A look at the global business stories.
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This is Business Live from BBC News
with Aaron Heslehurst and Rachel Horne.
Trading with Trump, Britain's Prime Minister becomes
the first foreign leader to meet the new US President,
but can she strike a bargain with the world's biggest economy?
Live from London, that's our top story on Friday the 26th of January.
Live from London, that's our top story on Friday the 27th of January.
As Britian leaves the European Union, we'll ask which side
of the special relationship has more to gain from a boost
And when is a $5.3 billion profit in three months just not enough?
We'll tell you why investors are not happy with Google and also find out
if its parent company Alphabet's other bets will pay off?
And the markets still loving President Trumps pro-growth
drive of tax cuts, big spending and deregulation.
And as the head of BT Europe resigns over an accounting scandal,
we'll be getting the inside track from our business editor,
Simon Jack, on that and all the rest of the stories he's been
After ten years of almost constant growth, the sales of soft sugary
drinks in Australian supermarkets has fallen by more than $60 million.
We want to know - are you more aware of sugar,
We start in the US, where, as you have been hearing,
UK Prime Minister Theresa May will become the first world leader
to meet President Trump when they hold talks later today.
Mrs May has called on the President to renew the special relationship
She is keen to show Britain can prosper outside the European Union,
so lining up a post-Brexit trade deal is high on her agenda.
But is it really a priority for the US?
In terms of individual countries, the United States is the UK's
Britain sold goods and services worth
Taken together, though, the European Union is by far
Britain's top export market, worth $280 billion, 44%
Any drop in those exports as a result of Brexit could see
Britain is far less important to the US than the US is to Britain.
America sold $65 billion of goods and services here in 2015,
half the amount that went the other way.
And to put that in the context of the vast US economy,
that is little more than 4% of total US exports - and less
So putting aside the warm words, will this really be a priority
Dr Brian Klass, fellow in comparative politics
at London School of Economics is with me.
Thank you for coming in. Let's go to the figures we were talking about.
It looks like the UK on paper is far more dependent on the US than the
other way around. Why is Donald Trump making such positive noises?
For both politicians this is about an early political whim for people
trying to transform their countries and trading relationships with the
world. I think Trump needs to say he has dealt with a global power and
come away with a deal. He makes himself out to be a deal-maker and
wants to show results. It's much more important for Theresa May who
wants to show there will be a soft landing from Brexit and this US
trade deal is one way this can be achieved. In the UK its headline
news, but how aware are people in the United States of this meeting
happening? I don't think they are aware at all. It's in the New York
Times and Washington post. It's not on the New York Times right now. Is
the 35th story on the Washington post. It's not headline news for
Americans, who are much more concerned with things like the
Mexican War. Trump was not chanting about trade deals with the UK. A
little bit of a problem that I believe the UK faces. All well and
good that the Prime Minister and President will be talking. But they
are not the ones who really do the negotiating. It's the teams behind
them. Apparently the UK lacks trade negotiators where America has some
of the best in the world who will wipe the floor, so I hear. That's
right, the UK hasn't negotiated trade deals independently for a long
time and they only developed a new office last summer. They are getting
up to speed to the US has done for a long time. Combine that with the
leveraged the US saw the ball is in the US's court. Both politicians
looking for an early win. What sort of headlines tomorrow will give that
impact? I think they will commit to working on a trade deal and try to
have one in place, a framework, to be in fermented as soon as the UK
leaves the EU. Those are the headlines. What's not clear is
whether they can battle the deregulation concerns that make the
trade deal difficult to hash out and whether it will be a good deal for
Britain in the end. Thank you for joining us, really interesting.
When is $5.3 billion profit in three months just not enough?
The parent company of the internet giant saw its shares fall
in after-hours trade after its quarterly results
As Dave Lee reports from San Francisco,
there are concerns about a slowdown in the growth of online
advertising and just how future-proof the company may be.
The final three months of 2016 were important for Google -
it launched a new smartphone range, the Pixel, and went big
with its voice activated assistant, Google Home.
The company didn't break out the numbers for those new devices,
so it's hard to know exactly how they have performed, but Google's
chief executive, Sundar Pichai, said he was "comfortable"
with the direction things were going with the new products.
Alphabet's revenues, which are up 22% on this time last year,
still rely heavily on earning money through Google's advertising.
As even more of us turn to mobile computer in,
people are clicking - or rather tapping -
on Google ads more than they used to, but advertisers are paying less
Aside from Google, Alphabet has what it calls its other bets -
things like superfast broadband, smart thermostats
The revenues of these other bets has doubled compared
to this time last year, but overall in the past three months
those bets collectively lost the company $1.1 billion.
Toshiba has said it will split off its operation that makes memory
chips for smartphones and computers and will sell a stake
The Japanese company needs to raise funds after revealing a heavy
one-off loss at its US nuclear power business.
Toshiba will unveil the size of the writedown next month,
but some estimate it could be around $6 billion.
Swiss banking giant UBS beat expectations in the last three
months of 2016 to post a pre-tax profit of $847 million.
It said that rising interest rates and stocks boosted the US wealth
management and securities units, whilst the bank also put less money
UBS is among the few European banks still facing a US probe into sales
The bank has $3.2 billion in reserve for legal matters.
Always good to see you. Happy Friday. Ali Bacher doing it again.
Didn't they recently buy something in the states?
They are making a big push in the States, but the country we are
talking about today, the affiliate is called Ant Financial. They are
buying Moneygram. Ant is China's biggest online payments company, and
it's one third owed by the boss of Eilidh Barbour. It's an interesting
deal. The business of international payments is a really tough one. It
looks quite counterintuitive given that the world is deep globalising.
Ultimately, this is what Ant financial get through this purchase
of Moneygram, a big brand name and network in America as well as
immediate expansion of the global remittances business. How do you say
happy New Year in China? ... Right back at you. Chinese New Year
tomorrow. The Dow on Wall Street continued
extending those gains after breaking And that rebound continues rippling
around the world markets. The third straight rise
for Japan's Nikkei, banks and exporters
leading the charge today. Europe is expected to follow
that optimistic wave, because despite President Trump's
words toward trade protectionism, investors are betting the new US
President will embark on a pro-growth drive of tax cuts,
big spending and deregulation. So let's find out what'll be making
the headlines in the US today. The end of the week has finally
come, and what a week it was! But before we look to the weekend,
there are still a few bits Now, investors here will be focused
on the fourth-quarter GDP estimate, Now, the US economy grew by 3.5%
in the previous quarter. Now, economists are not
expecting anything that high, but they will be closely
watching this metric. Also happening on Friday,
durable goods orders. Now, that is really looked
as a proxy for how businesses Now, after seeing a drop
in the month of November, analysts are expecting to see
an increase for the And finally, in earnings news,
American Airlines will be reporting. Now, it is the number-one airline
by passenger traffic, but that may not be reflected
in their earnings. Cheap airfares and higher wage
costs have really hurt Joining us is Jane Foley, Senior
Currency Strategist at Rabobank Thank you for coming in. Let's start
with currencies. Sterling is on a much firmer footing this week. It
is. It's off the highest levels of the week but if you go back to the
beginning of last week, it's much stronger. A lot of this is to do
with UK politics. Theresa May's speech last week, what the market
liked was the idea that the government in the UK has a plan, and
not only that it has a plan on Brexit, but Theresa May has been
busy filling up her agenda. She has a busy to do list. She's talking
about trade with the US. That will garner positive headlines for both.
That will give sterling a bit more a boost? It'll be in the press.
Sterling coming off its highest levels, so what the market often
does is price in, wait for the news and see if it matches expectations.
Theresa May has talked about industrial policy this week and says
she's lining up talks with China about trade there. She's trying to
firm up this belief that the UK does have a strong outlook post Brexit.
But Brexit talks haven't yet begun. So we still have a volatile ride for
sterling for the rest of the year. Going to the US dollar, which has
had a ride recently. We are getting US GDP growth numbers out today.
It's a funny old game because President Trump doesn't want a
strong dollar. Others do, though, in the US. The US Treasury, is in
charge of dollar policy, not the central bank. For years the US
Treasury has been saying they've had a strong dollar policy but we
haven't heard much about it recently, because if you have slow
growth and inflation, you don't want a strong currency. They kept quiet
about it. The Treasury Secretary said yes they wanted a stronger
dollar but he has backed down again. Donald Trump wants to export more,
import less, and if you want to export more, you want a weak dollar.
So products are cheaper for us around the world? Precisely. You're
coming back to take us through the papers. We will see you shortly.
Still to come, we'll get the inside track on the big
business stories of the week from our business editor, Simon Jack.
Tesco has agreed to buy UK's biggest food wholesaler, Booker Group,
The companies said the deal would create
The joint announcement also said the deal would bring
benefits for "consumers, independent retailers,
caterers, small businesses, suppliers, and colleagues,
as well as delivering significant value to shareholders".
Our business correspondent, Theo Leggett,
This is really a boost for consumers? Isn't this just Tesco,
which is a whopper as it is, just getting bigger? Certainly, there may
be concerns that Tesco is gaining an even bigger slice of the UK food
market than it already controls, and some analysts are saying that
competition regulators may want to look into it carefully. Tesco says,
we're not buying any more big stores, so there is no reason for
competition regulators to get involved, but that is a discussion
for the future. Tesco says it is looking to broaden its business, so
the supermarket business itself, which is its core business, is very
competitive, dominated by a small number of large players, very hard
to gain market share, hard to grow your business and expand revenues or
cut costs in that way. So it is taking on a different part of the
food business, making itself bigger in that way, expanding what it has
to offer. It says it is particularly interested in what it calls the out
of home offering, so people who go to supermarkets, prepare at home,
that is traditional business for them. But restaurants, catering,
convenience stores, that is another part of what it is looking at here.
Tesco says this is not about refining its supermarket business
and making that cheaper, it is about expanding its business and
increasing its offer into new areas. OK, great stuff, enjoy your MG! On
the weekend, I meant! It is the Chinese New Year, it is
going to be the year of the Rooster, give me your Friday fact. President
Trump and the Chinese leader were all born in the year of the Rooster.
Were you? No idea! Let's look into it!
Welcome back for our international viewers, you are watching Business
Live! Britain's Prime Minister
says she's delighted that new American President
Donald Trump's has made a trade deal between
their countries a top priority. Theresa May is set to discuss it
when she becomes the first foreign They are going to do that in the
Oval Office in a few hours' time. Let's have a look at how the markets
are getting on, just up ever so slightly in London, a bit of
profit-taking on the DAX and the CAC 40.
on some of the big business stories of the past few days.
is the growing accounting scandal at BT's Italian operation.
It's now being reported by Reuters that
BT's head of continental Europe, Corrado Sciolla,
is to leave the company as a result of the crisis.
Simon, you broke this story earlier in the week, it is your baby!
Well, no, the boss of BT Europe, I was told, was leaving several days
ago, he has taken a long time to write his resignation letter, he is
leaving today! This scandal broke at the end of last year, back in
October, they said, we have a ?140 million poll in their Italian
division, but it turns out to be much worse than they previously
thought, more than ?500 million, a whopping black hole for a business
which is a tiny part of BT's total revenues. So something has gone
seriously wrong. What has happened is that employees and customers have
been colluding to pad out invoices, hitting profits targets. It was
missed by the external auditors, PwC, and I am told that BT is
reviewing whether it even wants to have a subsidiary in Italy anymore.
A couple of interesting things, it is the one country where when you do
a forensic investigation like this, personal e-mails of employees do not
have to be handed over. And the authorities' approach to this is
generally to find against the company, the company did wrong, not
the individuals. So if you put that together, you have the potential for
scandals like this to happen. BT, a big worldwide company, it is facing
challenges and a number of fronts, it has a whopping pension deficit,
it has got a stagnation in its core revenue, some of its biggest
customers are not spending money, and that is worrying for the wider
economy. When a company as big as BT sees customers holding off, some
people say it is to do with Brexit, then they have a problem, and
Moody's downgraded them the other night, saying that things look
pretty rough for the company. I know we will keep across that. The US, we
get growth numbers, and there is... 1:30 UK time, 2.2% is the consensus,
which is not brilliant but not bad. They have been adding jobs pretty
well. Better than Europe! But not quite as good as the UK, actually.
The interesting about this, we have this term animal spirits knocking
around, basically the Trump traders that he has been talking about, he
has a couple of big plans, cutting corporate and individual taxes, and
the other is spending big on infrastructure, including a wall.
That does two things, people think it will stimulate growth, because,
briefly, if you cut corporate taxes, they get to keep more money, spend
more of it, shares are worth more, so you have seen that trade. So a
strengthening of the dollar, the Dow Jones going through 20,000. People
are just wondering now, where do we go from here? As you say, some of
these protectionist talk about trade makes people think, is ego to throw
sand in the engine of the global economy? -- is he going to. Could it
reverberate around the world? It would be a damp and on global
growth. It is till the world's biggest economy. It will be
interesting to see how the dollar reacts to this number. We have to
wrap it up, but interesting out Trump is trying to talk down the
dollar in some ways, he once a weaker dollar. Correct. Have a great
weekend, Simon Jack. US car giant Ford has
made its second-best annual pre-tax profit to date of $10.4
billion according to its But what effect could President
Trump have on the auto industry? They have revealed they are
cancelling a planned new plant in Mexico, it has cost $200 million.
Earlier I sat down and spoke to Jim Farley, their boss for Europe, the
Middle East and Africa, and he explained why free trade was very
important to them. Our industry is based
on free trade, you know, a good example is here in Europe -
we build all of our engines in the UK, we export them to Europe,
put them in cars, We are the number-one brand
here in the UK, so you know, this model of free trade
is the basis for our business. But that could change, couldn't it?
President Trump is talking about 20%, your cars, whatever party make
in Mexico to bring to the States, you may have to pay 20% on those. It
is early days, we don't really know, so we will see, but it seems like a
lot of his policies are friendly to business. He is talking about trade,
currency manipulation, talking about data driven regulations. We will see
what happens. Really wait and see, everyone is
saying wait and see, Jane is back, are we going to start with my neck
of the woods? We are, do you buy sugary drinks? Not that we are
allowed to, but I love a Diet Coke once in a while! Other drinks are
out there! But that has got no sugar in it. Anyway, consumer backlash
being reported here in the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian
supermarket is seeing a huge fall in the sales of sugary drinks. 2.2%
down year on year, and they are talking about $80 million in lost
sales, a fifth of their revenues, because of these sales not going
through. And of course what they are talking about is the studies done on
obesity, particularly sugar. So there is the possibility of a tax on
that, and we have heard of this in other developed countries, but one
thing about this is that there is a lot of lobbying from some of these
big companies, and of course now we also have companies coming up with
natural sugar alternatives too. So the industry is quite complex, but I
think there is a movement by some of these big manufacturers, instead of
selling sugary drinks, to get hold of branded waters. Is it that the
money has gone out of the market, or is it being spent on alternatives?
It is switching, all of the big drinks companies, over the last ten
years or so, have been rushing to buy up those smaller branded water
companies, and generally they are owned by bigger companies.
Certainly, if you go back 20 years, we all know that the amount of water
is sold in a supermarket has grown considerably. A huge market. That
coconut water, 1 billion just in the UK! I hated! We saw that luxury
goods do very well in China, then Beijing had a corporate crackdown
and things, luxury sales dropped in China, but they are coming back. If
you go back to 2015, you will remember the terrible stock market
crash, it caused a lot of consumers to backtrack. Last year, really
since February onwards, a lot of confidence in the outlook for China,
although we are very cautious. That has brought some consumers back, and
now they are doing things in duty is to encourage spending. Jane Foley,
thanks very much for coming in. That is Business Live, bye!
It's a cold and frosty start for central and eastern parts
of the UK with patches of freezing fog and in East Anglia
and the south-east of England there is the risk of some icy
patches on untreated surfaces from this area of cloud