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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Media Merger Talk Pushes Markets to Record; Saudi Crown Prince Leads Huge Crackdown; U.N. Tourism Boss Hails Industry Resilience; Doha Bank CEO says Qatar Dealing with "New Normal". Aired 4-5p ET
Aired November 6, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: The bell about to ring on Wall Street. There goes to bell. Three records, the Dow, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500.
All showing good strong gains. A host of business news. Sir, do the honors. One, two, three. Three great gavels. Trading is over worldwide
on Monday, the 6th of November.
Tonight, talk of a media merger pushes the market. It's Disney in 21st Century, we'll explain. Saudi Arabia's biggest businessmen are arrested,
and the kingdom says it's only just getting started.
And all the world's a stage at the World Travel Mart. You'll hear from the heads UN tourism organization. I'm Richard Quest, tonight live in London
where of course, I mean business.
Good evening, tonight, Monday merger mania seem so have hit us on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. The U.S. markets have just closed on record highs, on the
back of two massive potential takeovers. 20th Century Fox up as much as 8.5 percent after a report that Disney recently in talks to buy most of the
company's assets. And Broadcom a whopping hundred and 30 billion to buy fellow chipmaker Qualcomm. If that were to go ahead, it would be the
second largest deal in American corporate history. The reports are though that Qualcomm is not going to accept it.
So, a small gain on the Dow, just a teensy weensy again at nine points, but it's enough to take all three U.S. markets to a record and the FTSE is also
at a record. Brian Stelter is in New York to talk about that. Brian, we won't trouble you too much with the records on the markets, however --
unless you'd like to you would be most welcome, as you always are. Disney and 21st Century Fox, what is going on? What's the reports and the
BRIAN STELTER, CNNMONEY, SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: CNBC broke the news this afternoon that Disney have been talking to 21st Century Fox about
buying most of the company from the Murdoch's. Now the reports are that these talks are not active today, but they could resume at any time. And
the idea here is that is that Disney needs to get bigger. The company believes it needs even more scale in its competition with the Netflix and
the Apples of the world. You look around at the media landscape, Richard, you see a number of major media companies very concerned about Netflix's
growing power, they want to get bigger as well.
We know Disney has already been taking steps in that direction. Announcing at least two streaming services it's going to launch in the near future,
designed to challenge Netflix. So, the idea here would be that Disney would get from the Murdock's, channels like FX and of course, 21th Century
Fox's movie studio. Some really valuable assets that it can bring together with Disney's existing channels and platforms. Right now, though, the
companies are not commenting, and the talks are apparently not happening as of today.
QUEST: Why would 21th Century Fox want to sell the studios and those assets. Bearing in mind the company was only formed just a few years ago
out of the old Rumford News Corp into the old-fashioned newspaper and the television properties. I know this is going to be the fourth network, but
surely losing a jewel like 21st century Fox, why?
STELTER: The Murdoch's would hold onto Fox news, Fox sports and the Fox broadcast channels. Partly because you'd have a hard time selling that to
Disney given antitrust concerns. Partly because Rupert Murdock and his sons really value that live programming whether it's news or sports. But
there's something going on here that we also see in the pending Disney -- the pending AT&T/Time Warner deal. CNN owned by Time Warner. About a year
ago it was announced that it was going to sell to AT&T. It's now waiting on review from the U.S. regulators.
Time Warner looked to the next ten years. The CEO of this company, Jeff Bewkes, look at the next ten years and perhaps thought the next 10 years
are knocking to be as successful for television channels as the last 10 years were. That may be now is the right time to sell to a bigger company.
I think Murdock's might be looking around thinking the same thing for FX, for National Geographic, maybe are believing they need to be partnered with
a big owner in order in order to battle in this media universe.
[00:05:00] QUEST: Brian Stelter in New York. As always, thank you. Thank you for putting it into perspective.
And so, to the other big story tonight that we're following for you. The Saudi foreign minister has told CNN his country will have zero tolerance,
in his words, for the corruption, waste and management holding back the economy. The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, MBS, is taking a hardline
approach to pushing through reforms and consolidating his own power. Over the last 24 hours dozens of businessmen, princes, officials, arrested on
accusations of corruption. Some of them reportedly have been held in extraordinary places, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh. Which
incidentally, this hotel hosted the Saudi investment forum, showcasing the kingdom's efforts to overall its economy. And indeed, president Trump
stayed there on his visit to Saudi Arabia.
Now apparently, it's one of the world's most expensive jails. It's a witness to the second part of a kingdom's plan at transformation, a clean
business climate. Nobody these days in Saudi is untouchable. At least 38 former, current and deputy ministers are detained. The minister for the
economy and planning, the National Guard minister, the commander of the naval forces and perhaps most extraordinary of all, the billionaire
businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal -- sometimes called the Warren Buffett of the Middle East -- under arrest.
Speaking exclusively to CNN, the Saudi foreign minister insisted the clampdown is not a power grab on the part of the crown prince.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABEL BIN AHMED AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER: Saudi Arabia has a zero policy when it comes to supporting terrorism and extremism. Saudi Arabia
now has a zero policy when it comes to corruption and waste and mismanagement. Our vision 2030 calls for efficient, accountable,
transparent government. We cannot afford to have corruption and waste and mismanagement reduce our ability to improve the lives of our people. And
that's why the Supreme Anti-Corruption Commission was established, headed by his Royal highness the Crown Prince and it's now engaged in during its
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Saudi Arabia's vision 2030 is part of the vision of the Crown Prince. John Defterios, now explains the 2030 vision and the Crown
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNNMONEY EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Richard, this is a young Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, that has big ambitions. He's embracing
modern Islam. Allowing women to drive, plans to float around 5 percent of Saudi Aramco next year, which may or may not have an international listing.
And build the world's largest sovereign fund at $2 trillion. These are key components of his vision 2032 overhaul the kingdom and wean the country off
oil. Part of that effort includes his promise to root out corruption.
Global CEOs who recently flocked to Riyadh for a major investment conference, liked what they heard if it can be delivered. Saudi Arabia
ranks 62 on transparency International's corruption perception index. Not bad, but well behind regional competitors like the UAE. Near term, the
sweeping overhaul may impact growth if businesses freeze up and stop spending.
The IMF is projecting nearly no growth this year and just over 1 percent next year. Stefan Herzog of the London school of Economics told me,
there's never been anything like this in any Arab monarchy. But an aggressive purge of the business community is loaded with risk if it also
includes an effort to tighten a grip on power -- Richard.
QUEST: The arrests are clear signal to Saudi Arabia's elite. Removing the National Guard minister and the commander of the Navy, consolidates the
hold on the security forces. Removing Prince Alwaleed is considered an outsider. He's been outspoken on a number of issues, including the role
women and President Trump. We'll talk about him in just a moment. But now joining me is Robert Jordan, who served as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia
from 2001. He calls the scale of the clampdown breathtaking. So, Ambassador do not be ambassadorial, what was your reaction when you heard
that they'd locked up Alwaleed?
ROBERT JORDAN, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SAUDI ARABIA: I was really shocked. This is it is like locking up Bill Gates or Warren buffet here in
the United States. And so, I'm waiting for evidence of culpability here. It's been said never let a good crisis go to waste, and it may be that
there's a cadre of corrupt business people and officials who need to be put away. But it also appears that in the midst of this there's also a great
opportunity for a purge for those who don't see eye to eye with the Crown Prince. And he can then seize the further instruments of power that he
appears to be doing.
QUEST: And yet, you know, it is tribal, isn't it, in that sense? Because he already is the absolute monarch, in the sense of he has to obviously
keep the conservative religion leaders on site, but it's not as if he had to worry about a parliamentary opposition.
[16:10:09] JORDAN: No, but he does have to worry about the people. And the people right now are sick of corruption in Saudi Arabia. They've seen
billions of dollars wasted. Appropriations for flood control projects that never get built. Saudi royals who come in and horn in on deals for the
middle-class businessmen. So, this is been rampant in Saudi Arabia. I think it's going to be very popular with the overall citizenry there, that
they're going to something about it. The question is are they going to do it right? Are they to make it transparent? So that they are putting the
bad guys away and not just those that they disagree with.
QUEST: You know the answer to that isn't it? There's a high risk that the rule of law will go the way of all things in these situations, that the
judge, jury and judgment and sentence will all come behind closed doors or at least fabricated.
JORDAN: The judges in this case may well be the international business community, because if it's not transparent things like the IPO for Aramco,
foreign direct investment, the success of vision 2030 are really all on the line here.
QUEST: Do you think that's true? And I ask you that because international business has a habit of talking morality and then doing the opposite, when
big contracts are at stake or being offered. And so, it's fine to do a good talk saying how dreadful it is, but all the Crown Prince has to do is
start waving some oil or gas or other 2030 contracts and frankly the morality goes out the window.
JORDAN: That's often the case, but I think in this case, the business elites that are being challenged here and are being arrested and detained
are ones that the international business community can identify with. And what you want is the ability to enter into a contract in Saudi Arabia and
have it enforced. If you don't have the rule of law and you have this image of kangaroo courts, then I think this is going to be a real deterrent
to the international business community. Hopefully the Saudis can get it right here.
QUEST: Ambassador, thank you. Good to see you, sir. Thank you.
JORDAN: Thank you.
QUEST: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is familiar face in the West. Frequent media appearances. Huge stakes in firms like Lyft, Citigroup and Twitter.
CNN's Clare Sebastian is looking at that part of the story.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Richard, Prince Alwaleed be Talal, as you say, a stalwart in global business circles for decades,
frankly. He has stakes in companies across a diverse range of sectors. He's been invested in Citigroup since the early '90s. He's got stakes in
Twitter, around 4.9 percent -- according to a regulatory filing from early this year. That's more in fact, than the Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.
He's invested in Lyft. He was videoed at a meeting with the management team there in 2016. He likes to be seen out monitoring how his investments
Apple as well and of course several big hotel group, the Four Seasons and as well as some Landmark properties around the world, the Plaza Hotel in
New York, the Savoy in London. He is someone who people look to not only for the amount of money that he puts in these companies, but also for who
he picks. When he in Lyft, there was a debate over why Lyft and not Uber. He really is seen as someone who has the kind of an oracle state. A bit
like Warren Buffett, that the companies he picks are sometimes as he himself puts it undervalued and has potential. So really, this is
something that sends a message that perhaps more than anything else, no one is safe from this crackdown in Saudi Arabia -- Richard.
QUEST: It that's the case, what happened to his company today?
SEBASTIAN: The stock price fell dramatically, Richard. Over the last couple of days, it's been down more than 12 percent. Investors are very
much rattled in this. And there's been no discernible impact on the stock prices of companies that he's invested in. Twitter fell slightly. But
it's not clear whether it was because of this. But it's certainly, it's going to be something that people who are in businesses that are associated
with him as well as his main holding company, the Kingdom Holding Company, which earns 95 percent in. They are going to be watching this very closely
QUEST: Clare Sebastian, thank you. Five countries, fives economies and Donald Trump thinks they're all taking advantage of the United States on
trade. We'll join the president on his first trip to Asia as commander-in- chief.
[16:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: Our trade with Japan and is not fair and not open. Donald Trump's message for Shinzo Abe on the first stop of his first trip to Asia as
president. President Trump told a group of Japanese car executives to start building cars in the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We love it when you build cars, if you're a Japanese firm, we love it, try building your cars in the
United States instead of shipping them over. Is that possible to ask? That's not rude? Is that rude? I don't think so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: No, it wasn't rude, it was just simply wrong. Toyota, Honda and Nissan have huge factories in the United States in production is at an all-
time high. Throughout his time in Japan, Mr. Trump kept the broader trade relationship in focus and said he was hopeful of change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We want free and reciprocal trade. But right now, our trade with Japan is not free and it's not reciprocal. And I know it will be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Donald Trump hates trade imbalances and the United States runs a deficit with all five of the countries he's going to visit on this trip to
Asia. So, let's start with this one, South Korea. Now hear you talk about -- Donald Trump talks about the current free trade deal, not signed not
long ago as horrible. And he's threatened to scrap it. In fact, he's raising the temperature on trade with South Korea, even as the temperature
on geopolitical issues with the North Korean and South Korean guests to almost boiling point.
Moved to China and here President Trump has described China as raping the U.S. on trade, threatened tariffs and called China a currency manipulator.
He's since backed off the accusation of Chinese currency manipulator for the simple reason it's not true.
And then you have Vietnam where he will be there for Apec. You remember, Donald Trump in one of the very first acts as president ditched the TPP,
the Trans Pacific Trade Partnership, the 11 other county moving forward hoping to sign a new deal at Apec or probably later. The countries that
are leading the way in that new deal are Vietnam, Singapore, and New Zealand as well. Ivan Watson is insole. Ivan, I know that in some ways
the obvious bit is that people will be looking at geo politics, North Korea, but surely trade is one of those issues that's absolutely essential
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, and it's one of the four main areas that the White House has been talking about that
is so important for President Trump's trip through Asia. And you rightly point out that he seems to view trade relationships almost purely through
trade balances. And when there's a deficit, he sees it as the U.S. being taken advantage of. And all of the countries that are being visited, the
U.S. has a trade deficit with those countries, including South Korea where I'm located right now.
[16:20:00] So you have a position where even in the love fest, with the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, President Trump did take swipes at the
trade relationship, and said the trade will Japan is not free and it's not fair. Here when he comes to South Korea in a matter of hours, there is a
free trade agreement that was negotiated by the Obama administration and that President Trump has made cleared that he wanted renegotiated.
Vietnam, another county, that was a signatory country to the Trans Pacific Partnership. That was supposed to be a U.S. effort to try to bring
together a US-led trade block and complete with China. And the vast inroads it's making in this region, politically and economically, with its
huge infrastructure and blending and credit projects, and he scrap that. That has effectively left countries like Vietnam out in the cold, which put
a lot of political capital into the TPP. So how he's going to try to rewrite these trade imbalances that he wants to fix and also try to stay on
board with these countries is going to be a big question in the days ahead. And it could be a point of tension when he sits down with the South Korean
President, Moon Jae-in, in a matter of hours -- Richard.
QUEST: Ivan Watson, thank you. Peter Westmacott, Britain's Ambassador to France, Turkey and the United States. Peter, there's nothing more
difficult in many ways than trade. Because often on security issues, you can find common ground because your safety is at stake. But when trade's
involved, the deals are complicated, and they go to the last minute. How concern are you that this deteriorating trade relationship with the U.S.
seems to be building.
PETER WESTMACOTT, FORMER AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.? We have a president of the United States who clearly believes in fair trade rather than free
trade. And he wants to have good deals. He wants to have winning deals for America on his watch. That's very clear. It's a kind of economic
nationalism as you like. And as we saw earlier today, he doesn't seem to understand that this very, very significant investments of Japanese auto
manufacturers in America already, which contribute greatly to American exports. Germans are there too. BMW, for example, are also in the United
States. So, I think, one needs to know what's really going on. It is a controversial and difficult issue. For hundreds of years free trade has
been something which elites believe in, but which are often very unpopular at the base. And to be fair to Donald Trump, I think during the campaign
we see that Hillary Clinton was moving a little bit away from free trade. The Brits think that because Donald Trump has said -- the British
government has said -- I like the idea of Brexit and we're going to do a wonderful, beautiful, big free trade agreement with the British as soon as
you leave the European Union. But he's going to deliver a very nice attractive free trade deal with a bow on it. It's actually a little more
difficult than that, because I used to do trade negotiations from My place in Washington and it's tough.
QUEST: So, just how tough is it? Give is a bit of insight. Let's take the South Korea deal. You've got the U.S. and South Korea deal, which
Donald Trump calls horrible. But then you've got the EU and Japan deal or the EU and the Canadian deal, which took 11 years for that one to get done.
The British seem to believe that they can take these deals as templates and turn them around whilst Donald Trump seems to believe he can go in on a
NAFTA, and rewrite it.
WESTMACOTT: Well that's what he's saying. And I know --
QUEST: What's it like sitting in there when you're having those trade negotiations?
WESTMACOTT: The reality is that each side defends its own interest. It's got lobbies and it's got a national interest you've got to look after. So,
for example, the U.S. trade representative used to negotiate -- not so much with us, but with the European commission on behalf of all the 28 members
states -- this was heavy duty. It was chlorine washed chickens. It was automobile tariffs. It was financial service regulation. And this was
between two equal blocks. So, when the United States is negotiating with a single state, inevitably it's going to be more difficult. And that's one
of the reasons why many of us feel in the U.K. think that the idea of a nice bilateral free trade agreement with America is not going to be easy.
QUEST: Do you regard Donald Trump's comments -- you use the phrase economic nationalism -- would you say protectionism, and is there -- I'm
not trying to have sort of a foreign affairs debate or discussion on this - - but is there [16:25:00] a difference between economic nationalism and protectionism in your view? Discuss.
WESTMACOTT: Tough exam question, Richard. I think there is a difference of degree. Nationalism means America first. It means let's do what's good
for us, let's make sure we win. Protectionism is worse than that. It's bringing down the barriers. It's keeping out other people's produce. It's
exporting what you want to. I think it's a degree, a matter of degree. But I think it's worse. But nationalism is not usually I the interests of
the state, because it's a bad deal for the local consumers. It means they pay more for locally manufactured stuff. And they don't get the benefits
of imports, which are better value.
QUEST: So, you heard my introduction as I went through the Apec and I went through the various different TPPs and all of those. Are you concerned --
we have seen several years post 2008 crisis, where the global trade fell. The IMF warned about it. The WTO warned about it. The OECD warned about
it. Are you concerned that what we arsine out of Washington is dangerous or merely acceptable in the circumstances?
WESTMACOTT: I think it's potentially dangerous in the sense that I'm sorry the TPP is gone because I don't think that's in America interests and not
have a major free trade agreement with the Pacific Rim countries. I think it will be a real shame if NAFTA is damaged, but that's more one for Canada
and the United States and Mexico than it is for the Europeans. I hope there will be a resumption of negotiation by Brits, which would be a good
thing. But I think it is a potentially a dangerous thing.
QUEST: Finally -- another finally, what's the gossip grave vine on the Brexit talks and transnational or the level or the rancor that's between
the two side. What are you hearing?
WESTMACOTT: What I'm hearing is that the atmospherics are not bad. I'm sorry to disappoint you, I think that's where we are. But what I'm also
hearing and what I think I know, from what's going on here in London, is that there is still a degree of disunity within the British government
about our strategy. And I have a degree of concern, not just me but a lot of others, that the problem is that if we don't get on with this it's going
to be very, very hard to have a plan for the future agreed by the dead of March 19.
QUEST: I think that's worthy of one. Go on, you can have one.
WESTMACOTT: Am I allowed that.
QUEST: One. That's all you get for bringing us up to date with the Brexit. Good to see you, thank you.
As we continue tonight, a major leak of documents reveal the tax secrets of the world's elite. And that includes the Royal family in U.S. cabinet
members. We'll talk about that next as QUEST MEANS BUSINESS from London continues.
[16:30:00] QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, there's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment, when the outgoing had of the World Tourism
Organization tells me what's been the industry's biggest change during his eight years in office. And the chief executive with Doha Bank will join
me, as Saudi ministers say the dispute with Qatar is just a small deal. As we continue tonight, this is CNN and on this network, the facts always come
The 36-year-old gunmen in Sunday's shooting at a Texas church had a troubled past. And that included a court-martial for assaulting his wife
and child whilst in the Air Force. Authorities say, Devin Patrick Kelley had threatened his mother-in-law and sent her a text message before opening
fire inside the church. 26 people were killed and 20 wounded, the gunmen also died.
Saudi Arabia says phase one of the Crown Prince's anti-corruption drive is complete. The Saudi Attorney General says a great deal of evidence has
been gathered during questioning. 38 former, current, or Deputy ministers have been detained. Among them the billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed
In Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe has fired his longtime ally, and the country's vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa. In a statement read by the
information minister, President Mugabe accused him of disloyalty, disrespect and deceitfulness and unreliability. The firing now opens the
door of succession for Mr. Mugabe's wife, Grace.
A new CNN poll shows only 36 percent of the Americans say they approve of how President Trump is handling his job. That's down 1 percentage point
from the presidents previous low. The number who disapprove of Mr. Trump's performance has reached a new high at 58 percent.
A Republican U.S. senator is recovering from five broken ribs after a neighbor apparently attacked him inside his home. Police say a 59-year-old
man admits going into Paul Rand's property and tackling him on Friday. The lawyer for the suspect said that it had nothing to do with politics, but it
was a disagreement over something trivial.
A massive leak is revealing how the superrich invest their wealth offshore. Millions of documents are being dubbed the "Paradise Paper." Among the big
names, U.S. Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, who reportedly has multi million dollars stakes in Navigator. A shipping company with links to a
Russian energy firm. Wilbur Ross says there's nothing improper in this.
Her Majesty the Queen have private estate, the Duchy of Lancaster invested $13.1 million in offshore tax havens. The Queen herself has not been
accused of any wrongdoing. The "Paradise Papers" are being reported by the International Consortium of Investigating Journalists. Simon Bowers is a
business reporter for the ICIJ and joins me here now. Substantially -- look, you would agree that there is nothing illegal about using an offshore
SIMON BOWERS, BUSINESS REPORTER, ICIJ: Absolutely so. Absolutely so.
QUEST: So, what is the purpose in a sense of revealing, say for example the Queen's use, through the Duchess of Lancaster, nobody would suggest
that she knew herself or went off to do it herself. What's the purpose of revealing that you think?
BOWERS: I suppose -- one mentioned to that particular revelation was a trail to investments in particularly controversial companies. That the
Queen perhaps might not want to be associated with. But in terms of why it's relevant that it came through an offshore fund? I mean, I think the
offshore world, like you say, a lot that happens there is perfectly legal. But being legal in one jurisdiction, there's a lot of behaviors that cross
borders and it's when behaviors cross borders that you get these complex confusions between what's legal where. And that's where the sort of
offshore magic, if you like, happens. That's what's so appealing about the offshore were.
QUEST: Right. The gems, the big gems from the first release, the Queen, Wilbur Ross, who said he declared this interest in Navigator, but he might
not have even known that Navigator had this Russian supplier or customer.
BOWERS: I think that would where a dereliction of his duties as an investor. But go on.
QUEST: OK. But then you've got, obviously, now more serious I think is the arsenal, Everton, because there you may have had the offshore used to
obfuscate deliberately to break the rules.
It's a possibility. Isn't it?
[16:35:00] QUEST: It is. And the same with Lord Ashcroft, the allegation, or the potential allegation, is similarly the mechanism being used to break
BOWERS: Yes, Lord Ashcroft's case, I wasn't involved closely in the reporting of it. But it seems that we've seen deep, deep behind the veil
now on communications with trustees, and who really has their hand on the tiller in these enormous trusts? I mean that I think is really a question
that needs to be scrutinized closer.
QUEST: Hala Gorani, on her program tonight -- "HALA GORANI TONIGHT" -- put it to me that at the end of the day, wasn't this really the anger of
there's one rule for the rich and one rule for the poor or poorer. And even though you and my pension funds are involved in offshore funds of one
sort or another, that seems to be what this is about in that sense. Showing those that can't what those that can do.
BOWERS: Well, possibly, I mean I wouldn't want to characterize it too much as the politics of envy.
QUEST: But that's what it's being portrayed as. In much of the coverage today, it is being portrayed as how the Uber rich live their lives?
BOWERS: Well, yes. There's the famous case of a tax evader, said many, many years ago, taxes are for little people. And that is an attitude.
QUEST: She went to prison? She went to prison, it was Leona Helmsley. Only little people pay taxes. But she was convicted of some very
substantial tax evasion.
BOWERS: Yes, but I think that's an attitude. She was candid about her attitude. And I think that attitude prevails beyond the paper-thin wall
between legality and illegality. And I think it's a long way on this side of.
QUEST: Many more revelations to come?
BOWERS: I do hope so.
QUEST: You're very kind to come into us tonight. Thank you very much indeed.
The world travel market is here in London. The best of global tourism's industry has descended on this city, including the secretary general of the
U.N. World Tourism Organization, Taleb Rifai, has a message for the hurricane devastated Caribbean. You'll recover, and tourists will return
even by next year. The Sec. Gen.'s term comes to an end in December. He's been a good friend of this program, coming on regular occasions when
there have been disasters natural and man-made. Earlier I asked him what he thinks is a travel industry strength?
TALEB RIFAI, SECRETARY GENERAL, U.N. WORD TOURISM ORGANIZATION: It's an incredibly resilient industry. Since the year 2000, only three times has
international tourism taken a dip.
Once September 11, 2001, once in 2005, and the third one 2008 from an economic downturn. Every time the next year immediately after that it
picks up stronger than it was before at the international level. Now on each and separate destinations you may have some longer stretching
depressions in this, but eventually strong deep-rooted destinations come back and get back to her strength very quickly.
QUEST: So, if you take the Caribbean which has been so badly affected at the moment, what would your message about that be?
RIFAI: Come and talk to me next year and you will be talking to be in a different tone completely. Just give it one more year. Less than a year.
In the course of this year in between now and the summer of 2018 they will come back.
The point is, travel and tourism now is a way of life. People are not going to stop traveling. They may take a little break, they may take a
pause, they may change directions, they will come back.
QUEST: You are coming to the end of your time at the UN WTO, in that time you have seen many changes over a very short period of time, what for you
has been the most significant change?
RIFAI: I believe that the effect of technology as a disruptor has been the most significant change and it will still have effects on the future to
come. I would have said security but it's taken care of, and it's something we will have to live
with in the days to come. I would've said maybe sustainability, but I would stick to technology as a disruptor.
QUEST: Do you think governments still give enough importance to tourism? Oh, they say they do, but you know as well as I do the tourism minister is
often somebody who is not the top-notch person who should be in that job.
RIFAI: You are absolutely right. I said that very clearly in many of our encounters before that.
[16:40:00] No, it's not been taken as seriously it should be. The tourism minister is
still one of the loneliest ministers that you could ever have, his or her success is dependent on how much support he or she gets from their
colleagues or their bosses. But still things are improving now much better than they were before.
QUEST: What is the one thing that the industry needs to do to take itself to the next level? Philosophically, politically, what does it need to do?
RIFAI: To be relevant, to attract attention, to cry for benefits. You have to be relevant to others. You have to prove that you are useful to
others. That is what we try to do in the last 8 to 10 years in the UN WTO. Connect this industry to other sectors and other activities in life, to the
security apparatus, to aviation, to the environment, to culture, to the organizations that are connected to that.
To be relevant in life, you have to prove relevance to others.
QUEST: Is there one place you have not been to that you would like to go to and you're hoping to go to?
RIFAI: The answer is I have been almost everywhere in the world, I love them all.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
QUEST: Taleb Rifai who steps down at the end of the year. You can download our show as a podcast, it is available at all the main providers,
or you can listen at CNN.com/podcast.
Saudi Arabia's corruption clampdown is a key part of the kingdom's plan to wean the economy from oil, the wave of arrests has driven oil prices to a
QUEST: Saudi Arabia's corruption crackdown sent shockwaves through the Middle East and instability pushed oil prices up 3.5 percent to a two-year
high. Brent is now trading at almost $65 a barrel.
Joining me now is Raghavan Seetharaman, the chief executive of Doha Bank. Good to see you, sir.
RAGHAVAN SEETHARAMAN, CEO DOHA BANK: Pleasure.
QUEST: Let's talk about the economics. We'll talk first of all about the rising oil price, which of course is natural gas as well. That's good for
Qatar, isn't it? And it will help against an economy that's being very badly buffeted because of the isolation that Qatar would call the blockade?
SEETHARAMAN: It's a new normal. Qatar is coping with it, plan A2 to plan B, real conversion in terms of operational logistics. And outstanding
credits, if you look at liquidity issues have been resolved. In terms of overall economics, a report issued is going to report about 200 percent,
next year possibly three percent.
QUEST: The country is had to burn through reserves in the first part of this crisis, do you expect that to continue?
SEETHARAMAN: If you know the total reserves that we have, twice the GDP, 380 billion, so essentially what has been the drain is very limited. It is
marginal, it's not going to have significant impact.
[16:45:00] At the same time market liberalization has taken place, you have a seaport, you have again immigration rules have been relaxed. Again, free
zones. Plenty of market liberalization which has improved the investment climate which is going to sustain its credibility.
QUEST: At WTO I was talking to the tourism minister, I made the point that is fair enough, you can advance a strong argument why what you called a
blockade, the isolation, is a new view not right. But when the other GCC countries talk about terrorism and they talk about Qatar being a haven or
whatever, that does harm the economy. In you as a banker from the Doha Bank must be concerned when the economy gets harmed in that fashion?
SEETHARAMAN: Let me tell you, social justice, freedom, function, democracy that has been the name of the game for Qatar since 1995.
It is a different shaded intuition and execution. Building a knowledge society ensuring human rights, these are some of the differentiated policy
framework that Qatar has had for the last 22 years. That was a point of difference. Essentially it has progress politically, socially,
QUEST: You would agree it's got a long way to go. There will be those watching tonight that would hardly describe it as a bastion of openness,
transparency and either rule of law or freedom of speech.
SEETHARAMAN: Well, in terms of policy framework if you look at it, it is akin to any functioning democracy in the world. And that is the kind of
articulation that Qatar was evolving. In setting up the modern society.
QUEST: This has to be solved somehow in the sense that it makes no sense for the economy of Qatar to sever as it is, whether it's suffering is badly
or not, and likewise economies of the other countries also to suffer at the same time. This has to find some form of solution, but is by no means
clear war that comes from.
SEETHARAMAN: Absolutely, in terms of compliance Qatar has done no transaction against the framework. There is no question of ascribing
responsibility on terrorist financing. Foreign policy framework if you look at, you have got a strong American military base, in America and Qatar
are in alignment terms of foreign policy, whether it is Lebanon or Libya or Tunisia or Egypt. It came together in terms of foreign policy framework.
Now we have to look at the bigger picture, we have to come to terms, it is not any larger interest GCC.
QUEST: Something like yourself, Doha bank, because you obviously have international operations, but a lot of your operations must have been
concerned with your nearest neighbors, because they are the nearest neighbors in the huge petrodollar transfers particularly which no longer
Are you a Doha Bank mentally and/or logistically putting in place long-term measures in case this goes for months if not years?
SEETHARAMAN: Of course, that is what precisely a proactive measurement is all about.
Government as well as central bank coming together and converge on plan B. Whether it's liquidity or profitability or international footprints, we
have realigned our partnerships and essentially, we are ready to sustain our credibility as a very strong financial base.
QUEST: If I understand we said earlier is right, you believe there is a sustainability to this position?
QUEST: Which of course is buttressed and reinforced by a rising oil price or carbon price, carbon fuels, because the money pours in even faster and
SEETHARAMAN: Richard, Qatar is a commodity driven economy, oil, gas and petrochemicals we are going to scale up existing 77 million metric tons to
100 million. You have record revenues. In addition, diversification into investment partnerships and joint ventures around the world.
That is also helping us. In terms of financial stability, there is no question. What we need to have fiscal and monetary alignment which is
happening now. The question of the diffusion of the crisis is going to be a consolidation with entire gulf, because if you look at it, international
investors are looking at the region is a geopolitical flash.
Any conflicts will have consequential impact for everyone, so nobody is going to gain out of this conflict. In the larger interest of the Gulf
economies since 1981 there has been good partnerships, customs union was built in, monetary policy was coming together. In the larger interest they
have to come together to resolve.
QUEST: Good to have you. Nice to see you in London.
As we continue tonight, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." Spain's tourism minister speaks to me about the Catalan crisis, and we discussed the crucial sector
of the country's economy, tourism. Barcelona, think about, Catalonia, Barcelona and how it is being affected.
[16:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: New developments in the Catalonia crisis, the ousted Catalan president has been released from custody in Belgium. Carles Puigdemont is
still in Brussels, he is due back in court within next two weeks. Spain has issued a European arrest warrant for several Catalan politicians last
week over their independence declaration.
The particular drama now appears to be backing tourism in the region, I spoke to the Spanish tourism minister and I asked him, now that Spain's
crackdown was underway, Catalonia's leaders, there was a real risk of being turned into modern day martyrs.
ALVARO NADAL, SPANISH TOURISM MINISTER: What governments do is to follow the orders of judges, because judges are an independent power of the state,
here, in Britain, in any European country, in all democracies judges are independent. And they decide what they want to do, to make other people
comply with the law.
So, it's up to the judges and the division of powers and their independence what to do, and we must expect that. In every country, with rule of law,
judges decide. And we have to comply.
QUEST: Judges decide, but the government decided to prosecute the case.
NADAL: But also, the prosecutors are independent, they must follow their own criteria, depending on what they see what's legal and what's not legal.
From that point of view government has no intervention.
QUEST: I understand that, OK, but let's say there is a justification in that sense, but it must be a worry that effectively what is now happening
has been a Spanish constitutional crisis which is not transmitted itself to Brussels and to Belgium, which now becomes a European issue. For an
extradition back to -- this is starting to mushroom.
NADAL: I am not that sure, in fact all the European institutions and European governments have said this affair is a Spanish internal affair.
They don't want to interfere at all.
QUEST: Nobody believes that for a minute. Nobody believes for a minute that this can remain as an internal Spanish affair.
NADAL: That is what it is in fact, what happens here in the U.K., with all the parts outside of England, Scotland or Northern Ireland, it is a pure
British affair. Nobody wants to interfere. It is not only not polite in political terms, it would be quite awkward to interfere in other country's
QUEST: Let's turn to your tourism industry because that is what you are here to talk about. How worried are you that the events of Catalonia and
Barcelona will affect tourism in Spain? I know it is a huge industry. I know there are many facets to it, but you are well aware that once there is
a feeling that people may be unjustifiably worried, unjustifiably worried because --
NADAL: It has affected, it is true. Figures, still September has gone very well all-around Spain including Catalonia, after September and
October, we at the moment only have some indicators, leading indicators, not much.
[16:55:00] But it shows clearly that it has affected. It has affected hotel occupation, it has affected travels, it has affected many things.
But at the same time, what we are seeing is as a political situation will settle down and especially after the elections on 21 December, and at the
same time in the valley part of the demand, the low demand we are in the middle of autumn and winter. As we are there things will recover, that is
our impression, we will recover once we'll see so much news about Catalonia. This flashing news about Catalonia. And we are having lasting
after day, as long as we go through the elections, I think that will happen.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
QUEST: We'll have a Profitable Moment after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's Profitable Moment from the world travel market in London.
One of the things I always find fascinating is a juxtaposition between all the countries in their various stands. So, for example in the Middle East
section you have any Iran, explore the Persian beauty, immediately next to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, your extraordinary story, which is just across the
corridor from Qatar. A country which is having a rift in relations within the region. And it is under an economic blockade from its various
Now the traditional view of course of travel and tourism is the rising tide lifts all boats.
Although some perhaps you this is a zero-sum game, if you go to one you don't go to the other. There is more tourism in general everybody
That is the theory and to some extent I think it is true when you look for example here,
I am sure the people who are working here at Qatar must say good morning to the people working at Abu Dhabi or Dubai, whom I say good morning to the
people over at Iran, Jordan or Egypt.
If they don't, well they should, otherwise there is no point in being here. That is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight, I am Richard Quest in London,
whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it is profitable.
I will see you tomorrow.