21/02/2018 BBC Business Live


21/02/2018

A look at the global business stories.


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Transcript


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This is Business Live from BBC News

with Jamie Robertson

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and Sally Bundock.

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The boss of the world's biggest

mining firm Glencore has

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said that 2017 was a stellar year

as a strenghtening global economy

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boosts demand for raw

materials and commodities.

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Live from London,

that's our top story

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on Wednesday 21st February.

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Glencore says profits for 2017 came

in at $14.76 billion -

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that's 44% more than a year earlier.

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Also in the programme....

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South Korea signs trade deals

with central American nations.

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Is this a back door

to trade war with the US?

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That is how the market started off,

all of them down.

The Asian markets

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were looking healthy earlier that

they are taking their cue from the

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US, which had a bit of a

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City life can be high on excitement

but low on community spirit.

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We'll be meeting the man who's

putting the community

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at the core of social networks.

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Today we want to know:

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Do get in touch.

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Hello and welcome to Business Live.

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The boss of the world's biggest

mining firm Glencore has said that

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2017 was its best ever.

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It follows strong results

from its rivals BHP

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Billiton and Anglo-American

earlier this week.

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All of them are benefitting

from the improved global economy.

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Glencore says its adjusted profits

for 2017 came in at $14.76 billion

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that's 44% more than a year earlier.

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Shareholders will be pleased to see

that the company is recommending

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that they get $2.9bn in dividends.

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That's way above the minimum.

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And rising commmodity prices

also helped net debt

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fall

31% to $10.67 billion.

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That puts the company in a stronger

position for the future.

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But challenges lie ahead.

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The Democratic Republic of Congo

is key to Gelncore's position

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as a key supplier of metals

to the electric car industry.

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But the Government is looking

at new laws limiting how much

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of profit these firm can take

out of the country.

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With me is Paul Renken,

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senior geologist and mining analyst

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for VSA Capital Ltd.

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Well done for getting here. Thank

you for being on the programme.

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Glenn caught coming out with a very

familiar tune, it would seem. A bit

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of a sweet spot for them at the

moment. Profits are up with a nice

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increase in dividend and they are

reducing their debt.

What would you

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make of their figures? They are

pretty good figures from what I was

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able to review. A little bit better

than expected, I would say, at this

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point in time. It was definitely the

right time to have curtailed some of

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that production from Africa during

2015 and 2016 in order to make the

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market balanced in those

commodities.

Touching on the issue

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of the Democratic Republic of Congo

and a new law which could affect

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their business. Nothing was said

about that. I guess it is difficult

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to comment when they do not know

what the Government may decide.

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There have been comments by other

companies which also have issue with

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the Government on this particular

situation about potential changes to

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tax rules. That would be changes

which would be retro active, even to

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agree the contracts that were signed

years ago.

We are definitely

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concerned. Give me an idea about how

cool this is to the mining industry

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generally and Glenn caught in

particular?

Cobalt is something that

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is crucial to the battery chemistry

is, particular with having a long,

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charge life.

You are talking about

electric vehicles there. The car

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industry is so headed in that

direction. Do they see that as being

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a really important part of business

in the next few years?

They have

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geared to their business in

particular for these battery

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materials. It is not just cobalt,

within Glencore you see a lot of

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zinc production and copper

production. All of this is part of

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the electrical vehicle revolution.

We all know with commodity markets,

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they are very cyclical, and good

times do come to an end. How long

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are they in this window enables the

expansion profits going up question

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does that mean now is the time for

them to really invest?

It is. If the

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auto industry is right in its

prognosis as to how quickly

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consumers will pick up electric

vehicles. That will depend on

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individual nations, as well as

individual auto-makers as to how

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well the vehicle fell.

Thank you

very much indeed. Thank you for

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coming in. That is my concern. Stuck

in the countryside in the UK with

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nowhere to plug in. I do not have an

electric car yet though. Maybe you

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could just stick it into your mains,

couldn't you? If you need one. You

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have your own electricity supply, I

presume. If you are on a journey,

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say going to Scotland or something.

Anyway, let's move on, shall we?

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Let's take a look at some of

the other stories making the news.

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Shares in the world's biggest

retailer Walmart has

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seen its biggest one day fall

in more than 30 years.

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Shares closed down more than 10%

at just over $94 after the company

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reported disappointing online sales

figures for the Christmas period.

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Walmart says it going to try

and drive more traffic to its main

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website as it tries to fight off

competition from Amazon and others.

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Sydney Airport says profits are up

as more people than ever

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are using the transit hub.

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Profits for 2017 came

in at just over US $940m.

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A record 43.3m passengers used

the airport with the number

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of international passengers up more

than 7% thanks to strong demand

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from China and India in particular.

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The government announced

plans to build a second

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international airport for the city.

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The battle to control the market

for the computer chips which power

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smartphones is heating up.

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America's Qualcomm has

increased its bid for Dutch rival

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NXP Semiconductors to around $44bn.

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It comes as Qualcomm tries to see

off a hostile takeover bid

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from fellow US firm Broadcom

which is worth an estimated $103bn.

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South Korea has signed free trade

deals with five central

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American countries -

Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras,

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Nicaragua and Panama.

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The deals aren't worth a huge

amount, but could offer

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an alternative route to trade

with the United States,

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Dealings between the US and South

Korea have not been back great

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lately.

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First, Leisha Santorelli

is in Singapore.

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Just explain the logic of this deal,

please.

It will open important new

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markets for South Korea and its auto

sector and electronics sector all

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stand to benefit. Talks have been

going on for a while. The trade

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packs will eliminate duty on about

95% of all goods and services traded

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between South Korea and these five

countries. The South Korean

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government also forecasts it will

give a big boost to economic growth

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over the next decade and create at

least 3000 jobs, important given

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they have a very young population,

all looking for jobs and it is a

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political problem for them. Seoul

has said it is an important avenue

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for them to a given concerns over

increasingly protectionist trade

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policies.

Thank you very much

indeed. Let's

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have a look at the markets. That is

the Australian market. The Hang Seng

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is moving up but the Dow had a

slightly weak day. Let's have a look

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and see what the details are about

what is going on. That is how we

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have opened. All of the markets are

down a little bit. Let's see what is

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on Wall Street today with Joe

Miller.

On Wednesday, the Federal

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reserve will release minutes from

its last rate-setting meeting held

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at the end of January. At the time

the committee decided to keep the

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rates steady at 1.5%. The central

bank is widely expected to raise

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interest rates again in mid-March.

But the language in the minutes will

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be closely scrutinised by Wall

Street and any signs of increased

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enthusiasm for further or higher

rises in 2008 teams could send the

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stock market spiralling again.

Elsewhere, satellite television

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company dish network is expected to

report a drop in revenue and profits

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and it is increasingly suffering

from the popularity of streaming

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services like Netflix, to which

younger, cash-strapped consumers are

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flocking.

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Joining us is Jane Sydenham,

Investment Director,

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Rathbones Investment Management.

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We are talking the markets. It has

been really dominated by the big

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mining companies were saying what we

expected, they are having a really

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good time right now and making lots

of money. We would expect that. A

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lot of them are listed in London on

the FTSE 100 and a lot of them are

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very attractive to pension fund

managers.

Some of the dividends are

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quite substantial, so that is

attractive. To a large extent, they

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are reflecting the fact that world

economic growth is good. Demand for

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basic commodities will be higher

when there is more economic

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activity.

Everyone has been telling

us, the global economy is set for a

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good year in 2018. I have been

reading quite a lot of people are

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saying, actually, we are not going

to get that smooth round we have had

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for the last 18 months and things

will be more volatile, even though

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we have the gross.

There is often a

mismatch between economic growth and

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stock market performance. That's

move upward trajectory we had was

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exceptional. Markets are usually

much more volatile. It lasted a long

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time. It lasted an incredibly long

time. It is natural to see more

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volatility. We have seen a change in

terms of an increase in inflation

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and rising interest rates. There are

more questions that investors need

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to resolve which will probably make

markets more volatile.

What are you

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watching in particular right now? I

feel like we are in February, having

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had that massive volatility very

recently. People are repositioning

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themselves a little bit.

I think it

is all about where there is value,

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relative to the growth is that

investors are looking for. There are

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some areas that have performed so

well they are very expensive. That

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is where investors were thinking,

perhaps I need to take money out of

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those areas. There are not that many

areas that have been growing

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strongly and there is always a

trade-off between strong growth and

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a high price for that growth. That

is what everyone is trying to

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resolve at the moment.

Do stay

around for that we'll be talking

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about the newspaper headlines at the

end of the programme.

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Still to come...

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Drawing communities together.

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We meet the man who's on a mission

to build up neighbourhood spirit -

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via his social network.

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You're with Business

Live from BBC News.

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Lloyds Bank has posted pre-tax

profits for last year

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of £5.3 billion, up 24%.

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That is the first year as a fully

private enterprise.

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Joining us now is Laith

Khalaf, Senior Analyst,

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at Hargreaves Lansdown.

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Just tell us, are we now back on

track? Is this back to the good old

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days of Lloyds from precrisis days?

Lloyds has been on a long recovery

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but it has recovered quite strongly.

As you say, a landmark achieved last

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year, which is back in private hands

finally, after the Government

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bailouts during the financial

crisis. The numbers are all looking

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pretty good. Income rising profits

rising, and costs under control. A

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bumper pay-out coming to

shareholders as well post a lot to

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like with the numbers.

There are

still bills to pay for PPI. Is that

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anything as we should worry about in

terms of extraordinary costs?

PPI is

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the main one. That has been ticking

over for a long time. What we had

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last year, a new deadline was

introduced of August 29 and that has

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prompted more people to claim. There

was a campaign fronted by Arnold

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Schwarzenegger, run by the SCA,

which has also encouraged people to

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claim more and Lloyds has had to put

more money aside. As we move towards

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the claims deadline in August of

2019 they will probably tweak back a

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little bit. The other thing is the

UK economy. It is so plugged in that

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any shocks to the UK will be keenly

felt by Lloyds. Things are plain

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sailing at the moment because we

have record levels of employment and

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loans are not going bad.

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Thank you for that. This is the boss

of Lloyds. He told the Today

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programme on Radio 4 that Lloyds

came through with a strong recovery

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over the last few years will do it

pointed out his base salary has

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climbed to £1.2 million and his

remuneration package increased by

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some 11%, to £6.42 million. Is he

worth that? He has brought Lloyds

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back to normality. Send us your

thoughts.

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You're watching Business

Live - our top story.

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Boom time for the mining sector.

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The boss of the world's biggest

player Glencore says

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2017 was a stellar year,

as a strengthening global economy

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boosts demand for commodities.

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A quick look at how

markets are faring.

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That is how things are standing

right now.

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Let's get the inside track

on a social network which aims

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to bring neighbours closer together.

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Nextdoor aims to encourage

social interactions

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with those in your community.

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It is now actively used

in more than 185,000

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neighbourhoods in the US,

UK, Germany, and the Netherland.

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The start-up now has a valuation

of over a billion dollars

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but will it end up as the next

Facebook or the next Myspace?

0:16:120:16:17

Our colleague Rachel Horne met up

with the CEO and co-founder,

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Nirav Tolia, and began by asking him

how it all got started?

0:16:220:16:26

The founders of the company had

heard of these amazing experiences

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growing up in neighbourhoods that

were strong and supportive and

0:16:300:16:33

really felt like communities, a as

we became adults and we got older

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and thought about buying homes and

starting to have children, we

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realised that while technology had

improved our lives in so many ways,

0:16:410:16:45

we didn't feel close to the

communities in which we lived, we

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didn't know our neighbours. In fact

when we started the company in

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America, almost 30% of Americans

could not name a single neighbour by

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name. So, this notion of bringing

back a sense of community to the

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neighbourhood and using technology,

which is a thing that we are so

0:17:010:17:04

passionate about in Silicon Valley,

that was an easy match to make and

0:17:040:17:06

we were lucky that no-one had done

it before.

How does it work?

It is

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easy to use and it is free, come to

the Nextdoor website and download

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the Nextdoor app and you enter your

address and before you know it you

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will be connecting with your

neighbours and making the

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neighbourhood better for everyone

involved. There are some things

0:17:210:17:24

about Nextdoor which make us

different from other social

0:17:240:17:26

networks. When you join you have to

verify your address, we need to make

0:17:260:17:31

sure that you actually live in the

neighbourhood and we need to make

0:17:310:17:34

sure that the conversations that

take place are happening between

0:17:340:17:37

real neighbours. This is not a place

for fake news or fake accounts, it

0:17:370:17:41

is a place for real neighbours to

make genuine connections and to talk

0:17:410:17:45

about the things which matter in the

real world. The other big difference

0:17:450:17:48

with Nextdoor is that the

conversations are private. The

0:17:480:17:51

things you talk about you will not

find them indexed in the Google

0:17:510:17:54

search engine, you won't be sharing

them on social media.

Is free for

0:17:540:18:00

users but how do you make money on

it?

We think there is a huge

0:18:000:18:05

opportunity not just to connect

neighbours to each other but also to

0:18:050:18:08

connect them to small, local

businesses, so ultimately there will

0:18:080:18:13

be kinds of advertising on the

service, but the kind which helps

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neighbours and support those local

businesses which make their

0:18:160:18:18

neighbourhoods vibrant.

What about

the figures, how many people are

0:18:180:18:23

using it?

We came up with the idea

in the summer of 2010 and it took us

0:18:230:18:27

quite a while to launch nationally

bubbled even in the United States,

0:18:270:18:31

that was at the end of 2011. Fast

forward since then and we have over

0:18:310:18:36

80% of American neighbourhoods using

the service. In late 2017 we had

0:18:360:18:41

launched in the UK have about six

months before that we launched in

0:18:410:18:45

the Netherlands and recently we have

launched in France and ultimately we

0:18:450:18:48

believe that globally there will be

Nextdoor for every neighbourhood.

0:18:480:18:52

Today, almost 185,000 neighbourhoods

worldwide are using the service, and

0:18:520:18:57

we feel like we are just getting

started.

What do people actually use

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it for?

All of the things you would

imagine neighbours talk about. You

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can ask for help to find a lost pet,

you can get a recommendation for a

0:19:050:19:10

plumber or a baby-sitter. But what

really inspires us is when there are

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examples of true human connection

and community. Folks who may be

0:19:150:19:19

lonely are forming social clubs so

that they can get together and feel

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connected.

How do you define a

neighbourhood, is it a whole city or

0:19:240:19:27

is it smaller areas?

It turns out

that we have a set of technology

0:19:270:19:32

tools that allow the neighbours to

help us define their areas and name

0:19:320:19:37

their neighbourhoods. Typically it

ranges between 500-1000 households.

0:19:370:19:42

A lot of social networks have issues

with people being abusive online -

0:19:420:19:46

how do you prevent that happening?

It is actually not for social things

0:19:460:19:51

in general, it is the utility, it is

coming together with your

0:19:510:19:55

neighbours, it is for asking for

help and providing help. Because you

0:19:550:19:58

have use your true identity and

because of the community context, we

0:19:580:20:03

don't get a lot of abuse, we don't

have fake news, we don't have a fake

0:20:030:20:07

accounts.

Who polices the sites?

The

great thing about Nextdoor is that

0:20:070:20:12

neighbours feel like these are their

neighbourhoods. They feel like it is

0:20:120:20:16

their toll. And so we don't police

these things, we don't read their

0:20:160:20:20

content. These are there spaces, we

are using the technology for them.

0:20:200:20:25

Because these neighbours care deeply

about their neighbourhoods, they

0:20:250:20:28

ensure that the conversations stay

civil.

Are you making a profit yet?

0:20:280:20:33

Not yet but in the United States we

are Gary generating revenue. We

0:20:330:20:38

started that in early 2017 and it

has gone very well.

Do you use it?

0:20:380:20:51

Hang on a minute, let me just

reintroduce Jane Sydenham, and I

0:20:510:20:56

don't use it but I am the odd one

out because you both do?

Yeah, not

0:20:560:21:04

enormous amounts but the other day

we were going to take my daughter on

0:21:040:21:07

the school run and somebody said a

tree had gone down across the

0:21:070:21:12

road... I never found out whether a

tree actually HAD gone down!

Why do

0:21:120:21:18

you have to do that just to check

the trees and do you see what I

0:21:180:21:21

mean?

Why not?!

And you?

I was

looking for a cat sitter.

And did

0:21:210:21:29

you get one?

I did, actually, it was

really good, really useful. A local

0:21:290:21:34

friend got in touch and the number

of members is expanding.

I am not a

0:21:340:21:40

Nextdoor person but apparently it is

child-care, nannies... But there is

0:21:400:21:43

lots of local social media sites,

actually. Local Facebook pages and,

0:21:430:21:50

but then that is Facebook and we are

back to the big giant.

So, this is a

0:21:500:21:55

kind of formula. They're probably

going to sell it off eventually. He

0:21:550:21:59

had a company which he then sold on

to shopping.com, so the chances are

0:21:590:22:04

this is going to get sold on to

somebody bigger. So, it may look as

0:22:040:22:08

though he is a small and cosy but

actually, it's not, he is part of a

0:22:080:22:13

bigger one...

Let's bring in the

viewers. Bags for your tweet, you

0:22:130:22:17

said... Big social media companies

like Facebook are censoring free

0:22:170:22:20

speech, behaving like Big Brother,

isolating you from your real-world

0:22:200:22:25

friends.

Not a fan! This one says...

We should do more off-line.

Jane

0:22:250:22:35

Sydenham, we said we would talk

about this story which BBC online

0:22:350:22:38

has got, but it is also a letter in

the Times newspaper today, 62

0:22:380:22:42

members of the Conservative Party

saying to Theresa May, the Prime

0:22:420:22:47

Minister, hard Brexit or no

Brexit...

Yeah, from an investment

0:22:470:22:52

has republic this will worry

investors again. -- from an

0:22:520:23:00

investment perspective. The

consequence might be more weakness

0:23:000:23:03

in sterling as we get closer to it

being done or not being done!

In

0:23:030:23:06

some ways it is not so much whether

they get their way, or whether

0:23:060:23:10

Theresa May gets her way, it is

actually how long we go on having

0:23:100:23:14

this fight within the Conservative

Party, isn't it? If we say, OK we're

0:23:140:23:18

going to go for a hard Brexit, that

is a certain form of clarity and one

0:23:180:23:23

might be able to do something about

it?!

Yes, it is the uncertainty and

0:23:230:23:27

the constant fluctuation and

investors' perceptions of where we

0:23:270:23:32

are in that. And it looks as though

that is going to continue for quite

0:23:320:23:36

some time.

In the meantime another

really interesting story in the

0:23:360:23:39

Financial Times, the chief executive

of Lloyd's of London, who has been

0:23:390:23:44

on this programme, I interviewed her

in Davos, talking about, it says

0:23:440:23:48

here, partnerships skew the gender

pay gap data - what does she mean?

0:23:480:23:54

What she's referring to is the

partnerships, the law firms, the

0:23:540:23:58

accountancy firms, where Hartness

are actually technically owners of

0:23:580:24:02

the business rather than employees.

And so this is really about the

0:24:020:24:06

gender pay gap...

So, their

remuneration is not included in the

0:24:060:24:12

data collected by those

organisations and yet they're

0:24:120:24:14

probably the highest-paid and could

well be white men, I'm guessing?

0:24:140:24:18

Absolutely.

And therefore this data

which is being collected, which are

0:24:180:24:25

soon companies in the UK will have

to put forward, will not be a true

0:24:250:24:28

picture?

I think so. It is going to

give as an incomplete picture. Some

0:24:280:24:32

of these law firms pay their top

partners substantial amounts of

0:24:320:24:36

money, and that is the concern, as

you say. But I think it is early

0:24:360:24:40

days for the gender pay disclosure.

So, all of this is going to come

0:24:400:24:46

out, I suspect the rules will be

refined as time goes on.

Can I just

0:24:460:24:50

ask you about whether the rules

about disclosure gender pay gap is,

0:24:500:24:56

is it having an effect hammered it

is obviously getting a lot of

0:24:560:25:01

coverage but is it actually changing

behaviour?

I think it will,

0:25:010:25:05

gradually. I think the fact that

companies have actually got to think

0:25:050:25:09

about it, research it, look at the

data puddle more transparent. They

0:25:090:25:13

have got to be accountable to their

employees, so overtime, yes, I think

0:25:130:25:17

it will.

And also, I can speak for

myself and my colleagues, people are

0:25:170:25:22

feeling more empowered to talk about

it.

Yes. That makes such a

0:25:220:25:26

difference.

And actually feel they

have a reason to bring it up.

Just

0:25:260:25:37

knowing that other people are

thinking about it which you feel, I

0:25:370:25:39

am right to be worried about it,

too. Yes, and you can talk about it

0:25:390:25:42

openly published is on the publico

gender.

I think it will make a huge

0:25:420:25:45

difference over time.

It has been

great to have you on the programme,

0:25:450:25:48

thanks the coming in.

Let's say

goodbye, because we haven't got any

0:25:480:25:50

other time!

Very polite! We are back

tomorrow, see you then!

0:25:500:25:58

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