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But does this herald a new era for
the distressed economy?
Live from London, that's our top
story on Business Live,
on Monday 18th December.
We're live in Johannesburg to assess
whether a new political future can
revive investor confidence
and kick-start the troubled economy.
Also in the programme...
Donald Trump's much-hyped tax
cuts move a step closer,
but will they really create jobs
and lure back big
business to the US?
And ahead of the holiday week -
traders sign off, but they'll be
keeping an eye on eurozone inflation
due later and US growth figures
expected later in the week.
And we'll be getting the inside
track on culture vultures -
and how technology has changed
the way we book tickets to concerts,
the cinema or theatre.
Also, we want to know...
Facebook finally admits social media
can harm mental health,
but says post more
to improve wellbeing -
what do you think?
Just use the hashtag BBCBizLive.
Let's get this right, Facebook says
it could harm mental health, but
also it says to solve that, you
should post more? Let us know what
you think, just use the hashtag and
we will be discussing this later in
South Africa's ruling ANC party
is electing a new leader.
There are two candidates -
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa,
or Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma,
a former cabinet minister
and ex-wife of President Zuma.
But whoever gets the job, faces
a monumental challenge of reviving
investor confidence in South Africa
and revitalising an economy which
has been left in tatters by Zuma.
The current president inherited
an economy in distress in 2009,
but he also made it worse.
Under his leadership -
which has been defined by corruption
and the weakening of
the country's institutions -
South Africa has endured two
in less than a decade.
at a whopping 27.7%.
The growth forecast
for this year is just 0.7%.
And government debt is more
than two trillion rand.
The dire state of the economy
and its level of debt have led S&P
and Fitch to cut SA's credit rating
to junk, while Moody's
is keeping it just above junk
status, but on review.
Lerato Mbele joins us
It's good to see you. Bring us up to
date with the latest, as we said,
it's down to these final two
candidates. What can we expect to
It has been an evening
of voting and early hours of voting
for delegates at the ANC conference.
A short while ago we were told that
one more region was due to cast
their votes and then counting would
begin. It is a slow and arduous
process but hopefully by the
mid-afternoon we should be hearing
who the new president of the ANC
will be, along with his five
officials who will lead the
organisation in what many expect to
be a new era. Of course, as you are
suggesting, there is a lot of
speculation as to who is likely to
win in a two horse race between
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril
Ramaphosa. All bets, it seems, are
on Cyril Ramaphosa winning and to
that end we have seen the South
African rand recovering by nearly
70% overnight. While the voting has
been taking place, the round is at
its strongest level since September.
Traders are hoping the winner will
be the businessmen turned politician
Cyril Ramaphosa, but for us to get
confirmation, we still have a few
more hours to wait as the votes are
Thank you, we know that you
will keep us up to date with events
Ben Payton is the Head
of Africa Research at global risk
consultancy Verisk Maplecroft.
Welcome to the programme. You were
listening to all of that, what is
your thoughts? We were just talking
about the fact that the rand has
gained overnight, is that because
they are hoping that Cyril Ramaphosa
is going to get the job because they
know that this marks the ending of
President Zuma's rain?
I think it is
because investors are desperate for
Cyril Ramaphosa to win, it looks
like he is in strong possession,
there is a chance of upset.
Investors have been hoping for the
end of the Jacob Zuma error for a
long time and they will be looking
for Cyril Ramaphosa to signal a new
economic direction -- era. If he
takes over the ANC and institute a
period of do no harm economy.
one of the wealthiest in South
Africa, he is the deputy leader of
the ANC at the moment. Is he free of
any questions surrounding
corruption? It isn't just President
Zuma seen as someone who has dodgy
dealings, as it were, but other
people within the ANC?
Ramaphosa has had a successful
career as a trade unionist, what he
is accused of is failing to stand up
to Jacob Zuma. He has been the
deputy president for the last
several years and has kept fairly
quiet about the corruption and
cronyism state and a Jacob Zuma
until quite recently. But
personally, he is not tainted in the
same way by corruption.
And if he
were to get the job, Zouma will
remain president until 2019 unless
there is something going on after
Cyril Ramaphosa's appointment, what
is your hope of seeing a beginning
of a turnaround for the South
African economy, as Ben pointed out,
statistics right now are pretty
The economy is in bad shape,
that could be due to them pushing
Jacob Zuma out more quickly than we
expect. If Ramaphosa takes over the
ANC, in theory, it would be quite
easy for him to force Zuma out of
office and he can get on with the
job of turning the economy around
and a key point will be the budget
announced in February, the fiscal
deficit is now up to about 4% of
GDP. So, investors will be looking
for Ramaphosa to take steps to lower
that. That could be the last chance
to save South Africa's credit rating
with Moody 's.
Ben, thank you. Of
course, they want to try and win the
election in 2019, it's quite a task
on their hands.
Absolutely. Full coverage on that as
we get more news from South Africa.
Let's take a look at some of
the other stories making the news.
A power failure has
caused massive disruption
at the world's busiest airport -
Atlanta in the US.
The failure seems to have
been caused by a fire
in an underground plant.
Three major airlines, United,
American and South-West,
all suspended operations
at the airport.
The airport said power
has now been restored.
A UK think tank has proposed
a post-Brexit trading deal based
on the UK and the EU sharing
each other's markets.
The Institute for Public Policy
Research says it would expect
the two markets to share the same
rules and regulations but form
a new customs union similar
to the existing one.
Ryanair pilots have suspended
a one-day strike planned
for before Christmas.
The Impact union, which represents
Irish-based pilots, has agreed
to meet Ryanair's management
on Tuesday, ahead of the planned
action on Wednesday.
The strike could have caused misery
for thousands of travellers
as the great Christmas
getaway got underway.
The latest Star Wars movie,
The Last Jedi, has generated more
than $450 million in ticket sales
on its opening weekend.
In North America,
it's at second place
in the all-time box office list,
behind only Star Wars:
The Force Awakens,
released in 2015.
Time for a look at the markets... US
numbers finishing higher... As we
mentioned at the start, the rest
will pass tax reform plans, that
would cut business tax, down to 21%.
The big question is, will that be
enough to get funds to move back to
the US if they have moved overseas,
or actually create jobs? Using money
they saved from the tax bill to
invest in business? That's a
question a lot of investors are
banking on. The week before
Christmas is normally quiet but
there are things for us to watch out
for this week. Europe, let's get an
inflation of date. It is expected to
come in at 1.5%, slightly up from
1.4%. Remember, the European Central
Bank, like the Bank of England, has
a target of 2%, it's the opposite
problem here in the UK. The
president of the EU no sense -- the
president of the Central bank will
try and give this a notch. On
Thursday we get the revised
third-quarter figures in the US.
That's how the markets are looking.
Let's go over to Wall Street.
Everybody is waiting for President
Trump to sign the Republican tax
reform Bill. It's his first major
economic victory since taking
office. Companies are looking
forward to a Christmas gift in the
shape of a big reduction in
corporate tax rate. Figures will
also show how many construction
rejects were started in November and
they are expected to be a little
lower than in October. Sales of new
homes are likely to have slowed but
there might be some good news,
consumer spending numbers are
expected to have risen, and
companies releasing earnings this
week are package delivery firm FedEx
as well as Nike.
Joining us is Simon Derrick,
Chief Markets Strategist,
at the Bank of New York Mellon.
When you away for Christmas?
Nothing is happening in
the city on Friday?
happens while I'm away!
Don't leave your desk on a Friday!
Simon is not around! We were talking
about various stories Aldi today,
Ben talking about record highs in
the States, a strong session in Asia
and looking at Europe now, following
this upward trend.
It is, a of it
has been driven by the excitement of
tax cuts or proposed tax cuts, this
will give an enormous boost to the
And earnings in particular,
some say a 15% rise in earnings
because of the corporate tax rate
That's the theory but
I've struggled a little, and the
reason is over because of the last
five, six or seven years, the cost
of borrowing for companies has been
ultralow. If anybody wanted to make
advances for their companies, it was
incredibly easy for them to do so.
I'm not really certain that cutting
the corporate tax rate will do that.
The money has to come from
somewhere, we are talking about over
£1 trillion of tax cuts. That adds
to the US deficit, the money will be
borrowed, the pressure of borrowing
rates, that will make life a little
harder. It is like borrowing from
Peter to pay Paul. I'm not certain
it feeds through in the way that F1
is so excited about.
-- everyone is
so excited about. They do have a
point though, in some respects, for
business, it isn't immediately going
That's the argument,
some tax cuts come in but on an
individual level, it will not start
to impact until late next year at
the earliest. In terms of an
immediate boost to spending,
We will talk more
Simon will give us his
response to a question we've had on
the programme. So many of you have
got in search with us, that Facebook
have admitted that social media is
bad for your mental health.
A lot of
comments coming in. Holly says that
her doctor told her this, but here
she is, on social media!
should have a social media free day?
That is my weekend!
You are quite
good at switching off over the
weekend. We cannot get hold of you!
Still to come, we speak to the boss
of one firm who lets you pay less
for the theatre. This is Business
Live on BBC News.
The Department for Work and Pensions
is set to publish its review
of automatic enrolment today.
Under new plans, workers
as young as 18 will be
auto-enroled into pensions,
in a bid to boost savings.
Joining us now is Nathan Long,
Senior Pension Analyst,
It was in a lot of the Sunday papers
yesterday, this attempt to get more
young people saving from an earlier
age. That has got to be welcome news
because people simply are not
putting enough away?
People are -- young people are being
auto enrolled earlier, 18 instead of
22. The other big change is for
people paying into their pension,
their contribution will start from
the first pounds note they earn. --
from the first pound they earn. That
would be a big benefit. We estimate
that someone an average earnings,
they will have £60,000 more in their
pension pot. Really positive
Can business afford this?
That is a good question. The change
in the contribution structure itself
we think will cost £176 per employee
for businesses. I think what we have
seen from the review is that it is
not going to be implemented
straightaway. They are talking about
mid-2000 and 20. Plenty of lead in
time for businesses. -- mid 2020s.
The bigger issue for businesses is
that from April of next year and
April 2019, the amount that needs to
be paid in by employers will be
Thank you very
much, Nathan. Thank you for
explaining that. It is really
interesting, getting more of us to
save at an earlier age. Do you know
the story we have been following
about the honour of pound land?
Doubts over pounds and suppliers
after insurance caught. -- Cook.
Credit insurers reduced their cover
for the retailer. This is all after
one of its leading companies has
basically been called into question.
More detail on that story. Do take a
look when you have time.
You're watching Business Live -
our top story - South Africa's
economy under the spotlight
as its ruling party scrabbles
to find a new leader.
Looking for a new leader of the ANC
to take over from President Zuma.
Let's look at financial markets in
Europe. All extremely strong and
positive following a similar session
in Asia and record closes in Wall
Street on Friday. When we hear news
of who has been selected to lead the
ANC, we will let you know. I had a
very cultural week last week. I went
to the theatre twice and the cinema
I have got social life envy
when it comes to Ben!
It's that time of year -
when we might think about a trip
to a concert, the cinema,
or the theatre.
And technology has been changing
the way we book tickets
for cultural events.
And it's a growing industry.
Box office income rose by 18%
between 2013 and 2016.
That growth is partly due to more
tickets being available but theatres
being able to fill more
seats, more easily.
One firm that's tapped
into that market is TodayTix.
It allows users to buy tickets
at the last minute or up
to a month in advance.
It's got 3.6 million users around
the world who've spent
$150 million on tickets.
But that's mostly in
the US so the company has
big plans to expand.
Merritt Baer is co-founder and Head
of Europe for TodayTix.
Welcome to the programme. You are
mostly in American cities. You are
in Toronto. You are also in London.
When did you establish your?
launched two and a half years ago.
We have a wonderful interface and a
user base of hundreds of thousands
of users. With an average age of 29.
A younger demographic.
How do you
compete in London? There are so many
different apps, websites, way to get
tickets rather than ringing the
Sure. We have
focused on a preemie user
experience. Via our mobile app,
website. We make sure we have the
best prices, the best seats across
the West End and across culture.
Musicals, plays, opera, dance. With
these amazing access programmes we
work with a third of the shows in
the West End on lottery programmes,
maybe for £20 tickets for the front
row for a show. Where you can on the
day sign up first thing in the
morning and access tickets for the
best of the West End.
How does the
relationship you have with the
theatre work? Why is it not cheaper
for me just to call the theatre? Why
go through a middleman?
directly with every theatre owner,
producer and director in the West
End to offer our customers the best
seats at the best prices. We have
great prices. Some of these access
programmes. You can see the RSC at
the Barbican for £10.
theatre, go to you and say, we have
got 50 seats still empty, we need to
get rid of them? Can they offer you
a cheaper rate?
We work in a variety
of ways with different shows.
Working with our partners and
finding out their needs. Do they
need more audience numbers for this
Tuesday? How do we help them with
fulfilling seats for weeks in
advance because they are already
sold out for this week?
excited when I learned about your
app a week ago -- a year ago. I have
got three children. To take a big
party to the theatre is really
expensive. You want to expose your
children to the magic of theatre.
Yet you can't afford it. Yet every
time I went on your app to find
something, I couldn't find it for
four people or more. Lots of tickets
for one and Briton. I struggled to
get a booking for four or more. Is
that an issue? There are not many
I think it depends
on the show. It is whatever the show
has available. If you are looking
for tonight, if you look for maybe
this Saturday, the next anatomy,
even for the hottest shows, whether
that is Aladdin, maybe a few days
out we could find you four great
Briefly, how did it
come about? You look dead Uber and
thought, we need this for theatres?
We found that the company about five
years ago. We were twentysomethings
at the time. We were inspired by a
bunch of other great user
experiences that are mobile. Brian
and I have produced Broadway shows
and working on the West End. We
thought, why is there not a similar
experience? That is how it came
How does this compare to
putting on a Broadway show?
are two very different experiences.
We have an amazing team in London
and New York. It has been a
coming in today.
And staying with theatres
and cinemas - chances
are you've seen a movie lately
on a huge screen.
The cinema company IMAX has been
working with studios to shoot more
and more films especially
for their super-sized
screens - like Dunkirk
and the latest Star Wars.
But boss Richard Gelfond admits that
when he took over the firm,
he might have gone a little
over-board in promoting
the new technology.
The CEO's secret is don't try to
make people go into a new niche
business. Figure out a way to go
into a business they are used to,
not make people change what they do.
The strategy in general was to get
mainstream film-makers to film movie
in IMAX. And on the other hand to
get exhibition chains around the
world to build IMAX theatres. I will
never forget Stephen Spielberg, we
asked for a film in IMAX early on,
and he said, tell them to call me
when they have a thousand theatres.
We had less than 100. It was a
chicken and egg macro situation.
We figured out a way to take regular
films not needing the cameras, and
convert them to IMAX. We figured out
a way to take regular theatres and
developed new equipment to create
the IMAX image. So essentially we
went into their business rather than
the other way around.
I have never heard a news report
with such dramatic music.
you been?! They were talking about
Star Wars and Dunkirk. I've been
trying to do some work. Let's talk
about Facebook. Social media is bad
for your mental health, Facebook
admits. We have had such a huge
response. Most people say, yes.
think the truly remarkable bit is
the bit that Ben Pate up on at the
start. They say the solution to it
is to do more Facebook.
need to keep engagement. They make
money from the advertisers.
to say, there are bits of social
media I absolutely love macro. I
love Instagram. And I love the
responses you get back. I love the
fact your family and friends...
see it as positive?
have to pick and choose. If you
become obsessive, that can be
different. If there is a bit that
fits in your life, like Instagram,
it is great.
They are here to stay,
social media. It is not like we're
going to stop using them. They are
around. Cos they invaluable.
everything we do it matters. Whether
you're talking about it on a
personal level, interacting with
clients, whether you're talking
about giving commentary about the
markets, it matters.
Simon. Have wonderful Christmas. And
you. We will see you tomorrow.
will see you