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tv   Business Briefing  BBC News  March 18, 2019 5:30am-5:46am GMT

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this is the business briefing. i'm ben bland. banking giants deutsche bank and commerz bank confirm they are in merger talks. a german labour union warns 30,000 jobs could be at risk. saudi arabia says opec has more work to do in reducing supply in the oil market to support prices, as global stockpiles are still rising. and on the markets, asian markets are up as optimism prevails over the china—us trade talks, while attention turns to the federal reserve‘s next policy meeting this week.
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it's been the talk in german financial circles for months. now it's out in the open. germany's two largest banks could become one. formal talks are to be held between deutsche bank and commerzbank. 0nce two of the mightiest lenders in the land, both have their problems and have found it hard to grow. combined, the two would cover a fifth of germany's high street banking business. a merger could result in massive cost savings, in particular by closing branches. the german union for the service sector, verdi, opposes the deal. it's warning that in a worst—case scenario, up to 30,000 jobs would be cut. deutsche bank stressed that any merger will not be rushed. it is important to us that we will only engage in a transaction if it makes economic sense and therefore it is his plan, a good integration
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plan and together with commerzbank we will evaluate this, go through due diligence and only when the results are they will we make a decision. saudi arabia has signalled that the club of oil producing countries, opec, may need to cut oil output even more in the second half of this year. global stockpiles are still rising despite harsh us sanctions on iran and venezuela — both major oil exporters. some energy ministers from opec and its allies, like russia, have met in azerbaijan ahead of a full meeting next month. they have an existing deal to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day to push prices up. they're keen to maintain the price of benchmark brent crude which has risen steadily since january. that's despite ongoing concerns about a slowing global economy that could mean less oil is needed. but the group meeting in baku also have to take account of the us. it's now the world's biggest oil producer at about 12 million barrels per day.
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president trump has also repeatedly called on opec to keep prices down. the picture is further complicated by venezuela, whose oil output has plunged over the last three years. things got even worse since the political crisis deepened injanuary in the country with the world's largest proven oil reserves. colin smith, executive director, oil and gas research, panmure gordonjoins me now. welcome to the business briefing. many factors that are affecting the price. which do you believe is the most significant? the cuts that have come from opec. they were due to cut 800 from an october baseline but production from opec has dropped 1.8 million barrels of which 800 have come from the members committed to cut and 1 million has come from some of those countries you mention that are struggling, iran, libya and
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venezuelan. we saw the graphs that outlined how the price has risen in january, since january. it is still not quite at the high levels that it was just a few years ago. you think it will ever get back to those levels or is it settling, is this the new normal? it's not too far away from the new normal. us production is rising sharply and that tells you that, actually, if the dynamics within the us work it is hard to see prices running a long way from there. one of the things that has pushed the asian stock market overnight has been renewed puritanism about the us and china getting closer to doing a trade deal. if that does happen, presumably that pushes the price of oilup presumably that pushes the price of oil up because people then assume more oil will be needed to ship goods around the world again. it may
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a bit but demand has been consistent over the last few years. the dynamics have been far more on the. i think there would be more optimism if we end up with a structured deal. it probably does not actually make that much difference to the price in the medium term. given that the united states is now the biggest oil producer, the biggest oil energy producer, the biggest oil energy producer in the world, can opec really have the same sort of influence? that club of countries. kennett have the same influence on the that it once did? —— can eat? —— can still have an influence? saudi arabia still want the entire group to be an active market participant. so although it is under threat somewhat from the us, i think for the moment it will still be quite influential. and how about this way that russia has? opec is keen to
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have russia working as part of the overall group. and that has been pa rt overall group. and that has been part of the dynamic of the last three years or so. i think russia will look after its own interests and they have been relatively slow to cut. india is the biggest market for messaging service whatsapp, which is owned by facebook, with more than 200 million customers. the company has been trying to move into the digital—payments space through its whatsapp pay feature. so what's holding up the official launch? devina gupta reports. a few swirls and a colourful confection of flowers appear on the cake. in her home in mumbai, she is mixing culinary dreams with technology. she is one of the 200
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million whatsapp users in india and the app doubles as a virtual assistant. she connects with her buyers here, shares photos and is 110w buyers here, shares photos and is now using a trial version of whatsapp page which allows customers to tra nsfer whatsapp page which allows customers to transfer money directly into her bank account. when a client comes in and, for example, they do not have cash or he or she says that they will do it later. ijust asked them to use this app. they are already locked in and they transfer money immediately. whatsapp says that a million customers are testing its technology and they want to reach kiosks like this one. the app was under scrutiny for the spread of fa ke under scrutiny for the spread of fake news last year and they had to delay the commercial launch of whatsapp pay as it hopes to overcome
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government regulation that mandates the payment data should be processed here in india. it is a crowded market. according to the central bank, mobile transactions group by over 85% last year, making the industry worth $200 billion. google, amazon and flip cards have already launched their payment apps. the biggest loser could be a chinese company. it is different to showing people content. you can say that i have many users and their use my content platform but that is different when you ask people to trust you with their money. so you need to make sure you earn the trust of people. back in mumbai, this woman is busy whipping up another cake. and in a country where 70% of
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financial transactions are still donein financial transactions are still done in cash, she hopes her customers will soon use their phones to order and pay for their sweet creations. now let's brief you on some other business stories. eurostar has told passengers only to travel from paris to london "if absolutely necessary". its services have been hit by delays with long queues due to industrial action by french customs officers. four trains were cancelled on sunday. the firm has also cancelled three trains on monday, two on tuesday and three on wednesday. flight data from the ethiopian airlines disaster a week ago suggest "clear similarities" with a crash off indonesia last october, ethiopia's transport minister has said. both planes were boeing 737 max 8 aircraft. last sunday the ethiopian airlines jet crashed after take—off from addis ababa, killing all 157 people on board.
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president donald trump's trade battles cost the us economy $7.8 billion in lost gross domestic product last year. that's according to a study authored by a team of economists at leading american universities. they also found that annual consumer and producer losses from higher costs of imports totaled $68.8 billion. but before we go, here are the markets. asian markets rose on monday as investors tracked a positive lead and optimism over the china us trade talks prevailed while attention turns to the federal reserve ‘s next policy meeting later this week. up next — newsbriefing.
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hundreds of oysters are being reintroduced into the humber estuary in an attempt to improve water quality and enhance marine life. the shellfish are being relocated from a scottish loch, after overfishing and disease drove them to the brink of extinction. at the mouth of the humber river, conservationists are building what they hope will be a desperate for oyster. shellfish were plentiful here until the 1950s. the demands of the dining delicacy led to overfishing and near extinction. now they are being sought for their environmental benefits. it is one of those species where it creates habitat and it can be the first
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species in nature colonised and establish an area. and it is the oysters from this lock in south—west scotla nd oysters from this lock in south—west scotland that scientists have their eye on. they had been given special permission to relocate several hundred. the team from yorkshire need to get these creatures down to the humber as quickly as possible. block ryan is one of the last places in the uk where you can actually get natural oysters and there are enough on them that we can take some and bring them back to this site to establish them. six hours and 200 miles later they arrive on the humberand miles later they arrive on the humber and they have out a new home. i think it is fantastic. it is innovative and has not been done before. oysters are amazing and they improve water quality, it will create an ecosystem that we do not have. placed in facts and attached a metalframes have. placed in facts and attached a metal frames they will be covered by the tide in a few hours and begin to feed again. it will be many months before scientists can assess the
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full impact of this project on the surrounding environment. it is hoped that the creature that once existed in huge numbers here has now begun its comeback. this is the briefing from bbc news. the latest headlines. as new zealand mourns the christchurch attacks — the prime ministerjacinda ardern has pledged gun law reforms will be announced ‘within ten days'. there've been more moving tributes to the victims in christchurch, as hundreds of schoolchildren — and people from around the world — paid their respects. now it's time to look at the stories that are making the headlines in the media across the world. we begin with the financial times which shows a photo of new zealand's prime ministerjacinda ardern embracing a worshipper at a mosque in wellington, alongside the news that security
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services in the country face questions on how the attacker was able to acquire weapons. the new zealand herald online in its editorial section says new zealand must follow the german example and fine facebook for failing to remove the live streaming of the gun attack. brexit continues to dominate many of front pages here in the uk — including the daily telegraph. former foreign secretary boris johnson in his weekly column calls on eurosceptic mps to reject the pm's brexit deal, saying it would give the eu "an indefinite means of blackmail" against the uk. the international edition of the new york times says following the ethiopian airlines and lionair crashes, the focus is now on pilot training. the paper says that boeing believed pilots of an earlier model of the plane didn't need additional simulator training, and were given lessons on an ipad. and the times carries an image
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from satu rday‘s protests of an anti—austerity protestor on the champs—elysees in paris, proclaiming that president macron poses a grave danger to france's health. and finally, bbc online are reporting that women are now better represented in film and theatre, according to acclaimed playwright and director sir david hare. will feel more like spring with temperatures up to 16. with me is stephanie hare, an independent research analyst. let's start with the latest developments from new zealand. the prime minister announcing that the gun laws will change. they seem to be moving fairly rapidly on this. it is such a striking contrast with the us where we are used to so many shootings. nothing happened within congress because of the powerful nra lobby. in new zealand they are taking an approach much similar to
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that of australia, which banned


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