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tv   The Pulse  Bloomberg  March 20, 2015 5:00am-6:01am EDT

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guy: cementing a deal. lafarge and holcim said their merger. running out of time. greece under the gun to submit a concrete plan to speed up the bailout talks. good morning to our viewers in europe, good evening to those in asia. a warm welcome to those waking
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up in the u.s.. this is "the pulse." live from london. european leaders meeting for a second round of talks in brussels. russia and greece remain very much top of the agenda. on russia, the group has pledged to extend sanctions until the end of the year. for greece the eu has asked the government to submit a more solid reform plan. let's bring in our reporters. caroline connan joins us from brussels. marcus joins us from athens. caroline, let's start with you. caroline: on russia, which was on the agenda like greece in brussels, they decided to put off the decision to aging summit. -- a june summit. the eu sanctions expire in july. they might extend these until
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the end of the year. which would match the timeline of the minsk agreement. [no audio] guy: we seem to be having technical difficulties from brussels. you are looking at live pictures from brussels as leaders gather in enter the building. we will monitor what they have to say. we will get a sense of where we stand on two issues of russia and greece. let's go to athens. marcus is standing by. how would you characterize last night's minisummit? what progress was made as mr. tsipras met with leaders of france, germany and the ecb? marcus: a month since the february 20 agreement which culminated in the minisummit and relations reached a low.
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people or complaining about little progress. a chance to press the reset button. greece now has to submit a list of reforms. one of the keywords in the statement is ownership. which is something that can probably please both sides. four years it has been a complaint of greeks not taking ownership of reforms, even under previous governments under greece's bailout. from the greek side it has been a complaint that greece is being dictated to and is not really able to tailor its own policies. we saw this this week with the humanitarian crisis bill the government passed. which was a flashpoint because officials claimed this had an unclear fiscal impact and there was not proper consultation. this is a chance to reset and
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move forward. the difficulty remains on whether greece can deliver reforms that will please greece 's creditors and some hardliners within tsipras's syriza party. that is not a group he has shown much willingness to take on in the past. but the positive that can be taken out of this, after a month of bickering about what the february agreement means and what processes need to be followed if the leaders yesterday were able to hammer that out and we are able to move forward, maybe there's a chance we might get to the real substance everyone is looking for. guy: talk about the background.
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we've seen a re-examination of money being taken out of greek banks. it seems that the liquidity shortage in the country for paying bills seems to be getting more and more crippling. marcus: the money is really tight. we are coming towards the end of march. march has been a difficult month because of the debt repayment schedule, it has been very hard. after today's payments of about $300 million to the imf and people being rolled over, all the indications are that greece will be able to pay pensions. greece is not going to default internally in terms of pensions or externally. the question remains how much money is left in the bank. it has really put a big strain on greece's coffers all of this. no one really knows. it is very unclear what the
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picture is of greece's finances. the sound from brussels yesterday, we are good until april. the question is not if greece can -- is now if greece can submit a list of reforms, some bailout funds will be dispersed, which will ease pressure. guy: the pressure still seems to be high. looks like the eurogroup want to keep it that way. marcus, thank you. let's talk more about the greek story and what's happening with russia. darren berg -- barron berg -- behrenberg's chief economist. i would be surprised it tells
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us why angela merkel is stepping up. how frayed are relations? >> that article may be an exaggeration. there's a sense in berlin, if the greeks don't play ball, they're at the risk of grexit. i don't think anyone expects greece to leave. as far as the economic and financial impact of a possible grexit, much of the rest of europe beliefs we can handle it. they no longer pose a risk to the stability in europe. there is an angle, what does greece do on its own for that corner of the world, which is a
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concern for overall politics. that is one issue bringing angela merkel into the debate. guy: how bad has it got between schaeuble and varoufakis? we have gotten to the point where these guys are never going to seem eye to eye. this is why merkel is getting involved. dr. schmieding: the greek behavior has been pretty bad. you should not install your creditor is a rule they should write down. schaeuble is a seasoned political operator. i do not think personal emotions would take over. he will judge everything on its merit. with the german public and with the public across europe, greek behavior has not helped. all major decisions about greece have to go through the german bundestag. in domestic german politics
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this does not play well. hence the greeks better behave more positively towards their creditors in order to get the german bundestag and other parliaments in europe to approve more money. guy: how critical is it from a financial point of view for greece? we understand the ecb is limiting t bills and telling greek banks not to buy more. whether or not the banks go along with that, we will wait and see. there are pension payments that need to be made. marcus, in athens, saying he thinks we are not going to see any missed payments this month. it is getting crunchy. dr. schmieding: hard to say how crunchy it is. probably the greek state has a few things it can still do to make major payments. it can delay payments to some supplier. it can try to get more money out
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of social security and other funds, state owned enterprises. we are not yet at a stage where day by day the greek government might be forced to default. this atmosphere where the government has to look here and therefore money and may have to put pressure on state enterprises, that atmosphere is extremely bad for the economy. it is extremely bad for tax revenues. so greece can get financially by for one more month it will be a last month for the economy. guy: stay with us. we need to talk about russia and discuss the overlap between these two issues. that brings us to our twitter question. for europe, what poses the bigger risk? russia or greece? let us know what you think. @flacqua @guyjohnsontv, join the conversation. we always get interesting responses. what else is on our radar spain's sabado bank will buy tsb
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for 1.5 million pounds. the spanish bank plans a 1.6 billion euros share offer to find the takeover. two of standard charter's biggest investors have urged the bank to move its headquarters from london. this follows the chancellor of the exchequer george osborne's announcement that the u.k. bank levy will be increased by a third. credit squeeze facing a critical investigation -- criminal investigation in italy. being sued for damages up to 3 billion euros. the probe relates to the acquisition of another italian bank. coming up cementing a $40 billion deal. holcim and lafarge finally reach an agreement to form the world's biggest cement maker. plus total eclipse of the sun. the first major one of the seller age. -- solar age.
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live pictures right now. were there any power outages? ♪
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guy: welcome back. even watching "the pulse." let me take you to brussels, the leaders gather. mr. draghi and mr. tsipras the greek prime minister working the
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room and trying to get some help.there's a man who could give him some mario draghi . the president of playing a pivotal role. the man sitting just behind him looks like jean-claude juncker, the head of the commission. the french president arriving for this meeting. the minisummit that took place last night -- merkel, francois hollande, mr. tsipras and mr. draghi seems to have generated more momentum. the sense seems to be that the ball is in the debeltsevegreeks' court. batman has to decide as he talks to mr. renzi how far will he go, what can he do and allow syriza to stay intact? the leaders gathering in brussels. let's get a sense of all this
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from holger schmieding. the meeting coming up with merkel in tsipras -- and tsipras this is about how much do i trust you. dr. schmieding: that is the gist of the meeting monday. germany would like to find out whether greece is serious with its recent nonmove or whether greece is ready to get back to where it was before the election. namely, largely complying with obligations to creditors. if the new government, mr. tsipras, gives spurlin and ms. merkel the impression that they will but in large do what they have to do, do what they promised do what they have to do to justify 240 billion being
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given to them. if berlin gets the impression they will honor the commitment details can be phrased. if the breakdown of trust which seems to have happened on the technical level between athens and the troika, if that extends to higher levels of politics we will be in serious trouble. greece has to grab that opportunity to convince them that greece is serious about reforms. guy: our twitter question of the day which poses the greatest threat to europe, russia or greece? they pose a different threat at different times. dr. schmieding: russia is by far the biggest threat to europe. greece is a small country at the fridge. we would love to help it but we cannot help it without setting conditions. these conditions have to be honored and we cannot go on breaking commitments because that would undermine the foundation of the eu. russia is a big power with nuclear powers.
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greece is misbehaving financially, russia is misbehaving militarily. that is a bigger threat. guy: how do think that threat will be manifested economically? we have seen an impact in the german economy. how they get dragged -- how big a drag is russia? dr. schmieding: it's modest. last year it did interrupt the core european actors for half a year with a fall in german business investment. now, a new round of fighting in january and february it was very bad but it was not as choppy. less of a surprise. at the moment, russia posner's behavior is a small drag on core europe. a big drag last summer. we are getting used to it and we can only hope russia does not get worse. guy: in terms of the way the
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impact happens, you deal with it and you move on. do the shocks get bigger? is a diminishing return? do we get immune to it or fatigued by the problem of russia? dr. schmieding: if russia stays as it has been for the last three months, the occasional bad fighting, russian economic crisis but nothing beyond that scale of what we have seen i think deep drag on the core european economies will diminish further. the tail winds from the exchange rate from cheap oil and the european central bank will take over more forcefully. if russia does a very big war like sending its tanks all the way to kiev or descends into domestic political chaos then we would have different
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confidence impact on the european economy. we would have serious political repercussions. guy: earlier hsbc called and end to the dollar-bull run. the euro has come down aggressively over the last few weeks. what you're right do you think will it take to maintain -- what euro rate do you think it will take to maintain a very early recovery in the european economy? dr. schmieding: it is more dependent on sentiment. oil helps. the eurozone would still have a recovery with growth rates getting towards 2% late this year if the dollar-euro moves back to 1.12 or 1.15, which i consider possible. guy: it stays on track at that level? if they get stronger than that does it start to have an undermining effect? dr. schmieding: a modest one. that is not big stuff.
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if it goes to 1.35, that will be a big thing. one point 10 or 1.2 zero that is 0.1% of your -- eurogroup. guy: always a pleasure. berenberg's chief economist. tweet us, send us your thoughts. holger thinks russia is the bigger threat and greece an irritant. we have had a few tweets suggesting a similar sentiment or join the conversation @flacqua in @guyjohnsontv. we'll meet a couple who have set up in investment firm pushing to improve transparency for u.k. investors. looking for to that conversation. also, concussion concern. this is a story that occupies a great deal of my brainpower.
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we take a look at the growing issue of head injuries in the sport. it does not actually featured this level, it also features from the kids playing. how do we deal with it in rugby? we will see you in a moment. ♪
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guy: it is what everybody is talking about, the eclipse. we are getting their. in london, a gray sky above you.
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probably as close as you are going to get to seeing it. very close to the total eclipse in a few minutes' time. let's dwell on some m&a stories. plenty around europe. the $40 billion deal between lafarge in holcim is back on. let's get the details from caroline hyde. caroline: $40 billion, the biggest deal since glencore in 2012 p 11 months in the making and they see a compromise in the 11th hour. problems about the financials and about the management when it came to lafarge and holcim tying up to create the biggest cement maker. the first part has to do with finances. holcim wanted the deal sweetened. they felt it should not be one for one in terms of share ratios. their share ratios should get more -- their shareholders should get more. for every nine holcim shares
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you get 10 lafarge shares and vice versa. they also get their way when it comes to management. they thought that the chief executive of lafarge was not the right man to steer the unit. he is to play a key role, cochairman. they are still looking for the candidate. it will be a lafarge canada and the person has been identified. it is trying to work out when. this is a $40 billion deal across the board. a battle to find this compromise. all of that is surrounding brunello bruno lafond's capability. they promised savings, will they get there. crh is going to be laughing they get their hands at 6.5 billion euros of assets.
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guy: just to show you these pictures in london. getting a little dark. more clouds than eclipse. ♪
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guy: half past the hour. everybody has been waiting for it. almost there. live pictures of the solar eclipse in europe. there are some people concerned that in the next hour or so we could see a shortage of electricity. we seem to have adopted a great deal of solar electricity over the last few years. if you are thinking of boiling the cattle and having a cup of tea maybe go outside and do not boil the kettle. the solar eclipse taking place.
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we talk about the electricity later. in the meantime let me talk to you about top headlines. eu leaders meeting in brussels. they have made a pledge to extend sanctions against russia. demanding more concrete reforms from greece. time is running out to overcome a standout over a. alexis tsipras says he is more optimistic after talks last night. some other stories, the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu pulling back from his campaign remarks that said he supports a two-state solution he told msnbc he remains committed to palestinian state hood if circumstances improve. two days after netanyahu's likud party won more seats than expected. the bank of england's chief economist has warned of the risk that we can inflation may
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persist. haldane said the risks to the inflation outlook are "skewed to the downside." and the chances of an interest rate rise or cut are "probably and evenly balanced." a big bank news, sabadell is buying tsb in a deal worth two point $5 billion. we are joined by charles in madrid. not enough to do the spanish banking, it feels it needs to do a deal and the u.k.. why? charles: it is about diversification. sabadell like local spanish banks, banks which do not have an international presence, look over the last few years in spain and they suffered greatly in the difficult economic conditions in spain during the financial crisis. they look at rivals like bingo santander which were sheltered
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from the situation by large foreign business. sabadell would like to get some diversification and shield itself in the future from being from having all its eggs in one basket. guy: these two banks know each other well. tsb offloaded its banking operations to sabadell a while ago. is it an obvious link? charles: excellent question. sabadell is the fifth biggest bank in spain. it has quite cleverly increased its presence in spain through some acquisitions during the financial crisis. they were able to pick up assets cheaply in spain. it built up bulk. it is a midsize bank and it is making a big move into a new market which it does not have any real experience of.
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it has a link but it is a big step sabadell to move into the u.k.. guy: from the british end of the story, do you think there should be concerned about management possibility to execute properly? charles: that is a difficult question. sabadell is a bank which has well top management. its ceo was the head of the mexican unit for bbva, very highly regarded here in spain with a strong track record before his move to sabadell. it is a bank with good management with some international experience. that said they are moving into a new market and a different culture. it is strongly regulated, highly competitive as santa and there
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will tell them. guy: fascinating thank you charles. joining us from madrid. let's go from banking to investments. my next guests say the u.k. investment industry is lagging behind the u.s. when it comes to how firms treat clients. they argue that british money managers charge higher fees and are not transparent enough about what they are charging for. allen and gina miller, cofounders of scm private, join us. how far are we behind the states? gina: considerably. they have been behaving in a more transparent way since 2004 or 2005. a good 10 years behind. you have got big u.s. brands that have been giving their customers, their peers in the u.s. transparency. it is something that needs to change in the u.k. u.k. investors are being denied two basic rights. to know how much they are paying
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into know what they are paying for. guy: there is a change afoot. you already sense that inasmuch as a lot more money is beginning to flow into passive funds. vanguard, etc. have made huge progress and are beginning to migrate to the side of the pond. the visibility story on fees is beginning to change every here. as we make that move, how much more is there to go? alan: it is interesting to say that. what we have been saying the total cost, not just the cost of the fund. let's say you are buying a vanguard index fund for 0.1 percent. if the rest of the investment journey, the platform, the advisor, is adding 1.5 or 2% on top. what you say that what you benefit from from the low fund c is being lost. what we have consistently said is that investors should know the investment chain from
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beginning to end so they can make an intelligent investment decision. unfortunately, u.k. regulators completely ignored this forever to be on his spear the european regulator is putting rose into practice which will say you have to show all the costs. not just in percentage but monetary amounts. gina: this is not passive versus active. this is about people having all the information so they can make the best choice. if you've got something that is low-cost but producing no return, that is not the best buy either. this is about transparency that gives people information they need to make the best choice. that also applies to advisors. in our campaign we have come across swathes of advisors and
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consultants who thought the total expense ratio was all the fees. it does say total. they have been making decisions thinking that is all the fees and it is not. how can they deliver the best advice to their clients if they do not know what the total fees are? guy: others are beginning to do this. not make is one of the obvious ones. their fee structure is very clear and easily understood. our more and more people going to offer better fee structures? gina: it is about adding the numbers up in one number. that is still not happening. you have different layers but you need to remember from a consumer side, they understand it in percentages, one number but also in pounds and pence. that is what we need to get to. the issue is how viable are the challengers going to be in this market if the big boys are not doing it? it has got to be a level playing
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field. guy: there are people talking about low fees. i only bring out not nutmeg because i've seen their advertisement. alan: they do not actually add together the fees of the underlying etf's to the underlying trade costs. we are only the people that at all the layers together. management views, zero point 4%. we add the underlying etf costs. guy: you have the 0.4% and you aggregate onto that. what does that come to? alan: around 1.1% or 1.2%. everyone says that is expensive. nobody else adds all the other fees. if you were to do the same exercise for most wealth management you get to about 3.5% per annum. guy: you are obviously active
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gatherers. how is it going in terms of the progress you are making, how much money is being attractive? gina: we have been going for six years. the first two or three years we were campaigning. in public perception, the annual management fee has been the cost. we shot ourselves in the foot because we had been publishing total fees and being compared to the internet you'll -- the annual management fee. more and more people post rdr. they are looking to do it themselves. we are gathering assets but the real revolution will come online. in september we launched three on my platforms. that's going to revolutionize the future. we will be embracing technology and the direct to consumer offering. guy: i look forward to hearing more about it. thank you for coming to see us alan and gina miller, cofounders of scm private.
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we'll take a break and what do burning man and the hong kong protests have in common? we speak to a developer who has pushed an off grid messaging at. -- app. it connects mobile devices. we will show you that in a few minutes' time. ♪
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guy: 43 minutes past the hour. you are watching "the pulse."
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we're live from bloomberg's london headquarters. the first off good messaging app . fire chart is changing the way people connect. the app took home the innovation award at the sxsw conference in texas. we are joined by the company's ceo micha benoliel. explain what off grid messaging is. it sounds like something that should not work. mr. benoliel: when you are not connected to the internet, when your smartphone cannot connect to a wi-fi access, it has the possibility to send messages to people around you through their smartphones. it creates links between smartphones. delivering messages from one fund to another so you can keep communicating. caroline: you just brought out
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this new innovation which will help connectivity. one of -- what are the most far-flung places this is a beacon. micha: the first networking beacon. greenstone is going to help increase range and coverage in places where there is no infrastructure to enable fire chat users to keep communicating. caroline: if you are in africa how big a range can this cover? micha: a few hundred square kilometers to a whole area. messages can be stored and someone will pass it to greenstone, it will receive them and send more messages. we hand the messages to that person who comes nearby. it is a complete mobile decentralized infrastructure. guy: one that is hard for the authorities to control. which has advantages for certain
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uses of the product. micha: it is a great innovation. people not only, they use a social network but they build a network behind it. it is the first social network independent from infrastructure. guy: the story these days is increasingly that when you get a demonstration, they shut the cellular networks off. this will be possible that your network will still function within that. micha: correct. we were used in situations like in hong kong in october last year. hundreds of thousands of people were in the streets. you had people and the mobile networks were congested. people were able to communicate using fire chat. guy: how do you finance that? micha: we attracted at the beginning 15 angels. it was a long process. very few people believed it could make the technology happened.
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which we did. last year in march, about a year ago, we raised another $11 million with institutional venture firms. caroline: you are looking for more money? micha: we are about to start to raise another round because we want to bring these beacons for the greenstone two more places. it is like the solution of the balloon google and facebook are looking at. this is a pragmatic approach. guy: that was my next question. all i hear from mark zuckerberg is that he wants to connect the world had had you had any conversations? micha: we have not had conversations -- guy: if he is watching, maybe it is time. micha: we would be happy to partner with google or facebook. caroline: includes facebook and the network providers. what is their reaction? at mobile world congress, everyone was talking about the
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scale of investment needed to connect devices. the internet of things is going to need immediate connectivity. are we not going to need billions pumped in because we can use this technology? micha: it is more than just networking beacons. there is a possibility to create a network out of smartphones, and infrastructure out of smartphones. leverage all the smartphones to create a network. when you look at maintaining the mobile network in the u.s. it is more than $33 billion a year. it is a huge amount of money. with the smart phones that can connect to one another and you can have an infrastructure that is dynamic. guy: but -- caroline: but only public at the moment. the information you are sharing everyone can see. is there a slight limitation? if you want to send private
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messages and do not want to have your device open to other people, they could not use your network? micha: fire chat is public. it does not mean you cannot have private conversations on this network. in that case we would need stronger encryption to protect messages and enable them to be read only by the people who are supposed to receive and read these messages. guy: sounds perfect for quantum cryptography. once you have read it, it is broken and gone. is it the case that the faster the phone, the faster the network? where does the speed limitation come in? i have a 4g phone, is the network going to be faster than if i have a bunch of 3g? micha: 4g funds can connect to the networks at a faster speed. be better connectivity the phones have, the better the whole network that we create is going to function. caroline: where is the adoption driving? it was popular in hong kong.
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it is used at burning man as well. connectivity is not too great. where do you see your prime targets in growing this? micha: today we see a lot of adoption for music festivals and large events, concerts. currently there are a lot of people who use it, djs, for the electronic music festivals in texas. a lot of people where there are crowds who need conductivity and who need to have interaction with people. down the road, we want fire chat to become an app people use on an everyday basis. if you look at the app today you can have conversations around any hashtag. it is a way to have a conversation around any topic. guy: we will leave it there. thank you very much indeed. if anybody from facebook is watching, sounds like a conversation should be had. micha bonenoliel, ceo of open
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garden. we will be talking about ukraine. we will take a break and see when a couple minutes. ♪
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guy: good morning. you are watching "the pulse." live on bloomberg tv, on the radio, and streaming on one year into the conflict in
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eastern ukraine and the signs of war are everywhere. destruction blights businesses homes and infrastructure after months of siege. ryan chilcote has been visiting donetsk inside the separatist territory. watching firsthand the fragile cease-fire failed to lift the fog of war. ryan: we are being driven to the donetsk international airport, the most thought of her piece of real estate in the war. its only valued as that of a buffer. this is utter destruction. i have been in demolition sites, war zones i've never seen anything like this. the apocalyptic scenes go on and on. we did not even see all of it. we had a burst of gunfire. the ukrainian position, the other side of the front line is 2000 meters that way.
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the ukrainians have set up in a coal mine at the top of the elevator shaft. the idea of rebuilding this airport with two sides so close and still shooting at each other, even occasionally it is unthinkable. we visit ukrainian troops on the other side of the front line. this soldier lost his friend to a separatist shell. >> it blows up in the air and drops shrapnel. our brother the only boy with a flak jacket, was the one that died. ryan: easy to see how the conflict might explode again. tens of thousands of miners with nothing to do and plenty that have already taken up arms. there are also plenty of weapons moving around. how would you know whether they are being withdrawn or just
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moved for another day? i did not meet a single person on either side who thought the fighting is over. that includes a commander from the vostov battalion. >> if you analyze the previous truces the ukrainian side uses the truce to reorganize troops and then it restarts again. that is what happened in the summer and fall. i'm a fleet -- i'm afraid that is what will happen again. ryan: around the corner, another reminder that this is war. a group of men are resuscitating a fighter just hit in a mortar strike. but they lose him. the outlook for eastern ukraine is bleak. i'd hate to see what a return to the fighting might look like. guy: ryan chilcote, that is it
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for this hour of "the pulse." for those on the side of the atlantic, we are back in a couple minutes. see you then. ♪
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>> this is bloomberg "surveillance." tom: european union leaders pledged to extend sanctions against russia. the baltic states and britain against a friends that does not want to prejudge.
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markets churned two days after janet yellen speaks people oil finds a bid. north from iceland, the majesty of an eclipse not seen since 1662. this is bloomberg "surveillance ," live from new york. friday, march 20 the march equinox. i'm tom keene. joining me, olivia sterns and brendan greeley. let's get to our top headlines. olivia: pick up the pace, that is the message from european leaders to greece. telling alexis tsipras greece must submit a more concrete plant within days said he bailout talks can speed up. greece is running out of money after four hours of talks in brussels, tsipras put a positive spin on the issue. mr. tsipras: we are more optimistic after this deliberation. i think both


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