Business Live: Vince Cable faces MPs over Pfizer deal

Live text

Reporting:

  • Joe Miller 
  • Victoria King 
  • Ben Morris 
  • Howard Mustoe 

Last updated 13 May 2014

BREAKING SUMMARY

MPs are questioning Business Secretary Vince Cable about the likely effect of US drug giant Pfizer's proposed bid for AstraZeneca. If it went ahead, it would be the biggest takeover of a UK company.

STANDARD 06:00

Ben Morris, Business Reporter

The boss of Pfizer will have to justify his plan to buy AstraZeneca in front of MPs today. It should be a fascinating session and we'll be covering it on the Business live page, from 09:30. Stay with us.

STANDARD 06:00

Howard Mustoe, Business Reporter

Good morning! You can stay in touch via email at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or on twitter @BBCBusiness

STANDARD 06:00 PFIZER HEARING

Kamal Ahmed

If you want a great overview of the kind of questions that are likely to be directed at Pfizer's chief executive, then read the latest blog from BBC Business Editor Kamal Ahmed. He has been speaking to sources at the Business Select Committee where Pfizer's chief executive, and others, will be giving evidence from 09:30.

STANDARD 06:06 PFIZER HEARING

Radio 5 live

Savvas Neophytou, a pharmaceuticals analyst at Panmure Gordon, says the AstraZeneca deal "makes sense" if the price is right. Pfizer will probably come back with a higher bid, he says. "Every public company will look towards maximising profits and Pfizer is no different." He says Pfizer, like other pharmaceutical firms, has had difficulty developing new products.

STANDARD 06:15 PFIZER HEARING

BBC Radio 4

Today leads with the appearance of Pfizer's chief executive, Ian Read, at the Business Select Committee later this morning. Their lead item contains Labour leader, Ed Miliband's criticism of the proposed takeover of AstraZeneca. He says Pfizer spends less on R&D than AstraZeneca, has already closed plants in the UK and hasn't ruled out a break-up of AstraZeneca.

STANDARD 06:28 MARKETS

BBC Radio 4
Trader

Simon Jack on Today reminds us that we are not that far from an all-time high on the FTSE 100, 15 years on from the time of the dot-com bubble. "If the stock market gets ahead of profits growth then we could be in trouble," says Jane Sydenham, investment director, from Rathbones Investment Management. But she says investors are encouraged by good news from manufacturing, services and the housing market. China may be slowing but that "is not new news".

STANDARD 06:33 INTEREST RATES

Radio 5 live

Nicky Morgan, financial secretary to the Treasury, has been on 5 live. She was asked what the effect will be if the cost of borrowing goes up. Ms Morgan trusts the public to understand that rising interest rates will mean a more expensive mortgage. People's "savings ratio is higher than pre-recession," she says.

STANDARD 06:40 PFIZER HEARING

BBC Radio 4

Savvas Neophytou, pharmaceuticals analyst at Panmure Gordon, is back, this time on Today. He is asked if Pfizer's promises have any legal weight. "A management team cannot make commitments for future management teams," he says. "They are just rhetoric". But Mr Neophytou says there are good business reasons for Pfizer to keep jobs and research in the UK.

STANDARD 06:51 HEATHROW EXPANSION

BBC Radio 4

The Airports Commission which is headed by former Financial Services Authority chief Sir Howard Davies, will make the decision "that no politician wants to make", over airport expansion, says Transport Correspondent Richard Westcott. The decision has "conveniently been pushed to after the general election", he says. In the Autumn, Sir Howard will finally say whether he is considering a new super-sized airport in the Thames Estuary.

STANDARD 06:51 HEATHROW EXPANSION

BBC Radio 4
Heathrow

Detailed proposals for airport expansion in the south east of England will be delivered today to the body set up to select the best location. On Today Transport Correspondent Richard Westcott explains the three competing plans. Two plans will be submitted for the expansion of Heathrow and Gatwick has a rival offer.