Kamal Ahmed

Kamal Ahmed Business editor

Welcome to the Business Blog – my latest take on the major business stories and analysis of the facts behind the headlines

Independence - business leaders come out in support

28 August 2014
T-shirt for yes campaign

Another day, another chapter in the "so, would independence be good for business?" debate.

This morning Business for Scotland (the clue is in the title) released a letter with 200 signatories saying that a Yes vote on September 18 would be good news for the Scottish economy.

You can read the details here

That followed a letter yesterday organised by Keith Cochrane, the chief executive of the engineering company, Weir Group, which brought together 130 business people who said that the case for independence "had not been made".

That letter argued it was better to stay within the UK.

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Anti-independence businesses make their voice heard

26 August 2014
Ship freight container transporters move amongst freight containers on Tilbury Dock on February 1, 2007 in Tilbury, England.

After months of sotto voce claims that some businesses were simply too scared to put their head above the independence parapet, tonight comes the most significant move by anti-independence members of the UK business community ahead of the September vote.

A letter signed by 133 businesses with interests around the globe claims that the uncertainty of a Yes vote is "bad for business".

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Bank of England gives 'reassurance' on Scottish independence vote

13 August 2014
Mark Carney

So, now we know. After much speculation and oblique references, Mark Carney has made it clear. The Bank of England has contingency plans whatever the outcome of the Scottish referendum.

This is what he said at the Inflation Report press conference this morning. The words are significant, and are his strongest on the issue of post-referendum planning.

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BSkyB – James Murdoch’s master plan comes closer to fruition

Sky camerman

Today's announcement that BSkyB has made a £4.9bn bid to buy Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia from 21st Century Fox is, on the surface, a straightforward play by a British pay-tv business to become a European giant.

Jeremy Darroch, BSkyB's chief executive, wants to run a business whose interests do not stop at the Channel. The deal would open up the German, Austrian and Italian pay-tv markets which are not as well developed as the UK's.

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Centrica closes in on new chief executive

British Gas bill & flame

Next week will be dominated by news of energy giants. Both BP and Centrica will update the market on their latest performance.

For BP, much of the focus will be on Ukraine and what affect any new sanctions may have on relations with the Russian energy business, Rosneft.

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Philip Clarke tells BBC of 'enormous relief' as he quits Tesco

Philip Clarke

Tesco is Britain's biggest and most profitable retailer. To be its chief executive is to be in a job about which everyone has an opinion.

Messy aisles. Missing products. Unhelpful staff. "Sort it out" would come the cry from millions of customers.

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Is this the death knell for free high street banking?

Some £5 and £10 notes

The Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) decision to launch an inquiry into the UK's banks may finally get us to the answer - does the present structure work for customers and businesses?

Lots of people already say no, and as the CMA points out levels of satisfaction in the sector are below 60%.

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GlaxoSmithKline’s fresh Chinese problems

GSK logo

Another morning, another slew of negative headlines for Sir Andrew Witty, the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline.

The Financial Times revealed last night that GSK admitted to bribery problems in its China business as long ago as 2001.

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Banks gearing up for full-scale competition inquiry

Sterling
The CMA will announce its banking competition conclusions on Friday

Poor old banks. Just as they were looking forward to the summer holiday, along comes a new threat to their business.

The Competition and Markets Authority, the markets watchdog, has just confirmed it will be announcing the conclusions of its study into banking competition on Friday morning.

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About Kamal

Kamal joined the BBC after four and a half years as business editor of the Sunday Telegraph's award-winning team. He also helped launch the Telegraph's annual festival of business, the major conference for small and medium sized enterprises. Before that, Kamal worked at The Observer as head of news and earlier, as its political editor.

His love of journalism started at Leeds Student, Leeds University's student newspaper, where he first tasted life as a reporter in a basement office with no windows. Essential workplace furniture included half-drunk pints of beer with cigarettes stubbed out in them. In those days, you needed a strong constitution to be a volunteer hack.

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