tv BBC Business Live BBC News September 20, 2019 8:30am-9:01am BST
hello. this is business live from bbc news with alice baxter and victoria fritz. travel firm thomas cook faces a scramble to raise extra funds. live from london, that's our top story on friday 20 september travel firm thomas cook battles to stay in business as banks demand extra funds — could the world's oldest travel firm collapse? also in the programme the uk's brexit secretary stephen barclay is heading to brussels for talks with the chief negotiator — could a deal be on the cards?
and keeping a close eye on the markets ., here in europe, they are ending ona markets ., here in europe, they are ending on a downward trend. and we'll be looking back at the economic news of the week as the us cuts interest rates and oil prices prices continue their rollercoaster ride after the attacks on saudi oilfacilities. and — as comedians head to a british girl's school to give classes in confidence to pupils — to help them with difficult conversations — like those over pay — in later life. today we want to know — what are your top tips for boosting your confidence at work? let us know — just use the hashtag bbcbizlive hello and welcome to business live. lots to pack in for you this morning! we start with thomas cook — it's the world's largest and oldest travel company — but it's future is looking increasingly uncertain. a planned rescue of the struggling firm by chinese conglomerate fosun
is now under threat after its banks demanded it find £200 million in extra contingency funding. without the deal, the firm is likely to collapse — leaving at least 150,000 uk holidaymakers stranded and threatening 21,000 jobs. in the last few minutes thomas cook has issued a statement saying it ‘notes the recent media speculation‘ — and that ‘discussions to agree final terms on the recapitalisation and reorganisation of the company are continuing between the company and a range of stakeholders‘ victoria. with me now is simon calder — he‘s the independent‘s travel editor. thank you for coming in. i know that you‘ve been busy today. how likely is it
that thomas cook will collapse? the company has been in really serious problems and here we are, a last—ditch attempt to save the company, last—ditch attempt to save the com pa ny, safe to last—ditch attempt to save the company, safe to say that things are trading normally at the moment, the first wave of flights from uk airports, places like gatwick, birmingham, glasgow golf as normal, people waking up in hotels from turkey to tenerife, enjoying their holidays and crucially, in about 30 minutes from now on uk high streets, travel agents will open up as normal. the bigger question is, will they have customers going in to them, short breaks for the autumn, winter sunshine holidays, or will they be full of people who are concerned about their trips and the big problem is for thomas cook, these things can become self—fulfilling prophecies, you can have people feeling that if the company is on the brink, that can create even more problems but at the moment, as we heard, talks going on to secure the extra £200 million in potential funding. as you say, a
confidence business, forward bookings business. where does all of this leave people who are perhaps already on holiday, sitting watching this from their hotel rooms around the world or have already booked for perhaps half term, february of next year? if you are abroad at the moment ignore all the headlines which site you could be stranded. you are on holiday. sit by the pool, order another drink is my advice! the worst that could happen is nothing quite on this scale, your ﬂight nothing quite on this scale, your flight will be organised by the civil aviation authority, and you will be brought back pretty much as normal, its people who maybe have a half term booking, christmas, new year trip or indeed booked for next summer year trip or indeed booked for next summer he will find that while they will get their money back either from their credit card company or under the atoll scheme, of course there will be fewer holidays out there will be fewer holidays out there and prices probably will have gone up but meanwhile, thomas cook continues to trade and there are some great value out there, holiday
is around £200 going to turkey next week. 0k, we will have to leave it there but simon calder, thank you very much. let‘s take a look at some of the other stories making the news millions of people are taking part in a day of climate action today, with strikes being held around the world as protesters demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. some of the world‘s largest firms have unveiled a number of big—spending green energy plans to coincide with the strikes home rentals site airbnb plans to list on stock exchanges next year, in what could be one of the highest—profile share sales of 2020. this week the firm — which has faced criticism for hollowing out communities in popular destinations — said second quarter revenues reached $ibn, but didn‘t say whether it made a profit. british engineering company rolls—royce says it thinks problems with its trent 1000 engines will take longer than expected to fix, with a significant reduction in the number of grounded aircraft
delayed until the second quarter of 2020. the company has faced problems with the trent 1000 engines, causing airlines to ground boeing 787s while repairs are carried out. the uk‘s brexit secretary stephen barclay is holding talks in brussels later with the eu‘s chief negotiator michel barnier — amid some renewed optimism a deal can be done. late on thursday the pound surged following comments from european commission president jean claude juncker that a new brexit deal is possible. sterling hit its highest in two months against the us dollar when the comments were broadcast around 6pm uk time. so what are the chances of a deal being done? let‘s talk to victoria hewson, she‘s a lawyer for the free market thinktank institute for economic affairs
victoria, very good to talk to, following those comments from the european commission president jean—claude juncker that the backstop could be scrapped, the pound receiving a bit of a boost, in reality, how much weight can we attach to those words from him head of the talks between himself, michel barnier and stephen barclay? there's been some movement of the past couple of weeks, it was only a couple of weeks, it was only a couple of weeks ago that we had the commission saying very firmly that the backstop, the withdrawal agreement went open for negotiation at all, we had a cabinet minister amber rudd walking out of cabinet because she said the british government wasn't even trying to find a deal so compared to that, things are looking more positive. jean—claude juncker said he is not emotionally attached to the backstop so emotionally attached to the backstop so that certainly is a sign that things are open for negotiation. but, there are still great differences between the expectations of the science, especially on the
irish border and what's called a level playing field measures as well. as part of the trade relationship. indeed, as you say, a change in mood music but as you mentioned, in ireland, conversations still ongoing, between the prime minister, lear brad kerr, arlene foster of the dup, and the irish foreign minister simon coveney sounding a note of caution. —— leo varadkar. saying sounding a note of caution. —— leo va radkar. saying that sounding a note of caution. —— leo varadkar. saying that the gap between the british government, ireland and the eu want is still very big. it is. and although there have been reports of an intensification in talks between the british government and the irish government and as you mentioned the involvement of the leader of the dup in talks in dublin, there is still a big difference in expectations there because what the backstop comprises, what theresa may '5 government had agreed was essentially the solution to the irish border was that we would have no new checks and
controls anywhere on the island and the only way to deliver that is for northern ireland to stay in a customs union and single market relationship. the new borisjohnson government have rowed right back from that, rightly, in my view, to say you can avoid a hard border, you can avoid breaching the belfast agreement by using measures that will facilitate trade but it will not be the status quo. and that's where the irish government is still very firmly disagreeing, that it will move towards a position. victoria, thanks very much and of course none of this happening in a vacuum, we are waiting on monday probably the outcome of the supreme court hearing of the prorogation of parliament. victoria hewson talking to us. let‘s look at what the markets are up to. asian share prices rose on friday as economic stimulus around the world helped eased fears over slowing growth, while crude oil prices climbed on concerns that last weekend‘s attacks on saudi arabia‘s oil
facilities still pose supply risks. monetary easing by the us. federal reserve this week and by the european central bank last week has helped to underpin investor sentiment. japan‘s nikkei ended 0.2% higher, within striking distance of its year—to—date peak. also buying markets — u.s. and in europe, most of the european indices starting in the red. if amazon had hoped that thursday‘s announcement would dampen the energy of the walk—out, that doesn‘t seem to have been the case. 0rganisers have told me that the firm‘s pledge to meet the spirit of the paris agreement
is proof that their concerns are being listened to, and they feel invigorated. but in others‘ view, it doesn‘t go far enough. one of the organisers of the walk—out is emily cunningham, a user experience designer from amazon in seattle and says amazon‘s impact on climate change goes well beyond its own goals and sustainability. if amazon truly wants to be a climate leader, we absolutely cannot be in bed with fossil fuel companies. currently, we‘re selling our artificial intelligence to big oil and gas to help them extract oil more quickly, and that‘s the exact opposite of what we need right now. scientists say absolutely, to avert catastrophic warming, we must keep fossil fuels in the ground. 0rganisers have said they hope as many as 1,700 amazon workers will choose to walk out at their offices around the world. they have said they don‘t expect there to be any personal repercussions from amazon about their decision. dave lee, bbc news,
in san francisco. joining us is emma—lou montgomery, associate director at fidelity international. let‘s talk about what‘s happened with the pound sterling, the value of the pound, those comments from jean—claude juncker, interesting, he proclaimed no erotic attachment, not emotional attachment! who knows what goes on in luxembourg? it certainly helped inflate the pound. he and borisjohnson could best be described as cautiously optimistic but the markets haven't let that dampen party spirits in the pound sterling has shot up, definitely good news for the pound today but let's see how long that continues, it's been up and down with every sort of twist and turn with brexit so sort of twist and turn with brexit so it's debatable as to whether it will actually carry on going up or we'll will actually carry on going up or we 'll start will actually carry on going up or we'll start to see dan redshifts. there it is. you have a pound getting you 1.25 against the dollar at the moment. you've touched on whether that optimism is misplaced
but in the wider context of brexit it‘s still not back to pre—referendum levels. it‘s still not back to pre-referendum levels. no, it isn't and it hasn't been at all, anywhere near it so far. it all started straight away after the eu referendum result and it's been up and down absolutely like a roller—coaster ride ever since with every single twist and turn and it is the uncertainty that is driving it, it's the threat of a new deal brexit that keeps rearing its head and every time hopes are that it won't end up being no deal then this kind of thing happens and we get an uplift in the price of the pound and we got a while to go before the 315t of october, still? it doesn't feel that long, but yes! thank you. the daily clock ticking down. still to come we‘ll be looking at the week in economic‘s news with bbc newsnight‘s economics editor ben chu. you‘re with business live from bbc news.
the mobile firm — three mobile — is being urged to stop overcharging customers for their loyalty. citizens advice wants the firm to sign up to commitments other firms have made to protect customers who don‘t switch — but they‘ve so far refused. matthew upton is director of policy for citizen‘s advice. many thanks for joining many thanks forjoining us this morning. how many customers do you believe are being affected by this? we think it's somewhere in the region of 200,000 of customers and as you said in your introduction they are effectively paying for their loyalty, way more than they should do for their mobile contracts, the company is aware of this and we think they need to stamp it out. three mobile say the proposals that we are talking about here are not in the customers best interests and that a better solution is to help them find a contract that is to help them find a contract that is best suited to their needs and priced fairly. does that cut the
mustard? no, we completely disagree, we think the fact that they can say a discount cannot be in the customer interest doesn't really ring true to me at all. what they all say is that we need to keep adding incentives for people to switch contracts and we agree with that, people should be looking for the best deals but that isn't an excuse to penalise and exploit that loyal customer base who stay with a provider, with the same contract and are often paying what we think is over £1 million every month more than they should do. as you said, the other mobile phone companies will accept that it's not 0k, they said they are not going to charge a loyalty penalty anymore and a pledge to voluntarily stamp it out, three are the only outliers here and we think they need to stand in line. matthew, if you think customers are being unfairly penalised, what‘s your advice, how can they best cut their bill? the best thing is to switch, loyalty in some parts of live is rewarded but when it comes to mobile phones, broadband, insurance, energy, that's not the case so switch. what says people shouldn't need to be this
idea of a perfect consumer consta ntly idea of a perfect consumer constantly scanning the market every single day otherwise they will be ripped off by the company, companies need to better look after their customers. matthew, many thanks. an update on the thomas cook deal, according to sources close to talks talking to the bbc there are reasonable prospects of a deal but the coming 2a hours will be crucial to the group is mac survival, you can see what‘s happened to the share price, down 24%. you‘re watching business live — our top story — thomas cook scrambles to raise more funds to avoid collapse as the us central bank — the federal reserve lowers interest rates, but not enough to appease president donald trump, and in the uk keeps interest rates on hold — do the central banks have
enough ammunition to fight a potential global slowdown? ben chu, newsnight‘s economics editor, is with us now. he is the man in the hot seat. what do you think, do they have enough in the tank? if you talk to central bankers the answer is very much do not rely on us, it's time for you, the government, to start pumping up spending, rather than relying on us to cut interest rates, to start reducing, to increase demand through that avenue, very much the message from the ecb, the european central bank when they raised rates in a few weeks ago, the message from mark carney, the governor of the bank of england, from the american central bank, they are saying it's up to politicians, do not rely on us. there was no love lost between donald trump and jay powell, i think you are looking at some of the comments from trump on his twitter
feed. it‘s extraordinary, in the states we had the federal reserve cutting interest rates slightly but this is something that donald trump has been very vocal about on twitter. his favoured medium. asking them to slash rates, something that no sitting us president has ever vocalised before in such a way. he then called the fed members things like boneheads, no guts, no sense, no vision, this is extraordinary. imagine having a boss like donald trump, he hires you and then he calls you a bone head, he says you've got no guts, no vision, clearly what he's trying to do, he wants to put a huge public pressure on the fed to cut rates, he says he wants to get them down to zero, below zero, that's where they are virtually in europe and the rest of the world, he thinks that definitely central banks have a big role to play in pumping up demand and potentially staving off what many fear could be another global recession, certainly a very sharp slowdown. he's got his election next year, he doesn't want that to be
stymied by an international central bank which perhaps mightn't help the economy out. let's talk about the federal reserve and what it‘s doing, they‘ve injected another $75 million into the money markets to stop the financial system running out of cash, they did this tuesday, wednesday, thursday, we expect the same on friday, this happened before the 2008 financial crash, should we be worried? 75 billion is a lot of money, not that much in the context of us money markets, many trillions exchanged every day. this happened before the 2008 crisis, there is some technical factors which suggest it might not really be the same thing, banks, companies are scrabbling for money before the end ofa scrabbling for money before the end of a quarter of reporting, that's the interpretation of many in the financial markets. that said, you know, we've got the inverted yield curve which we've been talking about, a sign of recession in the past. so these kind of things coming
together, certainly underlined the fragility of confidence, at least, in financial markets and suggest you know, the fed really needs, the fact that it has to turn on the taps in this way is not a very reassuring sign about stability in the system. really interesting. the other big story of the week has been oil, a roller—coaster week for it after the attacks on the saudi facilities over the last weekend. we saw a 20% spike on monday, then fell back on tuesday, where do you see the price going under way in for more volatility or not? i think more volatility or not? i think more volatility is pretty likely, the reason it came down so sharply on tuesday, the saudis came out and said look, everyone expected this huge disruption, we put almost half of the production back on track, have the rest back in october so everyone breathed a sigh of relief but analysts are raising questions about how reliable that is because it hasn't been verified, we have to ta ke it hasn't been verified, we have to take the saudis word for it. of course it's in their interests to calm the market, they've got this big float of an oil company coming
up, they don't want that to be stymied by this sudden fear about the oil production, so, my suspicion is that there will be more volatility in head and of course, will the us and the saudis take any measures against iran who they've obliquely suggested was responsible for this? not that obligatory! but they've been very careful not to say it was definitely iran because that would raise the issue of what are you going to do about it and they don't want to do anything immediately which would cause more trouble for them. this is it and we heard from the iraqi prime minister morning this week that the danger of a new middle east war is high. there‘s much instability in the region that it does, if you are saudi arabia and you‘re holding on all that oil, play into their hands. yes, they are very worried at the moment and of course, the rest of us should be worried, a volatile oil price does impact the global economy as we've been saying, it's in a pretty fragile state, if we get a sudden spike in full that's not
good, we will feel it at the petrol pumps, talking about thomas cook, one of the reason travel companies are in difficulties is because the spikes in oil price, volatility there, plays havoc with their business models though this isn't just something that gets confined to the middle east, it ripples out right across the global economy. really interesting. great, thank you, lovely to see, have great weekend. as the rugby world cup kicks off injapan today, the tourism sector is expecting to see a boost in visitors as well. it‘s the first time the tournament is being held asia. and organisers think the economic benefits could be significant. mariko 0i is in tokyo... it‘s notjust the excitement of hosting the rugby world cup, the economic impact is quite significant. let me crunch the numbers for you. the organisers think that the event will bring in some 400 billion yen, that‘s a whopping 4 billion us dollars. they think nearly half a million foreign visitors will come to japan for the six—week tournament.
and they think rugby fans are expected to spend an average of 20,000 yen orjust under 200 us dollars per day, giving their time injapan a sizeable economic impact and it‘s notjust in big cities like tokyo and osaka because the matches are spread out over 12 venues in 12 different cities across japan. the key is whether they can offer convenient services for foreign travellers especially with a language barrier and i guess it‘s a good test ahead of the tokyo 0lympics next summer, but guess what? one thing that the sponsor of the tournament heinekin has been concerned about is the capacity of stadiums like this to sell beer. because they usually use the host of football or baseball games and did you know that rugby fans drink a lot more beer than them! during the last rugby world cup in england in 2015, rugby world cup fans there consumed 1.9 million litres of beer, six times more beer than football fans so let‘s hope they‘re not going to run
out of beer like russia did before because i have a feeling that‘s one of the most important things for rugby fans! that‘s a lot of beer. let‘s talk about some of the stories in the paper, the front page of the financial times, we touched on oil prices a few moments ago. saudi arabia apparently bullying other families to pump cash into this initial public offering, the stock market flotation of the company which we think will happen next year, to give it this to $1 trillion valuation. how likely are they to say yes, those wealthy families? who knows, but if they want to this to trillion dollar deal over the line, this flotation, it would make the rope is my biggest ever ipo, the biggest ever flotation, maybe this is what you have to do, maybe this is what you have to do, maybe this is the tactic that you need to do.
lock them up in the rates again? it's lock them up in the rates again? it‘s extraordinary, they have been holed up there in the ritz—carlton. a lot of their assets frozen, effectively they are looking at having their assets unfrozen to be given back to the state to support a deal that probably won‘t get a two trillion dollar valuation. incredible situation, extraordinary. another story that peter interest in the telegraph this morning, girls schools running these stand—up comedy classes for pupils to encourage them to have greater confidence at work. we sent out a tweet at the beginning of the show asking viewers what they thought, we had some really interesting replies, ryan had some really interesting replies, rya n says had some really interesting replies, ryan says sabotage the people at work that bring you down. derek says don‘t be afraid to say i don‘t know or can you clarify that to the other person. what are your thoughts on comedy being the answer to confidence? it's a brilliant idea andl confidence? it's a brilliant idea and i think probably you can't expect to go into a payroll situation and make some funnyjoke and then wisecrack you get your pay rise but i think anything that
empowers these women to actually ta ke empowers these women to actually take a stand and look after their financial future is brilliant. roll with the punches. thank you very much. thanks for watching. goodbye. we‘ve got a fine spell of autumn weather on the way for the next couple of days at least. very high temperatures for the time of year. lots of sunshine expected. this morning we‘ve had some dense fog patches across parts of scotland, northern areas of england, that‘s pretty much cleared away now and some sunshine coming through, a bit of cow developing across east anglia, the midlands, towards wales, drifting its way into northern parts of england, not going to spoil the sunshine too much and a pretty warm day, axemen temperatures typically getting to around 19—20, 21 degrees but interestingly in scotland, we have the fern effect in play, a south and south easterly wind, the air modifies over the grampians, temperatures in the north—east
scotla nd temperatures in the north—east scotland getting up to 2a degrees, the warmest place perhaps in the uk. through tonight, cloud drifting its way into eastern scotland, quite low cloud, could be a bit of mist and fog developing into saturday morning, otherwise there will be clear skies, temperatures down to around 9—11d but as we go into the weekend, because we‘ve got this south, south easterly wind, it will draw in much warmer conditions from the near continent. so temperatures rising on saturday, butjust out towards the west, i will show you, we have a low pressure system with a front which will be waiting in the wings and will move in through saturday night and into sunday. any cloud in the east of scotland will tend to clear on saturday, then there‘ll be lots of sunshine again, but if you are developing across western areas, but temperatures will be higher generally on saturday, except perhaps the north—east of scotland, cloud in the morning preventing temperatures from getting too high here, but temperatures generally about the low to mid 20s.
but its route saturday night this weather system will push its way in from the west, so we see increasing clouds and throughout sunday rain spreading its way eastwards, affecting many western areas of the uk, some of the rain could be heavy, particularly in north wales but for eastern england, north—east scotland remaining dry it with some sunshine come here temperatures still around 23 degrees but turning pressure towards the west despite the fact there‘ll be sunny skies eventually coming through on the part at the u nsettled coming through on the part at the unsettled weather will last really all through next week so a big difference to the weekjust gone where it‘s been largely dry, we got some rain at times, there will be fairly strong winds at times next week and tim are coming back down to fair they should be for the time of year. goodbye.
you‘re watching bbc news at 9 with me, annita mcveigh. the headlines: worldwide climate change protests begins in sydney, toyko and bangkok. around 5,000 demonstrations are planned across 150 countries — including here in the uk — ahead of a un summit on monday. thomas cook‘s future in the balance — the travel firm could go into administration this weekend leaving 150,000 holiday—makers stranded, unless it can raise 200 million pounds. the brexit secretary heads to brussels for talks with the eu‘s chief negotiator, after the european commisison president said a deal could be done before halloween. a warning thousands of teenagers in englands are leaving education