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Summary

  1. BHS to be wound down after rescue bid fails
  2. ECB holds interest rates
  3. Oil price rises despite Opec failing to agree output cut
  4. Saudi Arabia invests $3.5bn in Uber

Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan and Chris Johnston

All times stated are UK

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Good night!

Another day on Business Live draws to a close - a day dominated, of course, by the winding up of BHS.

We'll be back tomorrow at 6am when we'll bring you all the latest business news as it unfolds.

Thank you for joining us. 

BHS: Parliamentary committees have lots of questions

Let's go back to the winding up of BHS.

Two parliamentary groups are looking into the circumstances surrounding the chain's collapse. Here's what the chair of one of them, the Labour MP Iain Wright, has to say. 

Why on earth was hundreds of millions of pounds taken out of the business over many many years and then sold to somebody who was untried, inexperienced, had no idea how the retail sector went? Where did his money come from, did he take any money out of the business? There are lots of questions that we are very keen in parliament to address.

Iain WrightChair, Commons Business Committee

S&P 500 hits seven month high

Wall Street sign
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Wall Street closed slightly higher on Thursday.

In fact, the S&P 500 hit its highest level for seven months off the back of new figures which painted a rosier view of the economy. They showed that private employers took on more people in May and new applications for jobless benefits fell last week, further boosting the economic outlook for the second quarter.

And while some energy and tech stocks were down, healthcare shares edged up. 

At the close of play the S&P 500 was at 2,105.26 - that's 0.28% higher. 

The Dow Jones ended the day at 17,838.56 - a rise of 0.27%.

The Nasdaq was up 0.39% at 4,971.36.

The onward march of the drones?

Reuters tweets

Messi: 'no involvement in managing financial affairs'

BBC World Service

Lionel Messi arrives at the courthouse in Barcelona
Getty Images

The Barcelona and Argentina football star, Lionel Messi - who's on trial for alleged tax fraud in Spain - has told the judge that he had no involvement in the management of his financial affairs, reports BBC World Service.

"I was playing football, I knew nothing," he said.

Messi added that he trusted his father - who is also on trial. 

The five-times footballer of the year and his father deny defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of millions of dollars by concealing earnings from image rights in off-shore accounts. They made a voluntary corrective payment of more than five-million dollars after the investigation began in 2013. The Spanish tax agency is seeking heavy fines and prison sentences.  

Brazil approve civil servant wage increase amid recession

BBC South America business correspondent Daniel Gallas writes...

Amidst its worst recession in two decades, Brazil’s Congress approved late on Wednesday a wage increase to civil servants that could cost up to $15bn in four years to taxpayers.

Brazil’s current recession has been blamed by officials on the poor state of the country’s budget - but despite that claim the government of acting President Michel Temer gave his backing to the measure.

Brazil has been implementing austerity cuts in health, education, unemployment benefits and pensions that affect over 11 million people currently unemployed.

But some of the country’s richest civil servants will now get a salary boost of 16%.    

Tata Steel 'ready to keep Port Talbot'

Financial Times tweets ...

The FT is tweeting about its story that Tata Steel is prepared to keep the Port Talbot steelworks open after after the UK government offered the Indian company a multimillion-pound loan to persuade it to remain in the UK.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills has refused to comment on the story and Tata Steel says it's speculation and that their aim is to sell the entire UK business to a responsible buyer. 

View more on twitter

Clocking off

Chris Johnston

Business reporter

Office workers
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Annoyed with still being at work at 5pm on Friday? Spare a thought for those poor Credit Suisse bankers. They've been told to leave the office by 7pm on a Friday and not return until at least Saturday lunchtime - unless a big deal is on the go.

The Swiss bank has catchily titled the move "Protecting Friday Night" and is part of a wider drive by investment banks to stop staff defecting for jobs in other areas such as technology or private equity. 

The guidance may bring some relief for junior bankers in particular, who often work into the small hours on Fridays and at weekends. "It means you can at least make plans one night of the week," one said. 

UBS, another Swiss bank, has told staff they can take at least two hours of "personal time" a week, while JPMorgan wants its investment bank staff to take weekends off - unless they were working on a major deal, of course. 

FTSE ends trading day flat

London Stock Exchange sign
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In case you missed how shares in London did today - here's an update. 

London's main share index, the FTSE 100, gave up early gains to close flat.

The FTSE 100 index ended the session 6.32 points lower, or 0.01%, at 6,185.61.

It had earlier been supported by oil stocks, such as BP and Shell, as the price of crude rose.

Brent crude earlier rose above $50 a barrel but slipped back as Opec oil producers failed to agree a ceiling for production.

However a short while ago it had once again gone above the $50 mark.

New plastic fiver cost £70m

BBC economics editor tweets

Opec fails to agree a cut in output

Let's focus on some of the other stories making the business news today ...

And BBC World Service is reporting that a meeting in Vienna of the oil producing, OPEC countries has ended without any agreement to cut output in an effort to raise prices.

A closing statement indicated that the organisation's member states were satisfied that intervention in the market wasn't required. 

The cost of a barrel of oil has slumped dramatically over the past two years.

However, a short while ago a barrel of Brent Crude had risen by 1.1% to $50.25.

Why could BHS not be saved?

BBC Radio 4

BHS is the latest in a list of familiar names to disappear from the High Street. Earlier this week, Austin Reed went into liquidation with the loss of 1,000 jobs.

Woolworths, JJB Sports, Blockbuster and Comet are just some of the other companies which failed to survive the effects of the financial crisis, and the boom in online shopping.

On BBC Radio 4's Six O'Clock News, business editor, Simon Jack, analysed why BHS could not be saved.

It's latest familiar name to disappear from the high street

Gift vouchers - half price

The BHS administrators have confirmed that gift vouchers are still being accepted at stores - but only for half the value of an item. In other words, you'll need to pay £10 along with £10 from a voucher for something costing £20.

Bolton says goodbye to BHS

5 live presenter Colletta Smith tweets:

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A tale of two owners

Simon Jack

BBC Business Editor

In one way the story of BHS is not unique. It is an everyday tale of commerce - healthy businesses thrive, sickly ones perish, the High Street evolves - that's life.

In many others it is not. It is also the story of two controversial owners.

Read more from Simon here.

The blame game

Speaking of Sir Philip, Verdict Retail tweets:

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Portas: 'Surprised Philip Green didn't do something with BHS'

Mary Portas on BBC News Channel
BBC

Mary Portas thinks Sir Philip Green could have saved BHS:   

I'm surprised that Philip Green - with all the infrastructure that he had, with that business, with the Arcadia Group, with all the talent that's within the business - didn't do something with it. And actually I think it's because they've just become these big businesses without vision at the top. This required vision, and it required a bit of risk, it also required a bit of investment.

Mary PortasRetail consultant

'Not viable'

Conlumino retail analyst Neil Saunders tweets:

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BHS 'felt downbeat'

Exterior of BHS in Glasgow
Getty Images

It (BHS) felt downbeat so I'd have made it very much value-led. But I'd have looked at its heritage and said it's about price, but great value price in an upbeat environment, about home, about fashion, about stuff that you can get all under one roof - a micro department store but with value at the heart of it.

Mary PortasRetail consultant and broadcaster

Portas: 'I wouldn't have called it BHS'

Mary Portas
BBC

Retail consultant and broadcaster Mary Portas is asked on the BBC News Channel what she would have done to turn BHS into a successful business. 

"First of all I wouldn't have called it BHS - it would have been British Home Stores.

"What would that mean to people today? We can look at the people that have taken that market - the Ikeas coming in  - value home stuff.

"British Home Stores used to have extraordinary lighting - that's where it stated - great heritage - so why didn't they just create a British business that was valued related ... that did everything at a brilliant price?"

Javid: 'Very disappointing news'

Business secretary Sajid Javid tweets:

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Portas: BHS was a 'very weak player'

It's not that we're not buying - we just aren't buying from the weak players and sadly BHS was a very weak player.

Mary PortasRetail consultant

Government 'ready to support workers to find new jobs'

Anna Soubry
Getty Images

Today’s announcement that the administrators have been unable to find a buyer for the business will be devastating news for all those who work at BHS and those in the supply chain. The government stands ready to support workers to find new jobs as quickly as possible. The Business Secretary has already announced an accelerated Insolvency Service investigation into the activity of former BHS directors. Any issues of misconduct will be taken extremely seriously.

Anna SoubryBusiness Minister

'Sad to see it go'

I have known this store for a very long time. I came here in the sixties and I used to do a lot of my shopping here. It's like iconic kind of store for me, so I'll be very sad to see it go.

BHS: 'I won't miss it'

Well strangely enough, for the first time for about five years I've actually bought something in there today. I'm sad really but I won't miss it.

Shoppers react to BHS liquidation

BHS shopping bags
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It's a real shame because I think it's got some really lovely products in there. So I really like the lighting in there, the homeware I think is brilliant. I used to go there to buy my school uniform when I was little and things like that. So it's a shame that such a reputable brand has been lost.

Labour calls on government to help BHS staff

Outside BHS Oxford Street, London
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This will come as a devastating blow for the 11,000 BHS staff and their families. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time. The Government should act fast to ensure the staff affected are able to find a new job. The closure of BHS and Austin Reed risks having a knock-on impact on the supply chain and other local businesses. In two weeks Sir Philip Green, the former owner of BHS, will be appearing at the House of Commons joint Select Committee enquiry. The staff will want answers about how things went so badly wrong on his watch. But given the similarities with the collapse of other retail giants, such as Comet, they will also want to hear what the Tory Government is doing to support the great British high street.

Bill Esterson MPShadow minister for business, innovation and skills

BHS collapse a 'devastating blow'

The collapse of BHS is a devastating blow to the UK high street and all the employees involved. This once iconic British retailer suffered from paralysis when it came to innovation and it failed to stem the loss of market share to other more agile multi-channel competitors. The business model was simply no longer fit for purpose and its product range failed to resonate with its core customer base. Following the collapse of Austin Reed, these recent events focus the mind on how many other traditional UK retailers are sleep-walking into administration

Richard LimChief executive, Retail Economics (research consultancy)

What does BHS collapse mean for pensioners?

This is bad news for its pensioners and current staff members of the pension scheme. Responsibility for paying pensions will fall to the Pension Protection Fund, which does a fine job in difficult circumstances. More widely, BHS’s fate, and the ongoing Tata process, are a reminder that defined benefit pension promises are expensive and depend on the solvency of the sponsoring employer. I have no doubt that Government will be considering ways to reduce the burden on sponsoring employers going forward, whether by making it possible for all schemes to provide CPI indexation, or indeed more radical proposals to control defined benefit costs.

Gregg McClymontHead of Retirement Savings at Aberdeen Asset Management

Union: 'not necessarily the end of the road'

This is devastating. But I think we shouldn't assume that this is the end of the road. Yes it's difficult - there were a number of potential buyers here and the question is why they haven't been successful. There are many many other questions still to be asked on this, and we're going to do our best as a union to represent the interests of the employees and really push back as best we can to see whether there's something that can be done. We need to make sure that every opportunity has been covered before we accept defeat.

John HammettGeneral secretary, USDAW retail union

BreakingSir Philip Green 'saddened'

Daily Mirror business editor Graham Hiscott tweets:

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'Messy and unenticing' stores

One Business Live reader is not shedding too many tears about the demise of BHS.   

So BHS goes the way of Woolworths, Austin Reed etc. It's no surprise if the staff in Croydon is copied around the country: they are surly, rude and couldn't care less about the public. The store was never enticing and often as not messy. I don't like anyone losing their jobs, but the attitude of staff only leads to customers not coming back."

No silver lining in BHS collapse

BHS store
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Jon Copestake, chief retail and consumer goods analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, comments on the demise of BHS and Austin Reed:

For those looking for a silver lining respite will be scant. BHS and Austin Reed had a combined high street presence of over 280 stores, with closures likely to make a tangible impression on some high streets. As with all fire sales, the best assets will no doubt be picked up cheaply and resurrected by more successful retailers, which will make some dent in the job losses, but many will not as the British High Street continues to undergo a painful correction to accommodate changing shopper habits."

Have you been affected by the demise of BHS?

BBC Have Your Say tweets

Arcadia 'could recoup £40m'

The Guardian's Graham Ruddick tweets:

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What can other brands learn from BHS?

Marketing Week magazine tweets

BHS administrator had duty to get best deal for creditors

BHS logo
Getty Images

The administrator will have looked at that and decided that by putting the company into liquidation, closing the stores, selling the stock, selling off the assets, that produces the best results. That's his job. You wish he could look at the employment situation, the eleven and a half thousand jobs, he couldn't take that into consideration. At the end of the day this is all about the money.

Nick HoodRetail and insolvency expert, Opus Restructuring

MP calls on Sir Philip Green to help BHS pensioners

The administrators of BHS say the company will be wound down, after they failed to find a buyer. 

Eight-thousand jobs are likely to go, while another 3,000 people who work at BHS, but are not employed by the firm, could also lose their jobs. 

Although multiple offers were received, the administrators said none had enough working capital. 

The MP Frank Field - who's chairman of the Work and Pensions committee - is due to question the former owner of BHS, Sir Philip Green, soon. 

He called on Sir Philip to help fill the gap in the BHS pension scheme: 

Sir Philip could dramatically change this position, both by how he regards the workforce, but also making sure that pensioners, which is after all people who've deferred wages, which he's been a steward, a trustee of, to ensure that they don't actually lose out on money that they've foregone in saving schemes for their retirement.

Frank FieldChair, Work and Pensions Committee

Statement from BHS liquidators

Hilco Capital’s Retail Services team has been appointed by the Administrator of BHS to assist in the operation of 164 BHS stores. Hilco’s team, which is the largest provider of these specialist services in Europe, will provide the Administrator with operational support at the BhS head office and in the stores.

Hilco Retail Services will assist the Administrators in extending the viable trading period of the store network in order to allow the administrators the opportunity to realise maximum returns for creditors.

The appointment draws on Hilco’s extensive experience of managing the operation of large scale retail businesses for retailers and insolvency practitioners in the UK and across continental Europe in both solvent and insolvent situations.

Paul McGowan, CEO, Hilco said: “Our extensive experience in the European retail sector means we are well placed to support Duff & Phelps,and we will work alongside them in this complex situation.”