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  1. East Coast franchise handed to Stagecoach/Virgin consortium
  2. Oil producing countries meet in Vienna to discuss falling prices
  3. The morning's main business programmes are available on the Live Coverage tab

Live Reporting

By Joe Miller and Matthew West

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Joe Miller

Business Reporter

Well it's goodbye from us for the day. Thanks for all your submissions - we read them all, but couldn't possibly post every one. Join us again from 06:00 on Friday.

Via Email

Bill Boffin, from Chippenham, Wiltshire

is our winner of today's quiz. He answers both questions correctly. In 1985 the largest group of people to immigrate to the UK came from... Germany, and in 2013, the largest number of people to arrive in the UK came from... China. Congratulations Bob. We'd send a Blankety Blank chequebook and pen as a prize, but the BBC broom cupboard is locked, so you'll have to settle for the respect and admiration of the Live Page team instead.

Via Email

UK migration

Lee Choules from Norfolk

Lee Choules from Norfolk writes in with his answers to question 1: Ireland and question 2: Asia. Meanwhile Rob Bucic writes in with India for 1985 and Poland for 2013.

Via Email

UK migration

James Reif from London

writes in with his answers, which are 1985: India, 0213 China.

Laurent Perrier

Laurent Perrier
Laurent Perrier

Champagne house Laurent-Perrier reports operating profit grew 15% to €19.7m in the past six months. However the French firm says this cannot be used as a projection for the next half of the year, due to the seasonal nature of its business.

Via Email

UK migration

Both Jeremy HK and Conor in London have gone for the Republic of Ireland as the answer to both questions. If they're right, we'll have joint winners.

Via Email

UK migration

Mansawi L. Macabunar, from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

writes in with: "Hi, I just want to answer the questions below based on my knowledge and reading." and gives the answers of Ireland, the most immigrants in UK during 1985; China, the most immigrants in UK during 2013.

East Coast sale

David from Hexham, Northumberland emails: "Ordinarily, I am an advocate of privatisation and free market competition. However, I have woken up to this news this morning feeling incensed. Perhaps it is the truly traumatic experience I had with Virgin trains staff at Euston station last month, or that when I travel East Coast I know that no matter the delay I will be "repaid" and most importantly I will arrive at my destination. Today is a very sad day for frequent East Coast travellers."

Contaminated chicken

Here's how UK supermarkets fared in the FSA's test:


Contaminated chicken

Some background on Campylobachter. It is the biggest cause of food poisoning in the UK, responsible for 280,000 cases a year, and around 100 deaths.

Contaminated chicken

More than 70% of fresh chickens being sold in the UK are contaminated with the Campylobachter bug, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has revealed. That figure is higher than in previous tests, which suggested a 59% contamination rate. The highest rate was found in chickens being sold by Asda.

fresh chicken

Scottish powers

Robert Peston

Economics editor

blogs: "No Chancellor of the Exchequer would want to give a Scottish finance minister complete discretion to borrow, because it is almost impossible to conceive of how Scottish sovereign debt would not be guaranteed in theory or practice by Westminster: the chancellor would be terrified of what Holyrood would do it if had his credit card."

Via Twitter

Dave Lee

Technology reporter, BBC News

tweets: "Euro Parl has no power to force Google split - but it's a strong and influential message to the regulators, who most certainly do."

Future of the eurozone


The president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, has been speaking at the University of Helsinki. Talking about the stability of the eurozone, he says countries "have to be better off inside than they would be outside". He adds: "If there are parts of the euro area that are worse off inside the Union, doubts may grow about whether they might ultimately have to leave. And if one country can potentially leave the monetary union, then this creates a replicable precedent for all countries."

Falling oil price

Ali al-Naimi
Getty Images

The inimitable Andrew Walker has been having a lively exchange with the Saudi oil minister, Ali al Naimi, at the Opec meeting. After he was asked how much of a production cut it would take to stabilise the market, Mr al Naimi said "Go ask other Opec ministers, they will tell you. We will tell you that when we conclude this meeting."

Andrew then asks: "What do you think is a good price for crude, minister?"

Mr al Naimi: "You probably know better than I do - why do you ask me?"

Andrew: "Because you are the one whose budget depends on it."

Mr al Naimi: "Who says? You say so, I don't say it."

Andrew: "But it's true isn't it?"

Mr al Naimi: "Have I ever said it? Never!"

Via Email

UK migration

Peter Williams from Dorset

writes in next: "Hi, for 1985, I reckon that the most number of immigrants came from Indian sub-continent. For 2013 - my guess is Poland."

Falling oil price


Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela's minister for foreign affairs, has been speaking to the BBC's Andrew Walker at the Opec meeting. "Perhaps for the stabilisation it is important to withdraw two million barrels per day from the market," he says. Andrew asks him what Venezuela would contribute to that cut. "We are ready to make our contribution," responds Mr Ramirez.

Via Email

UK migration

Bob Curtis from Cheltenham

writes: "Without looking it up I would guess; 1 (1985) Australia, 2 (2013) France"

Eurozone lending

Lending to eurozone households and businesses fell again in October, but at a slightly slower pace than in previous months, official figures show. That's despite the European Central Bank stepping up its efforts to get credit moving again in a bid to revive economic growth. Banks have continue to tightening lending terms because of tougher capital requirements and companies are still hording cash. Loans to private sector firms fell 1.1% in October compared to 1.2% in September.

Via Email

UK migration

OK, so we've had the first couple of attempts to answer the migration questions. And they've thrown up some interesting answers. Both need to be correct for you to be declared the winner and we'll reveal the answer before we finish up today. Our first answer comes from Adrian Bird in Bristol. who says 1985: Australia; 2013: China. Keep them coming folks

UK migration


ONS figures also show that 583,000 people moved to the UK last year. That's up 81,000 on the previous year (502,000). What that also means is about 3,000 fewer people left the UK for another country than the previous year - the net figure is up 78,000. The total number of people that left the UK in the year to June was 323,000, the ONS says.

Via Twitter

Andrew Neil

Presenter, The Daily Politics

tweets: "Net migration rises to 260,000 which means it's now higher than Labour's last year. Tory promise to cut it now in shreds."

UK migration

OK it's quiz time.

Question 1: In 1985 which country accounted for the most immigrants to the UK?

And we're going to stay with the theme for the next question but we're going to fast forward to 2013. So, question 2: In 2013, which country accounted for the most immigrants to the UK?

Send your answers to or via Twitter to

@bbcbusiness. Don't forget to tell us your name and where you are writing in from.

Via Twitter

Douglas Fraser

Business and economy editor, Scotland

tweets: "Scotland 2013: lowest net immigration of any nation/region, +2k out of 189k. Highest number of British citizens emigrating."

UK migration

Interactive migration map

The ONS has provided a rather interesting

interactive map showing historic migration patterns to and from the UK around the world. It's quite fun and throws up some unusual information. We're going to delve in a little deeper in a moment, then we're going to throw some questions your way and test your migration knowledge.

East Coast sale

Robert Drysdale, Edinburgh emails:

"Very depressed to hear the news. Having travelled a lot recently on Virgin West Coast, the contrast between their level of customer service and that currently offered by East Coast is very obvious. East Coast trains have eight to 10 staff on board and there is always a train crew member available to help passengers, whereas on Virgin West Coast, the crew numbers are far less and you can often struggle to find anyone to assist."

Via Twitter

UK migration

Nick Robinson

Political editor

tweets: "Net migration now higher than when David Cameron became PM. No wonder he's got a very big speech to give. Ministers expect it tomorrow"

UK migration

The ONS also reveals that 32,000 Romanians and Bulgarians immigrated to the UK in the year ending June 2014, up from from 18,000 in the previous 12 months. Restrictions on people from the two countries working in the UK were lifted on 1 January this year.

UK net migration

The Office for National Statistics says net long-term migration to the UK (that's the amount of people coming in, minus the amount leaving these shores) was estimated to be 260,000 in the year to the end of June 2014. This is a "statistically significant increase" from the 182,000 in the previous 12 months, the ONS adds.

Energy blackouts

BBC Radio 4

Dr John Roberts is a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering, which has compiled a report for the prime minister on the dangers of power cuts in the UK. The report says power cuts could cost the economy billions of pounds. The main issue is that safety margins between peak electricity supply and demand have been falling after problems at a series of power stations. That makes power outages more likely, Dr Roberts told


German unemployment

Europe's largest economy saw a slight drop in unemployment in November, but the figure is unlikely to make much of an impression. Unemployment fell by 14,000, compared with a fall of 23,000 in October. It means the total number of those out of work fell to 2.87m from 2.89m. It also leaves the unemployment rate unchanged at 6.6% of the population eligible to work. None of which suggests the German economy is powering ahead, but given it only narrowly avoided a recession last week that should hardly come as a surprise.

Euronext failure

European trading platform Euronext says a technical incident is affecting its data on cash and derivatives indexes and opening quotes are consequently being delayed. "We are currently addressing the root cause of this incident," it says in a statement. "Trading and order entry are allowed and market data dissemination is correct".

Fait accompli?

A publishing glitch on Microsoft's blog appears to have accidentally revealed that the tech giant is buying up an email start-up called Acompli.

An empty post was published on the site, but the URL was the giveaway - it contained the words "microsoft-acquires-acompli".

Via Twitter

Jonah Hull, senior correspondent, Al Jazeera English

Jonah Hull
Jonah Hull

tweets: "#OPEC breakfast. This is what you get when the oil price falls below $80."

Vinyl record


More than one million vinyl records have been sold in the UK so far this year - the first time the milestone has been achieved since 1996,

reports the BBC's Dave Lee. The Official Chart Company says it will soon launch a weekly vinyl chart.

Markets update

Here's how the main European markets are looking in early trading:

  • In London, the FTSE 100 is down 0.1% at 6,721
  • In Frankfurt, the Dax is up 0.25% at 9,940
  • In Paris, the Cac is down 0.2% at 4,373

Via Twitter

Adam Parsons

Business Correspondent

tweets: "Poundland shares up 3%. Company now valued at £800m."

East Coast sale

BBC Radio 4

"This was the best of the three bids," Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin tells the

Today programme. He adds the Stagecoach/Virgin consortium known as ICR, is offering an increase in the premium that will be paid to the government. Asked if the consortium will paying more than the other bidders he replies "Oh yes". But he says services will also be improved - 23 more rail services will operate from Kings Cross. "We have seen a magnificent transformation on the railways in this country since privatisation."