World Business Report-logo

World Business Report


The latest business and finance news from around the world from the BBC

The latest business and finance news from around the world from the BBC


United Kingdom




The latest business and finance news from around the world from the BBC






BBC World Service Bush House Strand London WC2B 4PH


Italy to elect a new president

This week members of the Italian Parliament will elect a new head of state in a secret ballot. The powers of the president are limited, but the role of overseeing the appointment of the prime minister will be key as the country holds a general election next year, as we hear from Paola Subacchi, professor of international economics at Queen Mary University of London. Over the weekend former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi dropped out of the running. Meanwhile, the Italian economy has been...


Update: Intel to invest $20bn in new Ohio chipmaking complex

The American technology firm Intel says it will spend $20 billion dollars to build two semiconductor chip factories in the US state of Ohio as a global shortage continues. Alena Semuels is the Senior Economics Correspondent at Time and explains the significance of the factories. Chris Low of FHN Financial analyses the possible wider impact on the markets. Also on the programme, how long should people isolate when they have Covid? And are businesses able to keep up with the changing rules?...


TotalEnergies and Chevron leave Myanmar

French and American energy giants TotalEnergies and Chevron are pulling out of Myanmar. They've cited deteriorating human rights in the wake of last year's coup in the country. We find out more from Gareth Leather, who is on the emerging markets team at Capital Economics. Also in the programme, an investment of more than $400 million by the mining firm Rio Tinto on a potential lithium venture in Serbia appears to have come to nothing. The BBC's Guy Delaunay explains why. After the British...


Update: Deadly blast in Ghana

A huge explosion in the west of the country has caused massive damage and loss of life.


Ukraine tension mounts

As signs of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine mount we gauge the mood in the country. Orysia Lutsevych heads the Ukraine Forum in the Russia and Eurasia programme at Chatham House, and brings us her perspective. And we speak with Oleg Chernyak, who works for a software development company CHI Software, based in Kharkiv, but with offices around the country. Also in the programme, last weekend's underwater volcano eruption in Tonga caused a devastating oil spill thousands of miles to the...


Update: Biden defends his first year

President Biden has held a rare press conference to mark a year in office. Biden has defended his administration’s response to the global economic impact of the pandemic, and concerns over supply chain problems.We speak live to the BBC's Gary O'Donoghue outside the West Wing. Also in the programme more than 100 billionaires and millionaires have issued a plea to political and business leaders, asking them to make the super rich pay more tax.


South Africa opens vaccine manufacturing site

South Africa's President Ramaphosa has opened a vaccine manufacturing site in Cape Town. The BBC's Vumani Mkhize was at the event, and brings us the details. And we get reaction to the development from Thomas Cueni, director general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations in Basel. Also in the programme, the vice president of the European Securities and Markets Authority has called for a ban in the European Union on mining of the cryptocurrency...


Update: Microsoft plans to buy Activision Blizzard for nearly $70bn

Microsoft says it plans to buy major games company Activision Blizzard in a deal worth $68.7bn. It would be the biggest acquisition in the company's history and is expected to be finalised in 2023. We speak to Carolina Milanese, Senior Technology Analyst at Creatrive Strategy to find out why Microsoft have done the deal. US mobile networks AT&T and Verizon have agreed to postpone the rollout of their new 5G service at some airports, after aircraft safety concerns from some airlines. We hear...


US airlines warn of 5G flight disruption

US airlines have warned that switching on new 5G mobile services could cause disruption. The BBC's Theo Leggett discusses the background to the problem, and its implications. Also in the programme, Spain's government is taking action to try and help young people find housing, by approving a "youth bonus" voucher system worth €250 per month to help with rent costs. Eduardo Alonso Arechaga is a member of the Spanish Youth Council, which represents young Spaniards, and gives us his reaction to...


Update:China cuts interest rates

China has unexpectedly cut a key interest rate for the first time in almost two years as official figures showed its economic growth had slowed. Geoffrey Yu, senior market strategist at bank of New York Mellon, explains the possible reasoning behind the move. Antonio Horta-Osorio has resigned as chairman of Credit Suisse following Covid breaches. The departure comes on the heels of a string of scandals for the beleagured bank.


Credit Suisse chairman resigns

Antonio Horta-Osorio has resigned as chairman of Credit Suisse following Covid breaches. The departure comes on the heels of a string of scandals for the beleaguered bank, and we get the background from the founder of the Swiss financial news website, Claude Bauman. Also in the programme, according the latest official figures, Chinese economic growth is slowing. The Shanghai-based economist Andy Xie brings us the details. There's a growing fuel crisis in Uganda as truck drivers...


China growth expected to slow

Debts accumulated by construction companies, like Evergrande, are undermining the economy and the days of China enjoying expansion of double digits are expected to be over. Plus we look ahead to the World Economic Forum, which wiull open with an address from Chinese President Xi Jinping. Also we have an extended analysis of Turkey's economy, which is under pressure because of surging inflation. This week the central bank will consider if it should increase interest rates, but that has...


Update: US retail figures for December disappoint

Retail figures released in the US for December were lower than analysts' expectations. We get analysis from Chris Low of FHN Financial. Plus, Forbes has released its YouTube rich list. The BBC's gaming reporter Steffan Powell talks us through this year's highest earners.


EDF ordered to sell cheap nuclear power

French energy firm EDF has been ordered by the government to sell cheap nuclear power. The company says the move could cost it $9.5bn, and at one point today its shares declined by 25% on the news. We get the background from Thierry Bros who is a professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, and used to advise the government on energy matters. Also in the programme, the BBC's Mike Johnson reports on the state of Brazil's economy, ahead of presidential elections due in October....


Update: India and UK hold free trade talks

Representatives of the Indian and British governments have held a first day of talks over a free trade deal, potentially worth billions of dollars. The UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, told us that the proposed agreement will bring growth opportunities to British businesses. Plus, a dispute over lithium mining concessions granted by Chile’s outgoing president Sebastian Pinera has sparked fierce debate in recent days. Chilean economist Francisco Meneses...


Covid closures at Chinese VW plants

Volkswagen China has closed two plants in Tianjin as a result of Covid outbreaks. James Mayger is with Bloomberg News in Beijing, and assesses the impact of China's zero Covid approach on global supply chains. Also in the programme, Twitter is freely available in Nigeria for the first time in seven months. The BBC's Chris Ewokor in Abuja tells us why the social media site had been blocked in the first place, and online food vendor Chef Marvy tells us how Twitter's suspension affected her...


Update: US inflation soars

The US annual inflation rate rose to 7% in December, a figure not seen since 1982. Jayne Schaber lives in New York state and tells us about her experiences when out shopping, and we get a historical perspective on the latest figures from Professor Jason Furman of Harvard University, who was the top economic adviser to the White House during the eight years of the Obama presidency. Plus, a new report from the app monitoring firm App Annie indicates that smartphone users are spending an...


US inflation hits 7%

The US annual inflation rate rose to 7% in December, a figure not seen since 1982. Jayne Schaber lives in New York state and tells us about her experiences when out shopping, and we get a historical perspective on the latest figures from Professor Peter Morici of the Robert H Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Also in the programme, Kenya and the United Arab Emirates are embroiled in a row that has seen air links between the two countries suspended. Victor Amadala of The...


Update: Lockdown in three Chinese regions

The BBC's Kerry Allen takes us through developments in China's fight against covid.


Companies mandate Covid-19 vaccines for staff

Companies are increasingly mandating Covid-19 vaccines for staff. Ikea has cut sick pay for unvaccinated workers who must self-isolate in the UK. It's the latest in a string of companies making life difficult for the unvaccinated, and we assess the legal picture around such moves with Richard Fox, who's an employment lawyer with the UK law firm Kingsley Napley. Also in the programme, we ask whether the global economy needs to start dismantling what's known as 'global white privilege', beyond...