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This is Business Live from BBC News
with Rachel Horne and David Eades.
Leaving London - consumer
goods giant Unilever
says it's moving to a single
headquarters in the Netherlands.
Live from London, that's our top
story on Thursday, 15th March.
Love it or hate it, the maker
of Marmite and Dove Soap says
the decision wasn't made
because of Brexit but out of a need
to simplify the business.
Also in the programme...
Counting on Kudlow.
US President Donald Trump
brings in a TV commentator
as a top economics advisor.
On the markets, Europe is open and
rising, as expected, albeit
And the Oscar goes to...
The man who'll be giving us
the Inside Track on special effects.
BladeRunner 2049 won
the Academy Award so we'll
speak to the company
behind the silver screen magic.
Also the question for you, we want
to know, does it bother you there
are plastic particles in your
bottles of water? Let us know.
Just use #BBCBizLive.
Would you buy that water?
Hello and welcome to Business Live.
Unilever, which is one
of the world's biggest consumer
says it's abandoning its
It means the company will only
have one head office,
in the Dutch city of Rotterdam.
It says the move is not
connected to Brexit.
The company, which makes
products including Marmite,
Dove Soap and Ben and Jerry's ice
cream says it's moving to
a simpler, more agile structure.
Unilever employs 7,300 people
in the UK and whilst no jobs
are being affected, this will be
regarded by many as a blow to
the country in the run-up to Brexit.
The company has its roots in both
the UK and the Netherlands where it
already employs 3,100 people.
Our business correspondent
is Theo Leggett.
In practical, real terms, what does
It does not mean anything
in terms of jobs. Unilever will
continue to employ 7300 people in
the UK and 3100 in the Netherlands.
The corporate structure of the
business will be simplified. It is
quite unwieldy at the moment, it was
created from a merger in the late
1920s between British and Dutch
company. The board currently sits on
two locations, that will go down to
one. In practical terms, one of the
attractions for the Netherlands is
that it has stricter takeover laws
than the UK which means a company
can do more to obstruct a potential
hostile takeover. Think back to last
year, Unilever was on the receiving
end of a hostile takeover bid from
Kraft and it said in the wake of the
deal it would simplify structures to
make itself into a leaner company
and that is what it is doing.
about the issue of whether company
will be listed? Will it retain its
first -- its FTSE 100 listing?
would be quite difficult but it is
currently in negotiations with the
authorities to try to reclaim that
listing. It matters because it will
still be selling shares in London
whatever happens, it says it wants
to retain access to UK funding,
investors. The question about
whether it is in the FTSE 100 is
important because if it is in the
index, certain large funds are under
an obligation to buy and hold its
Thank you very much. The
British Government very quick to say
it has nothing to do with the
British departure from the EU.
Let's take a look at some of
the other stories making the news.
The toystore giant US Toys R Us says
it will close all 735
of its US stores as it winds down
the company after failing to secure
a buyer or a rescue deal.
It comes after it decided to do
the same with its stores
in other parts of the world.
It had hoped to sell
the international business
to keep the American
branch going after racking
up $5 billion of debts
and seeking bankruptcy protection
in the US last year.
Amazon Japan said it has been raided
by the country's fair trade
regulator on suspicion
of a possible anti-trust violation.
An Amazon Japan spokesperson said
it was fully cooperating
with authorities but gave no details
about the alleged violations.
Japanese media say the firm is
suspected of asking suppliers to
shoulder costs incurred are selling
their products at a discount.
The US Senate has passed a bill
to roll back banking
regulations put in place in the wake
of the 2008 financial crisis.
The bill exempts banks with less
than $250 billion in assets
from stricter oversight.
The draft legislation must now
go through the House
The United States has strongly
backed Britain's decision to expel
23 Russian diplomats in response
to the nerve agent
attack in Salisbury.
Moscow denies involvement.
The Foreign Ministry has described
the British response as insane.
But it remains to be seen
whether that backing will amount
to more international sanctions.
And the power and importance
of Russia's energy industry means
further economic sanctions
could be limited.
Russia is the world's
biggest oil producer.
Last year that amounted to almost
11 million barrels per day -
that's more than 10%
of the global total.
It's also the biggest exporter
of natural gas to the EU -
supplying almost 40% of imports.
And some individual European
companies are heavily
dependent on Russia too.
Almost a quarter of BP's profits
in 2015 came from its stake
in Russian oil giant Rosneft.
Evghenia Sleptsova is senior
economist for Central
and Eastern Europe at
the consultants Oxford Economics.
Thank you for joining us. What
economic impact could these
sanctions have or is it purely
The expulsion of
diplomats will not have an economic
impact and more importantly it could
have a limited political impact as
well because this is the bare
minimum you would expect in the
circumstances. The question really
is whether the UK will do what has
been prompted to do for so long,
going after the Russian shady money
flowing into the UK.
We have focused
on oil and gas because it is such a
massive part of Russia's economic
lifeblood, they will not do anything
on their own, Britain, but what
chance of getting any EU coalescence
around a move at all?
already sanctions on the Russian oil
and gas sector, more by the US than
by Europe, so in addition to that, I
do not think they will be going
after that because the Russian oil
sector is already partially
suffering from limited access to
finance. And also, in terms of
limiting oil or gas supply, this
will not happen because it is of
mutual interest to both sides, the
EU and Russia. Russia would also not
unilaterally try to punish Europe by
less supplies of energy.
of response do you think we could
see from Russia on this?
In terms of
economic sanctions, I think Russia's
responds in kind has been limited,
the only tit-for-tat sanction they
had was imposing a ban on exports of
food from Europe or imports of food
into Russia, and I think Russia
tends to respond more in terms of
its ultimate goals and its ultimate
goals are undermining European
national security and that would be
the response and I think it is
ultimately about the power balance,
the less you respond, the more you
are likely to seek further
encouraging into European national
security -- further incursions.
Thank you very much.
US president Donald Trump has
another country in his sights
when it comes to trade.
After action against China,
as well as tariffs on steel
and aluminium imports,
this time Indian exporters
are being targeted.
our correspondent Suranjana
Tewari is in Mumbai.
All eyes on this one.
The US has gone to the World Trade
Organisation in order with this
challenge saying that Indian
government exemptions for duties,
taxes and some fees for Indian
companies exporting to the US is
unfair, it says Indian companies are
benefiting by about $7 billion every
year because of these. The companies
that will be affected are producing
steel, textiles, IT
, pharmaceuticals, a really wide
range. The US says it creates an
uneven playing field than it is
unfair to American companies and
workers because it allows Indian
companies to sell goods more
cheaply. The WTO allows for
developing countries to have these
kinds of programmes, until they
reach a certain economic benchmark.
The US says that India crossed that
benchmark in 2015. This is the
latest protectionist move we have
seen from the US. The Indian
government has not responded yet but
we are expecting a strong one.
you for that. Let us look at how the
markets have been getting on.
Asian markets started the session
with losses but have
staged a come back.
The Dow is also down. Traders
concerned about trade war issues.
Europe has opened up, as expected.
We will keep an eye on the numbers
through the day. President Trump has
picked his new top economic advisor.
More details. In his trademark blue
pinstriped shirts and cuff links,
Kudlow has been a fixture on US
financial television for more than a
decade and a reliable cheerleader
for American business, a consistent
proponent of lower taxes and free
markets, he made his name as an
investment banker at the inflated
Bear Stearns before working in the
Ronald Reagan administration. At one
point he strongly denounced Donald
Trump's behaviour and has repeatedly
criticised the White House for its
attacks on open markets including
the recently announced steel and
aluminium tariffs. However sitting
in his usual perch on cable
television on Wednesday, he appeared
to row back on his previous position
and stressed he was broadly in
agreement with his old friend Donald
Trump's economic agenda. It was a
performance that no doubt pleased
the presidents who once worked as a
Wall Street pundit alongside Mr
Kudlow and was reportedly won over
by his TV skills.
Jane Foley is senior currency
strategist at Rabobank.
People know what he is about, his
track record, his background,
Kudlow. A bit of an Asian
uncertainty about his China
Do they know his
background? He used a walk on Wall
Street and in the Reagan
administration, has he has
experience working in government
which is perhaps reassuring. Looking
at the Reagan administration, a
president that did use some
terrorists even though he was
supposed to be about free trade. The
markets, we can have perhaps some
relief on the trade side because
Kudlow is someone who has associated
himself with free trade, perhaps we
have a moderating force.
of influence will he have? An
adviser, no technical power, how
much do you think President Trump
will listen to him on the trade
issues, especially because we are
led to believe that is why the
previous adviser left?
impression we are getting more
recently is that Trump, apart from
perhaps this appointment, he has
been getting rid of people who
disagree with him. Rex Tillerson,
another example. Perhaps the inner
circle is just people who agree with
him. It will be interesting to see
whether Kudlow is successful in
moderate rating the protectionism --
Mike Pompeo, the removal
of Rex Tillerson, now this
appointment, that in itself creates
all sorts of uncertainties about
what the pattern looks like and
whether anything else will come with
The White House has
a revolving door right now. For the
markets, it is not something that
promote stability, quite the
opposite, and that is disgruntled
link for investors.
Thank you very
Still to come...
We talk to the Oscar winning
special effects firm behind
blockbusters like Harry Potter,
Gravity and Bladerunner.
The founder and CEO
of Britain's Framestore tells us
about the global revolution
in visual effects.
You're with Business
Live from BBC News.
The world's second biggest
cinema chain Cineworld has
seen its sales grow 11.6% last year.
Joining us now is Michael Hewson.
A fairly good set of numbers.
Revenues came in higher at 890
million. Profits were up as well. A
good 22%. But I think you need to
put these numbers in the context of
the recent acquisition of Regal
Entertainment, $3.6 billion
acquisition of one of the biggest
cinema firms in the US. Looking at
the numbers, they are good.
Unfortunately, the share prices down
25% on the past 12 months. The share
price should be an awful lot higher
and there are concerns that
Cineworld maybe has bitten off more
than they can chew with respect to
the acquisition and that is why
there is a subdued reaction on the
What would investors
have preferred, just focus on what
they are doing already?
what they are doing already, and a
large part in the growth of revenues
last year was as a result of three
films, beauty and the beast,
Dunkirk, Star Wars. An awful lot of
competition at the moment with
respect to streaming, Amazon Prime,
Netflix, Apple, Google, what cinemas
need to do to retain futsal is
improve the cinema experience, make
it more immersive. They have rolled
out 11 four D experiences, they need
to do more and quicker. They have
only upgraded around 11, 12. If they
want to retain footfall and rely
less on big blockbusters to get
people through the door, they need
to focus on that.
analyst, thank you for your time.
One story on the website, Airbus,
challenging that Melrose is a bit
short term list for their liking.
They won't be able to put to work
the way of GKN. A potentially
significant development for GKN.
The Anglo Dutch consumer goods giant
Unilever says it has chosen
Rotterdam in the Netherlands over
London for its main headquarters,
saying it's an effort to simplify
the business rather than a response
the business rather than a response
to Brexit. Looking at the markets
this morning, across Europe, they
are all up just a little bit after
rather flat trading across Asia on
the basis of the Dow having fallen,
jittery over Donald Trump's recent
There are few fields where your work
is considered better,
the less visible it is.
But that's certainly
true if you make special
effects for big movies.
Seamlessly blending the effects
with the live action is key.
London-based Framestore won a BAFTA
and an Oscar this year
for its special effects work
on Blade Runner 2049.
It also worked on the Harry Potter
series, Walking with Dinosaurs
and the Paddington films -
its annual revenues now
exceed $180 million.
Today Framestore employs 2,500 staff
and has seen its annual revenues
grow by 12-15% every year
since it was founded in 1986.
Sir William Sergent, chief executive
of Framestore, is here.
Thank you for coming in. Pretty
impressive growth and many
congratulations, great results for
you. And you are moving from where
you started 30 years ago but staying
very much at home in London.
we have been in Soho for 30 years,
over five buildings, and now we are
bringing them together under one
roof in Holborn, which is becoming
the centre of the UK creative
You hazard Halpern is the
centre of the centre. You're talking
about a very small defined patch in
London. -- you have said Holborn is
Where do you take
architecture, design, film and
music? We are very much where it is
in the world. Its spread all over
One of the headlines
this morning has been about Unilever
moving their headquarters out of
London and at the same time you are
moving your headquarters and
choosing to stay in London. Is
Brexiter concern for you?
concern because we hire the best of
the best from Europe. But London is
an ecosystem, and ecosystems are
very important and the creative
industries are very powerful and
work of each other in London.
Brexit, you are used to hiring
people from across the EU and to
some extent you might be hamstrung.
I hope David Davis will give me some
clarity because at the moment we
hire people from UK universities and
European universities. That's very
important for us, the flow of
graduates is important and I hope it
will not be disrupted.
call for clarity, we have heard that
a few times. Your focus is on the US
and Asia. You would see that is
partly the way that you avoid the
In the UK, in Europe and
America, there are less than 1
billion consumers for what we
collectively do as a living, in
terms of digital storytelling.
Between Mumbai and Beijing, 4
billion people consume what we do
for a living. That tells you where
you need to be as a community.
give everybody the impression we are
going across European. We are
watching footage from Blade Runner
2049. This is what you won the Oscar
for, Best visual effects. As
technology has advanced over the
years you have worked in the
industry, has it made your job
easier or more challenging?
stories using computer-generated
imagery and it allows more ambitious
storytelling, particularly visually.
The game goes up every year, and
what was outstanding Asti is
ordinarily this year.
In your hub,
you have a big R.N. Taddy
department. You always have to do
recognise that although Gravity
might be a great success, that's
gone. -- a great R&D department.
what piece of special effects have
you were, at your most proud of?
It's generally the one I can't tell
you about yet because it is yet to
come out. People would expect me to
say something like Gravity or
Paddington. But for me, Notting Hill
was a benchmark in terms of
storytelling because nobody has any
idea that the seasonal walk down
Portobello Road is a triumph of
visual effects. If you look at it,
we go through the four seasons, and
the lady walking alongside Hugh
Grant becomes ever more pregnant. By
the end of the war she has a baby in
Done seamlessly. Before we
close, what is the next big thing?
Film, like everything, goes in
quantum leaps forward. What is the
next big thing?
Your story about
cinema is interesting. Cinema is
only part of the platform of telling
a story. As people we want to
consume a story everyday, just like
BBC News, we get it on all sorts of
platforms, and for me that is the
future. For me in the future you
might be using your phone or a AR
headset. You will consume the story
in many manifestations digitally,
somebody has to tell the story in
that manner. They haven't done it
yet, but they are already directing
and I hope we can help them achieve
Where do you keep the Oscar?
They are kept in someone's home,
normally as a doorstop.
the Bafta! Priorities. Thank you for
In a moment we'll take a look
through the Business Pages but first
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Find us on Twitter and Facebook as
What you need to know, when you need
to know. We will have a look at some
of the other media stories and the
story we have been asking you about,
this revelation that there are
plastic particles in our bottles of
water. Your response as to whether
you want to drink that. Jason says,
this possibly means it's also in all
bottled drinks, anything containing
water, lemonade, coal and orange
squash? John says it's in tap water
as well, but we should stop buying
bottled water to cut down on plastic
production and environmental
littering. A few people picking up
on the idea that if it is in water,
it will be in anything. James Comey
you had an interesting point about
not buying bottled water but looking
Because of the stories of the
oceans over the last few months, you
can buy cart and water, which we
can't get here very easily. I was in
the supermarket last night looking
for cart and water and it's not easy
to buy. Hopefully change very soon.
-- looking for cartoned water.
will also have an impact on peoples
views of any container, aluminium
you send reusable. Let's get back to
a bit of glass maybe.
If we hear
stories it's also in tap water, that
is also setting.
A story in the
Guardian, Donald Trump admits making
up facts in a trade meeting with
Canadian leader Justin Trudeau.
quite amazing. On one level I would
be surprised he carried on with his
argument not knowing the facts,
perhaps I'm not so surprised about
that. Talking about which way round
the trade surpluses were. Donald
Trump would not believe Trudeau
until he sent out his advisers to
look it up. The headline trade
balance, Canada has a deficit with
the US, once you throw in energy,
Canada is the biggest exporter of
energy to the US, and also timber.
There is a lot of dispute, and has
been for a number of years with the
He got away with it there.
Others are saying it's not news at
all because the last line in the
Guardian said, Trump made 2140 false
or misleading claims in his first
year as president according to a
Washington Post story. Thank you, J.
That's it from business Live today.
More news on the web page and on
world business report. We will see
you again soon.