28/02/2018 BBC Business Live


28/02/2018

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This is Business Live from BBC

News with Ben Thompson

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and Samantha Simmonds.

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Brexit breakdown.

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The EU publishes its first

formal look at how things

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will work once the UK leaves.

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Live from London, that's our

top story on Wednesday

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the 28th of February.

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Business continues to fret

about uncertainty as the document

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says Northern Ireland might have

to follow EU rules to avoid

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imposing a hard border.

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We'll look at the implications.

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Also in the programme.

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The biggest recall in car making

history gets even bigger.

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Australia orders a compulsory

return of more than two

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million Takata airbags.

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And an optimistic outlook

from the new boss of

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America's Central Bank with more

rate rises on the cards.

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The dollar has jumped,

but markets are down.

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Hello and welcome to Business Live.

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We will get the inside track on how

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you

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We will get the inside track on how

you stop Winter flu. The boss of one

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of the biggest vaccine companies in

Europe will talk to us about how

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healthy. With Toys R Us on the brink

of collapse, we want to know, do you

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buy your toys online or in a shop?

Let us know.

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Welcome to the programme.

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With just over a year to go

until Brexit as we speak,

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the EU is publishing a draft

of the Brexit treaty that

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will specify the terms

of the UK's departure.

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But for business and investors

there's still a huge

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amount of uncertainty.

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One of the key issues it covers

is Northern Ireland's land border

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with the Republic of Ireland.

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In 2015 $3.4 billion worth

of goods were traded

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across it in both directions.

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On Tuesday, the UK's International

Trade Secretary Liam Fox reiterated

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that "The avoidance of a hard border

in Northern Ireland

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is of crucial importance".

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That's something the Republic

of Ireland agrees with.

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But businesses on both sides want to

know what the future rules will be.

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And in the document the EU

is expected to confirm its fall back

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position, that EU rules continue

to apply on both sides of the Irish

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border after Brexit.

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Our correspondent Adam

Fleming is in Brussels.

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Today is a significant day for

anyone who watches these

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negotiations, today is a day which

could change the future of them.

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Yes, we will get this 120 page

document with 168 paragraphs, a few

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protocols and annexes thrown in for

good measure so not easy reading.

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Everyone is looking at the language

about the Irish border and

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preventing physical infrastructure.

In September three options were

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agreed, option that a is an amazing

trade agreement which obviates the

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border, option B means that you use

technology so you don't have to have

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a hard border, and option C, the

most controversial and the UK

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Government's least favourite, is

that Northern Ireland sticks to the

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EU's rules on trade, customs and all

sorts of things. Option C is the

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option that will be detailed in

legal language over a whole lot of

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pages today. However the document

will not do options left a and B but

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there has not been an opportunity to

negotiate that so it will all be

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down to the British government and

their reaction. This is the first

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strath of history, it hasn't even

been approved by the 27 member

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states of the EU or negotiated with

the UK yet so long way to go until

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its final draft.

Good luck, it will

be a busy for you.

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With me is Sir Simon Fraser -

he is a Managing Partner

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at the business cosultancy,

Flint Global.

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He used to be Permanent Secretary

at both the UK Foreign Office &

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Department for Business

as well as Chief of Staff

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to the EU's Trade Commissioner.

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So a man well placed to give us an

insight into what's going on! I'd

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like to get your reaction to the

British Foreign Secretary's Boris

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Johnson's comment a few days ago

that this border issue is being

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caused to frustrate Brexit, what's

your assessment?

I don't think that

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was the case, we have boys known

this was a key issue and Liam Fox,

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as we have heard, hasn't said

avoiding a hard border is essential.

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One of the things is that the

government has got to come up with a

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proposal outlining what it wants.

We

have had significant days in the

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past year of the negotiations but it

becomes significant today, the

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lawyers have to get in a room and

the first things out and there does

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not seem to be a significant

position from the British

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government.

Yes, it's important, we

are moving from political

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negotiations to a legal negotiation.

Once the lawyers in the room, you

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have to have precision and things

nailed down in the details. We know

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that there was a lot of ambiguity

around Northern Ireland which has to

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be clarified now. That's why today

is such an interesting day and wait

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there is -- why there is a debate

going on around the sticks.

You run

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a consultancy service, what basis is

saying about this uncertainty?

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Businesses are saying that it is

difficult in Ireland and Northern

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Ireland, but it's wider than that,

because Irish businesses often

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operate via the UK into the EU.

Business needs certainty and they

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particularly want a transition

agreement arranged to cover the

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circumstances around the UK leaving

and after March 20 19. It will be

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part of this withdrawal agreement

which is now being negotiated so it

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has to come together in a way that

gives business clarity.

What do they

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say to you about what an ideal

scenario would be?

What they want

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is...

Apart from the certainty.

And

an ideal scenario would be a

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continuation of the current rules.

Business wants clarity and the

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minimum number of changes to make,

and a longer-term security, so it

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can make not only operational

choices but investment decisions the

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future.

We will see if we get any of

the clarity in the coming hours and

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days. We will keep you up-to-date.

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Let's take a look at some of

the other stories making the news.

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US customs will start

charging duties on imports

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of aluminium foil from China.

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The tariffs of as much as 106% have

been imposed after US

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manufacturers complained that

Chinese made goods were being dumped

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in the US at below cost price.

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They also allege that Chinese

producers are receiving unfair

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government subsidies.

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Amazon has agreed to buy the video

doorbell maker Ring in a deal

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reported to be worth more

than a billion dollars.

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It's set to be one of Amazon's

most expensive takeovers

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after its almost $14 billion

dollar deal last year for

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Whole Foods Market.

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It could help Amazon improve how

it delivers parcels.

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In the UK, Toys R Us

and the electronics chain Maplin

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are both on the brink of collapse

with more than 5,000

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jobs at risk.

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The struggling retailers

are understood to have put

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administrators on stand-by

after failing to

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secure a rescue deal.

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The US parent of Toys R Us is also

reported to be trying

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to sell its European and Asian arms

as it struggles with $5bn of debt.

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The biggest recall in

carmaking history has just

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got bigger yet again.

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That's because the Australian

government has ordered a compulsory

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recall of 2.3 million

Takata airbags.

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More than 100 million have already

been recalled around the world

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because of faults which mean

they have exploded and killed

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at least 23 people and

injured about 200 others.

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It's forced the Japanese

firm to bankruptcy.

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Hywel Griffith has

the details from Sydney.

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There was already a voluntary recall

last year, the government simply not

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satisfied with the response.

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And there are concerns

about what happened to some of those

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vehicles that have already been

taken off the road

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and put into garages.

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It's understood that

while some were taken

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in to have the old airbags taken

out, they were simply given

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new similar airbags by the same

company with the same fault.

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The fault increases over

time, so it was a make

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do and mend approach.

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The government isn't happy with that

and therefore those cars already

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being taking in and new cars

and models will also have to go

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in as part of this compulsory recall

before the end of 2020.

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And now because this

recall is compulsory,

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it's up to the manufacturers to bear

the cost of bringing the vehicles

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back in and replacing the airbag

with a completely different one.

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Of course, Takata is having huge

global of problems with this,

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100 million vehicles

worldwide affected overall.

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The company has already filed

for bankruptcy but this now

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will mean the cost in part goes

on to the big brand car

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manufacturers, many of them Asian

companies but also the likes

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of Volkswagen, Ford

and Holden here in Australia.

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So we heard from new Fed Chair

Jerome Powell yesterday

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and he was pretty optimistic

about the state of the US economy.

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That being seen as a sign

that the Fed could raise rates more

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than three times this year

which pushed up treasury yields

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and the dollar rallied

against all major currencies.

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It appears he's firmly

of the thinking that rates need

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to gradually increase to prevent

the US economy from overheating.

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There is a concern that if they

raise rates to quickly, it could not

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enough, but more than that and could

overheat.

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We will assess all of the

indications of that and that new Fed

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chair and what that could mean for

the economy. But first the details

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from Wall Street.

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New Fed chair Jerome Powell's

comments to Congress on

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Tuesday seemed to

drive stocks lower.

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Investors now have to wait a day

for his next appearance in

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Congress which will be on Thursday.

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In the meantime, they'll have plenty

of other news to contemplate.

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The latest read

on GDP, for starters.

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The second estimate for how well

the US economy grew in the last

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quarter of 2017 is expected to show

a slightly reduced annualised

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growth rate of 2.5%.

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That's somewhere below the 3% that

President Trump says he'll deliver.

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And there's a steady

stream of corporate news.

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Software giant Salesforce is likely

to tout rising quarterly revenues

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thanks to strong demand

for its cloud competing services.

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The storage provider

Box Two is also forecast

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to produce stronger earnings.

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Joining us is Sue Noffke, UK

Equities Fund Manager at Schroders.

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Good morning, thank you for braving

the snowy conditions out there. Fera

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whether in the United States, we

have been talking about this speech

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from Jerome Powell, first as chair

of the Fed, what did you make of it?

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Markets have interpreted it as

hawkish. He is more plain speaking

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than his predecessor, Janet Kelland,

so he had laid things out. The

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economy is doing pretty well, pretty

strongly. Plus the fact that he was

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highlighting that for the future

couple of years, he can see the

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economic growth remaining quite

strong because of the tax cuts that

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have been announced. That's going to

sustain growth. Inflation has been

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muted and has not reached the 2% fat

target, so without interest rate

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rises, we're going to overshoot.

We're in a diverse situation where

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it's good news that leads to falls

in an equity moment.

As a change to

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bad news leading to rises in the

equity market.

That seems weird to

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many people.

Yes, it's all about

what is priced in and where the

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tipping points are. We have this

Goldilocks scenario, neither not hot

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enough or not too hot economic news,

just right. Very loose monetary

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policy, but we're seeing that

change, we are seeing tapering in

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quantitative easing which is slowing

the amount of government bond buying

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this year and contracting mixture.

At the same time, interest rates

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rising and the pace of those ahead

of what people thought.

So markets

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are expecting three rate rises?

Up

to four. But that's only one

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percentage point on interest rates

so it's not scaring the horses, but

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bond yields are approaching 3% for

10-year Treasuries. That repricing

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of money is beginning to cause

people to think about what products

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they will undertake.

Thank you very

much.

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It's that psychological shift that

we're so used to with money being so

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cheap for so long with interest

rates being so and over so long, a

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change could be seen as a big move.

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Still to come...

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Keeping on top of the flu,

as cold weather grips Europe one

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of the continents largest vaccine

company's tell us how it's

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technology is keeping us healthy.

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You're with Business

Live from BBC News.

0:14:280:14:31

In the UK, we have had results from

the commercial broadcaster ITV.

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They reported a 5% fall

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in full-year profits,

after a tough year for advertising

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However it saw growth

in its studios business,

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which makes TV shows for the network

and other broadcasters.

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New CEO Carolyn McCall

is aiming for a strategic

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refresh of the business.

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Tom Harrington is from

Enders Analysis is here to tell us

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what that might mean.

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She called it a strategic refresh

but that is tough for advertising

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right now in the market?

They

announced net advertising revenue

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was down 5%, in line with guidance,

and what has been happening in the

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market, the market trend,

unsurprising in that regard. The

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last five years has seen ITV moving

away height quickly from a model

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that is based entirely upon

advertising revenue and towards one

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which gets increasingly upwards of

50% now in their production

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capabilities. They are protecting

themselves from the ups and downs of

0:15:420:15:45

the advertising market.

Carolyn

McCall came in from Ryanair, a lot

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of hope split on her shoulders. Can

she turn things around?

I think she

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has to worry about the ingress of

tech giants into the TV advertising

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space. She has been championing

television as a safe and mass

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reaching medium. You can see brands

adverts online easily, not next to

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jihadi videos or anything like that.

The ITV Hub has been doing a lot

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better. They also have the breadbox,

nobody knows what is happening with

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that.

And all of the stuff that they

will show, the World Cup games, that

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is a big one. And the perennial

favourite Love Ireland!

They have

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done well in 2016 and 2017 -- Love

Island. Up 15% in terms of share,

0:16:390:16:50

they do have the World Cup,

something to look forward to. And

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this is the year that they cash in

on Love Island. They did

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phenomenally online last year. So

they can charge outrageous amounts

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of sponsorship and stuff like that.

Thank you.

0:17:010:17:05

Carolyn McCall came in from easyJet,

not Ryanair.

0:17:050:17:14

You're watching Business Live.

0:17:190:17:22

The top story today, the first draft

of the EU's legally binding Brexit

0:17:220:17:27

treaty is being published as we

speak. There is a lot of it, about

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150 pages. It will say that unless

there is another deal, Northern

0:17:320:17:36

Ireland will have two follow single

market rules to avoid having a hard

0:17:360:17:40

border with the Irish Republic. It

is a big sticking point as far as

0:17:400:17:45

Brexit negotiations are concerned.

And a quick

0:17:450:17:49

Brexit negotiations are concerned.

And a quick look at the European

0:17:490:17:49

markets, all opening slightly down

following negative trading on the

0:17:490:17:55

Asian markets overnight.

And also on the

0:17:550:17:57

Asian markets overnight.

And also on the US markets.

0:17:570:18:00

Have you fallen foul

of the dreaded flu this winter?

0:18:000:18:04

Doctors and companies,

suffering staff sickness,

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will agree it's been the worst flu

season in years.

0:18:060:18:08

So what about prevention?

0:18:080:18:10

Our next guest runs one

of the world's largest flu vaccine

0:18:100:18:20

companies; Seqirus specialises

in the influenza vaccine

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for the elderly, and is licensed

in Europe and North America.

0:18:270:18:29

The US Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention said this season's

0:18:290:18:32

vaccine is just 36% effective,

only 25% against the nastiest,

0:18:320:18:34

dominant strain H3N2.

0:18:340:18:36

The firm says its novel method,

producing vaccines in cells

0:18:360:18:38

at commercial scale,

is an industry first

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and overcomes the problem

of vaccines being outsmarted

0:18:390:18:41

by a mutating virus.

0:18:410:18:43

We will ask him to explain this in a

minute!

0:18:430:18:46

But tackling constantly

mutating flu strains needs

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cutting-edge innovation.

0:18:480:18:51

So it's focusing on its Liverpool

plant - one of the biggest

0:18:510:18:54

biotech sites in Europe -

with a £60 million investment.

0:18:540:19:00

Gordon Naylor, President

of Seqirus joins us.

0:19:000:19:04

A warm welcome to you. Let's talk

about how you, first of all, manage

0:19:040:19:10

the mutation of the flu virus and

try and precipitate that, when you

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are creating a flu vaccine itself.

The influence virus is a wily foe

0:19:150:19:24

and it constantly changes and

constantly mutates. There are

0:19:240:19:29

multiple strains. There has been a

whole global collaboration which has

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been working since the 1940s to find

out how to respond. That rapid

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mutation is the reason why we have

to have a new vaccine every year. So

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Fourie manufacturer like ourselves,

who are global, we go through two

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product and development cycles, one

for the Southern Hemisphere and one

0:19:500:19:52

for the Northern hemisphere every

year.

We were just talking and I'm

0:19:520:19:58

staggered at how much planning you

have to do. Once you have decided,

0:19:580:20:04

or the organisation, has decided

which strains of the virus you will

0:20:040:20:07

tackle, you have a lot of work to do

before it hits the market.

It is

0:20:070:20:11

quite a challenge. As you know,

there was snow on the ground here in

0:20:110:20:15

London, we are in the middle of a

serious winter. We have been

0:20:150:20:19

manufacturing for several weeks now.

This will take us into the next

0:20:190:20:25

Northern Hemisphere winter.

12

months from now?

Yes, the World

0:20:250:20:29

Health Organisation directs free

agencies on which virus strains are

0:20:290:20:34

to be manufactured, and they made

the decision on Friday.

This year

0:20:340:20:38

has been really bad around the world

for those suffering from flu and the

0:20:380:20:42

number of deaths. Why is that? Is it

because the vaccines are wrong, or

0:20:420:20:50

because it is a wily foe, as you

said?

Influencer is a pretty --

0:20:500:20:58

influenza is a pretty serious

disease. Around 650,000 people per

0:20:580:21:02

year die globally from influenza out

of a backdrop of 5 million cases,

0:21:020:21:09

many. This year has been

particularly serious, we have had

0:21:090:21:14

elevated levels of serious illness

and mortality around the world.

0:21:140:21:18

These virus strains are particularly

difficult, especially for the more

0:21:180:21:27

vulnerable elderly. The challenges

because of this long lock in effect,

0:21:270:21:31

and we had to make the decision

early, this virus continues to

0:21:310:21:36

mutate and it can make it difficult

to catch up. The other challenge is

0:21:360:21:41

we know that for most manufacturing,

which is done in eggs, that

0:21:410:21:46

sometimes there is an effect where

the virus changes a little bit as

0:21:460:21:52

part of that manufacturing process

which can make it more challenging.

0:21:520:21:55

That is what we are seeing, we

think, in much of the markets this

0:21:550:21:59

year.

As Sam says, it has been one

of the worst flu seasons in decades.

0:21:590:22:05

I hesitate to use the phrase "Good

news" for you but as a business

0:22:050:22:10

selling a vaccine to tackle flu, how

does work financially when there is

0:22:100:22:13

such a bad flu season, do your sales

go up?

We would to think so but in

0:22:130:22:22

many of our markets the reality is

we made those manufacturing

0:22:220:22:24

decisions many months before we knew

the severity of the season.

So that

0:22:240:22:28

means you cannot particularly plan,

if there is a big upswing, you

0:22:280:22:32

cannot get the vaccine out quickly

enough to cope?

It is difficult for

0:22:320:22:36

a manufacturer to respond rapidly.

You tend to make a little more than

0:22:360:22:40

what you expect will be needed but

that's about the only measure you

0:22:400:22:43

can take.

It is good to see you this

morning. Good luck for next year!

0:22:430:22:47

Thank you.

0:22:470:22:53

A pair of smart shoes has been

created to help industrial workers

0:22:530:22:57

keep in touch via toe typed coded

messages.

0:22:570:23:06

Rory Cellan Jones met the inventor

and Mobile World Congress in

0:23:060:23:11

Barcelona. MORSE CODE.

0:23:110:23:29

In the year if the Internet,

it seems everything is connected,

0:23:330:23:36

including safety shoes.

0:23:360:23:37

This one has got a SIM card in it.

0:23:370:23:39

This is inside, what is it doing?

0:23:390:23:41

So, this product has

a smart SIM card

0:23:410:23:42

embedded in it and a

wireless module to send

0:23:420:23:45

a message from a worker,

a

0:23:450:23:46

safety message, from his team,

to send an alert or to get the other

0:23:460:23:49

way around, a message

from his manager.

0:23:490:23:51

Telling him to stay safe,

in case of a hurricane or a big

0:23:510:23:55

danger.

0:23:550:23:57

So just moving up the toe or pushing

a button on his shoe,

0:23:570:24:00

it will send a message directly

to his team or the other way around.

0:24:000:24:05

So the manager can

send a message and

0:24:050:24:09

the shoe will vibrate, telling them

that there is a message.

0:24:090:24:12

It will do a lot of noise.

0:24:120:24:14

80 decibels of sound,

to warn him of an alert.

0:24:140:24:24

I hope they make them in red...

A

great story, the latest technology

0:24:240:24:31

from Rory Cellan-Jones there. An

update on our top story. We've just

0:24:310:24:34

heard from the Irish Prime Minister

saying it is up to Britain to bring

0:24:340:24:39

proposals to the table as far as the

border is concerned. There is a lot

0:24:390:24:43

of concern as to whether there will

be a hard border between Northern

0:24:430:24:47

Ireland and the republic. He said it

is up to Britain to bring such

0:24:470:24:50

proposals to the table. Full

coverage of that at the top of the

0:24:500:24:58

hour. Sue has rejoined us to talk

about some of the stories in the

0:24:580:25:02

paper.

We have been talking about

electric cars, and the market for

0:25:020:25:08

them. Sometimes you can't plug them

0:25:080:25:12

The Guardian newspaper says that

isn't the case at all.

0:25:130:25:18

They are quite expensive as well. I

have an electric car. The range is

0:25:180:25:23

not as good as I would like to be.

There is a lot of development going

0:25:230:25:27

on, we are going to see some more

models coming onto the market give

0:25:270:25:30

consumers more choice at different

price points as well.

And a quick

0:25:300:25:35

word on our other story as well, the

future of Toys "R" Us in the UK. The

0:25:350:25:40

American firm said it is trying to

sell a number of units, could it

0:25:400:25:44

disappear from the UK?

It could, it

hasn't kept up with The Times or

0:25:440:25:49

student demands for service and

flexibility. I think the future is

0:25:490:25:54

pretty bleak.

A quick too sweet,

someone says they go online for

0:25:540:25:58

convenience, it isn't always the

cheapest option -- a quick tweet.

0:25:580:26:02

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