Malcolm Taylor’s Review of the Week #BusinessBreakfast

Mr. Trump

Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th US president on Friday 20th January is likely to be one of the media highlights of the year.

Around the world viewers will be tuned in to see whether the president-elect strikes a more conciliatory note than he has since his election victory.

Viewers from China, Mexico, The Arab world, Germany, the UK, and Russia will be particularly interested to hear whether he references their part of the world in a positive or negative tone.

Likewise women, Muslims everywhere, and special interest groups will be eager to hear whether the incoming President is combative or conciliatory.

The Business Breakfast team is secretly hoping for a windy day to see whether Mr. Trump passes the hair test.

It’s certainly the most exciting inauguration in living memory.

Other Trump Stories:

Airlines

Delta Air Lines has again raised the prospect of US-Gulf airline wars.

Delta boss Ed Bastian said the Big 3 US airlines, Delta, United and American, have had talks with President-elect Trump about “violation of trade deals”.

That’s thinly disguised talk for US accusations that the Big 3 Gulf carriers, Emirates, Etihad & Qatar receive government subsidies to make them profitable.

Mr. Bastian’s hope is that Donald Trump will play hardball with the Gulf carriers given the “US First” drum that Mr. Trump has been banging since his election win.

The Gulf carriers and their governments vehemently refute the subsidy charges.

Planemakers

There are signs that Trump’s hardball style is paying off in domestic US circles.

Mr.Trump has criticised Boeing for the huge cost associated with their manufacture of Air Force One. He called a meeting at Trump Tower in New York to address the matter.

Concerned about the tenure of their government military contract, and a potential fighter jet deal, Boeing were kittenish in their compliance.

“This is the President-elect’s meeting. He’ll set the agenda, and we’ll meet wherever he wants”.

Sep_DE

Brexit

The UK Prime Minister this week gave a statesmanlike speech on Britain’s leaving of the European Union.

She talked tougher than previously, saying “No deal at all is better than a bad deal”. Some UK tabloids picked up on similarities with the ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher, while others latched onto the phrase “Brexodus”.

Donald Trump meanwhile said that other countries would follow the UK out of the EU, and promised the UK a swift bilateral trade deal.

Meanwhile…

Christine Lagarde, the Head of the IMF, warned the UK of pain ahead in the Brexit process. “When you belong to a club, the members have a certain affinity and terms of membership. Someone outside that club has different access. No Brexit deal will be as good as membership”

And…

Two of London’s investment banks have confirmed they will move staff out of London in the run-up to Britain’s EU departure.

HSBC is preparing to move 1,000 staff to Paris, and Swiss bank UBS will shift roughly 1,000 jobs – 20% of its London workforce – to an EU-domiciled country.

Sep_DE

Online Retailing:

Amazon & Flipkart of India have reportedly walked out of the deal to buy Dubai-based Souq.com after disagreeing on the price.

The figure of $1bn was bandied about as the cost Amazon & Flipkart were prepared to pay for an Arabia footprint.

There was speculation in the Business Breakfast studio that Emaar Chairman Mohammed Alabbar’s decision to launch online shopping portal Noon.com just a few days after the Souq.com was announced, might have influenced the overseas duo’s reluctance to compete with an established local name.

Sep_DE

UAE stories:

  • Emirates has again been named as the UAE’s most positively perceived brand, according to the 2016 Best Brand survey released by YouGov.
  • The Dubai Health Authority has inaugurated its first robot drug dispenser. The smart pharmacy can store up to 35,00o medicines and dispense 12 prescriptions in less than a minute!
  • The head of the Dubai Land Department has predicted a rebound for the city’s real estate market this year. Property consultants JLL however feel the market will find a natural balance as some slated projects are delayed or quietly dropped.
  • About $3.7bn of retail construction projects are due to awarded in Dubai this year, according to MEED Projects.
  • Dubai is forecasting higher economic growth this year of 3.1%, and will in future enhance its data offering by putting out an economic outlook twice yearly rather than just once. Analysts say this transparency will further encourage companies to set up in the UAE.

Sep_DE

Airlines:

Etihad…

  • Italian newspaper ‘Il Messaggero’ suggested Etihad could tie-up with Lufthansa in one form or other, possibly even taking a 30-40% stake in the German airline. The story, which pushed Lufthansa shares up by 6% initially, was later denied by sources close to the airline.

India…

  • Spicejet has agreed to buy up to 205 new planes from Boeing, potentially worth $22bn.
  • Air India has begun selling female-only seats in economy on its Indian flights, to reduce harassment by men. Initially 6 seats on their A320’s will be reserved, but the idea could be expanded if it’s well-received.

Iran…

  • Iran Air has taken delivery of its first western-built passenger plane in decades. An Airbus A321 landed in Tehran from Toulouse, as a precursor to the rest of the order arriving. The airline has ordered 100 planes from Airbus and 80 from Boeing.

Sep_DE

Finally:

The eight richest people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 3.6bn people!

Charity Oxfam said the wealth gap between rich and poor was greater than feared or expected.

Ben Southwood, of the Adam Smith Institute, said that it was not the wealth of the world’s rich that mattered, but the welfare of the world’s poor, which was improving every year.

 


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