15 August 2014 Last updated at 05:57

Business Live: Friday 15 August 2014

    06:00: Ben Morris Business Reporter

    Well we've almost made it through a busy week. Stay with us for Friday's business highlights.

    06:00: Nick Edser, Business Reporter

    Good morning. You can email us at bizlive@bbc.co.uk and tweet us at @bbcbusiness.

    UK ECONOMY 06:00: Radio 5 live

    Following a big few days for economic data, Wake Up to Money asks BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed for his 'moment of the week'. He cites the point when Bank of England governor Mark Carney was asked whether he was in muddle over the economy - he responded, no I think you're in a muddle we're being consistent. This summed up difficulty of pinpointing the state of the UK economy.

    Argentina flag

    A "financial mafia" is how Argentina described the hedge funds who are fighting a legal battle over their holdings of Argentine debt. The latest talks to settle Argentina's default on its debt broke down on Thursday. A group of international banks was close to buying part of the disputed debt. But that deal fell through.

    EUROZONE GROWTH 06:10: Radio 5 live
    euro sign

    Following the dismal eurozone growth figures on Thursday, Kamal Ahmed points out that the big problems are Italy and France. He tells Wake Up to Money the two countries have failed to carry out the structural economic reforms that the UK went through in the 1980s. As a result, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi is reluctant to pump in any more money to the eurozone.

    FOOTBALL FINANCES 06:16: Radio 5 live
    Adidas kit

    There is a growing disparity between the big and small clubs in English and Scottish football, says Trevor Birch from accountants, BDO on Wake Up to Money. Sponsors want a "global footprint" for the really big deals, he says and highlights Manchester United's kit deal with Adidas, worth £750m over 10 years. He also mentions "horrendous" losses in the English Championship league.

    UK ECONOMY 06:31: Radio 5 live

    More from Kamal Ahmed on the UK economy. On Wake Up to Money he says the Bank of England is still concerned about whether the UK economy has achieved "escape velocity". When that happens the Bank can begin to raise interest rates. However, it's still very difficult to say that the UK economy will not be knocked off course, Kamal says.

    PANAMA CANAL 06:39: BBC Radio 4
    Panama Canal

    Some mind boggling stats from the BBC's Katy Watson who is reporting from the Panama Canal on Today. The canal is being expanded and the new lock gates are 10-storey's high and 10 metres thick. They have been shipped all the way from Italy. The canal is also celebrating its 100th anniversary.

    THE WRONG TROUSERS? 06:48: Radio 5 live

    The most alarming revelation of the morning comes when Kamal Ahmed reveals that Wake Up to Money presenter Dominic Laurie is wearing red trousers. Dominic calls them his 'trousers of last resort'.

    EBOOKS 06:52: Radio 5 live

    Amazon's locked in a fierce row with parts of the publishing community, which don't want to see the price of ebooks lowered. "In the UK we've had ebooks priced at 20p and others priced at £15 and somewhere between that is probably about right," Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller, tells Wake Up to Money. "I don't think it's for Amazon to set the price or for publishers, I think it's for the market to work it out."

    DISABLED STAFF 06:57: BBC Radio 4

    Around 48% of disabled people are in work, says Beth Carruthers, chief executive of Remploy, which provides disability employment services. On Today she says employers need to focus on what disabled staff can achieve.

    Sergio Aguero, Manchester City

    The Premier League has told the BBC they're clamping down on football fans uploading goals and other match highlights on social media, ahead of the new season. Thousands of short clips, also known as 'vines', were posted online during the World Cup but the Premier League are warning supporters that tweeting copyrighted material is illegal and equivalent to film piracy.

    A Balfour Beatty workman on a construction site

    The war of words between Balfour Beatty and Carillion shows no signs of ending. On Thursday, Carillion set out what cost savings it thought its proposed merger would achieve, and offered Balfour's shareholders an extra cash dividend of 8.5p a share. But Balfour says the proposal is unchanged to the one it rejected on 11 August. "The Board reaffirms its rejection of the proposal," it says. So there.

    MANDATORY SAVINGS 07:31: BBC Breakfast

    The consumer group Which? is proposing that part of employee wages are automatically paid into a savings scheme. "I'm not sure going down the mandatory route is the right thing," says Kevin Mountford from Moneysupermarket.com on Breakfast TV. But he concedes there is a problem: "As a nation we've not really had a culture around savings".

    STUDENT ACCOMMODATION 07:39: Radio 5 live

    In some parts of the UK the cheapest university accommodation is leaving the poorest students with as little as £40 a week, according to the Money Charity. Unlike tuition fees - which are capped at £9,000 a year - universities can charge what they like for accommodation. Sue Fennimore, whose daughter is off to study in Leeds, told Radio 5 live accommodation costs were a "huge consideration" when they looked at universities.

    ARGENTINA DEBT 07:49: BBC Radio 4

    The latest round of talks to solve Argentina's debt default have failed. Mario Blejer a former governor of the Central Bank of Argentina says on Today that these debt problems come at a bad time for the economy, which has not grown over the last year and is enduring annual inflation of up to 40%. Some of the actions of the current government are discouraging investment in the economy, he says.

    ROSNEFT LOAN 07:56:

    Russia's Rosneft wants a $42bn loan from Russia's National Wealth Fund, which finances state pensions, according to reports. Western sanctions have limited Rosneft's ability to raise financing. The Russian government says it will consider the request over the next two weeks.

    PREMIER LEAGUE WARNING 08:09: Radio 5 live
    Arsenal players

    How would a clampdown on clips of Premier League games appearing on the social media site Vine be policed? Daniel Geey, a sports lawyer, tells Radio 5 live that a few years ago the Premier League and YouTube struck a deal that led to the policing of clips on YouTube. He says the Premier League might be able to strike a similar deal with Vine.


    European markets have made a positive start to the day, tracking gains seen overnight on Wall Street.

    • The FTSE 100 has risen 23.40 points to 6,708.66
    • BHP Billiton shares up 3% on possible spin-offs
    • Shares in Frankfurt and Paris 0.2% higher
    WARREN BUFFETT 08:36: Radio 5 live
    Warren Buffett

    Shares in legendary investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway investment firm have broken through $200,000. That values the firm at about $326bn. Chris Thornberg from Beacon Economics tells 5 live that Mr Buffett has had a "good year", but points out that he's been helped by the overall rise in the US stock market.

    BHP BILLITON 08:44:
    Newman Western Australia

    BHP Billiton shares are leading the FTSE 100 higher, up 3%. The company says it wants to demerge "a selection of its assets". Earlier this year, the company said it would focus on iron ore, copper, coal, oil and possibly potash. That means its aluminium, manganese and nickel operations are likely to be hived-off into a separate company. One report said that business could be worth $14bn.

    Via Twitter Ben Thompson Business correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: "Those university accommodation figures suggest average cost of a single self-catered room is £3,411 outside London, £5,232 in London."


    The Premier League has warned fans not to upload clips of football action to internet sites. Vine is a popular app for doing that and Today speaks to a man who has 100,000 followers of his Vine account which features football clips. He knows it is illegal, but argues it is not hurting the TV companies or football clubs. He says that if his account is shut down there are plenty of others to replace him.

    Finnair plane

    Finnair has warned that its 2014 operating result is expected to show a "significant loss", with turnover significantly lower than the year before. The airline has been hit by weak demand in Europe and Asia.

    MARKET UPDATE 09:23:

    In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng share index has closed at its highest level since November 2010. The index closed at 24,954.94, a rise of 153.58 points on the day. China Mobile was behind Friday's increase, with shares in the mobile operator up 5.6%.

    UK ECONOMY 09:32:

    The UK's economy grew by 0.8% in the second quarter of the year, the ONS says, confirming its original estimate.

    UK ECONOMY 09:36:

    While the quarterly growth rate was left unchanged, the ONS figures reveal the economy is now growing at its fastest annual pace for more than six years. The economy grew by 3.2% when compared with the second quarter of last year - that's up from a previous estimate of 3.1%. The 3.2% rate is the fastest annual pace since the end of 2007.

    UK SERVICES 09:53:
    Waitress in London cafe

    The service sector was, once again, the main driver of the UK economy in the second quarter, the ONS figures show. It grew by 1% between April and June, which was the fastest pace since the third quarter of 2012.

    Brompton Bicycle Factory

    While services were strong, the Office for National Statistics figures show that manufacturing growth was 0.2% between April and June, the weakest growth rate in more than a year.

    EBAY BITCOIN 10:19:

    A unit of Ebay is in talks to use the virtual currency Bitcoin, according to the Wall Street Journal. Ebay has a payments unit called Braintree that might start using Bitcoin. It would mean customer could use the currency with certain companies including property rental firm Airbnb and taxi service Uber, the report says.

    UK ECONOMY 10:31: BBC News Channel
    Chris Williamson

    The 0.8% growth seen in the UK during the second quarter contrasts sharply with the weak figures from the eurozone yesterday. Chris Williamson from Markit says the UK is enjoying a "sustained, continuous, great period of growth". The big risk, however, is how much the crisis in Ukraine will hit the economies of Europe. On interest rates, he says the betting is currently on a rate rise in February next year.

    Via Blog Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent

    Blogs "This week... the viral news-and-cats site Buzzfeed got a $50m investment from one of Silicon Valley's leading venture capital funds, and now has a valuation higher than old media giants like the Washington Post."

    MARKET UPDATE 10:52:

    Stock markets have been enjoying a pretty decent morning, rising steadily as the day has progressed. The FTSE 100 is up 0.7% at 6,728.50, and the main share indexes in France and Germany have seen similar increases. Hopes that tensions over the situation in Ukraine are easing are being cited as the reason for the rise.

    Alibaba logo

    Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has uncovered problems at a film and TV business it bought just two months ago. Alibaba Pictures Group said a review of its finances has uncovered possible accounting regularities. Alibaba spent $804 (£480m) buying a 60% stake in the firm. The timing is bad for Alibaba which is preparing to sell shares on the stock exchange for the first time later this year.

    POPE FRANCIS 11:27:
    Pope Francis

    Pope Francis has spoken of his concern about the culture of consumerism. On his first papal visit to South Korea he said: "We see signs of idolatry of wealth, power and pleasure, which come at a high cost of human lives.... so many of our own friends and contemporaries even in the midst of immense material prosperity are suffering from the spiritual poverty, loneliness and quiet despair."

    KARSTADT 11:41:
    Karstadt store

    German department store chain Karstadt has changed hands again. Signa Holding, the vehicle for Austrian investor Rene Benko, is taking full ownership of the chain - which has 83 stores in Germany - from billionaire Nicolas Berggruen. The chain had been bought by Mr Berggruen for one euro in 2010 after it fell into insolvency.

    IRAQ 11:54:
    Economist Magazine

    President Barack Obama is the fourth successive US President to bomb Iraq, points out the Economist in its lead story this week. In order to end that sequence, Iraq needs stable, broad-based and popular government, the article says.

    Apple devices

    Apple has invested $700m (£420m) in a plant to produce synthetic sapphire, for use in future mobile devices, according to the Wall Street Journal. Sapphire is one of the hardest minerals and doesn't crack or scratch as easily as glass. Apple has teamed up with Arizona-based GT Advanced Technologies to produce the material.

    NIKE V ADIDAS 12:22:
    City v Chelsea

    As the top European football leagues get ready to kick off, Ramzan Karmali looks at the battle taking place between Nike and Adidas to supply football teams' kits. "The brand awareness of football is like no other," says Prof Chris Brady at the Centre for Sports Business at Salford University, which is why there is such fierce competition to supply the top clubs.

    COCA-COLA DEAL 12:38:
    Coca Cola cans

    "Coca Cola is wise to invest in the growing energy drinks sector," says Matt Woodhams of marketing consultancy Added Value, in response to the news that the firm has bought a 16.7% stake in Monster Beverage. But he adds the interesting question "is whether Coke has just bought at the top of the market".

    Ferguson logo

    Administrators have been called in to the last remaining commercial shipyard on the lower Clyde with the loss of 70 jobs. Staff at Ferguson Shipbuilders in Port Glasgow were given the news on Friday morning. Joint administrators from KPMG said the business had gbeen hit by a lack of orders and mounting cash flow pressure.

    12:58: Ben Morris Business Reporter

    That's it from the Business live page this week. We'll be back on Monday from 06:00. Have a great weekend.


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

Copyright © 2015 BBC. 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.