24/04/2017 BBC Business Live


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This is Business Live from BBC News with Ben Bland and Sally Bundock.


And then there were two - the final candidates


for the French presidency, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen,


have been chosen, but what economic challenges will the winner face?


Live from London, that's our top story on Monday, 24th April.


The candidates of both mainstream political parties in France have


urged their supporters to back Emmanuel Macron for the presidency,


after they were eliminated in the first round,


but is he the man to to supercharge the French economy?


China shuts down 29 plants and puts another 40 on warning.


Here is how the markets look. Very strong, especially in Paris.


And we'll be getting the inside track on a business that's


been able to draw on the artistic talents of its founder.


We're going to be speaking to co-founder and creative director


Today we want to know, as UK politicians consider offering


a price cap on energy bills, we want to know - what purchases


would you like to see a price cap on?


Centrist Emmanuel Macron has gone through to the second


round of the French election, where he will face far-right


Mr Macron, a former banker, is seen as a political


outsider, having never run an election campaign before.


The euro rose by 2% on the news - its highest level in five months -


before giving up some ground this morning.


Investors had worried that far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon


would beat Mr Macron, giving voters a choice between two


Macron is now considered to be the favorite to win the second


round ballot and markets have warmed to his pledge to lower corporate


taxes while lightening the administrative burden on firms.


However, economic problems and challenges remain for whoever


Top of the list, France's unemployment rate


is running at around 10%, which is more than twice the rate


So, how have global markets reacted to the results?


Theo Leggett is at Berenberg Bank


So the euro is soaring and now share markets in Europe are soaring too?


Absolutely. The currency is up, and so are the share markets, and it's


easy to see why. This isn't about what has happened in the first round


of the presidential election as opposed to what has not happened. We


now know we will not see a second-round run-off between the far


right candidate Marine Le Pen of the National Front and Jean-Luc


Melenchon, the hard left candidate who models his economic policies on


those of people like the later Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. For


business people, that was seen as the nightmare scenario, two


Eurosceptic candidates, one of whom wanted to take France out of the


euro, and a candidate who favoured extremely high taxation for the rich


and a lot of state intervention in industry. That hasn't happened. The


run-off will be between Emmanuel Macron, the centrist reformist


candidate, and Marine Le Pen. In that scenario, nearly every poll


puts Emmanuel Macron, and you can see what that has done on the


markets. This is the Paris stock exchange. As you can see, at the


open was up more than 5%. It is telling off a bit, but nevertheless,


that is a relief rally. Banking stocks are doing well. That it


because the risk premium on bonds is going down, so bond yields are going


to go up. Things are more settled. But let's not forget that there are


two weeks to go before the second round of the presidential election


and although Emmanuel Macron does look like the clear winner according


to polls taken today, you can never guarantee anything. And that is the


point. Once this relief rally tails off and people think ahead to May


the 7th, people may wonder what a new government may look like. Even


if Emmanuel Macron gets the job, it may be an unusual coalition in


France. Absolutely. You have to remember where Emmanuel Macron has


come from. His movement was only created about a year ago, and it is


a coalition of different interests. It doesn't have a formal party


structure and in a few weeks' time, France will go to the polls again


for parliamentary elections. Emmanuel Macron, if he is president,


will have to work with the winner of that election. He will have to work


with a Prime Minister to get his policies enacted. He does have a


certain level of endorsement from the Republicans and from the more


mainstream Socialists at the moment, but once he is in power and once


they are forming a parliament, if he doesn't manage to get enough of his


own support, he may find it difficult to enact the platform of


hope he has been setting out over the last year. He may find that the


reality of life as president is different from the rhetoric of the


campaign. Theo, thank you very much. Let's show you Paris right now, a


beautiful morning as a new day begins. Everyone is of course now


looking ahead to make the seventh and the two candidates that remain.


We will have more on that later on Business Live. Some of the news now.


Luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo has put itself up for sale, announcing on


Monday that it is seeking offers. The company, which floated in London


in October 2014, has seen sales growth slow, reporting a 2% rise


last year compared to 7% in 2015 and 12% in 2014. HSBC recently


downgraded Jimmy Choo to hold from Help To Buy as it felt both sales


and profits had fallen short. But medical devices and health care


giant Philips has posted a big jump in first-quarter profits after


spinning off its lighting business last year. Profits soared to $280


million for the three months to the end of March compared with around 40


million the same time last year. Corp profits were up by 18% higher


than expected, $480 million. Sales were up 2%.


US medical equipment supplier Becton Dickinson is to acquire a health


care equipment manufacturer. The acquisition costs will be paid


roughly half in cash and debt and the other half by issuing new


shares. It comes two years after Becton Dickinson acquired another


company for $12 billion. Some interesting news came out of China


today. Nearly 30 steel firms that have had their production licences


revoked for not meeting industry requirements. Robin Brant is in


evidence of fresh consolidation evidence of fresh consolidation


within China's mammoth steel industry, and also evidence of a


further clamp-down by the further clamp-down by the


authorities on those firms that refuse to comply with emergency


measures when the pollution gets bad in the north of the country, where


the steel industry is centred. Let me give you a few statistics that


show you how big the steel industry is in China. China is trying to move


60%, the majority of its production base, into the hands of ten much


bigger companies. That was supposed to happen two years ago, but has


been pushed back to 2025. Historically, the industry here has


been about small-scale production companies. Around 300 of some 630


firms have been closed in recent years, so that shows you how serious


China is about consolidating the industry. It is trying to move 100


million tonnes of production every year from what is currently churned


out. This all comes amidst further evidence from the US that Donald


Trump is concerned about steel dumping and anti-competitive


measures. The president announced a new probe on Thursday. But the US


and EU have concerns about China's mammoth steel industry.


Thank you, Robin. Let's look at the markets. Investors are cheering the


news that Emmanuel Macron came out ahead in the first round of France's


presidential election. The euro is strengthening against the yen. That


makes exports cheaper to foreign buyers. Let's show you the European


markets. Really interesting, particularly in Paris. Investors are


clearly pleased with the outcome of the French poll. The euro reached


its highest level against the dollar for five months.


sentiment can also be seen in the sentiment can also be seen in the


bond market. The price of French bonds increased, suggesting that


investors have an appetite for French government debt. That lowers


the yield and has narrowed the gap between French bonds and German


bonds. Here is Michelle Fleury. Earning season continues this week.


Three companies will all be reporting. T mobile is the number


three American wireless carrier. It managed to attract new customers and


also managed to secure a book of broadcast airwaves in a government


auction, making T mobile some stiff competition. Meanwhile, Halliburton


is the world's number two oilfield services provider and while oil


prices are picking up, the cost of reactivating Will Riggs and


equipment is putting pressure on earnings. Finally, Star Wars and


Disney Princess dolls gave Hasbro a big boost this time last year.


Comparatively, though, it will be hard for the toymaker to meet and


beat the numbers from a year ago. That was Michelle, giving us a heads


up on what is ahead in the US. We have the head of multi-asset is at


Royal London asset management with us. Trevor, are you with the share


markets and the euro and cheering the outcome of Sunday's election in


France? It is a positive outcome. One way to look at is that 40% of


voters voted for somebody who was anti-euro, so that was a bullet


missed the markets, because if France were seriously considering


leaving the euro, there would be all sorts of financial stress. You might


say Marine Le Pen is through to the second round and she is one of these


people who also thinks the euro is not a good idea, but the polls have


Mac run on 65% versus her 35%, and the polls were pretty accurate in


the first round, so the markets are taking the good news early. People


feel there is a more centrist candidate. So it is not just the


equities market, it is the bonds and the euro reflecting that as well. It


is. You saw those three areas of stress, which are resolved at the


moment. There will be some nervousness in the next few weeks


ahead of the next round, but most of the good news has been factored in


early. This is probably the first of several summer stories. We are


heading into the summer period, when the economic activity around the


world tends to be quieter and the markets are more fragile. I think we


will see a focus on China and the potential US shutdown is the next


stories. Those stories are in the papers and cover will return for


that later. More still to come. We were here from the co-founder of a


company who had the inspiration for award-winning greeting cards while


Dudley Laugher home with a newborn. You with Business Live from BBC


News. The price of property


in the UK continues to rise. Online housing portal Rightmove says


that the prices of homes coming to the market is up


1.1% on last month. of 2.2% is the lowest it's


been for four years - Tell us more about what has been


going on. What can we read from between the lines? It seems to be


good news for property markets. Obviously, house prices have


increased and are up 2% annually, the highest rises we have ever seen.


But as you say, house prices are rising but at lower levels than we


would expect at this time of year. So that is one way of looking at the


health of the housing market. But what really matters is transaction


levels. At Rightmove, we can see the point where houses are agreed as


opposed to when transactions are being done, and we can see that


sales are agreed at the highest level we have seen for over a


decade, so it is good news for a healthy housing market. But still


quite tough for those trying to get on the property ladder. Yes, and


every month we look at the numbers and it has been difficult for


first-time buyers for a long time. But prices have increased 6.5% in


the first time buyer sector, which shows the first time buyers have


been buying. We have also seen the impact of the 3% stamp duty for


investors, which has pulled investors out of the property


market. They typically by one-bedroom properties, the same as


first-time buyers, so they are getting out of the way and the


market has freed up space for first-time buyers, who are buying in


such numbers that prices are starting to rise again.


More detail about that on the Business Live page. A lot of other


stories that we can't fit in this programme. We are always running out


of time here. Goals in merger talks. It is in


take-over talks with rival, Power League.


You can read more about that on the live page.


The final round of the French


presidential election will be between the centrist politician,


Emmanuel Macron, and the far-right National Front leader,


That vote will take place in a fortnight.


A quick look at how markets are faring.


In France, it is up, up and away, up nearly 3.5%. Yes, that positive


sentiment, investors going back into risk mode and also being seen in the


strength of the euro against the dollar and the yen and also yields


on French Government debt, French bonds coming down and narrowing the


debt. Now let's get the inside track


from a woman with quite Hanna Dale is a zoology graduate


who became an investment banker. But her true calling lay elsewhere,


on a crowded kitchen table she began drawing and painting,


initially to have something to do Someone suggested she try her hand


at greeting cards as her depictions The business now sells cards,


stationery and gifts Hannah Dale is co-founder


and creative director She has littered across the table


her goods. We have got greeting cards, diaries and cushions, it is


kind of more offing into all sorts of things, but I'm fascinated by


studying zoology and becoming an investment banker and now running


your own company. Talk us through that journey? Yes, I never really


imagined that this is where it would end up, but in some strange way


having painting animals and having the business background from work at


the bank actually both have contributed to having a successful


business. I think the card business really started out as something, a


necessity really. I was in Lincolnshire. I had a young family.


I was qualified as a stockbroker. This wasn't a lot of call for a


stockbroker in Lincolnshire. I tried a few things. I was really


struggling. You were what some people might call a mumprener. But


it is something that many have done, career women who have had children,


who can't see their way back into their previous job, starting a


company? Absolutely, yes. For me it felt like the only option to have


something that I could fit around the family that was also going to be


challenging and exciting. I wonder if there are any other mumpreners


out there, what's the one bit of advice you wish you had been given?


Just really go for it is the best advice. It is a great time to start


a business because although your hands are full, you have got a young


baby and coping with that, it is a natural break from work so it is a


good time to try a few different things and the nice thing about


greeting cards, it didn't really require a lot of investment. So it


was a fairly low risk thing for me to try and as it started to snowball


and take off and the cards did well, we started to expand into different


products and it really grew organically from there. It is it has


grown organically, you have got 25 people working at your company. It


is a sizeable business for greetings cards, but it is not on the scale of


some companies out there. No. Talk us through your process and how you


want to try and grow more organically and more successfully


and then what are you going to do because you've got three children


now, you arks tremly busy? The children are getting easier as


they're going to school and giving me a bit more free time, but it has


expanded because of the nature of designs lent themselves to our


products, that's been a key part of our growth. So we moved into the


stationary and moved in the diaries and through licensing, the designs


appear on Royal Western mugs. They are sold in some pretty significant


retail nears the UK which is key, isn't it? We supply 1500 independent


stockists across the UK. That's our core market. Through the licence


with Royal Worcester, their mugs are stocked at John Lewis and we export


over the world. We launched in the US a couple of years ago and that's


going really well. So, there are lots of avenues of growth really,


but product development is really key and we've just moved into home


furnishings doing a range of fabrics. This is a new scar of which


is hot off the press. It is the first sample and that's launching


later in the year. There are lots of plans for new product development.


It started with your artistic designs. Are you still the person


behind the designs we see on the mugs and the cards? Yes, I do all


the artwork. Having the staff that we have got supporting on the


administrative side and helping on all aspects of the business enables


me to focus on the artwork and developing that and keeping it fresh


and hopefully giving people, giving shops a newness and fresh designs


and keeping the displays. I get the impression you are still loving it?


I don't feel like I go to work. It is really brilliant. Hanna, thank


you for coming in. We appreciate it. Thanks.


Now, in this modern 24/7 work culture, work-life balance


can be hard to manage, but for Harvey Bowden,


Chief Executive of a leading UK water softener firm,


putting family first has been central to his business ethos.


Building a business takes an awful amount of energy and time, but don't


I made a decision early on that the most important thing


for me was the family, not just building a big business,


but having a business that was big enough,


but to spend time with the children as we were raising them,


if you want to be a family man, you've got to spend the time to do


it so I used to get my diary and write down all the school


holidays and take the family down to Cornwall for 13 weeks a year


which seems incredible, but I used to work like hell


during the other 39 weeks to make up for it.


Actually, get your diary and write in the school holidays


Working is exciting. It's fun.


It's interesting and it keeps you going, but so are children.


If you spend as much energy with the children


as you do with the business, you'll have a great time.


Some more top tips for you on Business Live.


We asked you what you'd like to see a price cap on? Percy says a price


cap on tobacco and alcohol and Louise saying a price cap on rent


and council tax. Ryan wants a price cap on cable channels and


broadcasters what they charge. Oh, controversial, thanks, Ryan. Trevor,


let's talk about the stories we were discussing earlier. Donald Trump and


the prospect of a fiscal cliff going over the edge again the we remember


it well from the Obama administration? We do. Every now and


then you need to have official permission to increase Government


debt beyond a certain point and there is a stand-off coming here, I


hesitate to say a Mexican stand-off about the Mexican border wall.


Donald Trump says the budget should include money for the wall. The


Democrats don't want that and you can end up with a situation where


the Government shuts down and they stop paying federal employees and


this kind of thing does concern the markets because some of that


spending is on infrastructure and wages which help the economy. A risk


there for Friday, but again, one of these classic Donald Trump


stand-offs. The way to avoid these cliffs is doing a compromise. It is


which side is prepared to budge? Donald Trump hasn't shown a lot of


compromise. Uber's boss is in the press again. This is in the New York


Times. The viewers would have to read this one to appreciate it. But


it talks about the fact that he's playing with fire? He is a big risk


taker. He always pushes regulatory and legal boundaries to try and get


Uber into new areas. The strength of the CEO is heing willing to run


through walls to get things done and his negative is, he is willing to


run through walls to get things done. Uber is doing well, but they


might push things too far and then things come back again. To find


where the line is, sometimes you have to cross it and row back a bit.


Without that spirit perhaps these companies wouldn't thrive as they


would. The best advice is always be nice to everyone. Awh, bless you.


Trevor, you can come back! That's the thought of the day. Have


a good day. See you soon. Hello. All parts of the British


Isles are set


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