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CCTV Script 23/06/16

– This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on June 23, Thursday.

Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.

Recently, you must have been hearing a lot from international financial pundits on how Brexit would impact the Sterling currency, how the EU will collapse, and how could this event impact the global financial markets. But what do British voters really care about when they make the vote? 

Here are a few heatedly debated issues. 

Firstly, migration. 

Net migration to the UK stood at 333,000 in 2015 and they came from 155 countries all over the world, building 14% of new companies in the UK last year.

Of those who immigrated to the UK, there were slightly more non-EU citizens than EU citizens.

The Government's stated goal is to have net migration in the tens of thousands, altough many argue that cutting migration to this level could be bad for the economy. 

Then, trade. 

Export from UK to the EU ccounted for 55% of UK's total global export. Although this number declined to 44%, the EU is still the most important trading partner of UK. 

If the UK voted to leave the EU, it would have to negotiate a new trade deal with it. 

Having started the campaign suggesting that the country could maintain access to the European single market, the Leave campaign now emphasises that the UK could still trade with the continent under WTO rules and eventually strike a bilateral deal with the bloc - one that did not involve being part of the EU's custom union. Such an accord is likely to take years to negotiate, say experienced trade negotiators.

UK's trade deficit to the EU stood at 60 bn pound, and the country's services sector has been the key to reduce that deficit level. 

In 2015, UK's finance sector brought in 20 bn pound of trade surplus, contributed 66 bn pound of tax income and 2.2 million jobs. 

Once Brexit happens, this sector might get a punch. 

However, it might be a good news for UK's SMEs. 

If Brexit, British governments would be free to repeal and/or amend EU business regulations, including social and employment regulations. 

This is clearly a significant issue as around half of all UK legislation with an impact on "business, charities and the voluntary sector" stems from the EU.

The EU's role in social and employment legislation is especially extensive, including additional rights for agency and temporary workers and for part-time workers; parental leave; working time; anti-discrimination rules on race, sex, disability, age and sexual orientation; and data protection rights. Whilst some of these regulations have merit, a post-Brexit government would, in consultation with business, have the freedom to update the most burdensome aspects of the EU's social legacy. 

CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore. 

Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.

Leonardo DiCaprio has a diamond proposal for you.

The Oscar winner is among an elite circle of Hollywood and Silicon Valley backers behind Diamond Foundry, a Bay Area company that claims it uses technology to accomplish what alchemists and others have attempted in vain for centuries: growing diamonds and other precious stones from scratch.

DiCaprio's tweet last November announcing his "proud" investment in a company "reducing human and environmental toll by sustainably culturing diamonds" alerted the planet to the little-known start-up co-founded in 2012 by former solar energy entrepreneur Martin Roscheisen.

DiCaprio joined a venture party that includes Silicon Valley titans such as Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who were in the same Ph.D. program with Roscheisen at Stanford.

Far from the "blood diamonds" that were the subject of DiCaprio's 2006 film on African warlords profiting off the gem trade, these stones are born inside a plasma reactor at the headquarters of Diamond Foundry in San Carlos, California. DiCaprio's pledge sent instant shockwaves through a global diamond industry valued at $85 billion.

Man-made diamonds aren't new (General Electric pioneered the trick in 1954), but Diamond Foundry is so far the most aggressive in monetizing the value of a process called "chemical vapor deposition," which uses a high-energy 8,000-degree plasma field to hot-forge diamonds from layers of carbon atoms.

Even gemologists are fooled. Diamond Foundry says it can grow hundreds of diamonds up to nine carats in just two weeks in the lab, and at a cost that is around 30 percent less than the standard. Several companies, including Diamond Nexus and DeBeers, are believed to be "growing" diamonds using technology, but Diamond Foundry stands alone as the only business making jewelry-grade diamonds. DeBeers, for instance, uses its manufactured diamonds on silicon microchips with a zero carbon footprint, thanks to its use of solar power credits.

What draws investors like DiCaprio is a diamond story vastly more sustainable than traditional mining.

The company has raised more than $100 million, but the goal is to stay lean where it can. Rather than keeping a large staff of jewelry designers on payroll, for instance, Diamond Foundry sells to a curated collective of several hundred artisans who dress up the stones and sell them direct to consumers. Loose gems can be set in vintage rings that customers own or in combination with bespoke jewelry. That has the potential to reduce markups and break the grip that diamond companies typically hold on the market.

Paul Zimnisky is an independent diamond analyst who sees Diamond Foundry as a promising niche business within the industry spurred by customers seeking cheaper and more ethically sourced stones. Researcher Frost & Sullivan estimates that man-made diamond production could jump to 2 million carats by 2018 and 20 million carats by 2026. By comparison, the mined diamond market produces more than 125 million carats a year.

"The concern that Diamond Foundry is going to take market share is definitely legit, but the allure of a natural diamond is still very, very high," Zimnisky said. Even with the same standards of clarity, color, cut and size, man-made stones still "lack a bit of the mystique of true and rare gems," particularly as more flood the market, Zimnisky noted. "Especially with engagement rings, consumers like to know that the diamonds they're purchasing are natural wonders, not something that comes out of a machine."

It's not unlike what we see happening with electric vehicles, where once-out-of-reach technologies are now within price range for many consumers. That's partly why Roscheisen calls this a "Tesla moment" for Diamond Foundry.

"When you asked people 10 years ago whether they'd drive an electric car, it was a difficult question to answer, because the only electric car that people knew of was a golf cart," he said. "What Tesla did is create an appealing product in the category to show people what it can mean. The category of created diamonds has existed for a long time, but no one ever created an appealing product, and people haven't known how to produce it commercially. That's where we fit in."

CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.

Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.

More top-level roles go to women working at Asian family firms - even if they aren't relatives - than in non-family ones. But the numbers are still pretty dismal.

Within Singapore, for example, there are twice as many women on the boards of family firms, compared with non-family firms, according to data from researchers at National University of Singapore's (NUS) business school.

"The talent pool in the families is limited, and of course there are sons and daughters in equal measure. This gives the female family members the opportunity to become leaders in the family firm," Marleen Dieleman, an associate professor at NUS, told CNBC.

"We often note that once you have one woman there, it's like a bridge to having more," she said. "If they're already used to working with gender-diverse teams, it's not such a big step to hire another female director."

Achieving gender diversity has benefits beyond simply providing equal opportunities: Multiple studies have found that companies that have more women in the top spots are more profitable than those that don't.

But before handing out any awards to family firms, the data also show that the overall number of women in executive roles is low.

In Singapore's family firms, which make up more than 60 percent of companies listed on the city-state's stock exchange, around 10 percent of directorships were held by women in 2015. Low, but still well above the non-family firms' around 7.9 percent.

But the persistence among family firms to look to the eldest male heir to fill the role of the father -- or primogeniture -- means daughters are clearly getting left out of family firms' management in Asia, Dieleman says. Otherwise, 50 percent of the roles would be going to women.

"If they are family members, they find it a little bit harder to get accepted as a leader by their parents," she said. "Even though this is an issue for male and female alike, it's perhaps even more so for the female heirs."

In China, however, the country's demographic changes are pushing more women to the forefront. After more than 30 years of China's now-repealed one-child policy, more women are being tapped to take over family businesses, simply because there is no son or nephew to displace them.

But they might face some difficulties in the male-dominated industry, especially as she aims to target the Middle East market.

More women could be slated to take over Europe's family firms, as well.

Morten Bennedsen, an academic director at the Insead family business group, noted that daughters appear to have a harder time "running away" from family businesses than sons.

"Daughters communicate better with the parents. It becomes a more smooth transition," he says, adding that women also now tend to get more education than men and tend to be more competitive now. That leads parents to be more willing to think equally when it comes to succession planning, he says.

CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.

Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.

Luxury retailers are having another rough year, as value-conscious consumers balk at the idea of shelling out big bucks for the latest designer goods. Yet as the high-end market struggles to eke out revenue growth, there's one area where sales are flourishing: The web.

Following years of arguments that shoppers would not be willing to purchase a $4,000 handbag online, research published by Walker Sands Thursday has found that 27 percent of consumers purchased a luxury item on the web in the past year. That's up 17 percentage points from just last year, and represents a 21-point gain over 2014.

The trend is skewed toward millennial shoppers between the ages of 18 and 25, though older shoppers are also adopting the habit. According to Walker Sands, one-third of millennials bought a luxury item online over the past year, compared with 6 percent for those ages 61 and older.

The digital marketing agency said its findings, which were based on an online survey of more than 1,400 U.S. consumers, line up with industry predictions that digital luxury goods sales will triple to around $80 billion by 2025.

The report also comes as several recent studies have disagreed over whether online sales are positioned for a second wave of growth or are about to plateau.

"While luxury commerce has had a slow start in the online space, more than four times as many consumers made luxury purchases online in the past year compared to two years ago," Walker Sands' report said. "With estimates that online sales could make up to 40 percent of luxury sales by 2020, the luxury industry is seeing much larger growth than many other areas of e-commerce."

According to the firm's research, 98 percent of people reported having made a purchase on Amazon in the past year. Yet Jordan said there are opportunities for brands to catch up, as more shoppers said they are open to making a luxury purchase on a label's own website than through Amazon or another third party.

Luxury retailers also stand to gain by adopting virtual reality, as more luxury buyers said they're more interested in using the technology for online shopping than the average consumer, Walker Sands said.

CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.

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