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Live Reporting

By Howard Mustoe and Joe Miller

All times stated are UK

Joe Miller

Business Reporter

We bid you adieu for today, but come back tomorrow, as Greece's new PM goes to Brussels and Paris in a further bid to come to an agreement over the country's debt. Join us from 06:00.

Moon on a stick

moon
Reuters

The US government is

encouraging commercial development of the moon, according to a Reuters scoop. US companies can claim lunar turf through the licensing process for space launches. One minor sticking point may be the United Nations Outer Space treaty which requires countries to regulate the activities of those operating in space, said the newswire.

DSK trial

Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said yesterday that he had never set foot in the hotel where a prostitution ring was allegedly organised, and did not know the alleged organiser Rene Kojfer. The trial continues and we will bring you more throughout the week.

DSK trial

Fran Blandy, France correspondent for AFP

"Ex-prostitute 'Jade' tells court Kojfer [PR man accused of procuring prostitutes for members of Strauss-Kahn's entourage] once paid her less than she was owed 'because times are hard'. 'But we got a bathrobe'"

DSK trial

Fran Blandy, France correspondent for AFP

"Ex-prostitute crying, telling how she was forced to sell herself, two young children, divorced, she responded to an ad in the paper"

New shiny thing

pic
BBC

Want to know more about the background to BP's results today?

Then have a look at the interactive video on oil prices by BBC personal finance reporter Kevin Peachey. It is a new toy for us, so do give your views on what you think of the format. It works best on desktop and tablet.

Greek shares jump

Greek stock exchange
Bloomberg

Greek shares have jumped today on the hope that Greece can reach an agreement with its international creditors and avoid a damaging standoff. The ASE index climbed 9% (the chart above shows three sessions). National Bank of Greece rose 22%, Alpha Bank rose 15% and Eurobank rose 13%.

Via Email

BP results

David Buik

Market Commentator, Panmure Gordon

BP logo
Getty Images

"What surprised most people was the contribution by Rosneft of $470m. The US operation still has litigious clouds hanging over it. However maintaining a $6bn annual dividend will also prove a real challenge for Bob Dudley's team."

Via Blog

Denmark's bacon

Linda Yueh

Chief business correspondent

Denmark has the last strict euro peg after the Swiss abandoned its franc cap last month... Due to the size of the market, for investors,

Denmark doesn't have the same "safe haven" status as Switzerland. There aren't as many assets to buy and the market isn't as liquid.

Football's super-agent

World Service

Jorge Mendes and Ronaldo
Getty Images

Jorge Mendes, the super-agent behind the big money transfers of Christiano Ronaldo and Radamel Falcao, is regarded as one of the most powerful men in football. In a rare interview he tells Business Daily that

"the players deserve" their massive pay checks, and Ronaldo is worth "a billion". Dear reader: do you agree? You can download the
Business Daily podcast here.

Via Twitter

Ramzan Karmali

Business reporter, BBC News

tweets:

Comparison bosses in front of Select committee and boss of uSwitch, Paul Galligan, says energy market is broken #bbcnews

Via Twitter

Simon Gompertz

Personal finance correspondent, BBC News

tweets:

Moneysupermarket gets an average of £29 when you switch energy providers, they tell MPs - twice over for dual fuel

Via Blog

BP results

Kamal Ahmed

BBC Business editor

In the heady days of annual profits well north of £15bn, BP used to account for £1 of every £6 paid out in dividends by FTSE 100 companies our pension funds. Its profits in the final quarter of 2011 were £5bn. Compare that to today's figure of £1.5bn for the equivalent period in 2014.

Three factors account for BP's loss of momentum.

Energy 'rip-off'

Richard Llloyd, Which?
BBC

"This looks like a £3bn a year rip-off for consumers," says Richard Lloyd, chief executive of Which? His organisation has

analysed the strategies that big firms have used to buy energy since 2009 in the wholesale market. He says there's a huge disconnection between the price suppliers are paying and what they are charging their customers.

Sharp warns of losses

Sharp televisions
Getty Images

Sharp, the Japanese maker of televisions and other electronics, has warned that it will lose $256m (£170m) in the current financial year. It had been forecasting a profit of about the same amount and blamed falling sales of televisions and screens for smartphones. According to reports in Japan senior executives will be taking pay cuts of up to 55% because of the losses.

Via Blog

Robert Peston

Economics editor

"I watched afterwards as (Greek finance minister) Mr Varoufakis was mobbed by assorted investors and bankers. "He is a bit of rockstar", is how one analyst who was there put it. Perhaps

the most important message Mr Varoufakis has been sending is that the government would like a five month cooling-off period, when both it and its eurozone partners can draw breath and take stock.

Via Twitter

Simon Gompertz

Personal finance correspondent, BBC News

"

Moneysupermarket gets an average of £29 when you switch energy providers, they tell MPs - twice over for dual fuel. Compare the Market makes £67m, Go Compare £19m, Confused £16m and U-Switch £9m MPs say."

Via Email

'Fasten your Greek Belts'

Greek philosopher, Plato
Reuters

"Fasten your Greek Belts" puns Credit-Suisse (CS) in a research note put out today. It says that 20 July is a "hard" deadline for Greece to reach an agreement with its international creditors, if not "the situation could deteriorate significantly". CS says an agreement will be found "eventually".

Tesco pay-offs

Philip Clarke
Reuters

Tesco has confirmed that it is paying former chief executive, Philip Clarke (pictured), £1.22m and former finance director, Laurie McIlwee, £971,000 under "separation agreements". Those payments had been suspended due to an

investigation into Tesco's accounts, however Tesco's lawyers say the company does not have a basis to continue to withhold the payments.

Construction data

Battersea power station
Reuters

Growth across UK construction companies accelerated in January, helped by by improving order books and rising confidence, according to the Markit/CIPS construction purchasing managers' index. The measure rose to 59.1 from December's 17-month low of 57.6. Above 50 means growth.

Newspaper review

news
BBC

The Telegraph says the government wants to help stop firms squeezing small suppliers. The FT leads on

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis's meeting with chancellor George Osborne. The Times leads with
Prince Charles's reticence about being involved with weapons sales abroad, citing a new biography of the prince.

Spanish bonds

World Service

As the anti-austerity party Syriza takes charge in Greece, many people are now looking to see whether other countries in Europe will support parties with a similar message. "We have more and more wealth accumulating in fewer and fewer people's hands" - Pablo Bustinduy from Spain's radical leftist party Podemos

speaks to Business Matters about his party's lead in the polls.

Markets update

The major European stock markets have all opened higher this morning.

  • The
    FTSE 100,
    Dax and the
    Cac 40 are all up about 1%.
  • Mining companies BHP Billiton and Antofagasta are both among the leaders on the FTSE, up more than 4.4%
  • The oil price continues its minor recovery. Brent crude is up 2% to $55.83 a barrel.

Austerity chocolate

Chocolate
BBC

Chocolate-makers Cadbury have "risked public outrage" by shrinking

the size of its Dairy Milk bars in Australia by a tenth without reducing the price, the Guardian reports. The US-owned firm will cut 20g - or a whole row - off each bar.

Estate agents 2.0

Do we still need estate agents?

That's the question Ed Conway asks in today's Times. He says "bang-for-buck" in the UK real estate sector "has fallen almost every year since 2000," and that some of this may be due to the fact that unlike booking a holiday, or taking a taxi, not much has "really changed about the home-buying process since the 1970s".

BG results

BG Group wrote down the value of its business by nearly $6bn in 2014 after the oil price drop. It also plans to reduce its investments to as low as $6bn this year, compared with $9.4bn in 2014.

Blue sky thinking?

Clouds
BBC

Talking of Santander,

the FT reports that the bank is opening a celestial branch - as in, it is investing in a cloud storage facility. Apparently, the lender has sunk £230m in building a data centre in the Midlands, parts of which it plans to lease to clients.

Ocado results

van
ocado

UK online grocer Ocado has made its first annual profit since it was founded in 2000. The firm, which did a deal with Morrisons in 2013, said it made a pre-tax profit before one-offs of £10.1m for 2014. That's from a loss of £3.8m the period earlier.

Via Twitter

Adam Parsons

Business Correspondent

"And if you missed it - neither Mickey Clark nor @JamesBevan_CCLA own a pair of jeans.

I find this inconceivable."

Santander

Botin
EPA

Ana Botin has had a good start to her new role as boss of Santander. The Spanish bank - the eurozone's biggest - has reported a 70% increase in net profit for the last three months of 2014, when compared with 2013. Net profit for the year as a whole was €5.8bn, up from €4.2bn the year before. Bad loans dipped.

BG results

rig
Bg group

BG group, the gas exploration bit of the old British Gas, said full-year 2014 profit fell to $4bn from $4.37bn. That excludes the performance of assets it has sold and impairments. While these massive energy firms still survive with oil around $50 per barrel, small movements hit them. BG says its "sensitivity to a $1 per barrel movement in the oil price is expected to be between $60 - 70m at an earnings level" for 2015.

BP results

Dudley
Reuters

"Our focus must now be on resetting BP" says group chief executive Bob Dudley. "We have now entered a new and challenging phase of low oil prices through the near and medium term".

BP results

Things get even worse for BP if you look at analysts' preferred measure for assessing the performance of oil companies, known as replacement cost profit. By this measure, BP made a loss of $969m in the fourth quarter of 2014 - largely due to the falling price of oil.

BP results

As expected, BP has taken a hit from the falling price of oil. The company made $2.2bn in the last three months of 2014, down from $2.8bn for the period last year.

BG Group

Radio 5 live

Saker Nusseibeh, chief executive of Hermes Investment Management, is on

5 live talking about an update we expect from gas major BG Group. "It's exposed to Egypt which is unstable," he says. The new chief executive Helge Lund "is coming in to try and do something very tough," as the firm battles lower gas prices, which have fallen with oil.

Football sums

Premier League
BBC

Chelsea's £23.3m signing of winger Juan Cuadrado was

the biggest deal completed on transfer deadline day, as Premier League spending in the January window matched last year's £130m. However, this is nowhere near the all-time record for January spending. That was £225m in 2011.

Boots row

Lord Rose, described by the Daily Mail as "the man who saved Marks and Spencer",

lays in to Mr Miliband in a column in the Mail, while others join in the attack in The Sun. Labour last night pointed out that Lord Rose is a Tory peer - although the Mail says his intervention is especially significant, because he was handpicked by Gordon Brown to advise him as Prime Minister.

Boots row

More captains of industry enter the row with the Labour leader, Ed Miliband,

after his run-in this week with the boss of Boots, Stefano Pessina. The Daily Telegraph quotes Sir Ian Cheshire, the former boss of B&Q, and Sir Nigel Rudd, the Chairman of Heathrow, claiming that the Labour leader is trying to make people "afraid to voice their opinions".