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Live Reporting

By Howard Mustoe and Matthew West

All times stated are UK

Matthew West

Business Reporter

That's it for today. Tomorrow we have full year results from Royal Dutch Shell, and trading updates from Diageo and Rank. We'll also have some house price data from the Land Registry. We'll see you from 06:00.

Boeing profits

Boeing has reported

a 19% rise in fourth quarter net profit to $1.46bn as commercial aircraft deliveries increase to 195 from 172. The airline has also forecast 2015 revenue of $94.5bn to $96.5bn, higher than average analyst estimates of $93.2 bn.

Via Twitter

Simon Gompertz

Personal finance correspondent, BBC News

tweets: Here are the 43 Tesco stores set to close
http://bit.ly/1y4LvJS

Songbird gives in on Qatari takeover bid

The Canary Wharf financial district
Reuters

Canary Wharf owner Songbird appears to have thrown in the towel in its battle to see off a £2.6bn takeover bid by Qatari investors. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) already owns Harrods and has a 29% stake in Songbird. The emirate is also behind the Shard skyscraper, through a separate firm. Songbird had argued that QIA and Brookfield's 350p-a-share takeover offer did not reflect the value of the business, but with three major hareholders poised to accept the offer, it said it is now set to drop its opposition.

Tesco store closures

Tesco
PA

More on the Tesco store closure story. In total, 2,000 staff are affected. Express and Home Plus stores will close on 15 March. Tesco Metros and Superstores will close on 4 April.

BreakingBreaking News

Tesco store closures

Tesco have named the 43 stores to shut: 18 express stores, 12 metro, seven superstores and six homeplus outlets. "We will continue to serve our customers through other local stores and our dotcom service," said boss Dave Lewis.

Petrol prices

petrol
PA

Oh er. Petrol price drops have levelled off somewhat, according to Experian Catalyst's figures. Admittedly, these are daily numbers, so they are likely to jump around a bit. The average price for unleaded yesterday was 106.69p. The day before: 106.66p. A week ago it was 107p and 112.08p on 1 January.

Greek markets

ase
Bloomberg

Greek bond yields have risen again, meaning their value in the market has dropped and investors are considering them riskier. 10-year bonds now offer investors a 10% return. Shares on Athens's main market (pictured) dropped again, with banks leading the losers. Eurobank Ergasias, National Bank of Greece and Piraeus are all down 19 to 20%.

Companies House blunder

The High Court has order Companies House to pay £9m to Taylor & Sons Ltd, a Cardiff based engineering firm that it mistakenly reported as having been wound up,

the Daily Telegraph reports. In fact, it was another, entirely unconnected, company - Taylor & Son Ltd - which had actually gone to the wall. By the time Companies House, tried to correct its mistake three days later, it was already too late to save the business.

No rush to raise interest rates

The Bank of England
PA

The Bank of England is in no rush to hike interest rates and when it does, the increase could be as slow as half a percentage point a year, chief economist Andy Haldane has said."We are in no rush to raise rates, the recovery is taking hold nicely. The last thing we want to do is knock the stuffing out of that,"

Haldane told the Daily Post. They are historically low and they won't stay like that forever, but when that rise comes it is going to be very gradual. It could be half a percent a year for several years," he added.

Ikea profits flat

The new IKEA store in Edmonton
PA

Ikea has reported flat full-year net profit as a result of a €200m contribution to an employee loyalty programme, and a growing number of staff taking part in a bonus programme, for which it booked a €98m cost. It says the European market continued to improve. Net profit was €3.3bn to the end of August 2014.

Via Email

President Obama India visit

Simon Atkinson

Editor, India Business Report

Mahindra
AFP

Anand Mahindra, chairman of Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group has been telling the BBC about being in talks with US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi. And he was impressed with the informality: "It was literally talking over a cup of tea," he said. "President Obama took notes and referred back to specific points people made, so I know he wasn't just doodling".

African bond risk

A strengthening dollar could sting some African countries after a spree of bonds being issued in the currency, according to a think tank. Judith Tyson, senior researcher at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), said the notional losses in terms of higher interest and capital repayments could total $11bn in the event of a slump of 35% in African currencies against the dollar, Reuters reports. Selling bonds in hard currencies is a popular practice to attract foreign investors.

Greece stops privatisations

Shares of Greek energy firm PPC and Greece's biggest port, Piraeus Port Authority, have fallen by over 7% after the new government's declaration that it was freezing privatisation plans. Shares of Piraeus Port Authority were down 8.9% at €9.83. At the first cabinet meeting of the new government Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said Greece will not default on its loans.

Greece stops privatisations

The Greek government will freeze plans to privatise the country's dominant energy firm PPC, Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis has told Greek television today. The previous government had passed legislation last year to spin off a chunk of PPC and privatise it as part of its efforts to liberalise its energy market under the terms of its IMF-EU bailout A planned sale of a 67% stake in the State owned Piraeus Port Authority has also been shelved.

Russian plan

People walk in the Red Square
Reuters

The Russian government unveiled a 2.34 trillion-rouble ($34.8bn, £22.9bn) plan to tackle its economic and financial troubles prompted by a collapse in oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis. In the plan, the government said it would collect proposals for creating a 'bad bank' for problematic banking assets. It would also provide state development bank VEB with 300 billion roubles from the National Wealth Fund.

Greece euro exit?

BBC Radio 4

Greece leaving the euro wouldn't do irreparable damage to the eurozone, Carl Bildt tells

Today. It is up to Greece whether it wants to stay in the eurozone or not, but the currency bloc itself is here to stay, he adds. "Leaving the eurozone is not going to sort out Greece's problems," he says.

Greece euro exit?

BBC Radio 4

"Greece evidently wants to stay in the euro," Carl Bildt, tells

Today. There will be discussion and there will be division between the Greek government and the rest of Europe, he adds. "The rest of Europe already feels it has helped Greece massively and Greece has turned things around slightly, it's not a hopeless case but now, suddenly, they want to spend and go back to irresponsible policies," he says.

Newspaper review

papers
BBC

The Times reports doctors can

now approve Eculizumab, a treatment for a rare kidney condition. It will cost the NHS £82m a year for the 200 people with Atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome. The FT leads on
Apple's performance. The Wall St Journal
dissects the new Greek cabinet and the Daily Telegraph reports that the
drop in petrol price is as good as a 1p tax cut.

Alibaba report

alibaba
Reuters

Chinese regulators have accused online shop Alibaba of allowing sales of fake and poor-quality goods in a report that was withheld until now to avoid disrupting its US stock market debut. China's industrial regulator said Alibaba allowed unlicensed dealers to use its services and failed in consumer protection.

Market update

Tokyo stocks reversed early losses to close 0.15% higher as a weak yen pushed the market into gains. The

Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which fell 0.86% at the open, added 27.43 to end at 17,795.73. The benchmark
Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong gained 54.53 or 0.22% to 24,861.81.

Nintendo

mario
AP

Japanese videogame maker Nintendo said its April-December profit rose six-fold to $504m as a weaker yen boosted its bottom line and make up for slowing sales. It won't make as many sales for the full year as previously hoped, though.

Greece euro exit?

BBC Radio 4

Former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt tells

Today it is not just the Germans that oppose a renegotiation of Greece's debt repayments. He points to Finland which holds elections later this year and has some problems in its economy. He says it is very hard for Finnish MPs to tell the public they have to accept some cutbacks in public spending but Greece doesn't. "That doesn't really fly," he says.

EDF disconnects nuclear power plant

A view of Heysham Nuclear Power Station
PA

EDF Energy has said it disconnected Heysham's 1-2 nuclear power plant at the Lancashire site from the electricity grid on Tuesday. "Unit 2 at Heysham 1 power station was taken offline on 27 January 2015," an EDF spokesman said in an emailed statement to the Reuters newswire. EDF tells the BBC it's an issue with a turbine. So it's a non-nuclear part of the plant. Should take "a few" days to sort.

AG Barr results

bru
Ag barr

Fizzy drink maker and manufacturer of Irn Bru said it delivered a "robust performance" and should hit analysts' targets for the year. It had 5% growth in the fourth quarter, "well ahead of the total soft drinks market."

Greece euro exit?

BBC Radio 4

Greece should tell Europe it will not pay its debt and will exit the eurozone, Lord Desai tells

Today. He says the country has to decide whether it wants "misery now or misery forever". He suggests that has to be the starting point of any negotiations with the Troika - the IMF, ECB and EU. He adds no country has ever paid debts like this in the past. Germany did not pay all its reparations, he says. "The international community has to recognise you can't put such a incredible burden on a people regardless of whose fault it was," he adds.

Via Twitter

Rory Cellan-Jones

Technology correspondent

apple
BBC

tweets: Amazing Apple quarter: record $18bn profit, 74m iPhones - most profitable product in history? But iPads disappoint

Greek euro exit?

BBC Radio 4

Lord Desai says most of the debt Greece owes is to public bodies such as the European Union and IMF. Greece cannot continue to pay off its debts for the next 20 years, he adds, and Greece and Germany have to decide whether they can afford for Greece to leave the eurozone. Anne Richardson of Aberdeen Asset Management points out £8bn of bank deposits have left Greek banks since November because investors see a so-called Grexit as having come "one step closer".

Via Twitter

Stephanie McGovern

Breakfast business reporter

port
BBC

tweets: Morning from the Port of Tyne - where today I'm talking about exports. #economy

Greek euro exit?

BBC Radio 4

Greece"s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is accompanied by associates
Getty Images

Now that the Greek election has been won by Syriza, thoughts have begun to turn to negotiations over the country's debts. Greece could request to pay no interest on those debts for about five years, Lord Desai, economist and chairman of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, tells

Today. "That would save them about 4% of GDP," he says. But, he adds, there "really is no human way that Greece can pay the debt without ruining at least one generation's future."

GDP growth

Radio 5 live

Anne Richards, chief investment officer of Aberdeen Asset Management is the markets guest on

Wake Up to Money. "You have to be a wee bit careful with quarterly numbers as they are subject to a lot of revision," she says. "The overall picture for the year was reasonably positive." Low construction growth was "a bit worrying." Strong sterling is a drag on GDP growth. Reliance on services rather than making things is also a challenge, she says. More engineers are needed.

Apple profit

Radio 5 live

The Apple logo
AFP

The biggest quarterly profit ever for a company: $18bn, has been posted by phone pedlars Apple. Daniel Eran Dilger who writes for AppleInsider tells

Wake Up to Money. Apple makes a load of margin from its high-end phones. They also make a lot when you break your power cable and have to splurge £65 on a new one, as presenter Adam Parsons
learned earlier this week.

Services growth

Radio 5 live

More from Greg Madigan, the boss Subway UK and Ireland on

Wake Up to Money. Hospitals, service stations and forecourts, or "non-traditional locations" are a big area of growth for the firm, he says. He used to be an air traffic controller, he adds.

Services growth

Radio 5 live

Services is what's propping up GDP growth, we learned yesterday. Greg Madigan, the boss Subway UK and Ireland is on

Wake Up to Money. "The price of oil has come down putting more money in peoples pocket... one of the things that benefit from more discretionary spending is food retail," he says. They have 2,000 stores in the UK and Ireland now.

Howard Mustoe

Business reporter

Good morning. Keep your thoughts on today's news rolling in via email bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk and on twitter

@BBCBusiness

Matthew West

Business Reporter

Morning everyone. In case you missed it EDF became the last of the "Big Six" energy suppliers to cut its gas prices last night. And US tech giant Apple reported

the largest quarterly profit in corporate history. Today sees trading updates come from Brewin Dolphin, Johnson Matthey, Sage and Anglo American. We'll bring you those numbers and more as we get them.