tv Business Briefing BBC News November 27, 2019 5:30am-5:46am GMT
this is the business briefing. i'm sally bundock. us prosecutors open a criminal investigation into opioid makers and their distributors. softbank‘s troubles. as the japanese conglomerate pushes ahead with its wework rescue, we look at the problems facing its vision fund. and on the markets... fairly mixed today, as you can see. in asia, up slightly for hong kong andjapan in asia, up slightly for hong kong and japan following a pretty muted session on wall street the night before.
federal prosecutors in the us are investigating six pharmaceutical companies for potential criminal charges in connection with shipping big quantities of opioid painkillers that contributed to a healthcare crisis, according to official documents. its being reported that five of the companies have received subpoenas from the us attorney's office in the eastern district of new york as part of the investigation. vivienne nunis has more from new york. according more from new york. to reports, federal prosecutors according to reports, federal prosecutors are trying to find out whether pharmaceutical companies here violated the controlled su bsta nces here violated the controlled substances act. this law requires the pharmaceutical industry to closely monitor commonly abused drugs and report suspicious audits. drug manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies have all been widely criticised for fuelling the opioid crisis by turning a blind eye to suspiciously large orders. the
epidemic has killed 400,000 americans over the past two decades. while the federal attorney's office here in new york won't confirm a criminal investigation is under way, investors are clearly worried. stocks in two drug manufacturers plummeted today and at one stage, both were down 10%. stocks in two drug distributors fell between 3—5% and the drug companies deny responsibility for the opioid crisis, saying they follow the laws and regulations that govern the pharmaceutical industry. vivienne nunis with a look that story. we'll keep a close eye on how that develops in the us. the british beauty council has exclusively told the bbc that they want an independent body to be set up to investigate claims of bullying and unfair dismissal. it comes after the bbc‘s victoria derbyshire programme showed them evidence that there is bullying in all tiers of the beauty industry. beauty therapists and make—up artists have made claims ranging from gossiping and name calling to psychological abuse.
they have no union, so victims say they don't have anybody to complain to or seek advice from. ellie costello reports. the beauty industry is big as nurse. ed contributed £14.2 billion to the uk economy last year, overtaking motor manufacturing and publishing. but the bbc has learned allegations of abuse and bullying rif within the industry. i've spoken with more than 20 people who work in the british beauty industry who claim to be victims of bullying. most of them say they are too afraid to go on record. they stem from director director level of companies to make up director level of companies to make up artist on the shop floors of department stores. i've heard accusations of abuse, blackmail and psychological bullying. many of the people we spoke to were made to sign
a nondisclosure agreement, often in exchange for a pay—out when they left theirjobs. it means it's difficult for victims to speak out about their experience. 0ne difficult for victims to speak out about their experience. one of those people is nicole, but she says she wa nts people is nicole, but she says she wants her story to be told. she was an exec of a top beauty brand we would all be familiar with. nicole says after coming back from having a baby, she was told that she should leave. we've changed her name and an actress is saying her words. i was actress is saying her words. iwas in actress is saying her words. i was in floods of tears and sick to my stomach and i really couldn't get out of bed. i was absent as a parent. i basically believed everything they told me. i believed i was everything they told me. i believed iwasa everything they told me. i believed i was a bad person. everything they told me. i believed iwas a bad person. i everything they told me. i believed i was a bad person. i was diagnosed with depression, stress and burnout. i spent time in a facility.
zachis i spent time in a facility. zach is a freelance make—up artist. he loves hisjob now but zach is a freelance make—up artist. he loves his job now but he hasn't a lwa ys he loves his job now but he hasn't always found it easy. being a guy in the make up industry, kind of goes against what women think you can do, which is sad. there's a lot of times where it was, are you sure you want him to do your make—up? he's a guy, he won't know how to do your make up. you talk about fitting a mould and if you don't, you are out. yeah, my friend, we would look at this boutique and they asked her to not work on the front desk because they thought she was to 0akley and to fat because she would stop people coming into. while it has no union, the british beauty council represents the voices, opinions and needs of the british beauty industry. we took our findings to them. it's heartbreaking actually, to think that an industry we are really trying to pull together is so at each other‘s throats. i think there needs to be some sort of ombudsman oi’ needs to be some sort of ombudsman or industry body set up to make sure
there's a place... safe place for people to go. the department of business said through the equalities act, employees are already protected against harassment in the workplace and they can always seekjustice at employment tribunal ‘s. ellie costello, bbc news. two viewers here in the uk can see the full report at 10am on bbc two and the bbc news channel. also there's more detail on that story on our website as well, do ta ke story on our website as well, do take a look. let's talk about softbank now, because this week it's reportedly pushing ahead with its rescue plan for the office—sharing firm wework, in a deal worth $9.5 billion. wework is one of 70 companies which currently receive investments from softbank‘s vision fund. but its failit share sale has already provit damaging but its failed share sale has already proved damaging to the japanese conglomerate‘s reputation and its bottomline. let's go to our asia business hub,
where rico hizon has been following the story. what more can you tell us? it is the wework and uber investments that have really drained the deep pockets of softbank‘s vision fund, which has raised nearly 100 alien us dollars. —— billion. its second fund is coming very soon but apparently softbank is struggling to raise money for it. apart from the japanese conglomerate, the fund also has two major backers. saudi arabia, which invested $45 billion in abu dhabi, but now saudi arabia says it might only invest whatever profit it gets from the first vision fund, while abu dhabi might reduce the offer to less than $10 billion. here's also one of the main issues. as of now, you mentioned 70 companies in their portfolio. 35% of the fund's holdings are in transportation, logistics and real estate, including uber and wework, and the only sector currently
reporting decent gains is the consumer sector, but that only accou nts consumer sector, but that only accounts for 15% of the portfolio. it's interesting to note the majority of the recipients are in the us and asia, so there's no japanese firm, that's a zero, and that's worrying because softbank‘s bass long talked about wanting to encourage japanese start—ups bass long talked about wanting to encouragejapanese start—ups but his vision fund has yet to achieve that —— boss. thanks for clarifying that story, rico. now let's brief you on some other business stories. the indian ride—sharing firm 0la has begun signing up drivers in london ahead of plans to launch services in the capital in the coming weeks. it comes days after rival uber was deniit a new licence to operate in london after repeatit safety failures. 0la, which already operates in the uk, said it has held constructive conversations with local authorities. german carmaker audi says it will cut almost 10,000 jobs by 2025. the company is hoping to save more than $6.5 billion
to invest in electric cars and digital technology. the volkswagen—owned brand also said the move into electric cars would mean the creation of up to 2,000 jobs. brazil's currency has slipped to a fresh record low with the government intervening twice to try to halt the slump. the real has been falling since the beginning of the month. it questions about investors' appetite for brazilian assets. it weakened further after economy minister paulo guedes said the currency may remain weak for some time. looking at financial markets and we're coming to the end of november, and it's been another bumper month for markets especially in the us. we have thanksgiving in the us tomorrow, so all the main markets on wall street will be closed. today in
the us, we will get a lot of economic data, which will be really interesting to take a look to give us interesting to take a look to give usa interesting to take a look to give us a sense interesting to take a look to give us a sense of how the world's biggest economy is faring right now and what that might mean for future decisions at the us central bank, the federal reserve. let's look at the federal reserve. let's look at the next board so we know what's going on. with commodities, juddering graphics today, which is a bit as are, they are a bit reluctant this morning, but the price of oil is edging lower and gold, the traditional safe haven, is off the boil a bit but the big conversation for global markets is how are the talks on trade between the us and china going? first phase discussions, will they be signed and sealed in coming days? there's rumours about whether they are going well or not. we are keeping a eye on that as well. that's the business briefing.
the writer and director of the gang film blue story has criticised the decision to ban it at certain cinemas, claiming that the film was being wrongly blamed for the actions of a few individuals. the decision by vue cinemas to pull the film from all of its venues has lit to some accusations of racism. tim muffet reports. the star city cinema complex in birmingham on saturday night, and a brawl that led to seven police officers being injured, five teenagers being arrested and a spotlight being shown on this film. your my brother. i only have one brother and that ain't you. blue story tells the tale of two friends from south london that become enemies in rival gangs. we always
have each other‘s back, you know this. following the violence in birmingham, vue was the first cinemark to withdraw the film. it said in the 24 hours since its release there were 25 incidents reported in 16 of its cinemas. some have described the ban as racist and vue said it wasn't taken lightly and not based on biased assumptions. rival chain showcase also withdrew blue story but on monday night reinstated it, and said additional security measures would be put in place at the cinemas where it is shown. the blue story director says it's a story about love, not violence. he has told the bbc he was heard by the decision to ban it and said there was no truth of any correlation between the violence in the cinema in birmingham and the film itself. the controversy hasn't done the film too much harm at the box office. at the cinemas where it is being shown,
it has already grossed more than £1.73 it has already grossed more than £1.3 million and is number three in the uk box office charts. tim muffett, bbc news. coming up at 6am on breakfast, dan walker and louise minchin will have all the day's news, business and sport. this is the briefing from bbc news. the latest headlines: protesters turn their anger on malta's prime minister as police step up their investigation into the murder of an investigative journalist. security on the us—mexico border: president trump says mexico's drug cartels will be treated as terrorist organisations. now, it's time to look at a few stories making front pages in europe this morning. we begin with the british general election, which yesterday degenerated into a contest about which party was more racist. while muslim groups accused the conservatives of islamophobia,
and most of the british press, including the guardian, is leading with the labour party's problems with dealing with accusations of anti—semitism. but there's a reminder, though, from bloomberg that the problems of brexit will still be there to greet whoever wins the election. it's a stark warning from the uk motor industry that unless there's a frictionless trade deal, car production in britain could fall by half over the next five years. the financial times looks the latest stage in the technology war between the us and china. the trump administration is proposing wide powers to be able to block any imports of technology that it thinks could undermine national security. the implications for companies like huawei are clear. next, a story that our colleagues on the bbc news website are covering — how climate change is pushing up the cost of christmas. among other things, higher summer temperatures have caused a reduction in numbers of turkey eggs being laid, and floods have damaged vegetable production. and finally, the irish times
has a story that might interest pa rents everywhere. pharmacists are blaming the taking of selfies for a surge in head lice infestations among schoolchildren. it seems that putting your heads together may not always be a good idea. definitely not. head lice in the home is not a good idea. so let's begin. with me isjeremy thomson cook, founder of complete currency consulting. all the frontjeremy corbyn all over them and interest in to see the guardian's take on this. you would think they would be the most sympathetic to the labour because, they have more balance than the right wing papers on this. the headline is saying that corbin is struggling to rebuff the accusations. it is almost an appeal from the left—wing media and people who read the guardian who are most likely to vote labour to say this has to be dealt with and dealt with