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German Economy in Action; Battle of the Brands

Aired August 13, 2010 - 14:00:00   ET


RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: The German juggernaut, as its economy springs into action.

A dream of a job. We join a 787 engineer in his "World At Work".

And the battle of the brands, tonight we're looking at how to develop a brand, how to revive a brand, and how to protect your brand, at all costs.

It's a busy program. I'm Richard Quest and, I mean business.

Good evening.

What a week it has been, a week of anxiety. When we haven't been worrying about the stalled recovery in the U.S., we've been worrying about weak job growth and falling stock markets. Well, tonight, we do have a success story to bring to you. It comes from the economic powerhouse of Europe. The German economy turbo-charging Europe's economic recovery.

The German economy powered to a 2.2 percent GDP expansion, Q on Q, quarter on quarter. Look at that number. You've got-one, two, three, four-fifth quarter in a row, and it is the strongest since the country's reunification. More than double the average for the EU and the Euro Zone. Germany is getting back on its feet pretty quickly after the economic crisis. Just 18 months ago the country was still in the depths of recession; 3.5 percent decline in the first quarter of '09. But this sudden acceleration is like switching from a Trabant to a Porsche.

As I heard from CNN's Fred Pleitgen in Berlin, Germany spent the past several years remaking itself into a more competitive, productive machine.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: Well, it has always been doing quite well on exports, Richard, but you are absolutely right. A lot of things have happened over the past couple of years. If you remember, just about five years back, Germany was still known as the sick man of Europe. And that was mostly because of its labor market. Because many people felt that Germans weren't long enough and were earning too much.

And a lot has really happened on that front, especially the unions here in Germany have shown great restraint in the past couple of years when it came to the wages of the workers here in Germany. Also, things like working hours have been more flexible. And the other thing is really contracts that people get, to work here, more flexible contracts. If you employ someone here in Germany today you are not employing that person for life, as probably would have been the case in the `70s, or `80s, or `90s, in this country.

Today things are much more flexible. Some people believe that security for workers has suffered because of that, but certainly the companies here in Germany will tell you that that is in effect what gives them the flexibility to be successful nowadays, Richard.

QUEST: We think of the big German car manufacturers, Volkswagen, Daimler, and BMW, but the truth is, throughout the German economy there are very large engineering, exporting companies, aren't there?

PLEITGEN: Oh, absolutely. And it's really remarkable when you go through large parts of Germany is that you are traveling in the countryside, for instance, and you'll see a company name that you have seen somewhere before, somewhere in the world; someone that will make a dishwasher, or large manufacturing tools, things like that. The fact of the matter is that the strength of the German economy is only due, in part, thanks to these big companies. Thanks to companies like BMW, like Daimler, the one that you mentioned. A lot of them are midsize companies, that are successful on the global market.

I'll tell you a lot of these companies that I've been talking to, these smaller companies, they've been telling me that going on these global markets has been quite difficult for them. Especially going to places like China, a lot of them have had to learn some very hard lessons, trying to get on these markets. But on the whole, smaller and midsize companies, in Germany, are ones that very much look to be successful on the global markets, Richard.

QUEST: Fred, this economic success, to the point where Germany without doubt is the economic leader of the Euro Zone and the European Union, does that fit comfortably with ordinary Germans?

PLEITGEN: Well, I think to a certain extent it does. But on the other hand they do have some issues with it. I mean, one of the things that you will definitely notice when you talk to ordinary Germans. They are, by nature, very, very pessimistic people. I mean, you look back just a couple of years, here in this country. You had people who thought that Germany was going to become a developing country again. That it was going to fall behind. German, in general, are very afraid of what the future will bring. A lot of them see that role in danger of being the economic leader here in Germany, in danger, basically all the time.

One of the things that Chancellor Merkel said, when she came to the office, she said, Germany always has to be better than others to the extent that its workers are more-are more expensive on the international market. And that is certainly something that Germany has put a lot of effort into, if you look at things like education, the amount of engineers that Germany turns out. It is always a major issue here. So, I would say that on the whole Germans, yes, they are afraid to loose that role, but on the other hand, they are a country that over the years has always tended to under promise and over perform, Richard.

QUEST: And one final point, because we always hear about this German obsession, paranoia, whatever you like with inflation that goes back into the `30s. Is that still exist-does that still exist? And is that still a driving force?

PLEITGEN: I think it is very much a driving force. I mean it is not just inflation. It is general, the security, that Germans are very much looking towards. I mean, if you look at the current economic data that we got from the second quarter today, it is quite significant that spending has somewhat increased for German households. However, there are still a lot of people who keep their pockets very tight, who always look very closely at the inflation numbers as well.

So, certainly the Germans still have a lot of fear of that. I can tell you in discussions here, in the public, you will always hear people making references back to the 1920s, to the 1930s when inflation was really something that brought the government back then-a lot of Germans still believe that that in a large part was responsible for the Nazis, for instance, coming into power. That horrible economic situation that is always something that is still made reference to, and something where a lot of people believe that is where the German pessimism actually stems from; their fear of getting back into a situation like that, Richard.


QUEST: Fred Pleitgen joining me from Berlin. The rest of Europe- excuse me. The rest of Europe on those GDP numbers, Q2 for the EU, Euro Zone, both rose by 1 percent. Germany is responsible for pulling up the average there as you will realize. France posted a respectable 0.6 percent gain. Spain lags with a growth of 0.2 percent, but at least it is now out of recession. On the other end of the spectrum, though, Greece's GDP fell 1.5 percent, Q on Q. The only country in Europe to show a contraction. The contraction in Greece is expected to be about 2 to 4 percent this year, year on year.

Germany's recovery, whilst impressive, begs the question, whether it is sustainable. I asked Grant Lewis, head of economic research at Daiwa Capital Markets, in Europe. If the Euro Zone's economic superstar will soon run out of steam?


GRANT LEWIS, DAIWA CAPITAL MARKETS, EUROPE: We're definitely not going to see another 2.2 percent, quarter on quarter, growth. I think there is one important factor, which we've seen in other economies, the U.K. in particular, which was the weather that suppressed output in the first quarter, that sort of pent up demand fed into the second quarter. So that provided a large part of the story.

But I think, looking ahead, if we look at the early indicators for Q3, now growth is going to be good I think in Germany. Germany clearly is an economy that is well place to benefit from what has been stronger global growth.

QUEST: Right. The markets that Germany is exporting to, many of those are experiencing a quite severe slowdown, the U.S. certainly is slowing down. China is slightly off the boil.

LEWIS: Yes, that is exactly right. And I think that is one of the headwinds that the German economy, and the European economy, more generally is going to face looking head. I think in the U.S. the concerns are greater. I think with China, yes, growth is slower. I don't-I wouldn't be too pessimistic. I think the Chinese economy has to slow, but yes, demand is going to be slow in the second half than it was in the first half, for exporters.

QUEST: And as we look across the other Euro Zone countries, everybody, with the exception of Greece, is now experiencing growth. But we know from the numbers from the IMF, the forecasts for Greece this year, down 3 or 4 percent, and down 2 or 3 percent next year. So it is still very grim in Greece.

LEWIS: Ah, Greece. For sure, you know, minus 1.5 percent, Q on Q. I think down 3.5 percent, year on year. You know those are grim numbers. But you know Greece is very much the outlier, there. This is an economy that has been hit by a once in a lifetime shock, you know, given the concerns about debt sustainability. So, Greece is very much the outlier. A the other end of the spectrum Germany is the outlier. But I think when you look more generally, you know, this isn't a bad growth number for euro area. After what has been two very bad, very disappointing growth numbers in the previous two quarters.

QUEST: But Alan Greenspan talks about this pause in the recovery, relating to the U.S. He says it will feel like a quasi-recession. Can we say the same thing for some of the slower countries in the Euro Zone and in European community?

LEWIS: Oh, without a doubt this is-you know you can call it a growth recession, quasi-recession, however you want to characterize it. And for sure you look at a country like Spain, the fourth largest euro area economy, that is in-we think, at Daiwa Capital Markets, for a long, slow choppy recovery, to use Mervyn King's phrase-perhaps over the next four quarters, six quarters, eight quarters for sure. Some of these economies, you have to enormous rebalancing to take place and that is going to weigh on growth.

Whereas, actually, if you look at Germany, the rebalancing that is required there, in the household sector and in the corporate sector is much less. So perhaps that is the reason it is being more optimistic about Germany for once, and less optimistic about some of the peripheral economies.


QUEST: The Euro Zone, so good for Germany. OK, for the zone overall, but still more work to be done.

Now in New York, at the moment.


This is the way the Dow Jones is-we are gasping our way to a weekend. But saw a lot of activity by the Fed in terms of-well, a lot of noise, some interesting corporate results, and worries about the economic sustainability of the recovery. We'll talk about that, after the break.



Traders have been having a choppy day of it, in the U.S., we had some new numbers on retail sales, on inflation, to factor into it all. And not all of it was bad. We'll get to the numbers in just a moment. Consumer confidence, as well.

First, though, we do need to look at how the euro markets closed. And please, do feel free to come and join me in the library. Europe stocks markets, a mixed bag. Well, I mean, I'm not going to try and pretend there was anything too exciting, to get excited about, two up, two down. Retailers were hit. Diamulux (ph) was down more than 2 percent in London. Kingfisher down almost 1.75. VW was down.

There was an interesting development in the U.K. Sir Philip Green, of Top Shop fame, Philip Green is to become a government advisor on how to cut costs and get better value for money. It didn't do much good for the markets over here. The European weekly indices shows a fall for the entire week. This largely goes back to the earlier part of the week, particularly the Xetra DAX, the Paris CAC currant, it was the banking stocks which took their tolls, and industrials. Industrials were very hard hit, not only in Frankfurt, but also in New York, in London.

The euro has just had a miserable week. It lost another nearly 1 cent, just under 1 cent today. But if you look at this part here, as against the dollar, that is what I really want you to focus on. Because the August reduction in the dollar-or in euro-has been quite noticeable, particularly yesterday when two big ones got knocked off the euro, another one nearly went today. And it is all about euro weakness, flight to the dollar, for some form of strength.

The markets in New York, well, you know as well as I do, that so much of our week was taken up with Ben Bernanke, the FOMC, results from GM and the like, and economic numbers. Felicia Taylor is in New York.

Today we got two sets of numbers, consumer confidence, retail sales, we don't need to bang on about the details, but the trend was depressing.

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: It is depressing. I mean, the truth is, I mean, retail sales looked a little bit better but that is only because they were up 0.04 of 1 percent on the surface. OK, that sounds pretty good. But the truth is if you take what exactly people were buying, which was cars, auto parts, gas. People aren't spending money. And the only reason they're buying cars now is because there are summer promotions out there. You've got new models coming out in September. So a lot of the dealers are offering incentives for cash and for other reasons. For GM, Chrysler, Ford, to get those cars off of the lot and that is the only reason that you basically saw an uptick in retail sales. Otherwise the consumer is really not feeling that perky and they're not really buying out there.

QUEST: And that brings us back to, I mean, we have a moment or two more, on a Friday, so we can look at this, we can pull the strands together. As you look at the week, Felicia, what to you, in the New York market was the most interesting aspect of what we saw in the U.S. economy this week?

TAYLOR: Boy, that is a very large question. OK, the most interesting aspect-I mean, not to be flippant about it. Honestly, is when we heard from the Federal Reserve, basically acknowledging that, indeed, this recovery is a lot slower than they had admitted before. So, fine, we've got that part now. But moving forward, that is the part that really decimated the markets on Wednesday. That acknowledgement show them-"them" being the marketplace, investors-that things are pretty concerning, moving forward. That is-this is not going to be a recovery and it is not going to be a slow one at that-I mean, a quick one at that, either.

It is going to be prolonged. There really are significant fears out there of a double-dip recession, of deflation. The traders here are basically sitting on the sideline. There is no trend in the summer, and that is true, but even when they come back in September, after their vacation, where is that trend going to be moving forward? It is not going to be because of positive economic news.

The jobs number was also not a significant one, because it is only the weekly number, but again, that is portending that there are no jobs out there to be found. That is the most significant, and remains the most significant part of this marketplace.

QUEST: And yet, bankers bonuses and the whole bank bonus situation, at the moment. We are-this trend continues of a difference between what Main Street is getting and what Wall Street's getting.

TAYLOR: Right. This is exactly what Main Street does not want hear. That the bonuses on Wall Street are going to go higher. Granted it is modest. The banking sector is rebounding ever so slightly. It is still below the highs of 2007. But they are reporting profits. So, there are going to be some asset managers, hedge fund managers, they are going to get rises of maybe 10, 15 percent.

The hugely interesting part of that story, stock and bond traders may see their bonuses go down by 10 percent. That is because of market volatility. And this week is a perfect example of that. You had a drop on Wednesday of 265 points, but then last Monday, just a week and a half ago. You had a rise of almost 300 points. So this market volatility isn't really enough to maintain any kind of a trend, moving forward, for the-even the banks, to say that things are really getting better. And that is going to be a political issue.

QUEST: I'm right in assuming volume must be light. It is Friday. It's the middle of August. And I'm-


QUEST: I was going to say-oy! Oy!


TAYLOR: As one trader pointed out to me, nada, nothing. Nothing is happening right now.

QUEST: Chopped liver, all right. Felicia Taylor, have a lovely weekend. Come back to us in one piece on Monday.

In a moment, how to get Boeing's next big thing off the ground. It is flying, but the men and women who are doing the testing-well, it is the "World at Work" when we meet the engineer.


QUEST: Deep commitment, long hours and grace under pressure. Tonight, we are looking at some of the very important qualities you'll need if you want to make the grade by building a multi-billion dollar jet aircraft. Derek Muncy has spent hundreds of hours working on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, from prototype to delivery. He tells us why making the open sky his office with the Dreamliner is his ideal "World At Work".


DEREK MUNCY, 787 FLIGHT TEST CREW: I've been with this particular airplane for a little over three years now, since it started in the factory. So, I've seen it all the way from the parts coming in, from all of our partners, all the way through first flight, and bringing it out here to the Farnborough Air Show.

That is what makes flight test fun. Because, obviously, you get to fly everyday, but moments like this, where you really get to bring it to the customer, as well as the passengers.

But if you just talk to friends that have no idea about the airplane, you know, it is, what do you do for a living? Oh, I get to go up in the airplane, and my office is up there and we fly around and do all kinds of interesting tests. You know do things that you are never going to experience in a flight.

My favorite part of the plane is definitely the engine. It is so quiet. You have the new Chevron (ph) design. I call them the peak (ph) design. The one thing you just notice right away is how quiet it is. Obviously, there is all kinds of cool features on board. But, yes, the quietness of it is just-it is just amazing. When the airplane takes off everybody is going to notice the difference. It takes a deep commitment. You've got to be willing to put in the time and the effort. You also have to be able to deal with the stress. You really get to know people in flight tests. Everybody is at each others throats, but everybody is each other's best friend.

I love airplanes. You can ask anybody that is part of the flight test crew here, during the test program you don't get a lot of off time. It is just fun. When you talk about sitting at a desk for eight hours, or working on an airplane and flying around for 12 hours, I'll work for 12 hours and fly around on an airplane. You do it because you love airplanes.


QUEST: "World At Work", and I love that phrase, "everyone is at each other's throats, and everyone is each others best friend."

In a moment, you and I will be launching ourselves into the basketball arena. The man behind the Nike brand explains how he is keeping his eye on the marketing ball.


QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, this is CNN. And here, the news always comes first.


So, back to our business agenda tonight.

Nike is pumping cash into a major tournament, and marketing drive this weekend. The sporting giant is to host the inaugural World Basketball Festival, in New York. It includes some of the sports biggest stars and an appearance by the rapper Jay Z. Nike brand president Charles Denson has been speaking to Maggie Lake and she wanted to know so much money, what does the company gain.


CHARLIE DENSON, PRESIDENT, NIKE BRAND: It is talking about basketball around the world. One of the things that really continues to change is the growth of the game globally, the -- the level of play continues to go up. You see a lot of the international players now playing at the highest level. And so the World Basketball Championships coming up at the end of the month, starting, I think it's the 28th and going into September in Turkey, presented us with an opportunity to work with the U.S. national team as well as teams from France, Brazil, Puerto Rico and China and bring them to New York City, which is really the home of basketball.

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What are your sales like international?

What's the growth prospects for Nike International?

DENSON: Sure, I think -- well, the Nike brand now is -- is actually bigger outside the United States than inside of the United States and -- and will continue to get that way. China represents one of our biggest growth opportunities. Brazil certainly represents another great growth opportunity for the Nike brand as we think about our international portfolio.


LAKE: You've got such a -- an arsenal of -- of marketing juggernaut behind you. You've got Jay-Z coming tonight to this event.


LAKE: Is it still about connecting with the huger superstars?

I mean I think we have that idea with Nike, whether it's in basketball or golf with Tiger Woods.

Is that still where the concentration is or are you sort of diversifying?

Or are you being cautious and you're not spending as much on the marketing?

DENSON: Well, no, I think, you know, it's -- it's always been more than just the athlete. I think the relationship with the athlete is really the core of what the -- the brand is about and certainly what we do. It's those world class athletes that challenge us, that inspire us to be more creative, to create a better performance level product. And -- and I think that -- that obviously carries over into the marketing mix. But -- but it's much more than just that association when you think about the Nike brand and its connectivity back to the youth consumer.

LAKE: And -- and events like thousand, no doubt, feed into it. And we see them setting up behind us so we know it's going to be spectacular.

Your consumers -- are they -- are they trading down?

Are they buying cheaper products?

Have you had to be price conscious about what you're introducing or are you not seeing that pressure that other retailers clearly are?

DENSON: Well, we're certainly -- I mean I think with the economic situation the way it is, I think consumers are being cautious with regards to their spending. We are not seeing a significant trading down in price by any means. Again, but I think that goes back to the innovation and the compelling concepts that we are putting before the consumer.

LAKE: Do you feel like you're stealing market share from other people?

DENSON: Oh, absolutely. I -- I would -- I would say that we -- we have probably increased our market share around the world considerably over the last 18 months. And, again, I think that goes back to the strength of the brand.

LAKE: A lot of attention in the U.S., but -- but also abroad, in Europe, about the fact that job growth is so slow.

As a company, is Nike hiring or are you being very cautious on that front?

DENSON: We're -- we're being pretty cautious. But we're still -- we still believe we're a growth company and we still are investing in, you know, our infrastructure, our people. And we are doing some hiring, not aggressively, representing a somewhat cautious outlook. But we still believe that we have a lot of growth ahead of us.


QUEST: The brand president of Nike.

Long before Nike came along, a centuries old brand was making waves across the world. A modern entrepreneur is dusting off the name and hoping to turn a vintage brand into a profit for the 21st century. Jim Boulden has that, after the break.


QUEST: Saturday sees the relaunch of a centuries old brand name known the world over. It's called The East India Company. It was the world's first multinational conglomerate, established more than four centuries ago.

Now, at its height, East India controlled 50 percent of world trade, a true symbol of colonial power. We're making no political statements this time around, though, because its return is under Indian ownership.

Jim Boulden met the entrepreneur who's turning history on its head.


JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A brand reborn -- the 410-year-old East India Company, name, trademark and coat of arms adorn this new store tucked between London's Regent Street and Saville Row. Importer Sanjiv Mehta bought the East India Company intellectual property in 2005. It had lain dormant for a century. His goal -- a new global luxury brand.

SANJIV MEHTA, EAST INDIA COMPANY: Its name recall has assured relationship with all which is fine products, luxury, adventure, journey globally.

BOULDEN: The East India Company began as a trading monopoly under Queen Elizabeth I in 1600 to ship commodities to the West from India, China and the Spice Islands, countering the clout of the Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese. At various times, it controlled the trade in indigo dye, cotton, silk, opium, and, of course, tea.

MEHTA: This is the tea bar. We call it the tea library. There would not be tea on the tables of London but for East India Company. So, in a way, we own this category.

BOULDEN: The library carries more than 100 teas.

(on camera): See that's what I -- that's very perfumy. I like that.

(voice-over): In time, the company and British colonialism became one and the same. It was the company's tea, after all, that was dumped in Boston Harbor in 1773. It once controlled Singapore and, of course, India.

MEHTA: It brought all the exotic foods from the East to the West.

BOULDEN: That idea is infused in the goods for sale, from Japanese mustard to sea salt and red peppercorns and chocolate and biscuits.

(on camera): Sea salt and chocolate -- first you get the chocolate, then you get the salt.


BOULDEN (voice-over): The British crown slowly took control of the company's routes, ports, currency and military. This very symbol of the British Empire ceased to trade in 1874.

(on camera): It accomplished a work such as, in the whole history of the human race, no other company ever attempted and is ever likely to attempt in the years to come.

(voice-over): The name may also remind some of the illegal opium trade from China and oppression and wars in India.

Mehta sees another side.

MEHTA: The English language, the ports, the railways system, the city system, the -- the ports, the bridges, all was made by the East India Company. So there's a huge relationship with the East India Company in various walks of life. It is not just food president.

BOULDEN: Mehta says he's invested around $20 million and says that it will take another $100 million to open more stores and launch leather goods, jewelry and home interiors, as this Indian born entrepreneur resurrects in London the very name of the British company that controlled India for centuries.

Jim Boulden, CNN, London.


QUEST: You're starting to get a good idea now about the power of the brand, from Nike to East India. But relatively these days, people protecting their brands -- for example, Rupert Murdoch, who's trying to take the sky out of Skype to protect their own brand.

Let's go to our own library.

Jim Boulden is there.

The power of the brand.

BOULDEN: The power of the brand. We've got four examples here of companies that have been squabbling over trademarks or names. And these have been going on for years.

As Richard said, Skype and Sky. Now this only came out recently, when Skype decided to launch its IPO. It told everyone that for five years, Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB has been fighting over the S-K-Y. You can see, of course, this is the Sky brand, basically based here in the U.K. Now, you might think, well, these two don't confuse you, you know they're different companies. But BSkyB says that Skype is moving ever more into TV-related products and services. And so far, the European Union has been backing Sky on this fight. Skype says they will continue to appeal to try to get their trademark all over Europe.

Now, here's an interesting one. It's a separate, a different kind of one. This is Gucci. We all know Gucci. Well, several people with the last name Gucci, some people who are members of this family, have been trying to use the Gucci name to do other things. One woman wants to start Gucci hotels. Other family members want to start chain -- try to sell luxury goods, especially in New York.

The courts have said absolutely not. Gucci is a well known brand, you cannot confuse it. And so far, no other family members have been able to use the Gucci brand.

Here's a very different one. Now, these are both legitimate brands. Both have legitimate rights to the name Budweiser. Budweiser Budvar, of course, we know from Czech, Budweiser from the U.S. They have been muddled ever since the Berlin Wall came down. Budvar cannot call itself Budweiser in the U.S. Budweiser cannot trademark the name in the European Union. The fight goes on.

Let's move on to one we all remember very well, and that is Apple versus Apple, always a good example. These two got along in the beginning, but over time, Apple Records -- this is The Beatles -- have been suing Apple Computers, mainly over the use of the name since Apple this -- this Apple got into music and this Apple keeps winning in court.

QUEST: I find this, Jim, absolutely fascinating.

BOULDEN: Yes. I love this kind of stuff.

QUEST: This is -- this is raw business, isn't it?


QUEST: Of a most venal nature.

BOULDEN: And -- and it matters so much.

QUEST: McDonald's -- McDonald's -- anybody who ever tries to open a restaurant where their name is McDonald...


QUEST: -- gets -- always gets clobbered.

BOULDEN: Harrods is suing a -- an ethics cath (ph) that uses the name, but it's similar. It's not the same name at all. It's Holland. That company -- that family owns that name. It's the shape of the letters and the color of the letters that has upset Harrods.

QUEST: OK, so when I see, for example, a car company, which they did a couple of years ago, launch the Quest and there's a movie called "The Quest"...


QUEST: Would you be my attorney and take the case on for me?

BOULDEN: Your name does not give you automatic rights to that. Gucci doesn't own this because the last name is Gucci. Gucci owns this because they've gotten this trademark. That's their trademark. Nobody else can use it.

Judges always say, in the end, does it confuse the consumer?

If it confuses the consumer, no one is going to think you started your own car company. No one is going to think you have all these other things called Quest are just yours. However, that one, of course, no one else can use.

QUEST: You're a diplomat, aren't you?

Have a lovely weekend.

BOULDEN: Thank you.

QUEST: Many thanks, indeed.

It's absolutely fascinating, this battle of the brands. So much money is spent on that. And anybody who's thinking of fiddling with that thing, be warned. We'll set Jim Boulden onto you.

All right, we need to turn our attention, finally, to the weather tonight and the relief in Russia and the weekend weather where you are in Europe.

Good evening -- Guillermo.


Richard, there's a little bit of relief in Moscow. It's not enough, but perhaps on Tuesday we will see some rain showers. It's 21 right now. We haven't seen these low temperatures in a long time, so that's why we emphasize on it. But the forecast is still bad. Monday, 29 degrees -- a little bit of a change, but still pretty hot. So the -- the same area of high pressure is pumping all the heat in here.

Heat advisories, also, in the Middle East. We're going to see a lot of heat in there.

And more rain -- sorry about this, but Britain is going to see -- especially London -- rain tonight, tomorrow. Sunday may see a little -- may be a little bit better and then the rain comes back. I mean it is not good at all.

You see all of this?

Ireland appears to be fine and Northern Ireland, too. And then a pocket of high pressure there. But as for England, it's not looking good at all. Twenty-one the high for Saturday with rain; 28 in Vienna. This area still very warm, indeed.

And, look, this is where I was talking about, especially the next days to come, four to five degrees above average, no change at all. What we are expecting in Baghdad is 48 on Saturday; Damascus, 40 -- Richard, it's going to be a very hot weekend, especially in the Middle East and Russia -- back to you.

QUEST: Guillermo, many thanks.

Have a good weekend.

ARDUINO: Thank you.

You, too.

QUEST: And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for this week.

Many thanks for taking time to be with me.

We've certainly had some interesting times.

I'm Richard Quest in London.

Whatever you're up to this weekend, I hope it's profitable.


Have a good weekend.