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This is Business Live from BBC
News with Sally Bundock
and Jamie Robertson.
Six more years!
Vladimir Putin is re-elected
as Russia's President.
Live from London, that's our top
story on Monday 19th March.
President Putin is promising
an increase in the standard
of living and big spending
on health, education
But can he keep his promises?
We'll get an expert view.
Also in the programme...
The boss of Facebook,
faces a backlash over the company's
use of data during the US
And markets are open
and trading in Europe -
it's another week packed
with Central Bank action.
We'll tell you all you need to know.
Also in the programme, here's
a story to get the heart racing!
We'll be getting the Inside Track
on fighting the flab
with an entrepreneur
in the booming fitness sector.
And following that story
about Facebook, today
we want to hear your
thoughts about how the tech
giants use your data.
Let us know.
Just use the hashtag #BBCBizLive.
Hello and welcome to Business Live.
As usual, it's jam-packed. We begin
Vladimir Putin's re-election
hands him another six years
as Russian president
and extends his grip on the world's
12th biggest economy.
This economy has had a tough time of
As you can see, growth was stronger
when Mr Putin came into office
at the turn of the century -
but the economy has suffered
in recent years as global oil prices
fell, with Russia dipping
in and out of recession.
Russians have seen
living standards fall.
Look at this sharp drop, which has
just disappeared! This is what
happened when international
sanctions were imposed on Russia
when Russia annexed Crimea.
The average income is
now just over $10,000,
a third lower than its peak.
That is a figure from 2016.
But Mr Putin said he wanted
to reverse that gap
with a 50% rise by 2025.
President Putin did pledge
to spend more on healthcare,
education and infrastructure
including about $194bn on roads
over the next six years.
There is some room to spend
because government debt
is relatively low -
just 13.2% of the economy in 2016.
That is something that many around
the world would envy.
Andrew Foxall is director of Russia
and Eurasia Studies Centre
at the Henry Jackson Society.
It's extraordinary that in a country
which has seen declining wealth for
the average person, to get such a
landslide majority. One can say what
one likes about the election, but on
the other hand, he is still very
He is indeed. It is
important to say that President
Putin's popularity was, during his
first two presidential terms between
2000 and 2004 and 2004-2006, very
much based on Russia's economic
performance. As your graphics are
suggested, these were the boom years
based on oil and gas sales of 9% or
10% GDP growth year-on-year.
the reverse happens, and his
popularity goes up!
popularity is based on Russia's
geopolitical status. Since 2014,
Russia's economy has been
stagnating, partly as a result of
Western sanctions, but also because
of a fall in the global price of
oil. But that stagnation predates
the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
long can his political popularity be
maintained without an upturn in the
economy? The economy hasn't crashed.
It hasn't crashed. It is struggling,
it's fair to say. GDP growth last
year was 1.7%. That compares pretty
favourably to 2015-2016, when GDP
fell by 4%. Many Russians remember
when the economy was an awful lot
worse in the early 1990s, when it
fell by 40%. So it is all relative.
Since President Putin returns to the
presidency in 2012, he has
demonstrated an inability to
generate any degree of domestic
legitimacy in the context of
economic stagnation without foreign
policy achievements. So that might
be Crimea, it might be Ukraine as a
whole, it might be Syria, MIB the
Fifa 2018 World Cup.
saying in order to achieve political
legitimacy, he has to go outside
Russia? He has to continue being
aggressive to maintain his political
superiority at home?
has political superiority anyway
because it is effectively an
authoritarian state. But he has been
unable to generate any legitimacy
without foreign policy goals,
because the economy has been
Let's take a look at some of
the other stories making the news.
Melrose Industries has stepped
up its fight to snap up UK
engineering firm GKN,
with a promise to pump
around $1.4 billion
into the firm's pension fund.
The hostile takeover bid by Melrose,
worth some $11 billion,
has attracted opposition
from politicians, customers
and some shareholders.
Apple is designing and producing
its own device displays
for the first time at a secret plant
near its California HQ,
according to Bloomberg.
The iPad maker is reported
to be making a big
investment in the development
of MicroLED screens,
which use different technology
to the current OLED
displays, and could replace
those made by Samsung.
The G20 gathering of finance
ministers kicks off
in Buenos Aires against a backdrop
of global trade tensions.
There are concerns over
a potential US-China trade rift
and President Trump's steel
and aluminium tariffs.
Facebook and a US data firm,
have been accused of gathering
information from 50 million
profiles without consent.
Although Facebook has
suspended Cambridge Analytica
from its platform, the social media
giant's chief executive,
Mark Zuckerberg, is facing mounting
pressure on both sides
of the Atlantic.
Dave Lee reports
from Silicon Valley.
Facebook may be something
of a tourist attraction
here but for many, this place now
represents something else.
The company that has enabled
the collection of personal
data that was then used
for political propaganda.
Its latest problems
are because of information allegedly
obtained by Cambridge Analytica -
the firm widely credited
with helping Donald Trump
win the presidency.
Reports claim details of around
50 million profiles were gathered
without the users' explicit consent.
Both Facebook and Cambridge
Analytica deny any wrongdoing.
But now prominent lawmakers
are demanding that Facebook's
founder Mark Zuckerberg address
the concerns about his company
in person and not just
through his own Facebook page.
Mark Zuckerberg needs
to testify before the Senate
demanded one Democrat,
who said her office was launching
a fresh investigation.
Former presidential hopeful
Marco Rubio had this
to say on Sunday morning.
These companies are
growing very fast.
Within the span
of less than ten years
they have gone from being a novel
idea to a major corporation.
And I'm not sure if the sort
of institutional knowledge
about responsibilities both legal
and ethical that come with that have
kept pace with the growth.
Similar calls have been made
in the UK and investors are perhaps
beginning to show some
signs of concern.
If Mark Zuckerberg hides behind
the walls and is not front
and centre, this has potential
to grow into something a lot more
onerous for the Facebook model.
So it is trying to get ahead
of this storm before it
turns into a hurricane.
Facebook became a multi-billion
dollar industry because it made
advertising more effective
by knowing more about each
and every one of us.
It seems that same innovation
has given added power
to political propoganda as well.
Are you concerned about what
Facebook or any other platform,
Google, Twitter, Instagram is doing
with your data?
Are you worried or
have you got the most incredible
Are you worried
about them reading what you have to
I just assume what I put out
there is available to everybody must
I don't write much. Do get in touch
and we were so your comments later.
There's a new boss in charge
of the central bank in the world's
second largest economy -
the People's Bank of China has
appointed US-educated economist
Yi Gang as its next governor.
Let's go to our Asia
business hub in Beijing,
where Stephen McDonell
is following the story.
We say he is new in the top job, but
he has been there quite a while.
Well, one of the most interesting
things about the unexpected
appointment of Yi Gang to head up
China's reserve bank is that we
don't really know whether it will be
him or the newly appointed Vice
Premier in charge of China's
economic policy. The vice president
is already powerful. He went to
Washington in a failed attempt to
stave off those US steel tariffs,
but either way, Yi Gang will be one
of two people pulling the levers
here. He is on the record as saying
he was to open up the Chinese
economy to more foreign investment,
especially in the finance sector,
but his other two headaches will be
controlling the ballooning debt in
this country and working out how to
deal with the potential trade war
with the United States. Whichever
way you look at it, he has what is
probably one of the most important
jobs in the world.
Thank you. So
that is one of the central bank
stories which has kick-started a
week that will be dominated by
central bank news, because as
Stephen was saying, Yi Gang has been
appointed as the head of the
People's Bank of China, but we also
have Jerome Powell's first meeting
as governor of the US Federal
Reserve. That takes place tomorrow
and Wednesday. And we have the Bank
of England, so there is quite a bit
going on with central banks. But
also in terms of how markets did
today, you can see that is how
things ended on Friday. This is
Australia and Hong Kong, but it is
important to note that Japan closed
down by almost 1% at the end of
today's trade. A lot of the losers
today our suppliers to Apple. For
example, Samsung shares were hit.
These companies are the companies
which make the displays for Apple
products, the iPhone and the iPad.
That is huge in terms of revenues,
but could be lost if Apple starts to
make their own screens. Let's look
at Europe quickly so you have a
sense of how the European day is
going. I am hoping we will get the
European numbers. We are trying to
change them, but we can't, so I will
hand over to Jamie.
It works over here. The Dax is down
sharply and the FTSE is down
Lawrence Gosling is with me -
he's the editor in chief
of What Investment.
Let's start with that Apple story.
It is because of the ramifications
for all the other countries. It is
great for Apple, presumably, but not
for the companies supplying Apple.
No, and a spot of the tariffs are
given we are having as well. Some of
these companies may be subjected to
tariffs into the US. So you can see
Apple shoring up its production,
which will increase its margin if it
can do it cheaply compared to
suppliers from Asia.
Do you think
this has anything to do with the
environment we are in with President
Trump at the helm? If they make
their dispose in California down the
road, it is a lot easier if you have
tariffs going on.
You are spot on.
Politically, it looks very good. We
have seen General Motors doing
similar things. Partly, it is to
curry favour with the presidency.
can understand the emphasis being on
the big companies and big
manufacturing, and that is what
Trump's home ground is. Whereas the
tech companies, I feel they have
slightly gone their own way.
in a slightly different environment.
The tech companies are not the
darlings they used to be. People see
them as being more sinister.
week for Jerome Powell.
A very big
week for Jerome Powell, the new head
of the Federal Reserve in the
States. We are looking forward to
listening to him. The market is
pretty much priced in a rate rise on
Wednesday. This is the first of four
rate rises this year.
That is the
prediction, not a given.
given, but it is the prediction from
the markets. Then we have the Bank
of England, the EU and a new
governor in the central Bank of
China. So if you love central banks,
this is a big week.
I love them. But
I am missing Janet.
I think she
misses you too! On the Russian
election, any thoughts on that?
Russian stock market hasn't moved
much in quite a while, ironically.
But the economy is where the big
problem is and President Yeltsin Dr
I did say Yeltsin! I am showing my
age! Mr Putin.
You only read about
him in history books. That is a
blast from the past.
The economy is
back in President Yeltsin's age,
even though it is President Putin
Still to come.
Healthy body, healthy mind!
Later in the programme,
we'll be getting the Inside Track
Still to come.
on the business of staying in shape!
You're with Business
Live from BBC News.
Stay with us.
Travelodge has released
full year results today.
Total revenues grew 6.6%
to £637.1 million in the 12
months to December.
And it has also announced the
expansion plans including something
called the superbly.
Joining us now is Peter Gowers,
the Chief Executive of Travelodge.
Huge expansion, you're going to
employ a lot more people.
becoming a nation of hotel budget
travellers. As we have attracted
more and more people it gives us
different kinds of groups to target
and for some of the longer staying
business customers we have
introduced super rooms.
costs and employees from the EU and
in particular. Something like 30%
come from the EU. Is that a problem
Well there are no real cost
pressures right now, the national
living wage, the apprenticeship
levy, these are bigger things but
medium-term Brexit is a factor. We
are taking measures now to try to
protect ourselves against a
shortfall of Labour post Brexit.
Supporting staff to apply for
residency if they are already here
and widening up apprenticeship
schemes. Also attracting back
You say in the UK
that we are seeing a build in the
budget hotel industry. How long do
you think that this will continue,
what is your long-term forecast for
Today in the UK roughly
one in five hotels is a budget hotel
for the friends it is one in four
hotels and one in three in the
United States. So plenty of room for
expansion. We hope to open 100
hotels in the next five years so
future expansion plans focused very
much on the UK.
Thank you very much
indeed. Those results announced
today. One interesting story on the
business page, betting machine wages
are to be cut to £30 alas, that is
the maximum amount you will be able
to bet on these fixed odds betting
terminals. By some thought it would
come down from £100 down to just £2
but it is £30 so somebody for the
bookmakers for top that some relief
for the bookmakers.
You're watching Business
Live - our top story.
Vladimir Putin has won the
presidential election in Russia. So
he is in charge for another six
years. He received more than 76% of
votes in the election on Sunday. He
served as either president or Prime
Minister since 1999 now.
Many of us want to be healthier -
and increasingly there are services
to help us achieve that goal.
The fitness industry in the UK
was estimated to be worth
$6.5 billion last year -
up 6% from a year earlier.
And that's just for people
who go to the gym.
But if you're short on time you can
download e-guides to give
you a bit of support.
London Muscle has sold 130,000
of these guides since 2013.
And the company also
dabbles in clothing,
a supplements range,
and last year they launched
a fresh food delivery arm.
Tom Exton, co-founder
of London Muscle is here.
Welcome to the programme. And that
was used in that video behind us. --
that was you. Just tell us about how
this started. Clearly you are
someone who is really into this, in
the gym and busy trying to get
It began as a hobby back in
2012, myself and my twin brother and
some other browsers as well used to
be in the gym all the time. And we
thought that we would set up a
website just as a hobby. And it just
spiralled from there. We did not
really need to start a business.
have grown pretty fast. I find this
extraordinary. It must've been a
very competitive market. No one is
going to say to you that is a great
idea because everyone would have the
same idea about doing fitness video
on YouTube. What makes you
different? And getting this
I think when we
started we capitalised on the growth
of twitter back in 2012 and then is
to grant came along and we really
utilise social media. And then
fitness became more and more popular
and social media. We just advertise
our website articles on twitter, we
put on recipes, workouts and answer
questions as well.
Most of the
people who download your health
adviser by, do they also go to the
gym, do you know that kind of
Or maybe just at home.
Well the guides have been gym -based
but recently we have introduced home
work-out alternatives as well so
people can train anywhere they like.
So you could do them at home as
well. The downloads, you pay to
download them. The current guides,
it depends how long, you can choose
up to about 20 weeks. That is in the
region of £60, £80. And basically it
is like having a personal trainer
for about 20 weeks.
trainer, and give me an idea of what
They will tell you when to
work-out, what to do, repetitions,
tempo, what movement to do. What and
when to eat. But within a flexible
structure. I could go on and on.
Just one quick answer, what stops
people giving up after one year of
doing this because that is the
problem, but people give up.
motivation all the time and there is
an online community, lots of people
doing the same thing and people
sending in their results. You can
see a letter from down the road has
got amazing results. It is kind of
peer pressure if you like.
for coming in, really interesting.
This is how to stay in touch. We
will see in a moment. Stay
up-to-date with all the business
news as it happens. And we want to
hear from you. Get involved on the
BBC business life web page.
Lawrence Gosling has returned and we
have been looking at this Facebook
story. This is extremely interesting
because it has been the concern
about these organisations that are
now huge, 2 billion active monthly
users around the world.
and a piece of legislation is coming
in, the general data protection
regulations and this falls into
this. How these companies use data
and how and if we have given them
permission. This is Europe wide. And
there was a harsh penalty, 4% of the
company turnover. So for Facebook
that could be the story. It is about
how we and our data over to them and
how they then use it.
This is a
political story, or is it business
or both? Where do you think it will
have the maximum impact, politically
or in terms of business.
largely it is a political story but
we could see the Facebook share
price drop later. But really here in
the UK we are driving away the
story, and you can see the kind of
power of the MPs on this.
I tell you
what strikes me about this story,
the idea, how little we as
individuals feel affected by this
because who would say I feel I have
been manipulated by these people. No
one feels that, they do not feel it
is a personal affront to their
I think it depends what
the information was, and it could
affect future decisions for example
medical insurance and your data has
been passed on to other companies.
But we must state both Facebook and
Cambridge and Alaska are denying any
wrongdoing at all in this case. -
Exactly and I
think we feel upset as consumers is
suddenly someone tries to take
something from us but in this case
there was no suggestion that
anything like that could happen.
Couple of messages, one saying they
need to be made far more
accountable. Another saying I came
off Facebook, best thing I ever did.
Thank you for coming in and thank
you for your company. We are back at
the same time tomorrow. We will see
you then. Goodbye.