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tv   Asia Business Report  BBC News  November 4, 2019 1:30am-1:46am GMT

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our top story: new trafffic restrictions will be imposed in delhi, as millions of people in india's capital are told to stay indoors for a fifth day after air pollution reached dangerous levels. the toxic smog has been caused by a combination of crop burning by farmers, industrial emissions and car fumes. the pollution is at its worst level in three years at least four people have been injured in a knife attack at a shopping centre in hong kong. it happpened as riot police confronted pro—democracy demonstrators in another weekend of protests. it was a big day for lewis hamilton. racing in the us, he won his sixth world championship title on sunday. he is now the second most successful formula one driver in history, and looks set to equal the record seven titles held by michael schumacher. congratulations to him, goodbye from me.
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more on our website,, and the news app. now on bbc news, live to singapore for asia business report. the world's most profitable company, saudi aramco, announced plans to go public. and the us commerce secretary, wilbur ross, is in asia amid the ongoing trade war. hello and welcome to this monday edition of asia business report. i am sharanjit edition of asia business report. i am shara njit leyl. edition of asia business report. i am sharanjit leyl. we begin with saudi arabia's giant state oil company aramco. it is the world's most profitable company, and it finally kickstarted its share sale on sunday. the firm offered few specifics on the number of shares to be sold. it's pricing, or the date for a launch. kate prescott has
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more. saudi arabia produces a 10th of the world's oil. managing that makes this very unusual company the most profitable in the world. this flotation has been years in the pipeline. we are the leading company when it comes to energy. we have the highest number of reserves, very well—managed reserves. we are one of the... when it comes to conventional production, we are a major player when it comes to gas. in terms of sharing it with the rest of the world and doing all of this will be a positive outcome for the company, and we're looking forward to that. the aim is to diversify the saudi economy away from a dependence on oil, and it is changing aramco's image. previously shrouded in mystery. they recently made financial results public for the first time. even divorced women will be able
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to buy shares. but attacks like these on the company's oil fields show the risks of investing in this volatile region, not to mention in fossil fuels, as the world looks to renewables. while we probably have not hit peak oil yet now, with the advent of electric cars, we're probably going to get to a period over the next few decades where oil use will start to come down. the big question now is how much the company is worth. crown prince mohammed bin salman has said he believes it could be $2 trillion, double the value of apple. now, he just has to convince investors it is worth the risk. earlier i asked market analyst margaret yang just how significant this listing is. too many investors' surprise, it is going to be listed domestically instead of in new york 01’ domestically instead of in new york or london or those more international exchanges. which makes it more significant for domestic
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investors rather than international investors, because it would be a painful process to assess that market openly, do all the due diligence, and it also brings the problem of liquidity of saudi arabia's local exchange, whether or not it can provide enough accessibility and liquidity for investors. now, we know as well, margaret, that it comes just seven weeks after the crippling attacks on saudi arabia's oil facilities. weeks after the crippling attacks on saudi arabia's oilfacilities. 0f course, they are determined to push on with this listing. is that a good move? well, there has been quite a lot of uncertainties in terms of trade, and the attack happened seven weeks ago, which led to huge volatility in the oil price. but ultimately it proved to be a technical issue, and very soon the oil price came back to $50 or $60 per barrel, which is still relatively low, given the fact that global demand is very tepid and there are plenty of supplies. so
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against this backdrop, i think a relatively low oil price will help to bring down the valuation of aramco, which makes it more attractive in terms of valuation. margaret yang speaking to me earlier. now to hong kong, because we saw yet another weekend of violent clashes in the territory. 0n sunday, five people were injured in a knife attack at the sight of a pro—democracy protest that happened at the city plaza mall. 0ne pro—democracy protest that happened at the city plaza mall. one of the injured was a local counsellor who had his ear partially bitten off by the attack at —— councillor. the city announced last week it plunged into a recession because of the unrest. let's talk trade, because leaders from southeast asia met over the weekend in bangkok, but they failed to sign a deal known as the regional conference of economic partnership, or rcep, which is led by china. they still hope to sign it by china. they still hope to sign it by february 2020, but india appeared not so keen. meanwhile, the us has
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downgraded its participation by sending commerce secretary wilbur ross. i asked the former us ambassador to singapore if he is concerned that they didn't sign the deal in bangkok. rcep is a pretty ambitious trade arrangement, asean, china, major trading ambitious trade arrangement, asean, china, majortrading powers ambitious trade arrangement, asean, china, major trading powers and trading organisations coming together so it was going to be quite an accomplishment assuming it comes through. we shouldn't view it as a negative if it is taking a few moments to work through, and as you just reflected, india is sort of the most closed economy of those participating, so it has taken them a little bit longer to get to that norm of rcep. so i think we're going to get there, but it is just taking longer than one might hope. all right, well, sending the commerce secretary, though, suggest that president trump doesn't seem as engaged in this region. he is also, of course, having to deal with an impeachment enquiry in the us. does that sort of undermine ability to negotiate a trade deal with china?|j think it limits the us reach in the region. if the us is defined in the
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asia—pacific only by trade friction, thatis asia—pacific only by trade friction, that is — that limits how other countries connect with the us. i don't think trade friction or what the president is doing vis—a—vis china is necessarily bad, i would probably do it differently. but the point is don't be 100% a bad cop. have a positive agenda as well. and thatis have a positive agenda as well. and that is where i think the us can probably be faulted, that there is no positive agenda, there are no trade initiatives under way. in the us is perceived only through the lens of trade friction. and so does that then let china step into that void? because china now appears to be exerting a lot more influence, especially as this rcep agreement is signed in february. i think that's exactly the point, that china is a bit of a role reversal. china is the one with the initiative, with its best foot forward. there is rcep, there is also belt and road initiative. so china is spreading its wings and —— wings and looking for better connectivity when the united states is interested in saying only what kind of fires can
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be like? of course, trade figures this week both from the us and china. so what are they likely to show, in terms of how this protracted trade war has impacted them? there is no question there is a negative impact, notjust in trade, but i think it is downward pressure on the two economies. you are hurting in both countries the manufacturing supply chain. a huge percentage of —— percentage of us manufacturing inputs have a chinese component. even if you say that won't be impacted, you can move up sure, but some it is complicated and you can't easily do that, so for several years you are putting a downward pressure on the us economy. the good news, a few weeks ago, when the two countries declared a truce. they were supposed to sign an agreement at the apec meeting in chile. we're not quite sure what the ultimate outcome is but there are political signals from beijing and washington saying are not looking for any more friction and at least not adding any more tariffs. so no improvement, but at least no deterioration either. and that's right, because there were signs that
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this trade pact might be happening between the us and china, which led to stock prices rising on friday. but will there be any winners from this trade war? it's hard to say, because we don't know exactly what the final outcome is. however, i would say so far, the results haven't been worth the friction. the united states has done a very effective job of creating that friction, putting the tariffs on, but it hasn't yet really much to show for having done that. frank lavin there. air pollution in india plasma capital and surrounding towns has reached the worst level so far this year. as we have been reporting, authorities in the world's most polluted capital city have declared a public health emergency and ordered the closure of schools stop our correspondentjoins us schools stop our correspondentjoins us live with more on the story. we know that flights were delayed and diverted over the weekend. is that still the case? no, just checking the website for indira ghandi international airport and everything
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seems to be on track. no major delays to report. however, yesterday, if you could take a look at the pollution that has... look at. the visibility wasn't really, really tough, which did ground about 30 plans, or they diverted 30 plans. 19 of them were cancelled. and the air pollution is so bad that some people compare this to the equivalent of smoking 50 cigarettes. the government on friday gave out 5 million masks in order to help their public be able to weather this type of condition. now, this is common in delhi around this time of year. usually farmers burn their ground in order to make, you know, to clean it. but what has made this even worse is rain. the humidity and rain that kicked in and has just made sunday look like this. there weren't many people on the road, and today they are telling children to stay at home. they are also getting as many ca rs off home. they are also getting as many cars off the road as possible. and they don't expect these conditions to get any better for another day or
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two. really tough for people in delhi. thank you so much for that, monica miller. let's take a look at those markets now and see how they run doing, because we are seeing some gains for the markets that are open here in asia, and that includes australia and the hang seng, which has only just australia and the hang seng, which has onlyjust opened up 0.7%, as you can see. they are taking their cues from wall street on friday. we saw wall street doing particularly well, the nasdaq new record highs due to those really positive us jobs numbers. they were much better than expected. thank you forjoining us in asia business report. this is bbc news. the top stories this hour: delhi will impose new traffic restrictions in its latest attempt to cope with the dangerous smog. more angry confrontations in hong kong, and the violence escalates. a knife attack leaves four people injured the leader of the brexit party, nigel farage, says he won't be running for a seat at westminster
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in the coming general election. instead, he says he will focus on touring the country to support his party's candidates. the news comes days after borisjohnson rejected a call from mr farage to form an electoral alliance with the conservatives. here is our political correspondent nick eardley. love him or hate him, nigel farage has been a key face in british politics for years. it's like sponsored drinking. there might be fewer pints these days, more chats with us presidents instead. but after years of trying, seven elections, to be precise, he won't be standing to be an mp this time. i don't want to be in politics for the rest of my life. do i find a seat, try to get myself into parliament, or do i serve the cause better traversing the length and breadth of the united kingdom, supporting 600 candidates? and i've decided the latter course is the right one. so you're not going to stand yourself?
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no — very difficult to do both. not that he is disappearing. after borisjohnson rejected his offer of a pro—brexit pact, he is stepping up his attacks on the government's deal. it doesn't get us out of anything. it doesn't work on any level. it is a gigantic con. we should not sell out to this. it's a remainers‘ brexit. it's virtually worse than staying where we are, and if we go through this route, we will finish up rejoining. does it matter? some think the brexit party standing could split the pro—brexit vote, allowing labour through the middle, like happened here in peterborough in june. the only way to end this uncertainty, to end this indecision, and move on to focus on what they want is to vote for a majority conservative government that, yes, is going to get brexit done in a matter of weeks, but also has an exciting and inclusive agenda. the brexit party are gunning for labour votes, too. jeremy corbyn had this to say on mr farage's decision not to stand. well, it's obviously his decision. it's a bit weird to lead a political party that is apparently contesting
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all or most of the seats up in the election, and he himself is not offering himself for election. he's obviously very comfortable on his mep salary. nigel farage still wants to be part of the brexit debate, but at this election, that doesn't mean standing. nick eardley, bbc news, westminster. ten british people have been injured in a bus crash in northern france. the vehicle was travelling from paris to london when police say it toppled over taking a motorway exit. in all, 33 people were injured, four of them seriously. lots more as always on our website. iamon lots more as always on our website. i am on social media, but now it is time for all the sports news in sports today. hello, i'm marc edward and this is sport today live from the bbc sport centre. coming up on this programme: that'll do it. lewis hamilton claims his sixth f1 world title after finishing runner up at the us grand prix. enough is enough — mario balotelli tries to walk off
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the pitch following racist abuse whilst playing in serie a. ash takes the big cash. ashleigh barty picks up the biggest check in tennis history after victory at the wta finals. hello, and thanks for joining us on sport today. lewis hamilton has become the second most successful formula 1 driver of all time after winning his sixth world title on sunday. the brit finished runner up at the us grand prix, which was enough to secure the drivers championship and draw himself to within one title of all—time record—holder michael schumacher. joe wilson has more. everything in his view could be chaos. it didn't matter, all lewis hamilton had to see was the end of this grand prix. to win the title he didn't need to win, eighth place would do but look at the silver car overtaking. always racing.


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