Business Live: Wednesday 20 August 2014

Live text

Reporting:

  • Nick Edser 
  • Howard Mustoe 

STANDARD 06:00

Howard Mustoe, Business reporter

Hello. Today we can look forward to minutes from the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, plus company results and analysis. Stay tuned.

STANDARD 06:00

Nick Edser, Business reporter

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

STANDARD 06:02 PALLADIUM PRICES

Radio 5 live

Jim Slade, a director of European Exhaust & Catalyst, is on Wake Up to Money talking about palladium, which is used in catalytic converters. The price of palladium has risen by 25% this year. "There's a lot of debate about Russia and whether they have a huge stockpile or whether it's depleted," he says.

STANDARD 06:10 INTEREST RATES

Radio 5 live
Bank of England

A rise in interest rates is "long overdue", economist Peter Warburton tells Wake Up to Money. The minutes from August's meeting of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee are out later and could show some members favoured a rate rise. Mr Warburton thinks several economic indicators suggest rates should already have gone up.

STANDARD 06:16 BALFOUR MERGER

Radio 5 live

Elaine Coverley, head of equity research at Brewin Dolphin is on Wake Up to Money. Carillion is back with improved terms to buy Balfour Beatty. "It is getting more hostile," she says. Balfour Beatty shareholders "need to petition the board to look at this offer much more closely", she says.

STANDARD 06:31 JAPAN EXPORTS

Tokyo port

Japan's exports grew in July for the first time in three months, figures have shown. Exports were up 3.9% from a year ago thanks to higher shipments of cars and electric machinery. However, imports rose by 2.3%, largely due to purchases of oil and gas. This meant the trade deficit came in at a larger-than-expected 964.0bn yen ($9.4bn; £5.6bn) for the month.

STANDARD 06:44 STANDARD CHARTERED

Radio 5 live
Standard Chartered

Elaine Coverley, head of equity research at Brewin Dolphin is on Wake Up to Money, this time talking about Standard Chartered. Standard Chartered has agreed to pay $300m (£180m) to New York's top banking regulator for failing to improve its money laundering controls. "It's a blow," she says. "In the past the management were very well respected."

STANDARD 06:57 BHP BILLITON

BBC Radio 4
BHP Billiton logo

On Tuesday, mining giant BHP Billiton announced plans to spin-off billions of dollars worth of assets into a new company. Elaine Coverley, head of equity research at Brewin Dolphin, told the Today programme that it's a sign that shareholders in the sector are demanding more discipline from management and seeking better dividends.

STANDARD 07:08 BALFOUR BEATTY

Balfour Beatty worker

Balfour Beatty has rejected the latest takeover bid from rival Carillion. The offer was sweetened on Tuesday for the third time, valuing Balfour at more than £2bn. But Balfour said the proposal was "not in the best interests" of its shareholders.

STANDARD 07:18 BALFOUR BEATTY

Balfour Balfour said it rejected Carillion's latest offer because it failed to address "two key concerns". It said there were "considerable risks" associated with the proposed business plan. It also objected to Carillion's intention to halt the planned sale of Balfour's Parsons Brinckerhoff business in the US, "at a point when it is reaching a successful conclusion".