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Live Reporting

By Howard Mustoe

All times stated are UK

  1. Good bye!

    That's all for today, but we will be back from 06:00 with all the breaking business news.

    Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

  2. Market update

    The FTSE 100 closed up less than 0.1%, while the FTSE 250, which includes more domestic companies, rose 0.2%. Not a wild ride.

  3. Whose round is it?

    cash

    Reader Peter Barnatt points out cash presents a tax problem, since it is less traceable than card transactions, "and thus liable to abuse." Cards are easier to carry, he suggests.

    William Peel is among readers who point out that cash is useful in helping you gauge your drinking and spending. When you run out of cash, it's time to call it a night. He reckons for that reason, drink and lottery tickets should be cash-only.

    Simon from Romford has a counter to that though: try carrying around enough cash for a few pints in London!

    "Indeed, more and more pubs are refusing cash altogether for security reasons, having been robbed at the end of a busy session and losing all their takings," he says.

    Thanks for all your submission on this topic. It's been thirsty work.

  4. Cash or card?

    Business Live reader Tony Millington has weighed in on the story about York pubs barring payments by credit and debit cards.

    "This is nonsense," he says. "Go to the new Tottenham cashless stadium. 60,000+ at [the] bars - no queues as a result of only fast card payments. Brilliant."

    Eric Branton points out that pubs, like other companies, have to pay for card payments. As a former publican, he says Samuel Smiths pubs, which charge a small premium for card use, have "got it right".

  5. Kylie Jenner business bought for $600m

    Jenner

    US cosmetics giant Coty, which owns the Max Factor brand, said it paid $600m for the majority of shares in Kylie Jenner's makeup business.

    Ms Jenner, a scion of the Kardashian family, set up the business in 2015 with a line of lipsticks.

    "Kylie is a modern-day icon, with an incredible sense of the beauty consumer, and we believe in the high potential of building a global beauty brand together," said Peter Harf, chairman of Coty's board.

  6. Tchenguiz slams FirstGroup board

    Greyhound bus

    Businessman Robert Tchenguiz has attacked the FirstGroup board, accusing them of misleading the stock market.

    He claimed last week's results from the train and bus operator, where he has a 4.7% stake, were ambiguous, misleading and confusing "at best" and challenged the "defunct" strategy laid out by the company in May.

    Mr Tchenguiz said he has asked chairman David Martin to publicly clarify what FirstGroup's aims and ambitions are, adding that he believes the comments made Mr Martin are at odds with those said by the chief executive.

    He claimed that "there is a clear disconnect between what the chairman has stated and what the CEO presented".

    At its results on Thursday, FirstGroup revealed a £187m half year loss, following a £124m write- down on its Greyhound business and a £59m hit from rising insurance premiums in the US.

  7. T-Mobile US chief executive to step down

    John Legere

    The chief executive of T-Mobile US, John Legere, is to step down from his position next year.

    Mr Legere is to leave the company on 30 April, and says he hopes to have completed T-Mobile US's merger with rival Sprint before then.

    Reports had suggested that Mr Legere was a potential new boss for office-sharing startup WeWork, although recent reports have played this possibility down.

    "I'm not going anywhere soon," Mr Legere said in a tweet. "Until April 30, I'll continue as CEO, focusing on a smooth transition and getting our merger with Sprint done for America."

    Mr Legere will be succeeded by chief operating officer Mike Sievert.

  8. US stocks slip from record highs

    NYSE traders

    After hitting record highs on Friday, stocks on Wall Street started the day slightly lower.

    The Dow Jones fell 11.67 points to 27,993.22, the S&P 500 dropped 2.55 points to 3,117.91, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 11.66 points to 8,529.16.

    The falls followed a report on CNBC said China was "pessimistic" over the chances of a trade deal with the US.

  9. Losses deepen at Gourmet Burger Kitchen

    Gourmet Burger Kitchen burger

    Gourmet Burger Kitchen has reported deepening losses for the past year after it took a charge of almost £16m to cover the closure of 24 restaurants.

    The chain, which is owned by South African group Famous Brands and now has 70 outlets across the UK, also saw sales drop in the year to February 2019.

    It reported a loss of £24.3m compared with a £6.3m loss a year earlier, while sales fell 7% to £76.1m.

  10. Ford unveils electric Mustang

    The new Mach-E

    Ford has unveiled its long-awaited Mustang Mach-E, an electric sports utility vehicle that can travel up to 300 miles on a full charge.

    The automaker has said it will spend $11.5bn developing electric and hybrid models by 2022.

    "We are really pushing our chips in on the table with this vehicle," Ford chairman Bill Ford Jr said about the new car.

  11. Manufacturing insolvencies hits five year high

    Something being made

    In other news, the number of manufacturing businesses entering insolvency has hit a five-year high rising 7% to 1,466 in the last year, according to accountants Moore.

    They blame the rise on Brexit-related uncertainty and a broader slowdown across Europe.

    "UK manufacturers should be going through a period of heavy investment in order to close their productivity gap with competitors in places like Germany," said Moore's Robert Branch.

    "Instead many are having to save as much cash as they can to tide them through until order books recover, as banks and other finance houses are indicating that they will be reluctant to provide additional funding."

  12. Should you be allowed to pay by plastic in the pub?

    Angry server

    Business Live reader Dougal McDougal responds to the story about York pubs barring payments by credit and debit cards.

    The oil industry worker is fully in support.

    He says: "There you are knee-deep at the bar, trying to pay for your pint with cash while the barman is fiddling around trying to get connected to the interwebnett to pay for someone’s pina colada!"

    We bet many have experienced similar frustrations, but that does mean you favour a return to cash?

    Let us know your views at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

  13. Small firms cheer Corbyn's commitment to end late payment crisis

    Invoices

    The Federation of Small Businesses said it’s "very positive" to see the Labour party putting late payments and business rates at the top of its business agenda.

    "Our late payment crisis remains the biggest scourge afflicting the UK’s small business community. It destroys 50,000 firms a year at a cost of at least £2.5bn to the economy," said chairman Mike Cherry.

    “The Labour Party’s commitment to putting this crisis to bed for good is encouraging, and we look forward to seeing exactly how they intend to go about doing so on Thursday."

  14. Tories and Labour have 'dodged the big questions'

    Responding to Boris Johnson's and Jeremy Corbyn's speeches to the CBI, IEA Economics Fellow Julian Jessop is a little more critical. He said:

    Quote Message: Plenty of taxes and regulations that affect the business community are long overdue for reform. Unfortunately, the Conservative Party and Labour Party today have dodged tackling the big questions around their future, and have instead proposed some counter-productive policies that may actually damage the economy.
  15. We need 'fundamental reform' on business rates

    Sale sign

    John Webber, head of rating at Colliers International, has also been pondering the two political leaders promises' on business rates at the CBI conference.

    "While we are delighted that both parties have acknowledged that the “broken” business rates system is in need of reform and something needs to be done- what this means in practice has not been clarified," he pointed out.

    "What we need is fundamental reform as outlined by the Treasury Select Committee into business rates that reported at the beginning of the month. Unless this happens the Conservatives tinkering with small business relief will do nothing to counter the impact of the 2017 business rates revaluation and introduction of downward phasing and simply won’t go far enough to help retailers struggling with their current rate bills It certainly won’t be enough to save the 85,000 jobs already lost on the high street-mainly from the bigger retailing chains.”

  16. High street woes 'go beyond business rates alone'

    Closing sale

    Tom Leman Head of Retail and Consumer at Pinsent Masons has been pondering the announcements made at the CBI conference by both leaders around the reduction in business rates. He said:

    Quote Message: Business rates are one part of the puzzle when it comes to the challenges faced by the retail sector. It is encouraging that high street retailers could see a reduction in their overheads and that looking for solutions to the challenges they are facing is high up on the political agenda. However, the issues faced by our high street goes beyond business rates alone, there has been a change in the way consumers spend and the expectations they have of the service that retailers will provide. If we want to encourage consumer spending then we need to create greater economic certainty overall.
  17. Cash only in York pubs

    Samuel Smith's beers

    Meanwhile, in other news, drinkers in Yorkshire have been banned from flashing the plastic in one brewery's pubs.

    Samuel Smith’s Brewery of Tadcaster is barring customers in its York pubs from paying by debit or credit card.

    The reason seems unclear as local paper The Press reported: "Samuel Smith’s Brewery spokesman was unavailable for comment".

    However the chain had already banned swearing, texting, emailing, mobiles, Ipads, Kindles and laptops in its pubs.

    Do you think the pub card ban is a good idea? Or would you avoid a boozer that didn't accept your plastic?

    Let us know by emailing bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk