23/02/2018 BBC Business Live


23/02/2018

A look at the global business stories.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Profits surge for the owner of

British airwaves. That is the top

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story.

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-- British Airways.

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IAG profits are up by nearly

a fifth, but investors

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were expecting more,

shares have started

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in the red in early trade.

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Also in the programme:

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the parent company behind Snapchat

saw over a billion dollars wiped

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off its market value

when Kylie Jenner tweeted

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that she was "soo over" the app.

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Can it recover?

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We'll get an expert view.

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Mixed bag as markets open.

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Following a busy week

for the banks and mining giants,

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we'll be delving into the numbers

with our economics

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guru Andrew Walker.

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Following the news about Snapchat

and Kylie Jenner, we want to know

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whether you are influenced by the

influencers? Get in touch using the

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hashtag BBCBizLive.

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International Airlines Group,

which owns British Airways, Iberia,

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Vueling and Aer Lingus,

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has posted a 19% rise

in annual profit.

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The firm's been benifiting

from a shake-up amongst European

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carriers and rising fares.

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Its boss has been upbeat

in what's been a turbulent

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period for airlines.

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Last year, Monarch became the third

European carrier to collapse,

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following Air Berlin

and Alitalia's bankruptcy.

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It's one of the factors helping IAG,

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along with improving fares

after a spell which saw low fuel

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prices force airlines to flood

the market with cheaper tickets.

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Peter Morris is chief economist at

flight global and joins us now. What

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is it that IAG is doing so right

right now?

Three elements, overall

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regulatory framework which is

common, economic geography coverage

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of the region they are in and a

flexibility of business model and

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what IAG is doing very well at at

the moment is that ability of

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business model across the whole

spectrum of markets.

Do you mean

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from cheap right up to the luxury

end of the market?

Leisure to

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business end of the market and also

reflecting the demand in north-west

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Europe and south-west Europe as

well.

There are some gaps in that,

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they have some gaps they could fill

in terms of the market?

Looking at

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Central Europe and Eastern Europe,

the coverage connecting through

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London and Madrid is quite weak. So

I think that is something that was

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indicated about their interests, for

instance in Nicky, to fill the gaps.

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When we talk about IAG we often

think about British Airways because

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it is the big lump within this body

of companies but obviously, their

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main hub remains Heathrow,

discussion about a third runway, how

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important or otherwise is that for

British Airways in terms of looking

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to the future.

They win either way,

if there is constrained song

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capacity at Heathrow, as the major

player, they will be the ones who

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will benefit from it. If something

is built, they do not want it to be

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priced at a level that will make

them non-competitive.

They have

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benefited from the lull oil-price,

with that price expected to rise

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over the next year, do you think it

really will hit the bottom line?

I

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think they have benefited by having

Euro accounts in so far as the euro

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against the dollar has appreciated,

fuel has not gone up as much as

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expected. The question is, what fuel

is going to do, and on the other

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hand, you want to be better than the

other guy, you are running away from

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the gorilla, you want to make sure

you are in front of The Other Guys!

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So it is competitive against the

other players in the market.

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1.3 billion dollars has been knocked

off Snap's stock market value

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after reality TV star Kylie Jenner

tweeted that she no longer

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used its messaging app.

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Kim Kardashian's half-sister posted:

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"does anyone else not

open Snapchat anymore?

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Or is it just me...".

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Royal Bank of Scotland is back in

the black for the first time in a

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decade, the bank, still

majority-owned by the UK taxpayer,

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made an annual profit of just over

$1 billion, compared with the $9.7

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billion loss the year before.

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The troubled Japanese firm Takata

has reached a settlement

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with 44 states in the US

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over claims it concealed dangerous

defects in its exploding airbags.

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Takata's airbags have been linked

to more than a dozen deaths and over

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100 injuries worldwide.

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Chinese regulators say they're

taking over Anbang Insurance for a

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year - and that its former chairman

will face prosecution. Chinese

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regulators say they're taking over

Anbang Insurance for a year - and

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that its former chairman will face

prosecution. -- 300 billion. The

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BBC's Tim McDonald has been

following the story from Singapore.

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This is a bit unusual, the company

is in the hands of the Chinese

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regulators who have taken it over

and will hold onto it for a year,

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and there are former chairman has

been charged with what is described

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as economic crimes. The overseas

spending sprees are something that

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the Chinese regulators are concerned

about, they say that foreign

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purchases, first violate insurance

regulation and secondly severely

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impair the ability of Anbang

Insurance to pay back debts, they

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have a whopping 316 billion of

assets, in addition to trophy

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assets, such as overseas insurers,

hotels, retirement homes... It made

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a bid on star would, the hotel

chain, and the Chinese Gottman is

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worried about the amount of money

heading offshore. -- the Chinese

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government. -- Starwood. And worries

about servicing the debt on the

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assets. Authorities cracking down.

Other big names are subject to this,

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they have come in for closer

scrutiny, we are likely to see quite

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a bit more of this going forward.

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Looking at the markets, fluctuating

widely, as investors have fretted

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about how fast the Federal Reserve,

the US central bank, might raise

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rates in the wake of data showing a

pick-up in the US economy. So shares

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have rebounded somewhat as comments

from a Fed official seem to indicate

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a bit of a slower approach.

Investors dipping their toes back

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into riskier assets. That has

spilled over into Europe as well.

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With the Dax in frankfurt higher But

the FTSe 100 has slipped. Shares in

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RBS have been down around 4%,

despite the bank announcing the

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first set of profits in a decade.

And Yogita Limaye has the details

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about what's ahead on Wall Street

Today.

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More than ever, stock markets here

are on fed watch, each signal from

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the famed At The Races central bank

about monetary policy development

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seems to be setting the course of

the market.

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At least

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until the next signal appears, so

Friday could be another busy day.

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The Fed will release its semiannual

report on monetary policy. -- each

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signal from the Fed. If the report

contains a definitive answer to

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questions it will be something of a

first, but it will not stop

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investors from poring over every

last clue they can find. Then, at a

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conference in New York, senior

policymakers from the Fed including

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the New York Fred president, William

Dudley, will speak about how the Fed

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is forming its response to the

challenges of inflation and new

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government spending.

Joining us is

Richard Hunter, Head of Markets at

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Interactive Investor. Good to see

you here, I want to start on

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Snapchat, cold snap for Snapchat,

big hits to the share price, pinning

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it on Kylie Jenne, lots of other

possible reasons, the redesign has

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gone down terribly, CEO is earning

more money than almost any other CEO

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ever, there are quite a few reasons

to vote against it.

And what we will

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see, going forward, it's a lot more

focus on the big technology

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companies because whilst there is an

element of companies trying to get

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income from other sources, who knows

whether Facebook will still be as

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popular as it is now in ten years'

time. Already rumours that

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potentially, it is going towards an

older audience rather than a young

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audience. When you get fads and

fashions like that, certainly, the

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share price reaction has probably

given Kylie Jenne more credence than

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perhaps that particular message...

The day-to-day show that it was when

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her tweet came out that the stock

really did start to plummet. -- the

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data does show. It seems investors

are using algorithms much more, they

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picked up on tweets.

Yes, and the

trend is changing, if that is the

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thin end of the wedge, that

particular message, then you can

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understand why there is a lot of

caution and worry in terms of stock

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prices.

Talking about the markets

here, it has been driven by Kylie

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Jenne, possibly, influencer, yes,

but you might think, OK, influence

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over social behaviour, but this is

over the hard nuts and bolts of

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business.

Yes it is, and that is

going to continue, as I say, the

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interesting thing around social

media in general, trends and

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fashions.

As we have seen with

President Trump.

Another one, he

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moves markets on a daily basis, some

of his tweets have been retracted

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but for the most part, clearly

shooting from the hip and the market

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tends to react as well.

Kylie Jenne

and Donald Trump in the same

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sentence!

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Still to come.

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Following a busy week

for the banks and mining giants,

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we'll be delving into

the numbers with our economics

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guru Andrew Walker.

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You're with Business

Live from BBC News.

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Banking giant RBS reports first

full-year profit in 10 years,

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since being bailed out by taxpayers

during financial crisis.

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Last year, it made an annual

profit of £752 million,

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compared with a £6.95 billion loss

the year before.

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Our economics editor

Kamal Ahmed has been speaking

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to the chief executive of RBS,

Ross McEwan.

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First off, ten years of losses, this

is symbolic, not just for colleagues

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at work but also for the UK, who put

a lot of money into the bank. We

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have been restructuring, taking

losses, finding a prophet like this,

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it shows how good this bank can be.

Not through all of the issues, we

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still have one very large one, but

the fundamental value of the

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business is starting to show through

great brands, this year, the income

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was up, costs were down, the capital

position, important for the

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stability of the bank, has been up

as well, pretty good set of results,

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lots of work to do.

Is it

sustainable, we still see you have

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big fines ahead, had eagerly from

America, because you of your

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involvement in the sub-prime

mortgage crisis. Is this a one off?

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I think the underlying profitability

of the business was really good,

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adjusted operating profit was up

31%, it is over 4 billion now, that

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shows the underlying value of the

business. One very large issue to

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deal with, mortgage-backed

securities in the US for the

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department of justice, no news on

that, we would like to have tidied

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that up in 2017 but that is not the

case. It just shows that this bank,

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having been brought back to the UK

and the Republic of Ireland, that

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strategy is starting to work.

Do you

think the culture of banks has

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changed, we have had an incredibly

critical report of you and how you

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have dealt with your business

customers, the DRG unit, as it was

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called, showing how you were still

putting bankers first, your

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interests first, above your

customers. Can the public really

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trust that the culture in RBS has

actually changed? -- the GRG unit.

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That report was hard reading for us,

it did bring out the worst of the

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organisation between that time, and

I believe that this organisation is

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changing dramatically, focusing

heavily on customers, for example,

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in the personal business banking,

there are no bonus is paid for any

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sales whatsoever, no bonuses, it is

focus on customer, do the thing. --

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do the right thing.

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You're watching Business Live.

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Our top story:

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International Airlines Group,

which owns British Airways, Iberia,

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Vueling and Aer Lingus,

has posted a 19% rise

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in annual profit.

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The firm's been benifiting

from a shake-up amongst European

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carriers and rising fares.

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It's been a busy week

for corporate earnings.

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Some of the world's biggest

companies reported an interesting

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set of results including Barclays

and the mining giant Glencore.

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Let's get more on this

with our economics

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correspondent Andrew Walker.

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Starting with Barclays Bank, because

it has been, really, there has been

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a backlash after profits were hit

with a string of charges.

Indeed,

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they made an operating profit but

they had a number of special things

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they needed to make provisions for

in their accounts. There was this

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familiar thing that we have with the

banks of conduct problems from the

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past, particularly associated in the

case of Barclays Bank with payment

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protection insurance. That accounted

for more than half of a £1.2 billion

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amount they have to set aside in

their accounts. You also have to

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think about the investigation into

the capital raising exercise they

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have with Qatar.

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Some of the senior chief executives

have been charged with various

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offences associated with that. There

has been a big provision Barclays

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had to make for getting out of their

Africa operation. Other British

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banks have got their own issues with

conduct, RBS has made a full year

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profit, sighs of relief all round

for that I suppose, but they still

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have to worry about what will happen

to them in the United States in

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relation to the investigation into

the selling of mortgage-backed

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securities, then there is the stuff

we have been talking about on the

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BBC Biz Live twig about the way they

have treated some of their small

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business customers.

A varied picture

from the banks. As for the miners of

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the world, more promising for them?

A more consistent picture, not to

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say there are not some issues there.

We have had metal prices rising

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dramatically over the last two years

and, surprise surprise, so have

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profits of mining companies and

their share prices, just to take

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some striking examples in the case

of Anglo-American the share price

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has increased sixfold over that last

period, Glencore is up by something

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like four fold from early 2016, so

inevitably they have been making

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profit as prices have risen but also

doing a lot by way of selling off

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assets that have not been performing

so well, and this improvement in

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their performance has enabled them

to pay down their debt al-ite. One

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incidental point that came up from

Glencore's chief executive was

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talking about kobold in particular,

not something we talk about very

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often but it is important for car

batteries and he sees this as very

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much something that is going to be

in heavy demand in coming years as

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electric cars become a much bigger

part of the transport world, and

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there is cobalt out there but one of

the challenging aspect of it is that

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a lot of it is in the Democratic

Republic of Congo, not an easy place

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for miners to work.

Briefly, BHP

Billington's share price fell after

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is results were out, prices seem to

be rising across the industry?

There

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are some issues with cost, BHP

Billington has particular concern

0:17:500:17:54

about its US shale operations with

it wants to sell so that has been a

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disappointment for investors,

absolutely.

Another crypto currency

0:18:010:18:02

on the horizon, am I overstating it?

On the horizon is the right way of

0:18:020:18:09

putting it. Venezuela has been

conducting what it calls a presale

0:18:090:18:13

of a new currency to be called the

Petro, which it says is backed by

0:18:130:18:20

its oil reserves. There is a lot of

scepticism out there amongst

0:18:200:18:25

professionals, some people are very

sceptical about the figure of $700

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million, they say they have raised

by this, there is also the US

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sanctions issue. One of the appeals

for the Venezuelan is that it might

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be a way of getting around

sanctions, and the US Treasury has

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warned US nationals getting involved

might be exposing themselves to risk

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because they say it appears to be an

extension of credit to the

0:18:450:18:49

Venezuelan Government and Americans

are not supposed to do that.

A very

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quick example, the sense of the

scale of the economic crisis for

0:18:520:18:58

Venezuelan now...

It is

extraordinary, an IMF official

0:18:580:19:01

talking a few weeks ago that by the

end of this year we could be looking

0:19:010:19:05

at a contraction in the Venezuelan

economy of 50% over the course of

0:19:050:19:10

the last six years or thereabouts,

and inflation could be heating a

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level of 13,000%.

Which is why a

crypto currency, many people say it

0:19:150:19:19

is a great idea in such an economy?

It is one of the appeals but I don't

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think it.

The problems. It is linked

to the natural resources and oil so

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that is a problem?

It is one of the

potential appeals but at the same

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time, how would you feel about your

prospects of cashing in your bowels

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of Venezuelan oil if it really came

to it if you needed to? Not an easy

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thing to do, lots of international

companies have founded a hard place

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to work.

Andrew, thank you very much

indeed.

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Airbnb is moving to target wealthy

travellers these days as it goes

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after the luxury end of the market.

The accommodation site says it will

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offer a dedicated section for

boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts,

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and unusual locations like tree

houses and boats.

0:20:030:20:14

Do you think the philosophy of the

company has changed from Budget

0:20:200:20:24

travellers to people who are much

more affluent?

I think it was wrong

0:20:240:20:28

to pigeonhole us as just Budget. We

have a strong value proposition and

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low price points but it was never

our mission that that was all ever

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going to have.

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We actually have, for a long time, a

set of contractors the photography

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per Airbnb, so you claim as

photographers and to do home

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inspections, questions like is the

kitchen fully equipped, the comfort

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of the bed, the speed of the Wi-Fi,

so they work down all these things

0:21:050:21:10

so that you, as a guest, have

certainty.

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True, a lot of homes have been

removed, most of bones were not

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active on the site, though, so when

you look at the number of guest in

0:21:360:21:41

San Francisco that has not been a

dramatic change. But, in general,

0:21:410:21:47

there is progress going forward, we

had 300 agreements with different

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Government and we believe those,

regardless of some of the nuanced

0:21:530:21:58

compromises, have opened the door to

long-term growth.

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Airbnb is making the business pages.

We have been looking through them

0:22:050:22:08

today, Richard has come back to

discuss this, thank you very much.

0:22:080:22:14

What do you make about this gear

change, Airbnb Delhi after the

0:22:140:22:22

wealthy customer?

It is interesting,

like it is reinventing its business

0:22:220:22:26

model. You would have to question

which hotels would be comfortable

0:22:260:22:31

letting Airbnb in, and just where

Airbnb can now progress from here

0:22:310:22:37

because it is an absolute

StepChange, an interesting one as

0:22:370:22:40

well.

An interesting remark, their

fear was that the top and were not

0:22:400:22:46

interested in Airbnb at all yet, if

I am honest, the rare occasions I

0:22:460:22:50

have used Airbnb, I have looked at

matching the amount I paid for the

0:22:500:22:54

hotel with something that is really

rather nice in Airbnb...

0:22:540:22:59

You want something quirky as well,

something more personal?

0:22:590:23:03

There was a perception in the early

days that this was almost for the

0:23:030:23:07

backpackers, the really cheap end of

the market.

Because it started with

0:23:070:23:14

air beds, I interviewed the

co-founder, he said he pumped up an

0:23:140:23:17

air bed and put it in the spare room

and thought, I can make a business

0:23:170:23:20

out of it!

So apart from the Hotel

business they are obviously looking

0:23:200:23:23

to raise perception of themselves as

a brand as well.

I would say they

0:23:230:23:29

have a good chance we have been

acting about celebrities and

0:23:290:23:39

inferences after seeing what Kylie

Jenneker do to Snap's share price.

0:23:390:23:42

Are you influenced by these mega-

influences? We have got some tweets

0:23:420:23:46

for you. I will start with the Baron

says, if, by celebrity, this is an

0:23:460:23:51

age thing I suspect, if by celebrity

you mean Stephen Hawking or

0:23:510:23:57

Professor Brian Cox for example,

then fine, yes but if you need a no

0:23:570:24:06

mock reality star, then no.

Tim says, don't care.

0:24:060:24:10

Yoda says, who?! You have got a

couple?

One says, who is she,

0:24:100:24:17

seriously? That might be another age

thing!

But Ian says, Snap is no

0:24:170:24:22

different from MySpace, once the

initial hype dies, there was no new

0:24:220:24:25

material. The next Apple not provide

paid promoters like the next Jenner

0:24:250:24:36

clone. Is this a problem with social

media sites and crazy is that the

0:24:360:24:40

younger generation will just go onto

the next big thing?

Absolutely, and

0:24:400:24:45

there are two aspect, whether the

site will fall out of fashion in due

0:24:450:24:50

course, let alone the individuals

who are currently perhaps carrying a

0:24:500:24:55

bit more weight than perhaps they

need to be or should be.

I want to

0:24:550:25:02

move on to this story about taxes

for tech companies which could

0:25:020:25:05

include Snap of course, this has

gone from the US Treasury, planning

0:25:050:25:10

to possibly target companies like

Facebook, taxing revenue not

0:25:100:25:14

profits, which is pretty

significant?

Yes, it could be. These

0:25:140:25:24

companies on doing anything wrong,

the stories come up every month or

0:25:240:25:26

so, there is nothing wrong with tax

avoidance, evasion is another thing,

0:25:260:25:29

but they are simply playing the

current rules. The problem we've got

0:25:290:25:33

is that the tax rules need changing

and the even bigger problem is when

0:25:330:25:38

you are talking across

multi-jurisdictional, getting each

0:25:380:25:41

country to synergise those tax

regimes is the real challenge, and

0:25:410:25:44

until that happens there will always

be ways to avoid the tax in any

0:25:440:25:49

given country.

As you say, just a proposal at this

0:25:490:25:54

time. Thank you very much, Richard.

And thank you for joining us here on

0:25:540:26:00

Business Live today.

There will of course be much more

0:26:000:26:02

business news throughout the day on

the web page. Goodbye for now.

0:26:020:26:07

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