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Live from London, that's our top story.
Corruption, Recessions and unemployment have dogged
South Africa in recent years and today the man at the top
President Zuma could be forced to go in a secret parliamentary vote.
And money-laundering allegations that could lead to a theoretical
fine of close to $800 billion have lead to the boss of
Commonwealth Bank somewhat unsurprisingly losing his bonus.
And markets in Europe have started their trading day. Slightly down on
the day and we'll explain why. And we'll be getting
the inside track on the surprisingly profitable world of babaysitting
and the company that's trying to turn it from a job for students
into a global business. We want to know today which app
could you not live without? Let us know. Use the hashtag business live.
President Zuma of South Africa faces a no confidence vote in parliament
today and as it's being held in secret there's a real chance
that he could be kicked out of office by the end of the day.
Mr Zuma has survived no-confidence votes previously
but this time the stakes, both political and economic,
Mr Zuma has been under constant pressure over everything
from corruption allegations to a controversial cabinet
reshuffle that saw his widely respected finance minister,
That prompted two of the world's leading credit rating agencies;
Standard and Poor's and Fitch, to downgrade South Africa's credit
worthiness to junk hugely increasing borrowing costs
And in June South Africa once the continents largest economy fell
And figures out yesterday show the country's unemployment rate
remained unchanged at close to 28% in the second quarter.
That's about 6.2 million people out of work.
Dr Joachim Wehner is a South Africa expert
Nice to see you. Welcome to the programme. Running through some of
the background to this there. It's worth restating why South Africa is
in this position. The economic picture looks pretty dire right now?
That's true. And you have to see it in the context. For 20 years after
the end of apartheid, South Africa worked extremely hard to establish a
reputation for economic credibility and good economic management, for
short periods the first Finance Minister who Jacob Z uma fired
triggered the week in 2015 where South Africa went through three
Finance Ministers when the space of a few short days. So Mr Zuma has put
the credibility of South Africa at risk. How much of this can be blamed
on President Zuma? There are some factors that are out of his hands,
one can say, for example the drought. Successive droughts in
South Africa, weak global demand for mining output for example, that is
dampening prospects for the mining sector in South Africa. But the
ratings agencies have emphasised what they see as a major problem is
Mr Zuma's handling of the institutional framework for the
economic system and that has done a huge amount of damage in undermining
the credibility that so many Finance Ministers have worked hard over 20
years to establish. And so the uncertainty that now comes from this
vote, interesting that we heard over the weekend the vote will take place
in secret, that could affect the outcome significantly? That's very
true. It's probably the first time that there is a realistic chance
this might go through, this vote. It's probably not the most likely
outcome because the electoral system in South Africa is based on close
list proportional representation, that means MP who is sit in
Parliament, it's the African National Congress in particular. If
we get this vote today and he's ousted from office, the question I
suppose is who would replace them? Is there a willing candidate,
certainly from an economic point of view someone who would restore
credibility? I think you have put your finger on the right issue here.
Getting rid of Mr Zuma is only the very first step and a few questions
arise here - how long can he cling on to power? He's proven himself to
be extremely intelligent so it wouldn't surprise me if he stays
until 2019. The second question then arises who will replace him. There
is a struggle in the ANC now. A camp Mr Zuma's tried to Foster, a
successor, his former wife who would probably protect him once he leaves
office, make sure he's not exposed to legal proceedings or a more
reformer camp led by a current deputy President. Interesting times
certainly as far as the implications are concerned. Dr Joachim, really
good to see you, thank you very much.
Let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news.
The Google employee who wrote a memo critical of the firm's diversity
initiatives has been fired from the company.
A male software engineer argued the lack of women in top tech jobs
was due to biological differences between men and women.
Google's chief executive responded by saying the contents of the memo
are fair to debate but some of what was written
A Scottish comic book company has been bought
It's the first ever acquisition by Netflix but they haven't said giw
Millarworld is run by the Scottish writer
The deal gives Netflix access to a host of new characters
to develop films, TV series and children's shows.
The worlds biggest hotel chain Marriott is going to team up
with Alibaba to tap into the growing number of Chinese tourists.
Marriott International says the joint venture will allow Chinese
travellers to book rooms using Alibaba's travel website
Australia's Commonwealth Bank has scrapped its bosses bonus
for damaging the bank's reputation amid allegations it broke
money-laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws...
Hywel Griffith is in Sydney, Australia.
Hywel, this could be a humongous fine. Tell us more about this story?
Absolutely. Some of the numbers here are staggering. The bank is accused
of over 53,000 breaches of anti-money laundering laws and each
one of those could potentially carry a $14 million US Dollar fine. It's
accused of not making proper checks on intelligent money depositing
machines, the hole in the wall where you can put money in as well as take
it out. Customers are able to put in up to 200 high value notes but the
checks weren't being made, as they were meant to be, on the provenance
on the where that money was going to, so the money could be
transferred domestically or internationally without the checks
being made. The bank argues it's down to a single coding error,
saying they should only really face one fine. It's all going to be
decided in a federal court of claw. What has already been decide suicide
the bank's Chief Executive and board members are going to suffer
somewhat. The Chief Executive losing his bonus for this year, as will the
senior executives and the board members taking a cut in their pay.
But potentially the cost could be much greater in future, some
analysts predicting the whole decade of growth for the bank wiped out if
they face the maximum fine. Sounds very, very costly indeed. For now,
thank you very much. Let us show you how the day went in general in the
Asian markets. Japan taking a breather from the ten-year highs it
reached yesterday, whereas Hong Kong up nearly half a percent. That is
the night before, the Dow still going up-and-up above 22,000, way
above that now. It's quite interesting how that just doesn't
seem to end, that run on the share markets in the United States. Let's
move on to Europe very quickly. Lots of earnings coming out in Europe
still. Note as busy as last week. Standard Life reporting a rise in
profits, also we have ASOS talking about expansion in the US in
Atlanta. Retail sales falling though in the UK, so a flat day, if not a
downbeat day for Europe. And Michelle Fleury has
the details about what's ahead Jane Foley will join us later and
people will be tuning in to see what is said. Her message is likely to
emphasise that whilst the economy may not be overheating, the recovery
in the US is strong enough for it to consider another rate hike this
year. But will incoming economic data reinforce that argument? Two
pieces to watch this Tuesday is the case Schiller House Price index.
Uber's search for a new CEO meanwhile continues, after the
resignation of the CEO last week. There are a few in the running.
Joining us is Jane Foley, Senior Currency Strategist, at Rabobank.
Good morning, Jane. We picked this story up in Bloomberg. It's an
interesting problem to have. Warren Buffett has too much money. Why is
that news, we knew that already? ! But what is he going to do with it.
This is a problem. This is a company that doesn't pay dividends. He is a
pilot of cash. Cash doesn't earn much in terms of return. His problem
is where to invest. There is a small pool of companies he'd be willing to
consider. He's made the point that it would be much more fun if the
phone were to ring and business propositions were to fall his way,
but as it stands, there is some difficulty trying to know where to
put all of that money. Lovely to have that problem. This graph shows
how he's managed to rack up the money. 99.7 billion dollars at the
end of the second quarter. He's got all these great businesses making
money but he's notoriously picky? But you have to remember he's been
doing this for the best part of 50 years so this is a long-standing
investment but that is exactly right. He's very picky. Some
companies he owns are really well-known ones, Apple is another
one. He's been known to invest also in utilities. Texas and Rail Road
are a couple of them. Very picky, relatively diverse in that sense but
only a small amount of companies. We'll be back soon. Really
interesting stories to discuss with you later. If you are a parent, stay
with us. Intercontinental Hotels Group has
just reported an 8% jump in half year operating profit and we've been
speaking to their new boss. You're with Business
Live from BBC News. Retailers experienced slowing sales
last month as households reined in their spending amid mounting
pressure on their finances. According to the latest figures
from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG, sales grew by 0.9%
in July, down from 1.1% Theo Leggett is in our
Business Newsroom. They came from a strong set of
figures last year so this year it's hard to keep up? Yes, last year was
particularly strong. On the surface, these figures from this year don't
actually look too bad. They are showing slow but steady growth
throughout the year. What is worrying is, if you look beneath the
surface because nearly all of the growth was accounted for by sales of
food. In fact over the past three months taken as a whole, nonfood
sales have declined and when it comes to food sales, it's not about
more food being sold, it's about prices going up as well. That is
accounting for the increase. The broad picture there is not so good.
The BRC has a warning in all of this as well, saying that because real
wages are declining, there is a smaller pool of consumer wealth out
there to draw from and there's a lot of competition among retailers. That
is where it gets political because the BRC says given the outlook for
consumers is so tough, the Government needs to make sure it
keeps tariff free trade with the EU as a priority in Brexit talks.
Pretty much everybody is talking about what they want from Brexit
talks at the moment but that is the BRC's take on it. Also the issue of
online versus high street, bricks and clicks, you have got to be be
successful if both in this environment where it's getting
tougher in terms of people spending? Absolutely. That is what the best
retailers are doing. Over the past month, in-store shopping and online
retailing grew. If you look over the past three months, a slightly longer
time frame, then in-store sales have declined and declined by a
reasonable margin, whereas online sales have gone up by about 8% in
the same period, so online sales still growing.
For the rest of the business news, you can check out the web page. ASOS
spending $40 million on a new warehouse in Atlanta.
You're watching Business Live. Our top story:
The South African President, Jacob Zuma,
is facing one of the most testing episodes of his rule.
The speaker of parliament has announced that a no confidence vote
Pauline says, "I could live without them all, but Twitter keeps me
posted on a variety of stuff." Another viewer says "BBC News."
Another viewer says fit bit." What do you use the most? Twitter and the
BBC News app, of course. I'm a weather app person, but then you
have a dog and I have to walk regularly.
We use apps to solve all sorts of day to day problems.
Food delivery, taxi services and shopping.
But would you trust an app to find someone to look after your children?
Making sure children are looked after while you're working is a big
One charity found that 75% of parents would assess
their childcare before taking a new job or promotion.
The same survey found 30% of parents say they feel burnt
Some extra help can, of course, help with that.
For many parents, the biggest issue can be finding
Yoopies is a new start-up hoping to change all of this.
It's a website which connects parents
We have the boss with us. Benjamin thank you very much of thank you
very much indeed for coming into Business Live. Tell us how this
started. You're not a parent, are you? I'm not, but I have three
sisters and when I finished my studies two of them had become a
mother. I the couldn't have a proper dinner with them, there were always
childcare issues. I realised they only had two choices. Either they
rely on expensive agency or a local newspaper that was not trusted
enough to find a great sitter so then I realised there was a huge
opportunity to create a trustworthy environment for baby-sitting,
childcare and home care services. Let's talk about that trust.
Obviously the website then makes it easier to do verification checks,
criminal record checks, how does that work? All the sitters are
verified are DBS checked. We verify their ID and we use the power of
online social media for our usersment people can link their
Yoopies account to with their Facebook account and they can see
that any friends or friends of friends who already have recommended
a baby-sitter. So we check the word of mouth and we put it on the
internet. This started in France. You've spread across a lot of
Europe. You've bought a UK in the UK Find A Baby-sitter.com. Sour
aexpanding here as well. It is a really, really crowded market, not
just apps like yours, but many other Facebook pages or websites or online
services that provide everything you need if you are a parent including
baby-sitters. Sure, but we do provide a comprehensive service that
goes from finding the perfect match to online booking and payment. We
assist with all Government assistance. So basically you can
find a perfect sitter within ten minutes. We only have five persons
of our best sitters that are selected for emergency care and we
provide all the rest. So the people can find trustworthy people easy.
How do you make sure you get your money for your services provider? I
jumped on your website this morning and I searched for a baby-sitter for
me and gave it a test and a great baby-sitter was matched to me and I
sent her a message and she is a mile away from my house, I can meet her
for a coffee and decide what I want and I don't have to pay you. Most of
the times usually you want to talk to a few of them and we are charge a
monthly fee for people to actually get... I haven't met her yet. If we
get on, I don't really need to pay you a fee, do I? You have to pay a
fee at first to get unlimited contacts with our baby-sitters, our
nannies on the website. So you will have to pay first ?30 and then you
can actually meet with her and have great childcare for your kids. Not
just about Its childcare. It will let you find other things. Your plan
is to roll out into the workplace as well? Exactly. This is interesting.
It might moon you could get food delivered to our desk and book a
massage or get someone to take your dry cleaning and laundry. That's
part of the challenge of the productivity. If we are all busy
maybe being able to do that at the office? It is a difficult thing to
improve your work-life balance when you are in the company, imagine your
child is sick, you need to do a lot of things and companies need to
attract and retain talent. So we provide the platforms for cans and
for the employees in order to find great childcare and food delivery
and everything in a one stop shop platform where they can find trust
within the company because you can find a great profile that's been
recommended by your co-worker. Sally is laughing because this is what I
want! Ben is thinking, OK, I have my
massage, they deliver my bacon sandwich to my desk. You're living
in Havana! I have to talk to the BBC then for you! Thank you for your
time. It is great to meet you today. Let's turn from booking babysitters
to booking hotel rooms. The company behind brands
including Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and InterContinental
says operating profits were up 8% in the first
half of this year. But the amount of money
InterContinental Hotels Group makes per room,
a really important measurement in the hotel business isn't
growing as fast as it was. The new boss is Keith Parr and he's
been telling me why. This industry grows two ways -
by adding rooms and by growing RevPAR and so we saw a softer second
quarter in RevPAR as did the rest of the industry principally driven
by the United States. That's a lot it do with the shifting
of the Easter holidays and also some slowlying in some
of the oil markets. Additionally we have a big
renovation programme going on in the US to add
in new guest rooms and public space design for our Holiday and Express
brand and that's been a bit of a headwind in the US,
but we're seeing strength through our markets like Europe
with RevPAR up over 6%. We saw RevPAR up in China,
over 4% leading to revenue growth So on a global basis,
we're seeing real strength It's what underpins our strong
performance in terms He was at the company for 25 years
and it was interesting to talk to him. I asked him what would you do
if you are the boss and he is the boss and he had a very kind of slick
answer, John Terry just keep the strategy." I was hoping for
something really radical. You never get that on results day. That's why
they have to do the Inside Track. Jane is here. This is a story we
picked out of the Washington Post. China, not President Trump, is
suddenly helping American steel. President Trump probably takes
credit for it, but it is other factors at play. This is an
interesting story. It does help correct the misconceptions that were
out there since the Trump presidential campaign and
particularly that very little of Chinese steel goes to the US. Trump
was talking about China dumping steel in the US. This report says
only 1% of US steel comes from China, but perhaps a big reason for
this story is that China is shutting down some of its very dirty plants.
They are producing less steel, but China is using up a lot of steel.
China is the biggest consumer of commodities in the world. It absorbs
iron ore and coal which make steel and it's doing a lot of
construction. Making a lot of buildings, residential and roads and
this is one of the ways it's doing it is taking up a lot of debt. But
it's absorbing a lot of these materials itself. The front of
today's Telegraph. British children must spend more time online so they
can save the country says spy chief. He was perhaps making parents feel
less guilty. It is all about balance. He said that maybe if we
are a little bit behind in terms of our digital rivals and therefore,
allowing children to explore the web more helps increase those skills
which might be good use or good for the country in the longer term, but
of course a lot of people said, no, no, it is the equivalent of jung
food for China etcetera, etcetera. Jane, what app can you not live
without? I like a bit of whatsapp. For me, it's the newspapers.
Interesting. Thanks, Jane. Nice to see you. Dominic says, "Whatsapp.
Staying in touch with friends and family." Yeah, I use that one a lot
too. We will see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.
Good morning. The unpleasant weather continues across England and Wales.
This morning we have had heavy rainfall around. Throughout this
afternoon further heavy showers