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This is Business Live from BBC News,
I'm Ben Thompson in London,
and I'm Sally Bundock in Davos
at the World Economic Forum.
Optimism about the global economy
is at its highest level in years
according to the world's
top business leaders.
Live from Davos and London,
that's our top story
on Tuesday 23rd January.
Despite that pick-up in the global
economy the US approves
controversial tariffs on Chinese
solar panels and South
Korean washing machines.
We'll get the latest
live from Shanghai.
Also today: UK regulators
block Fox's bid to buy
satellite broadcaster Sky -
it throws the $16bn deal into doubt.
And markets power to new highs
after the US government deadlock
is resolved for now.
We'll assess what happens next.
And with India's Prime Minister
Narendra Modi the keynote speaker
here at Davos today, we get the
inside track from atop Indian boss
who leads an IT services company to
find out what he is hoping for. As
usual, we want you to be a part of
the conversation. As global leaders
in politics and business gather here
to solve the challenges facing the
global economy, what one problem
would you like them to solve? Use
the hashtag BBCBizlive.
Hello and welcome to Business Live.
The prospects for the global economy
are at their brightest for nearly a
decade. That is the view of business
leaders and the International
monetary fund. They have both
launched their latest forecasts at
the World Economic Forum getting
underway in Davos. It is the
get-together of the top business
leaders and politicians in the
world. What are the latest figures
say? The IMF has raised its growth
predictions for the year to come and
next year. They have raised them to
3.9%. It says that reflects growing
momentum, and President Trump's
recent tax cuts have given the
economy a boost. IMF says that
optimism is being felt around the
world, 120 countries, representing
75% of the world economy, are
expected to see stronger growth in
2017. Business leaders have noticed
that 57% of the world's top bosses
think that growth will improve in
the next year, according to a
survey. That has been reflected on
stock markets oblate around the
world, setting new record highs
since last year's Davos gathering.
Let's had there now. Sally is
braving the cold. Normally when
we're talking about Davos, it is
about how we repair the world
economy, but this time, the message
is very much, it is on the men.
Absolutely. That's definitely the
message we've had so far here. You
talked about what the IMF had to say
about the outlook for 2018, on top
of that, you have mentioned the
survey from PWC about business
leaders being the most optimistic
they have been for years. Here, they
are well aware of the challenges we
are facing. In fact, the theme is
all about how to create an
environment where we are sharing in
terms of trade, expertise, in our
fractured world. When they talk
about the fractures in the world at
the moment, there are lots of
issues, of course, but the main one
is the thinking about the US and the
actions of President Donald Trump.
Today, we have already seen some
action in terms of protectionism,
you could call it - fresh tariffs
slapped on steel products coming out
of Asia, and pretty substantial
tariffs, too. Let's get more detail
on that from Robin Brant in
Shanghai. Interesting, Donald Trump
will be heading to Davos in just a
few days, and here, the talk is all
about global trade, and yet,
barriers are going up.
are, and President Trump is living
up to his campaign promises. For the
next four years, we have tariffs on
solar panel goods going from China
into the US, with a 30% tariff.
Washing machines coming out of South
Korea, $1 billion a year in trade,
will face tariffs of up to 50% going
into the US. This looks like, and it
is, the beginning of a trade war
between the United States and its
long-term ally, South Korea, and its
rival, as you might describe it,
China. The Chinese Government won't
be surprised. A campaign promise,
but in reaction, it has expressed
its strong dissatisfaction at Donald
Trump, saying it believes the US is
now a threat to the international
trading system. Will it hit the
Chinese solar panel industry? Well,
it is their biggest in the world,
but there is a glut in supply and it
is likely that the slight will be
picked up by manufacturers outside
of China, perhaps in places like
Malaysia. It is no doubt it will
have an effect on Chinese
manufacturers. One slight irony,
this time last year, China's leader
was in Davos is trying to be the
champion of global trade. That is
something some people think he
achieved. Some people think Donald
Trump is helping him to achieve it.
OK, Robin. Thank you very much
indeed. Add very interesting story
developing on that front today. More
analysis on that. Kamal is with us
in Davos. Robin just making the
point that last year, the big
keynote speaker was President Xi Jin
Ping. This year, we are talking
about Donald Trump, and the two of
them are in a spat about steel.
These increased tariffs set up the
arrival of President Trump on
Friday. As you say, what a contrast
with this time last year, Xi Jin
Ping talking about globalisation. He
is the first president to visit the
economic forum since 2000 and Bill
Clinton. Will he be telling the
world comedy with America's wait
while we will go it alone? From what
we have seen today, it looks like he
will be heavy on protectionism and
the America- first time. A pretty
aggressive message for the
It is interesting,
because among the speakers today, we
have the prime minister of Canada,
Justin Trudeau, and we are hearing
about steel tariffs being slapped on
Asian economies today, but the North
American Free Trade Agreement is a
big issue, and we know that
President Trump is talking about
renegotiating that completely. It is
all about these trade agreements
around the world that are being
renegotiated or completely changed.
You're right. I think from Prime
Minister Trudeau line from the
renderer Modi -- Narendra Modi, you
will get a different message from Xi
Jin Ping last year, which was that
globalisation was the way to lift
people out of poverty and create
global growth. President Trump is
going on a different line. He says
that being aggressive on
protectionism means that he can
protect American jobs. And so far,
the jobs market in America has been
very strong. The upgrade of US
growth has been strong, though not
the strongest in the world. So there
is this division in approach, and I
think that sets up the big tension,
the big debate, at the World
Economic Forum, which we will see
played out over the next few days.
Kamal, thank you very much indeed.
That is it from us just for the time
being. I will rejoin you in a few
Thank you very much, Sally.
We will be back with you in a moment
Let's take a look at some of
the other stories making the news.
Low cost airline easyJet
says revenues are up
14% to £1.1 billion -
that's just over $1.5bn -
for the last three
months of last year.
Its cost per seat -
a key measure of performance -
had fallen by 1.6% thanks to lower
fuel costs and cutting other costs.
Passenger numbers were
also up at 1.4 million.
The boss said that was
because they were offering "better
quality options" to their customers.
The world's second largest retailer,
Carrefour, plans to cut 2,400 jobs
and expand its e-commerce business.
The company will invest $3.4 billion
in its online platform amid fierce
competition with Amazon.
Carrefour has also announced that it
will partner with the Chinese
internet giant Tencent.
Bacardi will buy tequila maker
Patron in a deal worth around
$5 billion as it looks to expand
in the US and cash in the growing
taste for the Mexican spirit.
Sales of tequila have been
climbing in recent years,
while other alcohols like vodka
and brandy have
fallen in popularity.
The deal will make Barcardi
the second largest spirit company
in the United States.
The UK's Competition regulator has
ruled that Fox's proposed
takeover of Sky is not
in the public interest.
It says the deal would give
the Murdoch family too much control
over news providers in the UK.
Andrew Walker is following
the story for us.
Andrew, we were waiting for this
ruling, won't we? It is an
interesting one, and they say it is
not in the public interest?
Competition and Markets Authority
looked at this proposed takeover.
One basis was broadcasting
standards, and it was happy with the
implication standards. But on the
question of media plurality, it was
not. It takes the view that the
Murdoch family would have access to
about 30% of the UK audience, and it
regarded that as excessive. It
proposes a number of possible
remedies, not coming down in favour
of any particular option at this
stage. One is to prohibit the deal.
Another is to look at the idea of
spinning off Sky News, and a third
one is what it calls a behavioural
remedy, which would be some sort of
system for ring fencing Sky News
from the rest of the Murdoch
Andrew, thanks very much.
I know you will stay across that
story for us. In the early minutes
of trade, Sky shares are unmoved by
Tokyo's Nikkei index closes
at a 26-year-high in Tokyo,
after Wall Street powered to another
set of records following a deal
to end the US government shutdown.
Investors confident the deal
will keep the government
funded in the short term,
and it's unlikely to have a lasting
impact on the US economy.
That is the current state of play in
Europe. We have had an update one
networks overnight, saying that
subscriber numbers are up even
though it has raised its prices.
you have heard of The Crown And
Stranger Things, They Are Part Of
The Reason Why Networks Profits Are
Soaring. The Streaming Service Has
Been Investing More Money In
Original Programming, Meaning It Is
Short On Cash.
In The Last Three Months, Networks
Added More International Subscribers
than it expected, more than 6
million. It added more than 8
million subscribers globally.
Networks is now worth about $100
billion and has more subscribers
than other streaming services like
Amazon, which means is only a media
company with deep pockets could
really compete with networks.
Never a truer word spoken - deep
pockets to take on networks.
Joining us is Trevor Greetham,
head of multi-asset
at Royal London Asset Management.
Things are on the up. Yesterday,
markets didn't move a huge amount.
They thought, we have seen a US
shutdown before, we're not too
bothered, but they like it now that
it is over.
The American stock
market is up 25% year on year now.
Is it just moved over the 25% mark.
The markets like the strong global
growth we have been hearing about
from Kamal and the IMF, so we have a
strong global picture, but at the
moment, inflation is low. The
question for 2018 is whether
inflation will spoil the party.
Let's bring in Sally from Davos.
Hello to both of you in your cosy,
one studio! I wanted to but in,
Trevor, at this point. Nice to see
you. I wanted to ask you about that
issue and what Kamal was saying, but
also, it was surprising how
optimistic business leaders are, the
1300 that PwC spoke to all over the
world. They spoke to those business
leaders before the US tax reforms
were cleared and agreed upon, and
yet, they are talking about hiring
and investing. The majority of them
are extremely optimistic. Your take
It's not that surprising,
because you have very low interest
rates, and you have this big tax cut
in terms of the headline corporation
tax rate, the biggest in American
history. At the moment, it looks
like this expansion can continue. It
is an eight and a half year
expansion, making it the longest in
history, and if inflation doesn't
pick up this year in a big way,
interest rates will stay low and it
will carry on. It could even
challenge the 1990s, which was a
10-year expansion. The question is
whether tax cuts create inflation,
and whether the slowdown in China,
which is not getting much coverage,
pulse commodity prices down again
and gives us a breather for another
year or two.
It will be one to
watch, how long that sugar Rush can
continue. Trevor, thanks very much
for now. Sally, you've got a guest
there in Davos.
I do. Indeed I will
be talking to the Chief Executive of
a company. We have got the Prime
Minister of India as the keynote
speaker here today. It is the first
time an Indian Prime Minister has
been here for a few years. We want
to know what are the top bosses in
India looking for from those in
charge of India? See you soon.
You're with Business Live from the
UK bookmakers are bracing
themselves for a hit later
when the Government concludes
a review into tackling
Shares in bookmakers William Hill
and Ladbrokes Coral slumped
yesterday on reports
that the maximum bet on some
gambling machines could be cut
from £100 to just £2.
Richard Hunter is head of markets
at Interactive Investor.
Richard, talk us through this. The
Government says we need to clamp
down on problem gambling. This is
the way they think they can do it by
reducing the amount people can
It is around fixed odds
betting terminals which are in place
in shops around the country. At the
moment the maximum stake is £100.
There has been a government
consultation is it will be curcts
but it could be anywhere between £2
and £50 which is an extremely large
spread. There was a report in a
newspaper at the weekend suggesting
that actually it was the £2 end of
the spectrum that we should be
expecting and so the share prices of
the likes of Ladbrokes and Coral and
William Hill took a beating. The
estimation is should this go
through, ie the £2 level it could
take around 25% of both of their
It is an emotive issue
this, isn't it? Clearly the betting
firms are ones that really cash in
on people that maybe shouldn't be
spend that money, can't afford to
spend that money and that's where
they make their profits?
right. There has been similar moves
in Australia which is of interest to
William Hill for example where the
ability to lend on credit so that
you could gamble is now a loophole
they are trying to shut. Obviously
from the bookmakers point of view in
the UK, what they are arguing is
that should the £2 levy be
introduced directly that will affect
a great number of betting shops
around the UK, they will need to
close which obviously will result in
the loss of a number of jobs and a
lesser tax take for the Treasury.
Richard, thank you for explaining
that. It is one we will watch
closely and shares actually in the
two biggest in the UK actually
opening up marginally at the moment.
I want to show you news on the
Business Live page. There is further
deals about the Sky deal. It raises
questions too for the proposed deal
with Disney. The full details are
there on the website.
You're watching Business Live.
I'm Sally Bundock.
I'm Ben Thompson
Our top story: The United States has
approved controversial tariffs
on Chinese solar panel
and South Korean washing machines.
Both countries have
criticised the tariffs.
Sally talking about the growth
forecast for the world economy being
upgraded off the back of the tax cut
in the United States. A quick flash
at how the markets in Europe are
faring in early trade. The boost on
Wall Street after the deadlock in
the United States was broken with a
last minute deal yesterday. We see
markets following the lead of Wall
Street and indeed, Asia, opening up
Now, let's take a
look at today's events in Davos. The
keynote speaker today, in a few
hours, is the Prime Minister of
India. How critical is it to Indian
businesses that he is present here
at Davos? Well, I'm joined by it the
Chief Executive of an IT services
company in India. Welcome to
Business Live. So, how important do
you think it is that the Indian
Prime Minister does come to Davos,
the first time for many, many years
that an Indian Prime Minister has
I think Prime Minister
Modi represents the new set of
ambition for India, aspirations of
India and he is now the leader of
almost 300 CEOs and politicians and
NGOs and different parts of the
Indian society, 300 plus people who
are here in Davos today. Who better
than Prime Minister Modi.
has been very sort of proactive
since he has come into power as
Prime Minister in terms of talk
talking about trade with many global
leaders, notably the likes of
Theresa May and others. Clearly,
he's keen to do global trade deals.
To what extent do you feel his
presence here this year is
overshadowed by that of US President
Donald Trump who is coming in a few
days' time and of course, Trump
today announcing new tariffs?
know, the reality is that I think
the two book ends of Davos, the
beginning has been done by Prime
Minister Modi and the closing would
be done by President Trump. We
couldn't have had a better Davos, so
the delegates, I can only say,
getting President Trump here,
talking about his own tax reforms,
his own policies and the road ahead
and particularly as we know he's
going to do a lot of investment in
infrastructure, he is coming in
towards the end and Prime Minister
You are a global company. I
mean you work over the world, in
Sweden, in Switzerland, the United
States, Italy and Israel to name a
few. How concerned are you about the
actions of the United States in
terms of putting up tariffs. Today
we are hearing about tariffs on
Asian steel products, but are you
worried that this could sort of set
a wave of protectionism across the
That global trade has always
had some entry barriers. I mean WTO
has succeeded, but not fully
succeeded. That we have always seen
is anti-dumpling duties in the
previous regimes also. That current
President Trump wants to use his
muscle to negotiate better
agreements in global trade. They are
being upfront and they are more
vocal about it. I am concerned, but
I would not say that it is not in
the best interest of the US to allow
Indian visa holders.
And what are
you hoping to gain from being here
yourself? What does this event mean
for you and your company?
things. Number one is being able to
interact and you know, make sure
that the vision is alined with the
other powerful, if not, all, but at
least 100 odd CEOs that I will
All right. So there
is a lot you want to achieve and we
must let you get on with that, but
thank you for taking the time to
talk to us on Business Live. The CEO
of a IT company.
Trevor Greetham from
Royal London Asset Management
is joining us again to discuss.
This is a backlash against social
The big tech companies,
they are used to being the
disruptors of the status quo, they
have become so big now that they
have become the status quo and they
are having to spend money on
removing offensive content and there
are a lot of things that are
challenging them, but they are
I suppose the
backlash is on so many sides. It is
about what we use the social
networks for and whether people are
using them for the wrong reasons,
spreading extremist content, but
things like tax and that's where it
really hits them?
It does. The fact
that most of the big entrepreneurs
of big tech say things like, "I
don't let my children use Facebook."
." They are going through an
interesting phrase of development,
but there is more to come from them.
A quick look at this We Work. It has
become Central London's biggest
This is people just
wanting to hire a desk and these
companies like We Work are buying up
office buildings and renting out
desks. You can't tell how much spare
capacity there is in the office
market in London because these guys
buy it up and maybe their buildings
are half empty, we don't know.
Trevor, Todd for explaining that. It
is one we'll keep a close eye on.
Sally, we have been asking what
people like to see changed in Davos.
Bob says climate change and I bet
you feel that in the cold there.
Another viewer says inequality. What
are people talking about there?
Inequality is a big issue on the
agenda particularly when it comes to
women empowerment and getting more
people in the workforce, but you
will hear from me in the hours ahead
so I will talk some more about that
Stay warm. Nice to see you.
See you back here very soon. From
all of us on the team, thank you for
watching. Have a great day. Bye-bye.