tv World Business Today CNN February 14, 2011 4:00am-5:00am EST
i can't imagine 10 years of seeing your mother go through that would have been like. thank you for sharing your story. it remns in large part inexplicable but fascinating at the same time. thank you very much. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com i'm zain verjee at cnn london. here are the headlines. mubarak fled cairo on friday after nearly 30 years of power. on sunday the military dismissed parliament and called for elections in six months. the rebel group freed another hostage, but two others who were supposed to be released
on sunday are in custody. in december they promised to release several as a gesture. the "king's speech" has been crowned. colin firth was named best lead actor and co-stars each got the honors for supporting actor. millions tuned in to watch the biggest night in music, the grammy awards. country group lady antebell um took home most awards. lady gaga performed a much an it is paid song "born this way" before taking home three grammys. go gaga. those are the headlines. i'm zain verjee, cnn london. "world business today" starts now. good morning from cnn london.
i'm charles hodson. and a very good afternoon from cnn hong kong. i'm andrew stevens. welcome to w"world business today." the top stories today this february 14th. it's official, japan cannot keep up with china's economic growth. slipped to become the world's third biggest economy. egypt is starting its first week without mubarak in charge. we'll exam about the new challenges facing cairo. egypt isn't the only place we've seen prices. we kick off the new series called "the price we play." let's have a look at the european stock market. nothing too dramatic. 50% for the cac.
xetra dax is going up by .41%. miners leading them well. we'ral seeing gains for credit suisse on a good deal here involving bonds. let's have a look at currencies. european finances begin today. the euro is actually falling toward a three-week low against the dollar. we are seeing -- yeah, we actually have been seeing a lot of strength in the dollar, a certain amount of strength coming back a little way from that for the moment. and that's according to expectations. it's certainly going to be the story of the year. here in asia, relief over the peaceful resolution of the political crisis in egypt, sending asian markets higher
this session. in tokyo, the nikkei gaining. we've got more on that in just a moment. japanese exporters meanwhile were high attorney weakening yen. construction stocks are now leading the charge in shanghai. up 2.5% on the economic front in china. the trade surface narrowing in january as imports group. we'll also have more on that in just a moment. in australia, the benchmark hitting a ten-month high, strong gains among the mining and banking stocks, charles. well, it's long been expected, but now it's official. japan is now ranked third behind the world's biggest. below united states and china, which has moved into second place. japan's came in at $5.47
trillion. euro roan ya, japan's economy contracted. weak consumer demand and a drop in exports led to that decline. nevertheless the japanese economy still grew by 3.9% over the years. that's over the year. i'm sorry to move between the t two. i hope that didn't confuse too much. with more on that, tin sight, a disappointment, but generally an expected disappointment. >> absolutely. economists believed that the torch was probably passed sometime the third quarter of 2010 so this was very much expected news. this lays it out there, it reminds everybody who the new
asia king of the area is. it is china. ice no longer japan. japan had its heyday. it's much considered a has-been. that was in the 1980s. it is now struggling with a number of domestic problems. it has got to figure out what to do about stagnation and deflation. it is something it has struggled with. it has got to figure out how to deal with political problems. they've not been able to keep a consistent person in that top job to allow for economic policy. they have a demographic tsunami coming. that is this country has the fastest asian population with one of the world's lowest birth rates. it also has one of the largest gdp debt. japan has simply got to deal with it. corporate japan has also got to deal with it, namely the strong yen. yet, despite this torch passing,
despite the reminder of the position of japan and china, the chi says wa we ear eeing today doesn't tell the entire economic story. here's what one analyst told us. >> japan's economic tsunami is going to stunt growth for years to come. they need to get that situation under control. but china also had a demographic tsunami of its own, to use that term. japan is not going away. i'm certainly not a raging bull on japan, but this simple comparison has a lot of caveats. >> reporter: and if you look at gdp per head, charles, if you look at china, it's about $4,500, in japan, $45,000. still quite a bit of disparity when it comes to personal wealth. charles? >> drilling down a little way further into the fourth quarter
figures, kyung, we're seeing more. the japanese consumer, it seems, is still very depressed. >> reporter: absolutely. you certainly feel it if you walk the streets of tokyo. people feel this torch being passed from japan to china. they're feeling it globally. they don't want to spend after two decades of stagnation. they really feel a disappointment toward their economic future. you have to step into one of the international stores to get a picture of it. one of the electronic stores we went to has decided to by pass japan. instead they have chosen the chinese consumer. on any single day, they will sell items to 1,000 chinese consumers, but only 200 japanese consumers. so that really tells you chinese are coming here to japan and spending more money here in japan, at least at one store,
than the people who live here. charles? >> okay, kyung lah joining us from tokyo. thank you very much in deed. andrew. let's switch to china. positive signs for the economy of the trade surplus shrinks. new government figures show it was down to $6.45 billion in january. that's down from $13 billion in december. so a very big fall there. it certainly beat expectations as well. it came in part at least because of the surging imports and strong e economic activity within the country. imports jumping 5 # 1% from the same time last year. exports over the same year up by 38%. analysts say the better than expected january numbers may be a little distorted because of the timing of the lunar holiday which came a little earlier than usual. joined by mike koenen, he's
ceo of asia-pacific. welcome back to the show. >> thank you very much. >> we've seen the selloff in the emerging markets. about $10 billion has been taken off the table in the last two weeks. >> probably the momentum is still there. there's a perception to get some money off the table, lock in profits. you've got higher inflation and possibly they're going to try to arrest that before it builds too far. maybe at some point further down the track it will be time to revalue and reassess and come back in and possibly pick up some of the names at lower prices. >> okay. later this year. the unrest in asia is in part at least due to rising food prices.
there's no sign that they are going to fall any time soon. i wonder will unrest because of food prices and because of what we've seen in tunisia and asia continue to deter investors in emerging markets? >> it certainly raised the premium on it to a large extent. a number of factors have been coincident and closely related. the food pride rises to social unrest in egypt is the same issue that's driving food prices in this region and we've seen in china largely because of adverse weather conditions. as a result, inflation has pushed through previous government official targets. >> i think governments in this region are very, very sensitive to this issue because we know in the past rising inflation has been a catalyst for social disorder. i think the governments in this region will be looking at developments in the middle east extremely closely and they've
taken proactive action as we've seen. they're looking at prices, prevent hoarding and try to have a market where most can get access. >> with limited access. >> i would say it's been effective so far and we'll probably see inflation peaks in china and else where in the region sometime around the middle of the year. >> okay. inflation as we've talked about many times, it's very present in asharks becoming more so in europe and there's talk now of pickup in the u.s. how do you play the inflation story? >> it depends how it plays through. the story is as it increases they'll start to moderate some of the enthusiasm they've had. as we see in this region it's been about mutual investors was to buy bond funds that have been
distributed across this region. we started to see that last year into equity funds. now, of course, we're seeing some value trade where investors are coming out of some of the emerging markets and looking at markets that over the short period have underperformed. etf supporting back or monies coming out of etfs that are exposed to emerging markets some of a slight reallocation. to answer your question we're probably going to see ek question thes outperform. >> thank you very much. mark konyn here in hong kong. charles. in the united states president barack obama unveils his 2012 budget plan this week. the white house says it will cut the deficit by $1.1 trillion over ten years. the big question is whether it'll cut into three huge entitled programs, medicare, medica medicaid, and social security. many in congress are calling for
much deeper cuts than the administration is planned. looked at trading, u.s. markets still appear for a moderately higher open when stock trading begins and here is the way that u.s. futures stand in the premarket action. up by about a fifth o of the percent for the dow last time i looked, and the nasdaq just up fra fractionally and the same for s&p 500, andrew. >> charles, egypt is now in its third day without president mubarak in charge. coming up the abcs of the company of transition as change comes to the armies, the banks, even the constitution itself. stay with us.
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it's gone back a touch since then, but on the day, down just a bit as well. now, it has been the lowest in several months following the resignation of the egyptian president hosni mubarak. so, charles, maybe a little bit of a boost of oil coming as the political risks and tengs wear off. anyway, welcome back to cnn in hong kong and london. you're watching "world business today." >> let's stay with egypt. day three finds that country getting back to work. over the weekend thousands of people put away their banners and signs and got shovels and brooms to clean up cairo's tahrir square, the site of their victory over hosni mubarak. egypts new military rulers have suspended the constitution and dissolved parliament. they're promising civilian rule in six months or as soon as elections can be held. but some opposition armies warn
if people are unresponsive, there could be more demonstrations like those that finally toppled president mubarak on friday. on sunday bank employees and police officers hit the streets demanding higher wages. at one point entrances to egypt's national bank were blocked. the bank's chairman and two of his top deputies resigned, but both the national bank and stock exchange are set to reopen, but not until wednesday. so how will international investors react to the delayed openings? we're joined now from cnn abu dhabi. presumably they'll be disappointed things won't get back to normal straight away. >> there certainly will be, charles. there are two reasons. you mention eed one of them is because the workers were striking. the other reason, charles, is it's a holiday, and that's a
reason bangs won't reopen until wednesday. they realize there's a transitional government. investors are very aware of that. but what they do want to see, chals, is certainly and some form of continuity and they won't be happy if the banks periodically shut and open like this. we'll have to see if that happens. egypt has enormous potential, strategic location between east and west. investors definitely want to tap into that. but they, of okay, want to see the political situation settle first charles. >> clearly we're into a new era for egypt, but economically there's still a lot of unfinished business. what are the challenged facing the next government? >> well, job creation, firstly, charles. that's why people have been on the streets. creating jobs is in egypt, not only egypt, but across the world
for that matter. the reason it's so urgent here is because such a huge number of people are entering the workforce, like 60% of the population is under the age of 25. jobs are scarce. cost of living high. they can't figure out how they're going to afford to live. now, in the middle east the majority of jobs have been coming from the public sector, which is a problem for two reasons, charles. firstly, it's a huge burden on the states. secondly, there just aren't enough jobs. so governments in this region have to realize they need to tap into the private sector. there's been a mass push for policies to encourage the private sector, small and medium-sized enterprises to be the engines of job creation. so the next government will have to consider that. it will be interesting to see, charles, if they continue on that path. now, the government previously was actually on that path. before this crisis began, they were creating a business climate conducive to international investors.
in 2004 the government launched a series of economic reforms, privatizing institutions, slashing corporate taxes, liberalizing trade and as a result we saw egypt attract more atlanta $49 billion of foreign investment over the last four or five years. and, again, charles, it will be interesting to see if the next government continues some of these policies going forward. >> well, despite of all of those reforms, leone, in me ways egypt follows the pattern of a lot of developing economies. it's been very distorted because there are a lot of state subsidies. is this something which, again, we can see being tackle and how important is it to tackle it? >> well, charles, state subsidies, about a quarter of egypt's budgets are spent on o subsidies so that means subsidies for food, for fuels. and given this was a populous movement, they're unlikely to reduce those subsidies any time
soon. so as we've mentioned the cost of living is high, food prices are high, the government is unlikely to reduce any of those subsidies and they won't go down any time soon. the reason that's important is say, for instance, egypt wants to launch some kind of stimulus plan, going forward with the euro bank or imf for that matter, if they to do that, then it becomes important to look at fiscal discipline and their budget deficit, charles. >> okay. one of the many improbables. lee oh lee oh knee, thank you. most of them posting modest gains have been losing ground during the unrest. let's take look at how the markets are performing right now starting in dubai.
the market there had been up and continues to be up by about a half of one percent. but as you say, the rest of the markets among jordan, kuwait, and saudi, stock exchanges down by a third percent. so there's certainly still caution in the middle eastern market today. it's a phone. it's also a whole lot more. why some people say this is like a play station in your pocket. we'll take a look.
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thick. it debuted on the eve of the me bowl annual conference in bars low know. the stock closing out by some 4% in seoul on monday. well, smartphones and tablet technology are front and senner of the this year's mobile conference in spain, and even though phones can do just about anything these days, this play is creating a lot of buzz. cnn caught up with sony ericsson at the conference in barcelona. we asked them why the device has been a long time coming. >> the graphics has to be very good to get the experience on this. even if the dream has been there a long time in industry, it's sort of a -- it takes some time to get it to work because as you know if you launch and you don't have the system, this phone is nothing without o game publishers. there's over 50 games from day
one, very exciting games. >> the xperia play will debut next month. norberg hopes it will bring big things to the new company. >> it's a door opener. we started april of last year. we have taken 14% market share in nine months and still counting. it's getting used to working with us some of when we do introduce it we'll break into a new customer. it can help our total sales. >> be sure to stay with us for the hottest phone technology. they'll be in barcelona all week. >> yes. a story we've been following very closely here on "world business today" for months now. commodity prices and the rise of them, rising right around the gloep. we'll be taking a look at the likely consequences of this as we begin our year-long series,
hodson. >> and i'm andrew stevens. welcome back. you're watching "world business today." let's bring you back around to what's going on on the european stock markets. they're now 92 minutes into the trading day. higher dramatically show. banking stocks like strata are taking the lead, but not too much. decent gains. up 11%, andrew.
>> the nikkei in tokyo was up and up pretty strongly as well, by over 1%. that came despite news of japan's economy actually contracted in the fourth quarter of 2010. investors took haerkts though, that the contraction wasn't as bad as had been expected. japanese exporters were high today because the yen weakened. construction stocks lead in the gains in shanghai. china also announcing a trade surplus which narrowed in january as imports grew, and australia's main benchmark higher among the mining and banking stocks. >> well, now that it's had the weekend to mull it over, how will wall street respond to the fall of egyptian president hosni mubarak? that's one of the things investors are pondering following his resignation and disappearance from the political scene. in the meantime a lot of numbers are out on the financial front this week. here's a preview.
>> president barack obama unveils his budget plan this week. i'm alison kosik at the new york stock exchange. with so much attention on the exploding deficit in the u.s., president obama is expecting to cut many of the programs he supports like community development and conservation. the big question is whether he'll offer cuts to three huge entitlement programs, medicare, medica medicaid, and social security. the president is also expected to call for a five-year freeze in non-security defense spending saving $4 billion over ten years. many in congress are calling for much more steeper cuts that the president is expected to propose. retail numbers are expected to come out. they're expected to be higher. later we'll get a reading on inflation, housing starts and index of indicators. topping the industry is dell and comcast and japanese car
mitsubishi announced it will build a plant in the state of tennessee. nissan already has a plant in that state. that's a look ahead at the week in business news. i'm alison kosik in new york. today cnn launches a year-long series, one that affects us all. reports indicate that a wiej range of commodities rose in price by more than 40% last year. there are fears that stockpiles of commodities anything from kohn to coal will be insufficient don't meet demand. it only stalled the crisis that began in 2008 when the uniunite nations said food prices jumped 200% in that year. jim boden looks back at 2008 and
compares it with recent price spikes. >> reporter: think back to july, 2008 before lee man bros. and interest rates were slashed, before the breathtaking economic crisis. crude oil was pushing to $147 a barrel, transportation costs were priced. speculations were blamed as were crops used for biofuels. >> they had it all together, demand is soaring. supply has been cut back. food has been converted into the gas tank. >> reporter: it wasn't just fuel in '508. soy doubled, and rice. riots broik out in haiti, the island coast. >> we have two problems, energy problem and a food problem. there are some relations to that. >> reporter: add to that soaring
metal prices thanks to the building boon from spain to china. but by christmas 2008 stock markets had plunged, banks failed, house prices collapsed, and oil had crashed to below $35 a barrel. now three years on, oil on the u.s. market is hovering around $90, but the demand for oil again on the rise. capacity will have to keep up. if not -- >> when that spare capacity figure starts to fall down, the longer tier speculatives start to think, well, hold it a second, maybe 80 to $85, $90 a barrel isn't a long-term oil price and we've gotten into the situation of $100-plus in the median term. >> reporter: last year's fires, this year's floods and a cold winter has been tough on residents and consumers, but not
o on commodity prices. still, 2011 is very different than 2008. unemployment has soared. governments are cutting public sector jobs, cuttinging social welfare payments and in many places raising taxes. what's not different, violence. >> you see people protesting because poor people are more than 50% sometimes, even 70% of their income for food. and if the price is double, naturally you imagine the hardship on them. >> reporter: prices, the trigger perhaps for something much more profound. with tunisia and egypt just be the beginning. cnn, london. well, one commodity future's area that is soaring to historic heights is cotton.
remains robust. cotton prices hit a record high on friday, surging above $1.90 a pochbltd in the week ending february 3rd, u.s. cotton shipments jumped 26% from the year before. prices have more than doubles in the last year, due in large part to adverse weather. andrew. >> and there's certainly been no shortage of that around the world. stay with us. we'll have more from the world of business. just ahead -- >> they say they would wish they would disappear from the world of business travel. will passengers like these find themselves grounded? more for their money.
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beyond the borders here. you're watching the lion dance here as they make their way through hong kong cnn newsroom. you saw a glimpse there of the wbt team at their news conferen conference. this is traditionally formed and formed for many years in hong kong to bring good luck and good fortune to the office. hopefully the lion dance might be this year. welcome back to "world business today." there are new accusations with reliance investigations. cnn producer joins us now from our new delhi bureau with what's going on. they're being deeply and very vocally critic of its rivals in the telecom senator. why are they doing this? >> it's the subject of a probe
related to what probably is a bitter scandal to evict the country so far. be it the political sectors and housing scams. they're trying to put up the best possible defense as investigators escalate and market sent meants dip. no one knows where the next shoe will fall. andrew? >> you told me about market sentiment being affected there. certainly this is a fascinating case for the characters involved. it's controlled by one of india's richest men. s he jurks it's had an effect of knocking his share in price, harmeet. are these two related?
>> yesterday a group didn't name, but it did reference to wait calls the operators and he blame them for what's happening there in the company's stocks. but the timing of the statement is very key. it follows last week's plunge. and the company and the group blame them on market rumors. but legal exposure as we speak to them says, you know, this is the best possible way to put um some strong defense in order to revive market sentiments and bring back investor confidence. andrew? >> certainly a very public specter, harmeet. the group of companies bringing their results out, i believe it's today. what can we expect? how have they been performing? it's difficult to give a prediction here at the moment,
but when we talk about telecommunications company, shares of telecommunications companies has increased and been under pressure because of the investigation. this is the case that investors are worried. so the basic thing is the investors and domestic investors are nervous. also we're seeing that foreign institution investors have withdrawn from india. this has gone very far in the business as well. andrew? >> harmeet, thank you very much for the update. harmeet singh joining was a story that's captured the attention of investors and everyone alike in india because of such high-profile personalities involved. charles. now, is the romance of travel dead, possibly long dead or actually still alive?
well, the fact is that flyers face long cues, long lines, invasive security checks, delays. one of the biggest gripes or concerns is sharing the skies with noisy children. we have more on what all the fuss is about. >> reporter: the love affair is over. no frills, just frustration. with long cues, increased security, and lusting over those who can still afford to turn left. according to the international airport transport association, global premium traffic was up 9.6% last november. noisy children came top in a survey conducted by the business travel & meetings show. some went as far as suggesting
adult-only cabins. >> they should have come out a few years ago. >> i think there ee a market there certainly. >> i think it's a bit of nonsense. >> if you're on an adult-only, you can concentrate. >> you can arrive fresh without 14 hours of screaming all the way. i don't know. maybe as a choice as opposed to force. i understand force means somebody can pay extra for, yeah, i'd pay extra. >> reporter: whether in business class or not, we've all experienced noisy children on planes. and noisy adults. >> the reall is they're all dealing with much bigger issues than that such as trying to get through airport security in good shape, the content frag mentation that's going on. that basically means people are getting different fares from all over the place, different systems on the internet, unbundling so not knowing what a total cost of a trip is, immigration, taxes.
you know, there's all sorts of massive issues people are dealing with other than children. >> adult-only cabin may be only one wish that came true. with airlines showing no interest in pan dering to this whim. after all, business travelers are called road warriors for a reason. they put their hands up and share premium space in the air. speaking as one who's traveled with my own infant on long haul flights it's not fun and i reckon the adults-only could actually take off. let's keep on the business traveler's front. let's go to the global picture of the weather karen maginnis. do you have a view on this? >> i'm married to an airline pilot and have spent a lot of time on airplanes and the
preference would be adults only. it is a handful either way. let's show you what's happening as we look across the korean peninsula and for japan. the weather system that produced all that heavy snowfall all across korea, south korea is pushing on. as it does, pushing behind it gusty winds. we receive as much as 10 centimeters of snowfall across this northeastern section of south korea. earlier when i checked some of these airport delays, they were a little more significant, especially out of tie pay and hong kong. cloud cover and gusty winds. it looks like that has calmed down with most of those delays, moderate to maybe 45 minutes to an hour. arctic air plagues st. petersburg. much milder across the south central and western sections of europe, but occasional showers for london, also a few showers right around paris, extending
into barcelona, madrid, and also lisbon. delays are going to be most significant in stockholm and copenhagen is looking at 45 minute delays because of gusting winds. this cyclone has made landfall. supporting winds now are weakening just a little bit as this does make landfall. rings out across northwestern sections of madagascar. could produce up to 300 millimeters of rainfall. andrew. >> karen, thanks very much for that and i'll take your word on the screaming infants. thanks for that. well, we should. be talking about things like that because today is february 14th, which, of course, means valentine's day. it also means chocolates, balloons, and roses as lovers find the perfect gift at what cost. we break down the numbers. you may be surprised.
well, it's valentine's day, and love is in the air and cash is pouring out of people's wallets and into tills and store and restaurants. check out this number. $18 billion. that's how much is expected that americans alone, not the rest of us, will spend today. that breaks down to $125 per person for cards, flowers, presents and the like and i suppose restaurant meals. 's up 6% from last year, a sign that perhaps not only is romance blooming in these hard times, but maybe it also suggestsing that the economy is doing a little better. what do you say, andrew? >> i'll have to agree with that. as you say, valentine's day is upon us. let's break down that sl billion just a little bit. some of you will still be looking for roses at your local flower stand, but how much does a dozen roses actually cost?
we take a look in a very unscientific survey. let's start in beijing. a local flowershop is selling a dozen roses for just $15. not too bad. you can buy 999 roses for $1,500. 999. switching across to london, the up-market department story, a dozenen roses will coast between 58 and $96. it all depends on the color, red is most expensive. the store did confirm it goes up as we get closer to february 14th. surprise, surprise, i think not. let's switch across to jakarta if we can. i can't use this machine. a dozen rosers, $60. pink is the preferred color. indonesia is muslim so
valentine's day is not celebrated by most people. moving on to cube ba, $27. doesn't sound like much, but that's the most expensive place. it's more than one month's play. most cubans take home just $20 a month. most cubans are up for a cheaper alternative, not surprising. they give a few pink gladioli. a correspondent says he knows of only go place that sell roses. a dozenen bought there would cost you $40. if you want the real bargain,ing go to kenya. a major rose producer. no surprise that a dozen roses is just $1.30. so the price for love in kenya is the cheapest there is, charles. let's have a look at the stock markets here in europe. we are looking at slight gains, nothing too exciting the last
time i looked. here we are two minuhours into section. xetra dax doing the best getting up by half a percent, andrew. certainly a big day for some markets particularly in shanghai. up by 2.5%. hong kong also rallying. it's been down. miserable last we've. the nikkei up despite latest news showing the economy contracted in the year's most recent corner. but generally as you see it, pretty strong stuff. you've been worlding "world business today." thanks for joining us. i'm andrew stevens in hong kong. >> i'm charles hodson in london. "world one" is coming up. >> here's some of the stories we're working on right now. egypt's military leaders lay down the law after a few