World Business Report

World Business Report


The latest business and finance news from around the world from the BBC


South Korean Women Predicted to Live Longest  

It's predicted women in South Korea will be the first to have an average life expectancy of 90. Stephanie Studer is bureau chief for The Economist in Seoul, and tells us what's behind South Koreans' longevity. Meanwhile in Russia women are forecast to die on average a decade earlier than South Koreans. Dr Alexey Bessudnov is a lecturer in sociology at the University of Exeter, and explains the situation in Russia. Also in the programme, South Africa's finance minister Pravin Gordhan has outlined his country's spending plans, and the BBC's Lerato Mbele in Johannesburg fills us in on the details. Planemaker Airbus has taken a $1.8 billion charge on its A400M transporter plane, and the BBC's Theo Leggett tells us why. As banks in the City of London contemplate what the future holds after Britain leaves the European Union, the BBC's Benjie Guy has been finding out about London's financial district's colourful past. Plus we talk to Geoffrey Ball, who developed an innovative implant technology to treat his own hearing loss. (Picture: A Korean woman. Picture credit: Getty Images.)

Wall Street Update  

Mark Kepner of Themis Trading takes us through the day's deals on Wall Street.

Europe Warns Britain Over EU Exit Bill  

The European Commission president says Britain might face a "hefty bill" for leaving the EU. As the upper house of Britain's parliament debates legislation to fire the starting gun on Brexit talks, we get the views of two economists, Roger Bootle of Capital Economics in the UK, and Sebastian Dullien from the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, Germany. Also in the programme, the great commodity price rebound has helped turn losses into profits for two of the world's biggest mining companies. We hear more from the chief executive of BHP Billiton, Andrew McKenzie, and Gareth Mostyn, executive head of strategy at diamond miners De Beers. As part of our ongoing series about disability in the workplace, we talk to Kurt Schoeffer of IT consultants Auticon, about why he employs only people with autism in his business. The BBC's Ed Butler has been in Egypt finding out how to grow lettuce in the desert. Plus as traffic gridlock tightens its grip all over the world, the BBC's Selin Girit reports on the impact in Turkey's busiest city, Istanbul, and Bob Ransdorp of satellite navigation company TomTom tells us about his company's research into how traffic congestion is changing around the globe.

US VP Seeks to Calm European Nerves  

Mike Pence has sought to reassure Europe about relations with the US under President Trump. We ask Karel de Gucht, former trade commissioner for the European Union, how the strong trading relationship between Europe and the US might be affected. Also in the programme, Kraft Heinz has abandoned its bid to buy the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever. We find out why from Corne van Zeij, who is an analyst at the Dutch asset manangement company ACTIAM. All this week, the BBC is looking at how easy it is for people with disabilities to move up the career ladder. Today we talk to Louise Dyson, who set up a talent agency dedicated to linking up disabled actors, presenters and models with television, film and advertising companies. Search engines like Google and Bing have signed up to a code of conduct in the UK to reduce the prominence of search results linking to illegal downloads of music and movies. We ask Rhiannon Williams, technology correspondent for the I newspaper what impact the move is likely to have. Plus Lucy Kellaway of the Financial Times tells us why she thinks companies who fixate on their employees' happiness end up making their workforce more miserable.

Kraft Heinz Drops Unilever Bid  

Kraft Heinz withdraws its $143bn bid to buy rival Unilever. Both companies say the decision was reached "amicably". Martin Deboo, from Jefferies tells us what went wrong for the US food giant. Private rocket firm SpaceX successfully launches a rocket carrying a cargo ship for the International Space Station. Its the firm's second launch since one of its vehicles exploded on the launch pad last September. Rachel Villain, from Euroconsult's Space practice in Paris, tells us the pressure is on SpaceX to deal with a large backlog of launches. Greece will be on the menu when eurozone finance ministers meet in Brussels later today - independent economist Michael Hughes tells us what to expect. And Star Wars fans take note - we'll bring you the latest unveilings from the New York Toy Fair. (Picture: Kraft and Heinz products. Credit: Scott Olson, Getty Images)

Wall Street Update  

Alex Ritson gets US market reaction to the Kraft Heinz takeover bid for Unilever. His guest is Peter Jankowskis of Oakbrook Investments.

Unilever Rejects Kraft Heinz Merger  

The American food giant Kraft Heinz has made a surprise offer worth $143 billion to merge with the multi-national consumer goods group Unilever, but the Anglo-Dutch company refused to discuss a deal, saying it had made no financial or strategic sense. Shares in Unilever surged as it insisted the offer undervalued the company and it recommended shareholders to take no action, Meanwhile Kraft Heinz has hinted it is still interested in a marriage, issuing a statement that said it looked forward to "working to reach agreement on the terms of a transaction." Professor John Colley, from Warwick University Business School, gives us his analysis of the possible marriage of Kraft Heinz and Unilever. The head of the Samsung group, South Korea's biggest company, has been arrested, after prosecutors said they had new evidence against him, in an investigation into a corruption scandal linked to the South Korean President Park Geun-Hye. Lee Jae-yong is accused of bribing a close friend of the country's leader to gain government favours related to leadership succession at the conglomerate. The journalist Jason Strother is following the case in Seoul and we ask him of detaining the head of one of South Korea's Chaebol industrial conglomerates is unprecendented? As it is Friday the BBC's hardworking team of business news reporters get a chance to reflect on the range of developments we have analysed for you this week and the agenda has varied. The Japanese industrial Toshiba has become worthless thanks to severe losses at its American nuclear arm Westinghouse, Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg spoke to the BBC about his fears of fake news and people being excluded from the digital economy and US President Donald Trump met the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. We analyse these developments with Joe Wiesenthal, from Bloomberg in New York and Charles Forelle at the Wall Street Journal, in London. Should we think twice about travelling with our smartphones? The recent detention of a NASA engineer who was forced to handover his phone and its passcode to border officers for examination, when he returned to the US, has sparked a series of online comments among technology enthusiasts. BBC Technology Correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones gives us his take on the incident and its ramifications for the privacy of the personal data we store on our mobile devices. (Picture:Unilever headquarters. Getty Images.)

Wall Street Update  

"Fake News" is the buzz phrase of the moment. Donald Trump told a press conference today he thinks the mainstream media are peddling it. Meanwhile Facebook are accused of not doing enough to combat it, and Mark Zuckerberg has been speaking with our business editor, Kamal Ahmed, about what they will be doing to address this. Plus the day's trading on Wall Street from Cary Leahey of Decision Economics.

Bird 'Flu Threatens Europe's Poultry Farms  

Chicken, duck and geese farmers in France and Hungary have been hit the hardest by the H5N8 strain of bird 'flu, which is threatening a meat industry worth billions. We hear how millions of birds are being slaughtered to prevent the spread of avian influenza, with outbreaks detected in countries from Ireland to the Middle East and Africa. We get analysis of the threat to the poultry industry from Dr Matthew Stone, deputy director general at the World Organisation for Animal Health in Paris and Dr Juan Lubroth, chief veterinary officer at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome. President Donald Trump's decision to overturn the Stream Protection Rule, which was designed to limit the ability of US coal mining companies to dump waste into nearby waterways, has provoked criticism. Amid claims it could damage the US coal industry we get the views of Erin Savage, from an environmental group in Charlottesville, Virginia and Luke Popovich, vice-president of the National Mining Association in Washington. Cocoa farmers in Ivory Coast have been on strike today to protest about tumbling prices for their crop, which is a major export earner for the world's biggest producer of the commodity. Our correspondent in Abidjan, Tamasin Forde, tells us how the cocoa farmers want financial support from the Ivorian Government. The world is always on the hunt for new sources of energy, other than coal, gas and oil. Renewable green sources like solar and wind are taking off, but there is also a focus on using grass to create electricity. A company in Britain has secured permission to build what would be the country's first grass-fed power station. As the BBC’s Mike Johnson reports. Are you a "zombie pedestrian"? The kind of person who steps out into the road without looking, because they are too absorbed in the contents of their smartphones. It is a phenomenon that is seen as a growing cause of accidents around the world, however a company in the Netherlands has a solution - traffic lights installed in the pavment. Mark Hofman, from HIG, explains about how the Dutch sidewalk lights work. (Picture: Geese at risk of bird 'flu in Hungary. Getty Images.)

Wall Street Update  

Mike Johnson gets the news from New York on a day of fresh record highs on the stock market. His guest is Doug McIntyre of 24/7 Wall Street.

Trump Strikes Down Anti-Corruption Law for Oil & Mining Companies  

President Trump's new secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, had personally lobbied against the law when he was head of the giant US energy firm Exxon Mobil. The main US energy lobbying group is the American Petroleum Institute. Anti-corruption campaigners are not happy. We talk to Zorka Milin, senior legal adviser for Global Witness in Washington. Meanwhile, as the European Parliament approves a landmark free trade deal with Canada, who really stands to benefit from it?

Wall Street Update  

Roger Hearing gets the latest Wall Street news, where the Dow Jones ended the day up 0.5 per cent at 20,504. His guest is Joe Saluzzi of Themis Trading, New Jersey.

Toshiba Slumps on Nuclear Business Woes  

Toshiba was once one of the shining jewels of Japanese global commercial dominance; a big name in electronics, cars, lifts and railways. Now, it is a business in crisis - the chairman has resigned and it has predicted a loss this year of $3.4 billion. The reason? An unwise investment in nuclear power generation across the world, especially in the US. We spoke to the BBC's Japan correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes. Meanwhile, Rolls Royce also posts huge losses after a fine for corruption puts a big hole in their finances. So is the industry clean now? We talk to Barry Vitou, partner at the city of London law firm Pinsent Mason, who specialises in fraud cases. (Photo Description: Toshiba's headquarters in Japan. Photo Credit: Toru Yamanaka/ AFP/ Getty Images)

Trump meets Trudeau  

Canada's Prime Minister is in Washington for his first meeting with the new US president

High stakes in Trudeau-Trump meeting  

More than three quarters of Canada's exports - and 98 per cent of its oil production - go to the United States and roughly a fifth of US exports go to Canada. So a lot hangs on Monday's meeting between the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump. Mark Warner, a trade lawyer for the MAAW law firm in Toronto, gives his view on what is at stake. Swiss voters have rejected plans to bring the country's tax system for multi-national companies in line with demands from other countries. Haig Simonian, a financial journalist based in Zurich, explains the significance of the vote. The US central banker, Janet Yellen, will be giving evidence to the Senate in Washington this week. Will there be any indication that the Federal Reserve might be considering a move in interest rates? Independent economist Michael Hughes gives his view. The BBC's Peter Bowes reports from Los Angeles where the 59th Grammy awards are taking place. And Emma-Jane Kirby reports on why ski resorts in France are going green to help keep their slopes white. (Picture: Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister. Credit: Getty Images)

Wall Street Update 10/2/17  

Trump meets Abe - we get the latest from the BBC's David Willis. Plus Mark Kepner of Themis Trading in New Jersey on the day's trading.

Wall Street Update 9/2/17  

Cary Leahy of Decision Economics on the day's trading.

Bank Deregulation - Good Or Bad?  

The Bank of England warns against relaxing bank regulation - but Donald Trump disagrees. A new scare over nuclear safety, this time in France: As south Africa's President Zuma prepares to deliver his annual State of the Nation address, why IS his nation in such a state? And ahead of a high-stakes round of golf between the leaders of the US and Japan... should Shinzo Abe be shooting for a diplomatic defeat?

Wall Street Update  

Doug McIntyre from 24/7 Wall Street on a big announcement from tech giant Intel.

Brexit Bill Set for Final Vote in House of Commons  

British MPs prepare to fire the starting gun on talks to exit the European Union. Lord Digby Jones is a former leader of the Confederation of British Industry who supported Brexit, and tells us how he thinks negotiations to leave the EU will go. Also in the programme, the boss of entertainment giant Disney has warned that a trade war between the US and China would be bad for his business. We have analysis from Steve Gaydos of Variety magazine. Somali MP's have elected a new president. Ahmed Soliman of the think tank Chatham House explains the challenges ahead for Somalia. The BBC's Elizabeth Hotson reports on why an old Russian Lada might prove to be a thoroughbred when it comes to investing in cars. Plus as a collection of Alice in Wonderland memorabilia goes under the hammer, Ben Lloyd of auction house Mallams tells us about the enduring appeal of the girl who fell down a rabbit hole. (Picture: A European flag by Big Ben. Picture credit: PA.)

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