13 February 2014 Last updated at 05:34

Business Live: 13 February 2014

  1.  
    06:00: Ben Morris Business Reporter

    Good morning. The Bank of England's chief economist is at New Broadcasting House today, talking about interest rates. And watch for Lloyds Banking Group results just after 07:00. Stay with the Business Live page.

     
  2.  
    06:00: Joe Miller Business Reporter

    We'll also be bringing you George Osborne's comments, as he delivers a speech in Edinburgh outlining the government's position on a currency union with an independent Scotland. You can get in touch by emailing us at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or tweeting @bbcbusiness.

     
  3.  
    INTEREST RATES 06:01: Radio 5 live

    The Bank of England's chief economist says he is comfortable with the markets' forecasts on interest rates. Spencer Dale tells Wake up to Money their prediction that interest rates will remain on hold until Spring next year and then rise to around 2% by the end of 2016 "looks reasonable". But he adds "that can't be a promise".

     
  4.  
    INTEREST RATES 06:06: Radio 5 live

    "We need a degree of humility, the last few years has told us we can't forecast the economy really well," admits Spencer Dale, the Bank of England's chief economist, on Wake up to Money. "We're not going to take risks with this recovery and we're only going to raise interest rates when we think the economy is strong enough," he says.

     
  5.  
    COMCAST EXPANSION 06:12:
    Comcast

    Two of America's biggest cable TV companies are to merge, after Comcast agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $45bn (£27bn). The price is about 17% more per share than Time Warner Cable's closing price yesterday. The deal will need to be approved by the industry regulator.

     
  6.  
    HOUSING MARKET 06:16: Radio 5 live

    Bank of England officials are keeping a close eye on the housing market. "A healthy housing market can go to a hot housing market very quickly," Bank of England chief economist, Spencer Dale tells Wake up to Money. He doesn't think we are in a bubble at the moment, but says the Bank has a new committee looking for risks to the economy like an overheating housing market.

     
  7.  
    INTEREST RATES 06:25: Radio 4

    Spencer Dale is now on the Today programme. He says the "essence of forward guidance hasn't changed at all". The Bank of England "won't take risks with the recovery," he adds, but at some point interest rates will have to rise, albeit gradually.

     
  8.  
    INTEREST RATES 06:27: Radio 4

    Real incomes will improve, "sometime later on this year", Spencer Dale tells the Today Programme. He says that's "one of the key things we will be looking at in terms of the durability of the recovery". But there is still too much spare capacity in the economy, he says.

     
  9.  
    SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE 06:29: Radio 5 live
    Scottish flag

    It's going to be a big day in the debate over Scottish independence. The three main Westminster parties are to declare that the next UK government will not enter a currency union with an independent Scotland, regardless of who is in charge. The BBC's Scotland correspondent Colin Blane tells 5 live it's "a gamble that could succeed". He says polling shows that people in Scotland are keen to keep the pound.

     
  10.  
    SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE 06:29: Radio 4

    "A matter for politicians". That's Spencer Dale's response to whether the Bank of England has a stance on a currency union with an independent Scotland.

     
  11.  
    LENOVO PROFITS 06:35:
    Lenovo

    Lenovo, the world's largest PC maker, has posted record third-quarter profits. It's been particularly successful at selling laptops and mobile devices in emerging markets. The Chinese firm said earnings rose 30% to $265m (£159m) from a year earlier, beating analysts' estimates.

     
  12.  
    UK RECOVERY 06:46: Radio 5 live

    Bank of England chief economist, Spencer Dale tells Wake up to Money that much of the increase in growth is from households buying more and financing that by saving less. "Household real incomes need to rise", he says. "We need to move away from consumption to businesses investing more."

     
  13.  
    ITALY IN TURMOIL 06:48:
    Enrico Letta

    Italy's prime minister, Enrico Letta, is fighting for survival, as pressure mounts for him to resign. The country is going through its worst economic slump since World War II. It's the third biggest economy in the euro, and has 41.6% youth unemployment.

     
  14.  
    SINGAPORE AIR SHOW 06:58: BBC World News
    Kiran Rao

    At the Singapore Air Show, Airbus executive vice president, Kiran Rao, tells World Business Report that there is demand for about "11,000 aircraft over the next 20 years" in the Asia-Pacific market. The aviation company has unveiled it's new long-range, wide-bodied passenger jet, the A350-XWB.

     
  15.  
    LLOYDS RESULTS 07:05:
    Lloyds sign

    Lloyds Banking Group has announced a pre-tax profit of £415m for 2013, reversing the previous year's loss of £606m. Last month, Lloyds announced plans to axe 1,080 jobs and outsource more than 310 roles as part of a continuing overhaul of the business.

     
  16.  
    RIO TINTO 07:06:
    Rio Tinto

    Global mining giant Rio Tinto has reported a $3.67bn (£2.2bn) net profit for last year. It marks a return to profit for the company, following a big cost-cutting drive that included sacking 4,000 workers. The results were better than forecast, and compare with a $3bn (£1.8bn) dollar loss in loss in 2012.

     
  17.  
    LLOYDS BONUSES 07:12:
    Antonio Horta-Osorio

    The chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, Antonio Horta-Osorio has been awarded a bonus worth £1.7m for 2013. The bank's overall bonus pool for staff is £395m, up from £365m in 2012.

     
  18.  
    EDF RESULTS 07:17:
    EDF

    Europe's biggest electricity producer, EDF, has reported core earnings of 16.8bn euros (£13.7bn) for 2013. This represents a rise of 4.8%. The firm said business in France was lifted by favourable operating conditions due to a positive effect from the weather and "excellent" conditions for producing hydro-electricity. You can read the results here.

     
  19.  
    HOMESERVE FINE 07:27:

    The maintenance company Homeserve has been hit by the biggest ever fine imposed on a retail firm by the Financial Services Authority. It is fining the firm almost £31m for "serious, systemic and long running failings, extending across many key aspects of its business". More on the story here.

     
  20.  
    IRISH SEA FRACKING 07:38:
    Dr Chris Cornelius

    The founder of shale gas firm Cuadrilla is planning to frack in the Irish Sea, the BBC has learned. Dr Chris Cornelius believes there are large volumes of offshore shale gas there. If successful, it would be the first such project in the world.

     
  21.  
    ROLLS-ROYCE RESULTS 07:42:
    Rolls-Royce engine

    Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce has reported an underlying profit of £1.83bn for 2013. That's up from almost £1.5bn in 2012. It says its biggest engine development programme, the Trent XWB, is performing well in test flights.

     
  22.  
    LLOYDS BONUSES Via Twitter Adam Parsons Business Correspondent

    tweets: "Horto-Osario confirms he WILL take his £1.7m bonus - assuming conditions are met #lloyds"

     
  23.  
    LLOYDS RESULTS 07:56: BBC Breakfast
    Breakfast

    Steph McGovern has been speaking to banking analyst Ed Salvesen on BBC Breakfast. He says he expects the publicly-owned Lloyds shares to be sold off soon - probably in April. The government "wants to make a profit" on their investment, he adds, and says shares will be available for the public to buy.

     
  24.  
    INTEREST RATES Via Twitter Adam Parsons Business Correspondent

    tweets: "If you missed my earlier interview with @bankofengland's Chief Economist on #inflation, here's the free download: http://bbc.in/1cpNj4t"

     
  25.  
    COMMUTING MISERY 08:09:
    London Underground

    Just how grim is commuting? Very - according to a report in the Daily Telegraph today. Commuters who spend between an hour and 90 minutes travelling to work each morning experience a "sense of worthlessness", it says. The report is based on a study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Every extra minute spent commuting depresses "life satisfaction", it says.

     
  26.  
    HEADLINES
     
  27.  
    YELLEN SNOWED IN 08:18:
    Snow in Washington

    A huge ice storm is sweeping across the east coast of the US, causing none other than Janet Yellen to cancel her plans. Bloomberg reports the Federal Reserve chair's second day of testimony is to be postponed, as few are expected to brave the 20cm of snow in Washington.

     
  28.  
    MARKETS UPDATE 08:26:

    Rolls-Royce shares have slumped by more than 9% on the FTSE 100, but Tate & Lyle is the biggest loser, down by more than 12%. Overall, the FTSE 100 is down by 0.3%, the Cac-40 is down by 0.1% and the Dax down by 0.2%.

     
  29.  
    DILBERT CARTOON 08:31:

    Does this ring true? Dilbert redefines leadership as "a combination of jargon and wishful thinking" in today's cartoon.

     
  30.  
    SUGAR LOW 08:42:
    Sugar

    Tate & Lyle's shares are down by more that 12% after the firm scaled back its profit outlook. The British firm, best known as a sugar maker, says weak sales in developed markets and expectations for a dramatic drop in prices of its sucralose sweetener are to blame.

     
  31.  
    AUSTRALIAN UNEMPLOYMENT 08:56:
    Toyota Flag

    Unemployment in Australia has risen to the highest level in a decade, reaching 6% in January. This caused the Australian dollar to drop, amid speculation that interest rates might be eased again. Earlier this week Toyota announced it was ending car making in Australia.

     
  32.  
    SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE Via Blog Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    blogs: "To kybosh any chance of a deal on currency is to deal a blow - seen even by some nationalists as being potentially fatal - to the credibility of the SNP government's economic strategy."

     
  33.  
    Via Twitter Ramzan Karmali Business reporter, BBC News
    Peston and Antonio Horta-Osorio

    tweets: "@Peston talking exclusively to CEO of Lloyds, Antonio Horta-Osorio for #BBCNews"

     
  34.  
    SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE 09:15:
    Osborne

    George Osborne is setting out his position on a Scottish currency union with the rest of the UK if Scotland backs independence. You can watch his speech and follow a special live page over at BBC Scotland.

     
  35.  
    SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE 09:16:

    The Chancellor tells the audience in Edinburgh: "nothing could be more damaging to economic security than dividing the UK".

     
  36.  
    SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE Via Twitter Adam Parsons Business Correspondent

    tweets: "Not just Mark Carney - it's Dr Mark Carney - #Osborne"

     
  37.  
    HOUSING MARKET 09:28:
    For sale signs

    A shortage of sellers is holding back the property market and is driving prices higher in parts of the country. That's according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). During January, the number of houses coming up for sale across the UK hit its lowest point since July 2012, the RICS said.

     
  38.  
    LLOYDS BOSS 09:39:
    Antonio Horta-Osorio

    Robert Peston has just arrived back in the building with his interview with the chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, Antonio Horta-Osorio. Robert asked him if he was a bit embarrassed about his £1.7m bonus. He said that underlying profits have risen 140% so it was "appropriate" to increase his bonus. Mr Horta-Osorio stressesed that the bonus is fully paid in shares and he will not receive it until 2019. If his strategy goes wrong it can be "clawed back".

     
  39.  
    LUSH VS. AMAZON 09:46:
    Chris North range

    Lush have named a range of cosmetics after the boss of Amazon UK, the Guardian reports. Lush has been fighting Amazon in the law courts, for using the name Lush to sell rival cosmetics. The Christopher North range has its own tagline: "rich, thick and full of it".

     
  40.  
    EUROZONE INFLATION 09:58:
    ECB

    The European Central Bank says eurozone inflation will remain below target in the next few years, as growth speeds up. In its regular quarterly survey of professional forecasters, the ECB found inflation in the 17 euro countries was expected to reach an annual average of 1.1% this year.

     
  41.  
    Via Twitter Robert Peston Business editor

    tweets: "Head of the Treasury, Macpherson, "strongly advises against currency union with Scotland". His letter worth reading https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/279455/Sir_Nicholas_Macpherson_-_Scotland_and_a_currency_union.pdf"

     
  42.  
    LLOYDS BOSS 10:21:
    Antonio Horta-Osorio

    More from Robert's interview with the chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, Antonio Horta-Osorio, who says that Lloyds is becoming a very efficient bank. Lloyds' cost-to-income ration is 53% which is the lower that any other UK bank, Mr Horta-Osorio says. And he thinks that will continue to improve.

     
  43.  
    MARKET UPDATE 10:37:
    Trader

    Tate and Lyle shares have plunged 16%, making them the biggest loser on the FTSE 100 this morning . But Rolls-Royce shares are close behind, down a whopping 15%. Rolls-Royce says that cuts in defence spending could prevent any growth in 2014. Tate also warned about a flat performance this year. Overall, the FTSE 100 is down by 0.6%, the Cac 40 is down by 0.3% and the Dax down by 0.3%.

     
  44.  
    GREEK UNEMPLOYMENT 10:59:
    Athens

    Greek unemployment has hit another record. It hit 28% in November, up from 27.7% in October. Youth unemployment is running at almost double that rate.

     
  45.  
    BNP PARIBAS 11:06:
    BNP PARIBAS

    BNP Paribas, France's largest bank, posted an unexpected fall in profit. It said fourth-quarter net income fell by 76% from a year earlier to 127m euros. The bank has provisionally set aside $1.1bn (£662m) over an inquiry into a possible breach of US sanctions.

     
  46.  
    PERNOD RICARD 11:20:
    Whisky bottles

    Global drinks giant Pernod Ricard expects its operating profit to slow down due to weaker sales in China. The French company, whose brands includes Chivas whiskey, Martell cognac and Absolut vodka says unfavourable exchange rates were a factor.

     
  47.  
    CHINA SMARTPHONES 11:34:
    4G Poster

    After growing for 27 months, smartphone shipments in China fell by about 4% in the last quarter. Research firm International Data Corporation says four million fewer handsets were shipped. This is partially down to a new 4G network going live, with consumers waiting to buy compatible phones. You can read the report here.

     
  48.  
    LLOYDS RESULTS 11:44:
    Alastair Blair

    Alastair Blair, a director at management consultants Accenture, has been talking to the BBC about Lloyds profits. "There's been enormous focus on cleaning up bad loans etc," he says, "so the balance sheet and the capital base are in far better position."

     
  49.  
    FRENCH EDITOR RESIGNS 12:00:
    Liberation front page

    Nicolas Demorand, editor-in-chief at Liberation since 2011, has resigned after staff revolted over his plans to revamp its output and turn it into a "social network". Seems the hacks didn't fancy working for a cultural centre, rather than a proper newspaper.

     
  50.  
    CHINA SMARTPHONES 12:03:
    Graph

    The green line on this graph shows just how well Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) smartphone shipments were doing in the lead-up to the latest quarter. "This is the first hiccup we've seen in an otherwise stellar growth path," says Melissa Chau, a manager at market research firm IDC.

     
  51.  
    12:09: Via Blog Robert Peston Business editor

    blogs: "Has the Treasury killed Salmond's sterling-zone? It is unusual for the permanent secretary to the Treasury to write a public letter on any issue at all."

     
  52.  
    MARKET UPDATE 12:15:
    Renault

    Tate and Lyle shares are still the biggest loser on the FTSE 100, down 15%. Rolls-Royce are also still down by 14%. In Paris Renault shares have risen by almost 6% on the Cac-40, after the carmaker pledged to lift its operating margin to 5% over the next three years. Overall, the FTSE 100 is down by 0.8%, the Cac 40 is down by 0.5% and the Dax down by 0.4%.

     
  53.  
    SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE 12:28:
    Scotland's Future

    "Surely it is better for the English to be able to use their money in Scotland without paying to change it?" asks Nobel prize winner Sir James Mirrlees in today's Scotsman newspaper. He helped draw up the Scottish government's currency union plan, and argues that Scotland sharing the pound with the rest of the UK "is not a trivial benefit".

     
  54.  
    12:36: Via Blog Linda Yueh Chief business correspondent

    blogs: "Small town American Dream: As I walk through the deprived town of Crisfield (United States), I wonder if there really are better times to come here."

     
  55.  
    FASHION TRENDS 12:45: World Service
    London Fashion Week

    The fashion industry tells women that being tall and skinny is beautiful. With London Fashion Week beginning on Friday, Business Daily asks why this ideal continues to sell. Guests include a former editor of Vogue and a supplier of mannequins.

     
  56.  
    FUEL BILLS 12:46:
    Pound coins

    Want an intelligent perspective on why are fuel bills have been going up? Take a look at this from Prof Dieter Helm. If you are short of time, skip down to "what to do now".

     
  57.  
    12:59: Joe Miller Business Reporter

    That's all from Business Live for today. Come back tomorrow, we'll be here from 06:00.

     

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