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This is Business Live from BBC News
with Alice Baxter and Ben Bland.
Tesla has launched its first
electric truck that can accelerate
to 60 miles per hour
in just five seconds.
Live from London, that's our top
story on Friday, 17th November.
Yes, Tesla unleashes the Beast.
But will the electric truck
transform road transport,
or prove too heavy a load
for the company?
Plus, tax relief for President Trump
- as his $1.5 trillion reform plan
clears the House of Representatives.
But it could be short-lived
as the debate moves to the Senate.
And global stocks rebounding
at the end of the week as investors
snapped up bargains after the recent
by solid quarterly earnings
reports on Wall Street.
And we'll be getting
the Inside Track on Donald Trump's
tax plans, plus what is happening
in Saudi Arabia with our business
editor, Simon Jack.
And it's being reported that
scientists have sent a secret
message to reach alien life
elsewhere in the universe.
Today we want to know -
what would you ask or say to any
extra-terrestrials out there?
Just use the hashtag BBCBizLive.
Du Toit in and let us know you're
out of the world responses.
We start in California,
where in the last few hours
electric car maker Tesla has
unveiled its latest venture.
Founder Elon Musk hopes to take
on the road transport business
as he has the car industry -
with an electric powered truck
called the Tesla Semi.
Dave Lee was at the launch.
This is the new Tesla semi.
It will travel 500 miles
on a single charge
and Elon Musk thinks it will make
electric the new king of the road.
The thing that looks
like it's not moving...
Is a diesel truck.
But he has been under
a lot of pressure
His company isn't yet making cars
quickly enough to meet demand
and so this new truck
could be another distraction
for the man who also
dabbles in space travel.
taking some serious
issues on the manufacturing side.
Model 3 delivery is measured in
hundreds when they're supposed to be
producing thousands every week.
That is a huge issue.
But the truck wasn't to be the only
new vehicle on show here
So the Tesla fans that came
here certainly expected to see a
lorry, what they weren't expecting
to see was a new Roadster and that
got this crowd excited.
So it turns out there was some
cargo in the truck...
For fans an exciting One More Thing,
but for Tesla's investors it is just
one more thing.
Anna-Marie Baisden, Head of Autos
at BMI Research, is with me.
The first thing you think, as trucks
go, that is pretty good-looking. It
is an odd description, but it is
very aesthetically well-designed.
Absolutely, and this is what Tesla
has been doing all along, making
elective products attractive in
their own right, you are not just
buying them for the alternative
fuel, you are buying them because
they are attractive products.
you think those who it is targeted
at, big haulage companies, will be
swayed by that, or will they focus
on the cost? The reports are the
battery alone will cost $100,000.
Absolutely, you target business very
differently to consumers. Consumers
you can win over with design and
aesthetics, but it is about the
bottom line for haulage companies,
and the cost is definitely a top
The other aspect is the
range, how far these trucks can
travel, and it was a surprise,
Yes, 500 miles on a
single charge, that was definitely a
surprise, and a positive one,
because that is something else you
want to take into account if you are
running a haulage business.
other thing Tesla has to be very
aware of is competition. It was once
the only, or one of the big names in
the field, it still is, but
competition is snapping at its
heels. You have Volvo launching a
driverless truck in Beijing, the
market is so competitive now. They
have just got to keep innovating,
Absolutely, and you
have some of the real big names in
the Class 8 segment, like Daimler,
they have their models out there,
and if anything it could be a little
late to the electrification of
commercial vehicles, which is quite
unusual for them.
What about the
infrastructure in place to
facilitate the launch of these sorts
of vehicles? That is one of the
biggest stumbling blocks.
that is more of a concern to fleet
drivers than commuters, because they
need to travel long distances in a
certain amount of time, so that is a
big concern to them.
Really good to
talk to you, thank you very much for
Let's take a look at some of
the other stories making the news.
There have been more takeover
approaches for media giant
21st Century Fox.
According to reports Comcast,
owner of NBC Universal
and the biggest cable TV operator
in the US - has expressed
interest in buying assets,
as has Verizon Communications.
Last week it emerged that
Walt Disney had held talks with Fox.
Media companies are looking
at mergers as more people ditch
cable in favour of streaming
services like Netflix.
Gap shares jumped
nearly 8% after-hours.
The US clothing retailer
raised its outlook for 2017 profit
and reported same-store sales ahead
of analysts' expectations.
The company has been investing
to upgrade its offering
for customers, and it's paying off.
And German industrial group Siemens
has announced plans to cut around
6,900 jobs worldwide -
mostly in its fossil fuels division.
It said global demand
for large turbines produced
by its power and gas division
had fallen dramatically.
Half of the jobs will be lost
in Germany, while 1,100 will go
in the rest of Europe and 1,800
in the US.
Don't forget there's always plenty
of business News updated throughout
the day on our website, on the
Business Live page. On there right
now, Nissan executives are likely to
return a part of their pay over the
quality-control scandal. Shares in
Nissan have risen on that news. You
can read more about that as I say
the website. Always lots on the
Let's go to India now -
and credit ratings agency Moody's
has given Prime Minister Modi
a major boost.
It has upgraded India's
sovereign rating for
the first time in 14 years -
citing the government's continued
progress in economic reform.
That has sent the rupee and Indian
stocks sharply higher
Let's cross live now for more on
this. Watmore have you got?
Moody is has cited the structural
and economic reforms that have been
initiated by Prime Minister Modi's
government in the last few years,
the new national goods and services
stacks, and they have also announced
recently that they will be in jet to
fresh capital in public owned banks
which have been struggling due to
bad debts, and that has been having
a severe impact on the economy. Last
year they had also cracked down on
the black economy, black money,
rather, by banning the illegal
currency that was in circulation. So
Moody is has appreciated the steps
and say it will benefit the economy
in the long run, so they are calling
this an early Christmas gift from
Prime Minister Modi, considering the
economy had slowed down due to these
measures in the last few months.
Thank you. So India's stock market
and currency getting an early
Christmas gift. Let's stay in the
Other Asian shares clawed back most
of their weekly loss after rising
firmly on Friday on some strong
Wall Street earnings and a step
Also the dollar fell after
the Wall Street Journal reported
So in Japan, the Nikkei gained 0.2%
extending its recovery
from a near three-week intraday low
hit on Thursday.
But it's still down 1.3%
for the week, snapping
its nine-week gaining streak.
Here in Europe, stocks
are mixed at the open.
The largest influence on markets all
around the globe today is President
Trump's plans for a shake-up of the
US tax system taking a step forward
He says they will boost the US
economy - but critics
on the Democrat side call them
a give-away to big
business and the wealthy.
Samira Hussain has the details.
Taxes - Americans don't like paying
them and most agree that the tax
system is broken, but fixing it,
well, that ain't easy.
The President says he wants
a tax system that's so
easy you could file
it on a postcard.
Now the Republican Party has control
of the US Congress and that
means they could pass a new tax plan
with just a simple majority.
If there's anything that unifies
Republicans, it is tax reform.
We have been looking
for the opportunity to do this
literally for years.
Republicans can't even
agree on a tax plan
Law-makers want to cut the number of
tax brackets to
four and cut back just how much
people can write off
for having a mortgage.
The Senate plan removes the tax
Americans pay if they don't
buy health insurance, but that means
some 13 million Americans could end
up without any coverage and that
plan also makes cuts to the
corporate tax rate permanent.
But tax relief for individuals,
well, that's just temporary.
So what do they do now?
Well, Republicans in the House
and Senate will just have
to combine their two plans,
but if the last few months are any
that won't be easy.
That was Samir Hussein in New York.
Joining us is Lucy MacDonald,
Chief Investment Officer,
Global Equities, Allianz Global
A big week the US earnings, in
particular what we could call the
dinosaurs of the stock indices.
There were two yesterday which we
knew would classify as dinosaurs,
Cisco and Walmart, and they both
came through with numbers
better-than-expected. Cisco has not
really grown its top line for a
couple of years, and showed some
movement in the top line, we are
only talking low single-digit is,
but even so. And that was greeted
well. And then Walmart as well, and
the rest of the retail sector has
been under pressure from Amazon. So
it has been a bit of an electric
kettle to get some of the other
retailers to move their businesses
online more. That seems to be
providing some progress.
away from dinosaurs, some other big
news this week coming out of Norway,
trying to move their alliance away
from oil and gas.
They have said
that they will divest from the 6% of
their portfolio, their wealth
portfolio, probably next year. And
it is significant. For them, it is
partly because their whole economy
is very reliant on oil and gas, but
I think also underlying it, it is
that hole bogey of stranded assets,
and the value of these assets, which
had been put really on the back
burner for the last few months. So I
think it will probably put a little
bit of a stop to that.
We will come
back and talk to you about the
business papers later in the show.
See you later.
Still to come:
Will the US Senate agree
to Donald Trump's tax plans?
Plus, what is happening
in Saudi Arabia?
That's all with our business
editor, Simon Jack.
You're with Business
Live from BBC News.
The building society Nationwide has
posted its latest results
and profits are down for the second
period in a row.
Our business correspondent
Theo Leggett joins us
from the business newsroom
with the details.
What do these figures look like TU?
At first glance, they don't look
great. The second six months in a
row in which profits have fallen,
underlying pre-tax profits dropping
to £508 million from £615 million a
year ago. But you have to bear a
couple of things in mind. The
figures for a year ago were
flattered by a 100 year pounds bonus
from selling off a stake in Visa
Europe. Take that out, and in fact
the company made a profit this time
round. Also, nationwide which is a
mutual building society, it started
paying extra money into its
employees' pension fund, and it also
had to set aside a little bit of
money for bad loans. So overall it
is not that bad, these are pretty
So could there be
trouble ahead for nationwide?
is what nationwide is warning, yes.
It says that there is a great deal
of competition in the mortgage
market, which there is, and
nationwide is the country's
second-largest mortgage provider.
Funding costs are low because of low
interest rates, but margins are low
as well, what nationwide is saying
is that with the competition that is
coming up ahead, it could feel some
pain. Declining consumer confidence
may hit lending later in the year.
That is according to the chief
executive, nationwide remains
financially secure and in very good
CEO, for now, thank you very
Is plenty more on the web page. The
British Prime Minister is in Sweden
meeting Donald Tusk. She will try to
provide more clarity about how the
UK intends to settle any outstanding
payments are due before they begin
making progress on negotiations
about a post-Brexit trade deal. We
will be following developments
there. For the latest log on to the
You're watching Business Live.
Our top story: Tesla has
launched its first electric truck
that can accelerate to 60 miles
per hour in just five seconds.
A quick look at how
markets are faring.
A mixed picture here in Europe. That
is after a strong session in Asia on
the back of some good quarterly
earnings out from Wall Street.
And now let's get the Inside Track
on the week's top business stories,
Simon Jack our Business Editor
is here to talk about changes to US
tax policy and why the Saudi
government is demanding up to 70%
of rich detainees' wealth
in return for their freedom.
Donald Trump could have a rocky road
ahead in the Senate.
This is a major
plank of Donald Trump's election
campaign, everyone agrees the tax
system is too complicated and we
haven't had a tax overhaul since
1986 under Reagan. You have two
different plans, one in the House of
Representatives and one in the
Senate. On the corporate side they
say we will cut corporate tax from
35 to 20%. You would think big
business would think this is
fantastic, but the system is so come
my Kated that -- complicated that
there are all sorts of exemptions
and you can deduct interest
payments, or other deductions for
individuals and state taxes. It is a
big mess. A lot of people say the
simplification is great, but I don't
know where I stand. What I would say
is is that the costing of this, tax
cuts cost money and this will cost
about one and a half trillion
dollars. US debt is already 20
trillion plus. You remember back in
the 80s when Reagan did a tax cut,
it ballooned the deficit. The idea
if people make more money, you
increase the tax take.
surprised by the reaction from
business, perhaps less surprising is
the reaction from the Democrats
calling it a giveaway to the
Lobbying groups for big
business spend millions trying to
get concessions. All their plans and
road map of how to pay less tax will
go up in the air. The over all
picture probably looks good for
multinationals. That is one of the
problems the Democrats say it is a
tax cut for the rich. There are some
tax cuts for individuals and the
middle class. But some are temporary
and some say within ten years middle
class family will pay more and rich
people will be paying less.
to turn to what is has beening in
Saudi Arabia and a crackdown on
corruption and consolidation of the
monarchy's power, demanding 70% of
these rich detainees' wealth in
return for freedom.
That is an
unconfirmed number. I spoke a
business person who described it as
a good old faked shake down -- old
fashioned shake down, in case you
need a reminder of who the boss it.
The Saudi Arabia budget is running a
deficit and that never happens and
over the years many people have done
well, particularly in the good old
days when oil was over $100 a
barrel. The oil price has been low
and they have a generous state
sponsored welfare scheme and a
growing population. There is a panic
there. They're trying to move like a
whirlwind to reform the economy and
they need money fast and these
people have plenty of it and some of
biggest figures in international
business, a big shareholder in City
group. Some are sleeping on the
floor of Ritz. They can't send them
to prison. That would be too
disruptive, but you have got money,
we need money, I'm the boss and
perhaps when the new king takes
over, the new reveal needs money and
they will knock on the richest
people in the country to get it. A
gold old fashioned shake down.
the UK, we have had reports out this
week on the state of inflation and
the growth, what did you make of it
Well, on the inflation, it was
3%. Which is above target. The Bank
of England would like to see it at
2%. It is above how much wages are
going up which is 2.2%. Although we
have economic and wage growth, in
real terms people are getting
poorer. That isn't a happy place for
government to be in and we have the
budget next week. It is an important
part of where the budget will land
next week. The growth figures, there
is some growth, but not spectacular.
People are saying it looks softer. I
think we are near the peak of
inflation, because after the
referendum, sterling fell and all
imports are more expensive and we
import more than we export. Some of
the effects are filtering out. That
was over a year ago and that big
increase is working its way through
the system. We could be at or near
the peak of the inflation cycle
Thank you. All highs on Philip
Hammond next week. Have a good
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.
We have the latest details from the
BBC's team around the world. And we
want to hear from you too. Get
involved on the BBC Business Live
web page. On Twitter we are at BBC
Business and we are on Facebook.
Were going to talk about other
stories. The report that scientists
have been sending out a secret
message to try and reach life in
other parts of universe. They don't
expect a reply for at least 25
years. We have been asking for your
tweets, what message would you send
and what question would you ask.
Quite a range of responses.
had a lot of responses.
call in for a cup of tea and
biscuit. Another say, just the one
word - help.
Jane said, what is the
answer to everything.
Karen - get me
out of here.
And hey Mr Spaceman
would you take me along for a ride?
I think that is a song lyric. Lucy,
what would you say to extra
I ask if wanted any of
Enough of that. Let's talk
about business news back here on
earth. The FT if I can find it,
reporting that come cast and High
Horizon have approached 21st Century
fox to buy its assets.
consolidation and integration in the
entertainment industry as a result
of the disruption from Netflix. That
is ongoing and will continue. It is
a valid response when you get this
sort of disruptive activity and you
have consolidation of Murdoch assets
and the thoughts they may be
thinking about going private. So
those are the two things which have
happening. It is following on from
Disney, the approach we have had. So
this is going to run and run.
is a sign of the times, this shift
in our viewing habits and people
wanting to end their cable contracts
and preferring to stream online.
it is a change driven by technology
and the response is to strengthen
their position either vertically or
in this case horizontal of getting
them all together.
discussions with Disney expressing
an interest, if a giant like Disney
is looking at it, these are big
Yes and they're very large
companies, because they're very old
companies and also they're led by in
many cases... Men in their 70s and
80s and there is an end of era feel.
End of a programme feel, end of a
week feel. Lucy Macdonald thank you,
have a lovely weekend. We have so
many tweets, we will look through
them. Thanks for watching and have a
great weekend. See you again soon.