tv World Business Today CNN December 21, 2011 4:00am-5:00am EST
you. >> thanks for having me. thank you. piers. thank you for having me. thank you. >> well, that's all for us tonight. hello, i'm monita rajpal at cnn london. we are seeing reports that the young man billed as the great successor to north korea's kim jong-il could have to share power, the reuters news agency is reporting. sources close to pyongyang and beijing say the secretive state will now be ruled under a collective arrangement between kim jong-un, one of his uncles and the military. demonstrators gathered in cairo for a million-women march tuesday in response to video surfacing of a woman being stripped and beaten by security forces. the king of spain will swear in the country's prime
minister-elect in an hour's time. conservatives dominated elections in november, and the party leader won the approval of parliament on tuesday. rajoy has promised tough budget cuts and economic reforms that he says are needed to head off another recession. those are the top stories from cnn. i'm monita rajpal. "world business today" starts right now. s good morning from cnn london, i'm nina dos santos. >> good afternoon. i'm pauline chu. this is "world business today." anger on the shop floor of the world. there's growing unrest in one of china's most important economic hubs. spain's new prime minister has an in-trade pact with problems. top of the list, getting the economy back on track. and here's hoping your christmas gifts don't arrive
like this. express delivery that's a little bit too rushed like you've never seen before. but we start in china where tens of thousands of people in a key economic area of southern china are rebelling against their local government. in the small fishing village of wukan, a tense standoff appears to be easing slightly. residents held talks with government officials earlier to try to defuse the situation there following vie lent protests over land rights and a village held under siege. protesters had threatened to march on local government offices today, but in the past few hours, chinese officials reportedly agreed to release three protest leaders so that march was canceled. meanwhile, about a 90-minute drive along the coast to the east in the town of haimen, tens of thousands of people are demonstrating their opposition to a coal-fired power plant and also plans for another plant. up to 30,000 residents who claim that power plant is polluting the water and damaging their
livelihood occupied a public highway in a bid to get their voices heard, and they were indeed heard. and the police moved in with tear gas there. both haimen and wukan were censored for a time on china's equivalent of twitter. social media users were met with a message saying the results cannot be displayed. cnn's eunice yoon has been following these stories from beijing, and she joins us live now. eunice, what's happening now in both of these situations? >> reporter: well, pauline, the authorities have responded in both of these cases. in haimen, the authorities told us they decided to suspend plans for the second power plant in wukan. the authorities say they've been able to work out a deal with protest organizers to basically meet the protesters' demands. the villagers said that the authorities have agreed to release the three imprisoned
villagers. the authorities also said that they would return the body of one dead protest leader to the family. and they also said that they would recognize the villagers' own elected leaders. these were the three main demands of the villagers, and now they're all being met by the authorities. the government authorities also said that they would be setting up a working committee in order to work out some of the land disputeds which really triggered the protests to begin with. so we're seeing a lot of cooperation on the part of the government authorities and the villagers on their part said this afternoon that they were quite encouraged by what they were seeing. in fact, they started taking down the barriers and the blockades around the village, and they also said that they would cooperate with the government authorities in order to try to work out what they believe would be a more fair land deal. pauline? >> eunice, as we mentioned, for a time both protests were
censored in social media. is it even mentioned in traditional chinese media, and how are protesters communicating with each other? >> reporter: well, protesters are communicating with each other just within their own villages as you would. of course, just through word of mouth. however, from village to village, the protesters are mainly hearing about other demonstrations online. what happens is that for a period of time, a protest will break out the information, the photos spill out onto the internet, and then the government censors come in and block out key phrases like haimen or wukan. but there is that period of time, that window when protesters and villagers in one place will hear about a situation in another. and, of course, that really taps into the fears of higher-level authorities. china sees tens of thousands of protests every single year. but most of these incidents are
isolated. so what they've always feared here is the possibility of a coordination among protesters. and so it was really interesting with the wukan situation was that we saw the top leaders sending in a very high-level provincial official to go into wukan himself and sort out a deal with the villagers. pauline? >> and eunice, speaking of wukan, one issue is that suspicious death of a protester while he was in police custody. and his family has been asking for his body back. what's the latest there? >> reporter: well, he is going to be -- his body is going to be returned to his family. that's what the villagers told us that the authorities have agreed to. however, as you said, one of the key points and one of the reasons why these villagers were so angry was because of the dispute over the death of this protest leader. the authorities said that he died of a heart attack wile in police custody. however, the villagers all said
that he died of torture. so there's still a dispute. the family says that they're going to get the body back, but they want to make sure that the body isn't desecrated. they don't want to see an autopsy on this body because they feel that it's disrespectful to the dead. pauline? >> all right, eunice, thank you very much for the update on both of those protests there. we want to give you a bigger picture of this region. guangdong is one of china's most dynamic and vibrant provinces meaning unrest is of great concern to officials. one of the biggest economies in china, guangdong is less reliant on beijing than other provinces. it boasts china's largest gdp by province boosted by an extensive manufacturing industry and is also home to china's first designated special economic zone. nina? pauline, let's go straight to the stock market action. it's been shaping up to be a pretty decent markets overall with most of the markets in asia having closed higher. when it comes to europe, it
seems as though the markets got off to a positive start where i am. we'll have full details on opening numbers and closing numbers depending on where you are on the planet in a moment's time. first, a story that could well blow those european markets well off course. >> nina, this is definitely a story that market watchers will have an eye on. ratings agency moody's has issued a warning on britain's worsening public finances and dismal growth outlook. now, moody's stopped short of changing its stable outlook on the uk's aaa credit rating, but it says the country's top-notch rating now has, quote, a reduced ability to absorb further macroeconomic orifi fiscal shoc without rating implications. moody's reaction seems unlikely to create reaction in france although britain's finances are in much worse shape than their own.
france's rating is likely to be downgraded in a few days. they refer often to the ratings on the bonds. of course, they have a huge impact on the stock markets. broadly speaking, though, we still seem to be holding on to positive territory. european stocks for the first hour of trading, as you can see, up to the tune of about 0 .25%. europe is following on the back of tuesday's rally for the united states markets. we've also heard news when it comes to the european central bank holding its first long-term refinancing operation. and that means it allows banks to take three-year loans using a wider variety of collateral just to give that banking system across europe a bit of a boost and helping hand. it is a number of the banking stocks that are underpinning the kind of gains we're seeing on these markets. the ecb's operation will be easing their borrowing costs. it could give things a bit of a boost for the longer term because we've only got another three trading days left of this
particular week. pauline? and nina, you did touch on the asian markets a little earlier, and you're right, most of them closed higher except for the shanghai composite by the end of the session. let's take a look at the hang seng. it's up by just under 2%. trading is lighter because of the upcoming holidays, but the hang seng gained on resource-related stocks because of higher commodity prices. shares surged more than 6% on the news that it has been removed from a u.s. government black list of notorious markets. and new figures show that japanese exports fell 4 .5% in november as a result of weakening demand from europe and also the flooding in thailand as well as a stronger yen. but still the nikkei ended the session up by about 1.5% and the main aussie benchmark up by more than 2%. well, this was the scene at the tokyo offices of olympus a little bit earlier today. police, prosecutors and regulatory officials raided olympus's headquarters and other sites like some executives'
homes as part of an investigation into a multibillion-dollar accounting scandal that has threatened the company's very survival. olympus has admitted it fraudulently hid investment losses for about two decades. and narrowly avoided being ejected from the tokyo stock exchange just last week. the company's share price has taken a beating since former ceo michael woodford blew the wli e whistle on the scandal and was dismissed in october. olympus's stock has lost almost half of its value and has fallen a further 1.4% so far today. pauline, let's just circle back now onto the rally that we were talking about earlier on the show that took place on tuesday on wall street. stocks took tuesday -- it took really -- took off for some of these markets thanks in particular to business optimism in germany, yumpeurope's larges economy but also signs of strengthening in the u.s.
housing market. home construction in america is now at a 19-month high, and new building permits also on the rise. and at the close, as you can see, we saw gains of around 3% right across the board for these markets. well, in the u.s., the main indices seems are on course for a higher open when trading gets under way later on on wednesday in about 4 1/2, 5 hours from now. here's how things are looking. we've got the likes of the dow futures up by .62%, buzz the t e nasdaq after oracle's downbeat statement yesterday. pauline? well, coming up on "world business today," nina, we'll go to europe and look at the challenges facing spain's new prime minister. chief among them, pulling his country out of its deep economic crisis. more in just a moment. sarah, will you marry me?
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welcome back. here's some of the other top business stories that we're following today. international airlines flying in and out of the european union may soon be hit with a new carbon tax, a tax on carbon emissions, rather. the eu's highest court is expected to uphold the proposal when it meets later today. the u.s. had challenged the first ruling back in october, questioning the legality of the pollution charges. china and india also opposed this plan which would go into effect on january 1st. speaking of taxes, the financial falt of roughly 160 million americans is in limbo after congress failed to reach an agreement tuesday about extending the payroll tax cut. at present this particular tax cut is set to expire in less than two weeks from now. democrats in the senate want the house republicans to pass a two-month extension. this would buy time for legislators but payroll processes say it would be too difficult to implement. at the moment, it's quite hard
to say what will happen because congress is adjourned for the holidays. piers morgan was the latest to take the stand in the uk's ongoing investigation into phone hacking and the ethics of the british press. morgan denied knowing of any hacking at the "daily mirror" during his tenure there as editor. the inquiry pressed him particularly hard on a voice mail message he admitted to hearing of paul mccartney apologizing to then-wife heather mills. >> i'm not going to discuss where i heard it or who played it to me for the reasons i've discussed. i don't think it's right. and in fact, the inquiry has already stated to me, don't expect me to identify sources. >> no, but i think we do expect you to identify what is obvious to anyone reading it is that you listened to a tape of the voice mail message, is that correct? >> i listened to a tape of a message, yes. >> but it was a voice mail message, wasn't it? >> i believed it was, yes.
>> and we should point out that morgan currently hosts an interview program right here on cnn. he criticized the inquiry for ignoring the good things the tabloid accomplished. >> it's just gone how i thought it would, which it becomes almost like a rock star having an album brought out from the back catalog of all of his worst-ever hits. and i do feel still very proud of a lot of the very good stuff that both did in my tenure as editor. >> and also on tuesday, the publisher of the now-defunct "now's of the world" announced that a subsidiary had settled with seven people who accused the newspapers of phone hacking. ni nina? pauline, in spain, a new prime minister is set to be sworn in within the next hour, ending almost eight years of socialist party rule. this man, mariano rajoy will
take over after a swearing-in ceremony on wednesday morning. mr. rajoy was elected on promises of fixing spain's dire economic problems, and those include an unemployment rate that stands at more than 20% as well as the fallout from the bursting of the property and credit bubbles in the country. mr. rajoy has his work cut out ahead of him, but those expecting to put an immediate end to their economic pain, let's go now live to madrid where we can join cnn's al goodman. >> reporter: rajoy is less than an hour from officially taking power. he'll be sworn in in the presence of the king. but after winning the divestiture vote, he got a call from president barack obama of the united states, underscoring the american commitment to spain's economic reforms, according to the white house. now, that as you say will be the
prime priority for mr. rajoy. he has said that himself. and he has got a huge list of challenges. we've been out on the streets. here's a look at some of them. let's take a listen. >> reporter: rajoy won a landslide election last month, and then he begged the markets to give him more than half an hour to bee fixing their problems. among them, to restore confidence in spain's public finances. he's met with u.s. treasury secretary timothy geithner, angela merkel, french president nicolas sarkozy. speaking to european conserve tv leaders in france, he laid out his goals. >> translator: we need to lower the risk of our sovereign debt, make a structural reforms to promote growth and competitiveness, stimulate savings and increase our exports. >> reporter: and get bank credit flowing to businesses and
families, he added. a daunting list especially when more than one-fifth of spaniards are out of work. in madrid, vendors don't expect any quick fixes. carlos guadalupe has had a re restaurant for 17 years, but he says business is down 20% since the crisis hit. >> translator: this will take time. it's not going to be overnight. it could take months, many months, and maybe longer. >> reporter: economists say rajoy's first priority will be -- >> step number one, confidence. get the markets to believe in you so that you can make sure that you have access to financing and you can cut the cost of that financing. >> reporter: the new prime minister is not expected to have a problem here at spanish parliament. his conservative party has a commanding majority and can pass any law it wants. the question is, how ordinary spaniards will react. since may, protests have spread across spain as the previous socialist government began implementing budget cuts.
there's more austerity to come under rajoy. and one protest leader who just won a seat in parliament has this warning for the new prime minister. >> translator: inequality and poverty are on the rise. the streets will get a lot more agitated. >> reporter: plenty for rajoy's cabinet to contemplate at its first meeting on friday. nina, before he can get these deep reforms going, he's got to have a government, and that's expected to be announced later this day by himself in the prime minister's compound. he's held this as a closely guarded secret. the markets, of course, are watching to see who will be the economy minister. but a lot of questions still remain before he can actually get this machine going to try to clean up spain's economy. nina? >> okay, al goodman there joining us in madrid, many thanks for that. pauline. well, christmas is on its way, and some places are bracing for colder than average temperatures. we'll tell you where.
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this busy travel days. how's it looking so far? >> i'm going to start with the good news. actually it's for nina and all the way in the west because britain, ireland, france, spain and portugal are going to see warmer conditions than average, especially for the holidays, for christmas. but the east is where the problem is. we're going to see snow in greece, definitely in bulgaria. the alpine region with a lot of snow, even southern parts of italy may see snow. you see what's going on in here? it's getting much better. and the good note is that temperatures are rebounding. they're going to be above average, believe it or not, over there. now, all of those from the alps, germany, poland, the czech republic, all the way to russia, it's going to be very, very cold. well, let me tell you also what's going on in asia because i see that conditions are not that bad so far. but the cooling trend continues. of course, we're now talking about the southeast asian
sections in the south. i'm talking about china all the way up to the north. let's take now the beauty shot of hong kong. so 21 degrees right now, some clouds. the sun there, it's going to warm up 21 degrees is not that bad, but you know what? it seems that this year santa will have to brave the cold in hong kong. we may see the coldest christmas since 1984 when the mercury dropped to eight degrees back then. this time it will not be that dramatic. nevertheless, cold by hong kong standards with 11 degrees on christmas there and 10 the following day. the cold weather may keep some people indoors. for those who are planning to get out, there will be plenty of options to move around hong kong as the mtr subway services are extending services overnight. the three main bus operators are also adding almost 20 additional routes during the night of christmas eve.
so the options are there. the situation is going to be fine. you're going to have fun. and as you see, we are at 21 degrees right now. there's going to be a change, no doubt, in hong kong. well, you stay with cnn because after the break, we have the top stories, guangdong province in china. this is cnn.
today." let's recap our top story now. unrest in the chinese industrial heartland of guangdong province. in haiman, tens of thousands are demonstrating in opposition of a coal-fired power plant and plans for another. they claim it's polluting water and damaging their livelihoods. and a short distance down the east coast in wukan, after months of unrest following what villagers claim are illegal land grabs, life appears to be returning to normal. in fact, protesters and authorities agreed just this morning that three villagers will be released. they had been protesters. and also the body of a man who died in police custody will be returned to his family. and the local government will recognize the villagers committee. so some concessions there, nina. yeah, let's look at how the european markets are faring, if we double back and come back to the equity side of the equation here in europe. holding on to some of those
gains. in fact, adding to them if you take a look at france. that market is up and pushing higher. what we've got going on today is a bit of a bounce for some of the banks. on the other hand, we do have a little weakness for some of the technology stocks like, for instance, s.a.p. in germany largely on the back of a downbeat statement that we had from technology giant oracle overnight. >> yes. we'll have a little more on oracle later. let's look at the asian markets and how they wrapped up the session today. it was mostly in positive territory except for the shanghai composite. again, the same story as yesterday, the composite lost some early gains and ended down in negative territory. but it was really the exporters that made gains today. in the hang seng, it was resource-related stocks that really lifted the hang seng there because of higher prices on commodities. and most of these indices that ended in positive territory were really playing off some of that good data that you're about to
tell us about, nina, coming out of the u.s. and also out of germany. yeah. now, these kind of figures had a real impact on the u.s. markets, pauline. if you double back and look at how things finished on wall street yesterday, well, markets rallied on the back of good news coming out of europe. as you were saying, better than expected figures when it comes to germany, also better than expected u.s. housing data. felicia taylor is at the new york stock exchange now with a roundup. >> stocks posted big gains on tuesday with the blue chips recouping all of monday's losses and most of last week's as well. positive headlines out of europe helped lift sentiment including rising business confidence in germany and a decent bond auction in spain. but volume remains light as many investors have already closed their books on 2011. so electronic trading is having a bigger impact on the market. and that could mean increased volatility over the next few weeks. as for tuesday, the dow industrials jumpled 337 points to 12,103. the nasdaq gained nearly 3.25%.
the s&p was almost almost 3%. also, a report showing new home construction in the u.s. rose more than 9% in november. that's the highest level in 19 months. permits for future building also rose. and both numbers were better than expected. but while they're encouraging signs for the housing market, we've still got a long way to go until we see a full recovery. arguably, the most important housing report is due out wednesday, that's november's count of existing home sales. analysts expect a rise from october. the report is closely watched because sales of previously owned homes account for about 90% of the overall market in the u.s. that's a wrap of the day on wall street. i'm felicia taylor in new york. well, in the u.s., the main -- in the united states, the main indices are heading for a slightly higher open when trading gets under way later on in about 4 1/2 hours from now. what we're seeing in terms of premarket action is a number of these indices up to the tune of
about 0.4% in terms of the futures action. one of the questions here, as felicia taylor was just saying, is that volumes really are quite light. so it doesn't take an awful lot to get these markets moving. and as she was saying, a number of the traders have already closed their books on this year. currently we can't show you that graphic, pauline, but take my word for it, last time we looked, some of these markets were up to the tune of 0.4%. >> okay, we do, indeed. we've got big deals to tell you about, a whopper of a deal, it's a real estate one to tell you about. the 22-year-old daughter of a russian billionaire is buying a new york condominium for a record $88 million. that's right. "forbes" magazine says the condo is at 15 central park west which is one of the ritziest addresses in manhattan. it now belongs to ekaterina who is apparently studying at a university in the u.s.
so this is much more luxurious than a dorm room, of course. it has ten rooms, more than 600 square meters and includes terrace views of central park. and nina, this story got us buzzing here in the newsroom, so we pulled out the tape measure. and we realized this 22-year-old's kocondominium is bigger than our entire newsroom here in hong kong. >> talk about aiming for the sky. if that's where you start, who knows where you're going to finish? >> exactly. silicon valley heavyweight fails to shine, and investors aren't too pleased. we'll look at those famed oracle second quarter earnings we've been talking about. we'll also tell you how they played out in the markets. that's next. se ] i'm a hospice nurse. britta olsen is my patient. i spend long hours with her checking her heart rate, administering her medication, and just making her comfortable. one night britta told me about a tradition in denmark, "when a person dies," she said,
estimates on tuesday. and that sent its share price into a tailspin. it fell almost 9% in after-hours trade, having closed at $29.17 on the nasdaq on tuesday which was a rise of almost 2% during normal trading hours. the company reported earnings of $2.2 billion in the three months to the end of november. that was a rise of 17% on the same period last year but still fell short of expectations which raised question marks over the health, the general health, of the technology sector. well, there certainly aren't any doubts of the health of the technology sector in berlin. it's quickly becoming the place for innovative start-up companies. these new businesses are attracted to the city's affordable living costs as well as creative talent. as other reporter reports, even silicon valley is starting to take notice. >> reporter: wherever you go, one tech start-up tends to look
much like another. young people, giant screens, casual clothes, generally in some bright, airy loft space. and berlin's plentiful loft locations are right now full of them. sound sharing platform sound cloud is the poster child of this booming scene, brushed with star power after hollywood actor ashton kutcher decided to invest. >> i think over the past two or three years, berlin has gone totally bananas. like there's so much going on. and we see investors opening offices here as well. we see a lot more investors coming through. >> reporter: swiss-born christophe was the lead investor and was last month named financial angel of the year in the start-up awards. >> the interesting element is that we have a combination here of, you know, the german ability to execute and this creativity that you can find in the city.
and frankly, that is actually attracting capital from the traditional start-up hubs. >> reporter: german venture capital firm early bird has just opened an office in berlin, the first major one to do so. >> we see lots of what we call real true innovations originals whereas in the past i think there have been lots of examples which were more or less copycats of basic innovations which took place in the u.s. >> reporter: one of those new originals in early bird's view is social betting platform crowd park. 3,000 crowd park credits. >> yes. >> reporter: a big spender. >> now i can share it. >> reporter: the co-founder says berlin's creative buzz means talented youngsters from all around the world are looking for opportunities here. >> it's really easy to acquire
new talent because the city is really exciting. it's an interesting place to live in. the cost for living is quite low compared to other big capitals in europe. and the standards for living especially what you are offered on the cultural basis is really, really great. >> reporter: at a time when jobs in europe's traditional industries are harder and harder to come by, as credit across the continent dries up, some of europe's sharpest young minds are focused on berlin. watch this space. cnn, berlin. whether shopping for yourself this holiday season or someone else, this next individuvideo may make you cringe but take a look anyway. it's pretty unbelievable. home surveillance footage captured this fedex delivery man walking up to a house with a computer monitor in that pack e package. and instead of knocking on the door, he just chucks the package over a fence.
the contents which was a brand-new computer monitor didn't fare too well and was broken in the end. of course, the unhappy fedex recipient says he was fed up. so he posted this video to youtube on monday. and it's already gone viral with more than 1.7 million views there. now, a fedex spokesperson did respond saying, quote, we have seen the video, is and frankly, we were all shocked. we have i.d.'ed the employee involved, and he is being handled according to our internal disciplinary policies. nina, i realize these delivery people have this holiday rush, but i guess they don't read that part of the pox that says "handle with care." >> yeah. you've got to wonder what they do with other presents, right? because a tv monitor or computer monitor must be among some of the most fragile items you could be receiving at this time of year. in any case, it's the time of year for reflection as well. but brooklyn brewery boss steve hindi is thinking about the
future. who will take the reins? that's next on "the boss" when we come back. it's probably totaled. the good news is, you don't have to pay your deductible. with vanishing deductible from nationwide insurance, you got $100 off for every year of safe driving, so now your deductible is zero. the other good news ? i held on to your coffee. wow. ♪ nationwide is on your side ( laughing ) it's actually a pretty good day when you consider. that's great.
also finding time for some fe festive fun. time now for "the boss." >> reporter: previously on "the boss" -- the chairman knows best. francis lui tells us why speaking up has brought up success. >> i think i do know what local customers would like to have. and this is why sometimes i am not afraid to be outspoken to my staff to tell them what i want. >> reporter: and in new york, a brooklyn dulce vita. steve hindy with a bet on italian beer. >> we've done several collaborations with european breweries, but we came up with the idea here of the natural joint venture. ♪ >> reporter: in new york city, brooklyn brewery president steve hindy is greeting employees and their families at his company's holiday party.
>> good to see you, tom. notes notes ♪ >> reporter: the choice of food at this year-end event, mouth watering. and the beer of choice, what else, brooklyn beer, fresh from the barrel. as the party gains steam, steve looks back at the strong growth achieved this year. >> the projection was 20%. and the outside goal, meaning like the shoot the moon goal, was 32%. and we're going to beat that by a percent or two. >> reporter: 2011 has been an eventful year for this boss with a major expansion at the company plant. >> this is a total thrill. this is a total turn-on to be expanding your brewery and to be catching up with demand that's out there. >> reporter: a year of new product rollouts. >> 15% of our sales are export now. and it's growing every year.
>> reporter: and in the fall, a key decision to raise prices. >> if we can increase our price by $1 a case across all brands, we'd be able to meet the $3 million in extra costs we're going to have next year. >> reporter: as the brooklyn brewery bids farewell to 2011 -- >> justin, how you doing? >> reporter: steve is looking ahead to the next few years. where he'll cut his commitments to the company he co-founded back in 1987. >> within, i think, three or four years, you know, i'm not going to be there every day. i'll be available to these guys, you know, 24/7. and i'll probably be involved in association work. and i'll be involved in the industry. but, you know, i'm very confident i can step away from this. and it's going to continue to grow. >> reporter: the man he's chosen
to take over the reins, general manager eric and his brother, sales vp robin who have been with the company for 16 years. for steve, they're natural leaders who have the brewery's interests at heart. >> a week doesn't go by that somebody's not knocking on the door offering to buy us, invest in us, et cetera. and we really have no interest. you know, we're happy with our growth rate. >> it's a hell of a year. >> reporter: steve's choice of successor is a prime example of his management philosophy. >> if you're going to grow a company, you've got to bring in good people, and you've got to let them lead. you've got to give up the reins of power and let other people realize their dreams. >> reporter: the engines are revving. the drivers are focused.
and the crowds are in high spirits. this is macau's 58th grand prix. and here to see the action up close is francis lui, chairman of galaxy entertainment group. >> see that crowd over there? that's your team. >> the grand prix event is one of the major international events in macau every year, and it represents macau. and we want to be associated with this event because this is where we feel we are diversified, also supporting different forms of entertainment in macau, not just gaming. >> go, go, go! >> reporter: francis isn't just taken for the thrill. he's thrown some serious cash at this event, sponsoring two of the leading drivers. >> so happy that we have top drivers like you guys representing us. >> reporter: francis has never been one to settle for second best. and so to help him stay in pole position, he's partnered with
rr, a british racing team that's well positioned on the f3 leaderboard. >> are you confident? >> i have to be. >> i have to be, yes. it's a great racing team. it always brings good quality drivers. and this is why we want to be associated with them. with winners, winning in macau, which is a big deal for us. >> reporter: for francis, this is more than just entertainment. with his company logo on display, this is business. and here he's determined to take the checkered flag. >> this is a win/loss situation. we always talk about a winning situation. with a little bit of luck, we'll be winning again. >> reporter: next week in our last-ever episode of "the boss" -- >> sarah, the micromanager.
>> reporter: richard quest speaks to all our bosses, past and present. about the challenges of 2011 and what the new year has in store for them. that's next week on "the boss." u.s. companies may be losing a little bit of their christmas cheer. because a new survey has found fewer american businesses are holding holiday parties. in fact, they're down by the most in nearly 25 years. now, you can actually see the steady decline from a peak of about 95% of companies in 2006 holding christmas parties to just 74% for this year. the reasons? well, the companies surveyed who said that they're not hosting christmas parties this year, nearly half said that they had not actually factored the costs of holding one into their budget 37 and more than one-third said they would be inappropriate given the tough economic times we've got going. also, the other 19% said that
their employees just didn't care. i'm afraid to say, pauline, that's not the atmosphere we had at the cnn party here in london. we did have a christmas party, there was a huge turnout, and it was a hoot. >> excellent. we had ours here in hong kong at a nice little thai restaurant and had a sit-down meal. so we feel very lucky we were able to have one this year. >> and that's it for this edition of "world business today." thanks so much for joining us. i'm nina dos santos at cnn london. >> and i'm pauline chu here in hong kong. we'll see you in a couple of hours for the opening bell on wall street.