9 July 2014 Last updated at 06:00

Business Live: Wednesday 9 July 2014

    06:00: Howard Mustoe Business reporter

    Good morning all! We'll be bringing you all the best business and economic news this morning, so stay with us.

    06:00: Matthew West Business reporter

    Morning one and all, if you want to get in touch you can do so via bizlivepage.co.uk or @BBCbusiness on twitter. Do send us your views on the latest news.

    CASINOS 06:02:

    Australian mogul James Packer's £800m Sydney casino has been approved by the state gaming regulator, taking it one step closer to winning final approval. Billionaire Mr Packer, who runs Crown - a worldwide gambling empire already operating casinos in Melbourne, Perth and Macau - won backing from the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.

    TURNING JAPANESE 06:08: Radio 5 live
    Man fallen asleep in front of a computer screen

    Over at BBC 5 live's Wake up to Money Charles Elvin, chief executive of the Institute of Leadership and Management, has been explaining how we're all working longer hours. In Japan leaving the office last is treated as a competitor sport and the fastest way to promotion. But Mr Elvin says most managers prefer quality of work over quantity of hours worked, adding: "We all know if you're tired and stressed the quality of the work you do goes down."

    MARKET UPDATE 06:24:

    Hong Kong stocks tumbled 1.24% after Chinese inflation came in below forecast in June and following a second day of declines on Wall Street. The benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 292.95 points to 23,248.43. Tokyo stocks slipped 0.25%. The Nikkei 225 index fell 38.16 points to 15,276.25.

    TURNING JAPANESE 06:38: Radio 5 live
    A woman using a smartphone

    Mr Elvin tells Wake up to Money people are working longer partly as a result of concerns over job security since the financial crisis. He says that has also led employers to look at cost control with managers asking themselves whether certain roles really need to exist. And he says technology means that we're all more connected to the office than in the past, meaning many people are answering emails on smartphones long after they've gone home for the day.

    INTEREST RATES 06:46: BBC Radio 4

    Jonathan Portes of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research is on the Today Programme talking about interest rates. "There's some overheating in the housing markets," he says, but hiking rates to kill off "a little bit of froth in the London market" may be a bit heavy-handed."

    RECOVERY 06:57: BBC Radio 4

    More from Mr Portes. "We are seeing a reasonably strong cyclical recovery," he says. But there are still "the structural weaknesses of the UK economy, weak exports," to deal with. Not enough houses, which lends the market to bubbles, is a problem too, he adds.


    The Financial Times has reported that the Serious Fraud Office has made arrests and questioned six individuals as part of a long-running investigation into alleged corruption in Saudi Arabia by a subsidiary of European Aerospace and Defence Group Airbus, GPT Special Project Management.

    FOOD PRICES 07:29: Radio 5 live

    Professor Michael Waterson of Warwick University, who specialises in retail prices, tells Wake up to Money the strong pound and lower commodity prices are the two main contributors to lower food prices in the UK. Food prices are rising at the slowest pace since 2006 according to the British Retail Consortium, which Professor Waterson says, is also partly the result of competition between supermarkets.

    FOOD PRICES 07:45: Radio 5 live

    Professor Waterson adds that a fall in cotton prices has to some extent fed into clothing prices as has weakening demand from China. "As far as clothing is concerned, although China is growing very strongly it's not growing as much as it was, so it's no surprise that prices are coming down." Interestingly however, he says services have become more expensive in the past year relative to goods themselves, so we're all paying a little bit more for those haircuts.

    THORNTONS 07:54:

    Thorntons says sales for the year rose by 0.7% as a drop in sales in its own shops was countered by a rise in revenue from supplying supermarkets and other shops. It closed 36 stores in the year.

    WORLD CUP 08:10: Radio 5 live
    Brazil'sLuiz Gustavo is consoled by teammate  Maicon after defeat  by Germany

    Dr Leah Donlan, who specialises in sports sponsorship at the Manchester Business School, has been speaking to BBC 5Live about Brazil's 7-1 world cup thrashing by Germany last night. She says the defeat will have a massive impact on the Brazilian national side's brand and overall marketing potential, which she adds will be a significant worry for shirt manufacturer Nike.

    WORLD CUP 08:23:
    Arjen Robben

    A bit more time to speculate about the possible economic effects of football matches. If the Dutch maintain their winning-streak, it may mean more consumer confidence, Bloomberg News reports. Four years ago, when the team was runner-up in Spain, sentiment rose four points, says the newswire.

    A Wetherspoon pub logo

    Pub chain JD Wetherspoon has said like-for-like sales increased by 4.9% in the 10 weeks to 6 July 2014, while for the year to date like-for-like sales are up 5.4%. But it adds sales have been slightly weaker than expected during the World Cup. It has opened 40 new pubs and closed five since the start of the financial year, it adds.


    One more on Wetherspoon's trading update. The pub chain is once again complaining about "tax inequality between pubs and supermarkets," picking out VAT and business rates in particular. Wetherspoon is also unhappy about the government's 'late night levy' which it says will lead to annual charges of up to about £4,000 a year for pubs opening beyond midnight.

    MARKET UPDATE 09:05:

    It's a mixed day on European stock markets so far this morning. The FTSE 100 is lower by 0.25%, or 16.83 points at 6721.62. Meanwhile Germany's Dax is up 0.18% or 17.85 points, at 9790.52 and France's Cac-40 is higher by 0.22%, or 9.70 points at 4352.23. The biggest riser on the FTSE so far today is easyjet - up 2.93%, or 37.00p, to 1285.00p.


    US pharmaceutical firm AbbVie has been forced into an embarrassing retraction by the Takeover Panel this morning. The company raised its takeover bid for UK drugmaker Shire to £30bn yesterday and chief executive Richard Gonzalez said he felt AbbVie had the broad support of shareholders for the deal.


    But that's led to a slap on the wrists from the Takeover Panel as such statements must be supported with written proof, which AbbVie doesn't have. So it was forced to issue this rather terse statement this morning: "AbbVie confirms that it has not received any written commitments of support and accordingly retracts the statements. It acknowledges that in the absence of written statements of support from shareholders it is not in a position to make any statement of shareholder support."


    Investors aren't happy with Wetherspoon it seems. The pub chain's shares are down 2% after the release of its trading update earlier this morning. Joshua Raymond, chief market strategist of Cityindex.co.uk, writes in to say like-for-like sales up 4.9% for the 10 weeks to 6 July mark a slowdown from sales growth of 6.2% for the previous quarter and it's that slowdown that's worrying shareholders.

    HOUSE PRICES 09:56:
    A general view of residential housing on a street in south London

    There is a danger of getting over-excited here but...house prices fell 0.6% in June, according to lender Halifax. Now, that should be viewed in light of a 4% rise in house prices the previous month and the fact that the average property has seen its value increase by £15,794 in the last year, representing a jump of 8.8%.

    HOUSE PRICES 10:21:

    More on house prices. Halifax point out, quite rightly, that monthly house prices have fluctuated this year and this is actually the fourth time a fall in prices has been recorded since December. So, monthly figures tend to be, by their nature, more volatile. They suggest a better guide to what the property market is doing is the quarterly figure. That shows house prices rising by 2.3% between April and the end of June.

    HOUSE PRICES 10:37:

    Another nugget from the Halifax house price index -and possibly of more concern to the likes of the Bank of England - is the average house price to earnings ratio, which has also been creeping up over the past year. While the ratio has fallen slightly in the month, house prices are still around 4.95 times earnings. If past experience teaches us anything, it is that the closer house price get to 6 times average earnings, the closer we get to the risk of a burst bubble.

    ICEBREAKER 10:50:

    Japan's Mitsui OSK Lines is planning the world's first regular commercial shipping route through the Arctic Ocean, starting in 2018, in an attempt to reduce sailing times. The firm said it would initially start moving liquefied natural gas from a Russian LNG project to markets in Europe and Asia on a trio of icebreakers, as part of a joint venture with China Shipping Group.

    HOUSE PRICES 11:07:

    PricewaterhouseCoopers has come out with a nice, bold prediction for house prices today. The firm estimates the average property will be worth £330,000 within the next six years. It's published a new report today on the UK's economic outlook, which looks at the prospects for growth, house prices and, naturally, interest rates. A word of warning - you will have to register to read the report. We'll provide more detail here once we've had a bit of a read.

    The Admiral car insurance logo

    UK car insurer Admiral Group is the biggest faller on the FTSE this morning. It's down 6.4% to 1473p after reporting a fall in half year sales. The car insurer has said there is no firm evidence of a return to growth in UK car insurance premiums, although given premiums have been falling for some time this shouldn't come as a surprise. Group turnover in the six months to the end of June was £1bn, down from £1.1bn a year earlier, with total premiums down 9%.

    HOUSE PRICES 11:37:
    A graph showing PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates for house prices

    More from the PwC report: It expects house prices nationally to rise by 8% this year and 13% in London. Its forecast for 2020 is also working from an average house price baseline of £242,000 at the end of 2013. It suggests the average property will be worth £276,000 by the end of 2015 - that's £34,000 in two years!

    HOUSE PRICES 11:50: Via Email

    Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight says at £183,462 in June, average house prices are still 8.1% below Halifax's all-time seasonally-adjusted high of £199,612 seen in August 2007. He expects house prices will rise by a further 4% in the second half of this year - which would amount to 8% annual growth - and then slow to around 6% or 7% next year.

    A table showing the top ten economies in the world

    This is interesting from the PwC report. This table shows the top ten world economies as they stood last year and it clearly shows the UK as the 6th largest economy in the world and third largest in Europe. So no major surprises there.

    A table showing the top ten largest economies in the world

    This next table shows where PwC thinks things will stand in six years' time. Several economists have predicted the UK will overtake France as Europe's second largest economy for a little while now. But look at India flying up the table from tenth to seventh in no time at all.

    St Basil's

    Russia managed to avoid recession in the second quarter, its deputy economy minister, Andrei Klepach, said, citing preliminary estimates showing zero growth for the three months ending June. The country was widely expected to post a technical recession with two consecutive quarters of contraction, after massive capital flight over the uncertainty caused by the Ukraine crisis.

    Table showing the top ten world economies by 2030

    One last table from the PwC report. This shows the new world economic order by 2030 and just look at India! The country's economy is forecast to storm ahead rising from seventh largest in the world to third in just ten years. Also notable are Italy which drops out of the top ten altogether to be replaced by Mexico and France which falls from sixth to eighth in a decade.

    13:00: Matthew West Business reporter

    Right, that's it for another day. Tomorrow we're promised mortgage lending stats from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Bank of England's latest interest rate decision and India's first Budget since Narendra Modi became prime minister, among other highlights. So it promises to be a busy day. See you from 06:00.


Join the discussion

  • Send us an SMS to 61124

Comment here

The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published.
Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.

Terms and conditions

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.