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This is Business Live from BBC News with Ben Thompson and Sally Bundock.
The UK Prime Minister travels to Tokyo to talk trade,
but will the talks be overshadowed by North Korea?
Live from London, that's our top story on Wednesday 30th August.
Theresa May meets Shinzo Abe to discuss life after Brexit.
But the UK can't strike any sort of free-trade deal until it
actually quits the EU - so what progress will they make?
Also in the programme, in touching distance of parity.
A strong euro and weak pound push the two closer.
And here's how those markets are faring across europe -
That's the current rate and how European markets are doing. We will
tell you all you need to know. We meet the man who created
an empire built on baking. The founder of the Hummingbird
Bakery will give us the inside track on the finding
the recipe for success. And so today - and this is in no way
a business question, but we just want to know -
what's your favourite? Lemon drizzle, red
velvet, double chcolate? Let us know.
No reason. We look forward to hearing from you.
If you follow me on twitter you know that the home-made banana bread is
tough to beat. And there are photos as well. Let's start with Japan.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is in Japan for talks
with her counterpart Shinzo Abe on everything from defence
Although the UK can't officially start any trade negotiations
until it leaves the European Union, both sides are already weighing up
While the UK's investment in Japan is relatively small,
Japan's direct investment in the UK is worth over $52 billion.
And that investment feeds through to the real economy,
roughly a thousand Japanese firms operate in the UK, employing close
One of Theresa May's key aims will be to keep as many of those
jobs as possible in the UK in the coming years.
A strongly worded report from Japan's foreign ministry last
year said firms might want to move "if EU laws cease to be
Meanwhile Japanese banks Nomura and Daiwa have already chosen
Frankfurt as their new EU hubs in the wake of the Brexit vote.
The meeting also has added significance as only last month
the EU signed its own free trade deal with Japan - a deal the UK
With me is Yuichiro Nakajima, managing partner at advisory
Nice to see you. Sally running through some of the issues there. If
you can run through what is at stake, how significant is trade
between the countries? It's very important, certainly for the UK, as
the figures we have just seen show. Japan has been one of the biggest
investors in this country. And the UK has been the largest investment
destination for Japanese companies coming to Europe. It really started
in the 80s when Margaret Thatcher promoted Britain as the gateway into
the European market, and Japan bought that. There is a long history
of Japanese companies coming to this country, setting up shop and then
doing business with the rest of the continent. And now that bridge is
likely to be removed. You talk about that gateway to Europe. We should
say these are very early-stage talks because, as Sally pointed out,
nothing can be done and no deal can be put in place until the UK has
left the European Union. How will that affect the issues they will
encounter in these very early-stage talks? I guess Mrs May work like to
get some kind of undertaking from the Japanese government that they
will do their best to not... To keep Japanese companies here, and there
is so much a government can do to control a private company's
behaviour. She is sunny petite tight rope to tread. -- she is on a pretty
tight rope to tread. She has the domestic political audience to
satisfy in the meantime. She needs to make sure that she isn't seen to
be going against EU rules about negotiating with third countries on
an independent basis. A funny irony about this, as he said last month,
the European Union struck its own trades deal with Japan. Ultimately
that's a deal the UK will be locked out of and we now go to Japan saying
that we want something similar. Is there a willingness in Japan to
grant that? I think Japan, because the UK and Japanese relationships
are very good, and strategically quite important, so I think Japan
would like to do the best it can to support the UK Government. But the
trade and investment with the EU, the remainder of the EU, so to
speak, is important, of course, and the UK is but one part of it. Japan
isn't going to be able to do anything particularly formal whilst
the picture is very unclear as to the terms on which the UK will be
leaving the EU. We will follow that closely to see how it plays out.
Thank you very much. Let's take a look at some of
the other stories making the news. Uber says it is cooperating
with an investigation by authorities in the United States
into accusations it It's not yet clear whether
the allegations focus on one country or several
where the company operates. It's the latest in a series of legal
problems the ride-hailing app faces as it waits
for a new chief executive. Sky is to stop broadcasting
Fox News in the UK due 21st Century Fox, which is owned
by Rupert Murdoch, says the channel is being withdrawn
as it is not commercially viable. Sources say the decision
is not related to Fox's The London company that makes
the Rubik's Cube has sued two US companies for selling what it says
is a knock-off of Rubik's Brand Limited says
retailer Toys "R" Us and manufacturer Duncan Toys
are violating its trademark and hurting its reputation with
an "imitation twist puzzle cube". Let's look at the financial markets.
They are regaining composure around the world following concern this
time yesterday about what was happening with regard to North Korea
and its latest missile test. You can see Japan jumping today from eight
four-month low, that was yesterday's story. The yen was weakening as
well. Wall Street wobbled at the start of trade on Tuesday but ended
high. Looking at Europe so we have a sense of how things are going. All
these markets were down more than 1% yesterday. Right now you can see
they have already gained some composure today. We will talk you
through the winners and losers in a moment, in particular the euro and
Pound relationship. And Michelle Fleury has
the details about what's ahead Donald Trump will make the case
for overhauling America's tax system this Wednesday,
in a speech in Missouri. He is expected to talk
about the need to simplify the tax code and make the US corporate
system more globally competitive. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
has said in the past he hopes to get tax reform done by the end
of the year. That was a tall order,
even before attention shifted Sceptics warn that while the White
House and Republicans generally agree on a lower tax rate,
they still have yet to figure out specifically what they want to do
and how to proceed. Meanwhile ahead of Friday's
jobs report, investors will be looking at hiring
figures from private employers to see if there were any signs
that the jobs market And the US Commerce Department
will provide an update on the economic expansion
in the second quarter. GDP growth likely came
in at 2.7%, that's instead James Hughes is here,
he's Chief Market Analyst at GKFX. We will come onto the US stuff in a
minute. But first of all the pound and Europe. All the attention has
been on the pound and dollar relationship. But the euro is really
interesting right now. It's interesting because it's getting
close to parity, one for one, the Euro and Pound been worth the same
amount. It's something we have not seen for a long time. We always talk
about this sort of stuff when the markets get to those areas, and very
often we don't end up seeing it. Very often there is something
psychological that happens and the market will move. It's because we
are all talking about it. Everybody puts money on it and it doesn't
necessarily work. Because we have seen strength in the euro, with the
Eurozone recovering particularly well, but in the UK we have so much
uncertainty around Brexit. Because we don't have any idea what breaks
it means, what post Brexit means or what it means right now, the issue
means we see negativity in the pound, strength in the euro, driving
it closer and closer to parity. Any of us going on holiday to Europe, we
can feel the difference this year and last summer. But it's a huge
deal for businesses and it can not huge sums of their quarterly
profits, or it can add, as the case may be. Importers and exporters get
hit and not hit on both sides. Also from an economic point of view, the
weaker currency in the country, it tends to push up inflation that
little bit. On the other side, if the currency is too strong, it can
push down inflation. The problem we have in the UK is that inflation is
that little bit too high at the moment. If there are problems with
the Eurozone with recovery, it's that inflation is too low. The
strength with the Euro and the weakness with the pound are doing
just that. And a quick word on America. GDP, we are expecting 2.7%,
slightly higher than what we expected and saw earlier in the
month. Not too many surprises but good news for the economy there. You
will talk us through the papers later.
Still to come - cashing in on cupcakes.
Your tweets about favourite cupcakes have been flooding in.
The founder of Hummingbird Bakery is here to talk all things
But how did the one bakery in West London
You're with Business Live from BBC News.
Kate and debt, the two can be linked... -- cake and debt.
Soaring levels of consumer debt are worrying the Bank of England -
unsecured debts have risen 10% over the last year.
And now new figures suggest people already struggling with long term
credit card debt are being offered more credit, and more likely
Matthew Upton is from Citizens Advice who produced the research.
It's an interesting one, this. They say people most at risk of not being
able to pay it back are being offered more money. As you say,
credit cards are very popular as well as cake, and credit card debt
currently stands at ?67 billion and is growing quickly. We have all had
the experience of getting the letter through the door saying our credit
card limit has been increased without is asking it to happen.
Research has shown that small likely to happen if you are stuck in debt
and struggling to pay off that credit. These are often people stuck
on paying the minimum payments and barely chipping away at their debt,
discovering the interest payments. This can only be characterised as
irresponsible behaviour on the part of lenders and we want to see it
banned. You say that, but I'm amazed this hasn't been tackled already.
The issue of debt and those in debt being offered further credit, as you
say, it's been around for years. How has it not been sorted? It's a very
good question. The reality is that credit card companies and lenders
stand to make huge amounts of money from these people who are often
stuck on minimum payments and stuck in debt for many years and
struggling to pay it off. That's why we think it's time to act. We can't
see there being any justification. Credit cards are clearly a good
product for some, but for flexible payments, good for when people want
to make a purchase and will struggle to pay it down initially. But we
don't think there is any justification for keeping people
stuck in a cycle of debt that happens in these circumstances.
Matthew Upson from citizens advice, thank you for your time. All the
stuff we can't fit into the show is on the business live page. That
includes the story in a lot of the business pages this morning, the
news that the online retailer Asos is set to overtake Marks Spencer
in terms of value. You're watching Business
Live - our top story. British Prime Minister Theresa May
is in Japan for talks with her counterpart Shinzo Abe
on everything from defence Between the world's third biggest
economy and the UK. A quick look at how
markets are faring. The pound and the euro are getting
ever closer. Uncertainty over Brexit really
weighing on the value of the pound. Our next guest is here to prove you
can have your cake and eat it. Marshmallow fluff-filled
whoopie pies. These are just some of the sweet
treats that our next guest Tarek Malouf started up
the Hummingbird Bakery to fill a gap in the UK market for traditional
American baking. He's taken the business
from a single store on Notting Hill's Portobello Road
to a 129-person strong company, with seven stores in the UK,
and a turnover of ?6.6 million - that's around $8.5
million - last year. It has four franchises
in the Middle East, and is seeking franchise partners in Russia,
India and China. And Tarek has written four
best-selling cookbooks, sharing He is here with a box of cupcakes
and they've not been eaten yet! I've never seen anyone so excited about a
box! LAUGHTER Tarek, good morning. We'd like to talk to you. Welcome to
the programme. Let's talk about how it all began. We probably take this
for granted, cupcakes in the UK. They are an American import and you
were inspired to do it after a trip to America. Yes, I was inspired
after visiting my sister who lived in New York for many years. I grew
up in London but went to an American school so these were really familiar
to me. They didn't exist in London at the time and they also had a bad
reputation for being cheap and not very well made. I wanted to remedy
that and show people the amazingness of American baking. Interestingly
you're working as a reporter for another TV broadcaster which we
won't name. After five years of doing that, you thought I'm going to
start this company. You went back to the US to learn the trade. This is
what is key about your company, it's about the American way of breaking
with American ingredients and that's your USP. That's right. We always
wanted to use traditional recipes. It's really important that
everything we make is freshly made, we bake on site. I wanted to have
that authentic home-made feel, even though it wasn't made at home. We
talk about cupcakes and there was a real boom in their popularity, a lot
of that was related to things like Sex and the City. We often see with
these things they are short lived trends, you are proof that isn't the
case. 14 years later I can say it's not a trend. Many things can be
fads. But ultimately cupcakes are cake and they are just in an
individual size. Who is your typical customer? Customers are mostly
female. We have all age ranges but I would say women between 18 and 40
something. People like me! You're looking so longingly at this box!
Can I eat while you two tour?! I want to bring up the point that you
make all your cakes on the day. They have to be made the day they are
sold or consumed and you believe that's really important. You aren't
making them en masse and freezing them. That's right. Cake is
delicate. It dries out quickly and can go stale. You are selling
something like 25,000 cakes a week and you've got 120 people. How do
you physically make that many on the day and shift them on the day? Do
you have to have lots of premises? We have seven in the UK. We've grown
used to it over the years. The ovens are high-capacity, the storage
space, but we make do and manage somehow. We talked about your
expansion plans. Looking around the country, certainly in the UK. I know
you've got big plans in Dubai. It's interesting the dynamic. Sweet
things in the UAE and the Gulf are really popular. It's a social
activity, it's not about going to the pub or the bar, it's about ice
cream and cake. How would you pick where you would opening in the UK?
You said London for you is tough. It's tough because of friends. Any
area where there is a relatively affluent population but also
businesses nearby, lots of kids, mums with kids. Tourists help. The
ideal place would be somewhere that combines all of those elements.
Right here, giving the interest you've seen in the studio! Thank you
for coming. The cakes are staying! Nice to meet you. You just want the
cakes! What's your favourite cake? Someone's pointed out on Twitter
that millionaires shortbread should be the one we talk about the most.
It's technically not a cake. It's my banana bread, isn't it?! Just
saying! Still to come, we are talking about the sharing economy.
John Sudworth had a look around the Chinese city of Beijing.
The company behind this venture plan to make 20 million footballs
and basketballs available for hire right across China.
The cakes have gone! Not far. A lot of you getting in touch. Red velvet
is one viewer 's favourite. Welsh cakes, Madeira cake and we've got
one more saying date and walnut, hard to find a good one she says.
Remember the W Y shops and their home-made cakes. -- WI shops.
James Hughes is back with us, he's Chief Market Analyst at GKFX.
Favourite cake? I'm partial to a lemon drizzle cake. Let's talk about
Apple. This is really interesting. Spars with movie studios overpricing
ahead of Apple TV roll-out? In the next couple of weeks Apple will have
their keynote presentation, launch a new iPhone we imagine. They are also
launching another version of Apple TV. One of the capabilities is being
able to stream 4k quality videos and films. It's super high definition.
The problem they are having is they are in a tussle with the film
studios about how much they want to charge. Apple want to charge around
1999 per film. But the film studios are saying is they are looking at
charging more like $5 - $10 per film. It seems like the wrong way
round. It's not necessarily always been Apple's major point of being
cheap. The fact that this is a big difference between $5 and $19. An
interesting quote from one of the film studios says, I wouldn't tell
Apple how to price their iPads. Ford and dominoes trialling delivering
pizza in self driving cars. How does that work? Automated cars and self
driving cars are big business. Apple are looking at doing this. This is a
collaboration between Domino's and Ford to say let's get your pizza to
you quickly without some on taking at there. It wouldn't get past
family if it's like the cakes! LAUGHTER
Good morning. Feeling much cooler today across the south-east of
England. Temperature is 29 degrees yesterday, today they are going to
plummet. In the North and the West a mixture