomorrow. Fingers crossed the tech
will work. See you soon. Bye-bye. Good morning. It has been a rather
grey start to the day. We've got a lot of low cloud around and