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Summary

  1. China's economic growth slows to 6.7%
  2. Europe's five biggest economies launch tax crackdown
  3. Premier League revenues hit new high
  4. Citigroup quarterly profits plunge 27%

Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    That's all from the Business live page for another week. Be sure to join us again from Monday at 06:00.

  2. Wall Street lower as oil drags

    Wall Street slipped on Friday as oil prices declined.

    Oil prices dipped as traders and analysts anticipated a weekend meeting of major oil exporters would do little to clear global oversupply quickly.

    The Dow Jones fell 28 points or 0.2% to close at 17,897. The Dow finished the week up 1.8% The S&P 500 fell 2 points, or 0.1% to 2,080. The Nasdaq composite fell 7 points, or 0.2% to 4,938. 

  3. Volkswagen names North American chief executive

    VW logo

    Volkswagen has said Hinrich Woebcken is to be the new president and chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America.

    In March top US VW executive Michael Horn stepped down, nearly six months after the German carmaker admitted to installing software to allow 580,000 diesel vehicles to emit excess emissions in the US.

    Mr Woebcken replaced Mr Horn on a temporary basis in March.

  4. Shale firm Goodrich Petroleum files for bankruptcy protection

    An oil drill is viewed near a construction site for homes and office buildings

    US shale oil firm Goodrich Petroleum has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with a plan to get $400m in debt off its balance sheet while it tries to outlast a slump in oil prices.

    The Houston-based exploration and production company, which has shale assets in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, joined more than 40 energy-related companies that have sought court protection from creditors since oil prices plummeted 20 months ago. 

  5. Senegal creates new national airline

    Senegal has created Air Senegal, a new national airline intended to replace the West African nation's now defunct, heavily indebted, carrier Senegal Airlines, minister of tourism and air transport Maimouna Ndoye Seck said.

    The new company was formed with capital of 40 billion CFA francs ($69m).

    Senegal revoked the air operator's certificate of the country's previous carrier Senegal Airlines, which ran up debts of over 100 billion CFA francs in less than five years of operation.

    By the time it was shut down the airline, in which the state owned a minority stake, no longer possessed any aircraft.

  6. Fiat Chrysler chief challenges Tesla Model 3

    Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne has said he does not understand how the Model 3, Tesla's first mass-market car, can be sold for €35,000 and make a profit.

    "If he [Tesla chief executive Elon Musk] can show me that it can be done, I will do it as well, copy him, add Italian style to it and put it on the market within 12 months," he added.

  7. Consumers 'want the real deal' for some pasta sauce

    Fiona Dawson, the Global President of Mars Food, which makes Dolmio, says the company is working to make many of its foods healthier, but some pasta sauces will remain unchanged.

    Quote Message: We're going to reduce our salt levels, sodium, sugar, fat. We're also going to put things in - so wholegrain and added veg. Now the labelling will adhere to strict nutritional guidelines and we will reformulate the majority of our products. There will be a small set, a small exception, of products which will sit outside it, such as our pesto, or our dairy-based products like lasagne sauce. Consumers are saying to us they want the real deal when they're buying into these."
  8. Dolmio and Uncle Ben's firm Mars defends limit on products

    Dolmio lasagne kit

    The company behind Dolmio and Uncle Ben's sauces has defended its "bold" advice that some products should only be consumed once a week due to high salt, sugar or fat content.

    Mars Food said it would distinguish between "everyday" and "occasional" items on packaging and on its website.

    It said the move was "right" as some foods were higher in salt, sugar or fat to give an authentic taste.

    Some experts welcomed the move, while others said it did not go far enough.

    Read more here.

  9. NBA League approves rule to put ads on jerseys starting in 2017

    LeBron James

    National Basketball Association teams will be able to sell advertising space on their jerseys starting from the 2017-18 season, the league said.

    The NBA, which is the first major North American sports league to announce plans to put ads on jerseys, said a small patch will appear on the front left of the game jerseys as part of a three-year pilot programme. 

  10. HMRC says 1,100 prosecutions of tax dodgers are coming up

    Personal finance correspondent Simon Gompertz writes...

    HMRC says it has 1,100 prosecutions of tax dodgers in the pipeline. Last year it secured 1,200 prosecutions, resulting in prison sentences of 407 years. Those prosecuted included barristers, accountants, lawyers, bankers, medical consultants, people hiding money offshore, money launderers and smugglers. Two out of five of those convicted had dodged more than £50,000 of tax. So what about the criticism that HMRC only has 35 wealthy people either in court or waiting to be prosecuted for tax evasion, despite having 26,000 staff working on enforcement and compliance? Well, the figure is correct, but the explanation from the tax office is that all of the 35 have wealth of at least £1m. In other words, the number isn't as small as it looks because the people involved are from a tiny proportion of the population. No doubt critics will say they need to target more people in this well-off bracket.

  11. Chancellor hails 'international tax haven blacklist'

    George Osborne

    There has been an international agreement to blacklist tax havens at an IMF and World Bank meeting in Washington, according to Chancellor George Osborne.

    Quote Message: Today we've got an agreement on an international blacklist of tax havens, and that means the whole world can take action against those who aren't playing by the rules, and the world has just got a much colder place for those hotpots of international tax evasion." from George Osborne Chancellor
    George OsborneChancellor

    British territories like the British Virgin Islands and crown dependencies like Guernsey "would definitely be on that blacklist if they don't comply with the rules" he added.

  12. Builders hamper FTSE at the close

    The FTSE 100 has closed lower after concerns about stagnation at the top-end of the housing market put pressure on builders.

    The share index closed down 0.34%, or 21.35 points, at 6,343.75.

  13. ECB sees no evidence of asset bubbles from ultra low rates says Draghi

    The European Central Bank has not seen evidence that its monetary policies are creating asset bubbles, ECB President Mario Draghi has said. 

    Quote Message: "While accommodative monetary policies over an extended horizon may have unintended consequences for certain sectors in the form of excessive risk-taking and misaligned asset prices, we do not currently see any broad-based evidence of excesses in the behaviour of banks and other financial institutions and valuations of euro area asset prices." from ECB President Mario Draghi
    ECB PresidentMario Draghi
  14. Mars' once a week warning 'unambitious'

    Bowl of spaghetti carbonara

    Some reaction to Mars - the company that makes Dolmio and Uncle Ben's - saying some of its products shouldn't be eaten more than once a week.

    Professor John Ashton, the President of the Faculty of Public Health, says processed food companies have been forced to introduce better labelling, but what's really needed is a proper commitment to producing wholesome food by reducing the amount of salt and fat in foods:    

    Quote Message: We have to welcome it but it's not going to sort it out. It's unambitious compared with what's really needed. We haven't had a public health driven food policy since the Second World War when we actually had a balanced diet and a wholesome diet for the whole population and arguably in times of great duress of the Second World War the nation as a whole was better nourished than ever before or since." from Professor John Ashton Faculty of Public Health
    Professor John AshtonFaculty of Public Health
  15. Greek state railway has three suitors for privatisation

    A man cleans the windows of a train to Bulgaria in Thessaloniki railway station.

    Greece has received three expressions of interest for the sale of state railways operator Trainose.

    Italy's state railways, Russian Railways (RZD) and Greek construction group Gek-Terna have signaled interest, the country's privatisations agency HRADF said.

    "HRADF's advisors will evaluate, per terms and criteria stipulated in the process letter, the above expressions of interest and submit to HRADF's board of directors their recommendation as to which candidates qualify for the next phase," it added.

  16. Bombardier shares jump 16% after Delta order report

    The new bombardier aircraft CSseries is shown in Mirabel

    Bombardier shares have jumped 16.3% in early trading following a Wall Street Journal report that the Canadian plane and train-maker is about to secure its largest order for CSeries jets from US airline Delta.

    A final agreement between Atlanta-based Delta and Bombardier for 75 firm orders and options for 50 more of its 100-150 seat CSeries planes is expected at the end of April, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

  17. GM recalls 1.04 million pickup trucks worldwide to repair seat belts

    A Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck

    General Motors is recalling nearly 1.04 million pickup trucks over a seat belt flaw.

    The largest US carmaker said the recall of the 2014-15 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups is not linked to any crashes or injuries.

    GM said the cost of the large recall "is not expected to be significant and is covered within normal and customary warranty reserves."