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Summary

  1. Eurozone finance ministers resume Greece debt talks
  2. Rolls-Royce says no contact over Petrobras bribery allegations
  3. City watchdog FCA looks into HSBC tax-dodging

Live Reporting

By Rebecca Marston

All times stated are UK

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Rebecca Marston

Business reporter, BBC News

Business Live is waving goodbye. For now. Back tomorrow from 06:00. See you here.

Greece talks

Umm. Not good, says Capital Economics: "Comments from officials on both sides suggest that even a short-term deal has not been reached at today's Eurogroup finance ministers' meeting, adding to risks that Greece may exit the euro-zone."

Market close

Greece talks - and US markets closed for a holiday - kept things very quiet on the markets. David Madden, market analyst, at IG Trading said: "volumes were low in London and across continental Europe as the public holiday in the US kept traders on this side of the Atlantic sitting on the fence."

Via Twitter

Douglas Fraser

Business and economy editor, Scotland

Skyscanner logo
other

tweets: @
Skyscanner: hotels and car hire help billion-dollar travel search firm, based Edinburgh, soar even higher.

Greece talks

Reuters is all over the events in Brussels. It's seen a text - rejected by Greece - that said Greece would commit to "appropriate primary fiscal surpluses" and that any new measures should be funded." Greece called this "absurd" and unacceptable".

Energy fine

Radio 5 live

Scott Byrom from the switching website, UK Power, tells 5 Live the fine may not be huge, but it will hurt this new supplier: "Newcomers have just two things, price and customer service, to distinguish them from existing players, £250,000 not going to have a massive impact, the biggest issue is reputational damage." He tells us there are now around 20 new competitors to the giant Big Six.

Greece talks

Reuters also reports a Greek government official saying: "In these circumstances there cannot be a deal today."

Greece talks

Those Greece talks in Brussels between the eurozone finance ministers appear to be likely to meet expectations. Reuters reports a Greek government official saying a draft text presented to eurozone finance ministers spoke of Greece extending its current bailout package and as such was "unreasonable" and would not be accepted.

Forex

Currencies: The

pound was down 0.18% against the dollar at $1.5374 and it was down 0.12% at €1.3499.

Market close

European markets have closed for the day.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.26% at 6855.31.
Germany's Dax was down 0.35% at 10,924.59 and
France's Cac was all but flat - down 0.06% at 4756.6 points. So far so dull. But wow. French banks.
Credit Agricole up 5%,
Societe Generale up 5% and
BNP Paribas up 4.2%.

Energy fine

Spark Energy, which was fined £250,000 for failing to treat customers fairly, says: "We've learned valuable lessons from this process and recognise there were things we should have done differently, and we apologise for these failings... There has been a wholesale restructuring of the business and an overhaul of key personnel." It has indeed wielded a new broom. There's a new chief executive, a new director of compliance, a new head of legal and a new head of customer service.

Peru economy

Peru's economy shrank by a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.9% in December from November, said the state statistics agency, Inei. Capital Economics said this suggests that economic growth in Peru was at a five-year low. It reckons an interest rate cut is possible.

Via Twitter

Douglas Fraser

Business and economy editor, Scotland

Mock up of 50 Shades with Douglas Fraser name on it
other

tweets: "Ok ok, @itisoncom. You've got my attention now:" And all of ours, Douglas...

Energy fine

Spark Energy has been told to pay £250,000 to Citizens Advice for failing to treat its customers properly while establishing itself in the marketplace. Regulator Ofgem found Spark Energy wrongly stopped customers switching to other suppliers and transferred customers when it should not have.

Greece talks

Expectations there'll be anything much coming out of this afternoon's meeting are not high. The German finance minister has accused Greece of living above its means, and expecting others to pay. The French finance minister thinks they should extend the existing bailout scheme. The new Greek government wants a loan to tide it over and then a new bailout deal.

Greece talks

Reminder: Greece's bailout programme ends this month. The worst-case scenario would be no extension to that and no new financial programme to replace that help. That could mean another credit crunch and Greece bursting out of the eurozone. Brrrr. A scary thought.

Greece talks

Eurozone finance ministers are talking in Brussels about the future of the Greek bailout. Ahead of the meeting, the European Commissioner, Valdis Dombrovskis, said the best way forward for Greece was to extend it by up to six months and give Greece a breathing space in which to negotiate a new scheme.

HSBC scandal

HSBC sign
Getty Images

The UK's main financial watchdog has made its first statement on the HSBC tax scandal. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says it is working closely with HSBC and other agencies to make sure the bank is meeting conduct standards. The comment follows last week's allegations uncovered by the BBC's Panorama programme and others that its Swiss unit helped hundreds of people to avoid tax.

Market update

With the US markets closed this Monday, London appears to lack inspiration. We see the

FTSE 100 down 0.16% at 6862.71.
Tullow Oil leads the risers, up 4%. Metals group
Fresnillo remains the main loser, down 4%, after it said its assets are now worth less than before.

Via Email

Rolls-Royce bribery allegation

More on the Rolls-Royce-Petrobras story in the FT from the BBC's Daniel Gallas in Sao Paolo: "I found the part of the document where Rolls Royce is mentioned. It says one Petrobras contractor - Luis Eduardo Campos Barbosa da Silva - allegedly passed on bribes paid by Rolls Royce (and 2 other firms - Alusa and SBM) on to Petrobras. So the mention is

there in the documents, as the FT said. Still, these documents are only transcripts of a police interview - they are not proof of anything."

Via Twitter

Aaron Heslehurst

Presenter, World Business Report

tweets: #Dejavu - Europe's trade ministers sitting back down at the table w/ #Greek govt to TRY & thrash out a deal to keep the #eurozone together!

Greek drama

We've heard today from hardliners unwilling to compromise with Greece over its bailout terms. And now this from the other side.

In the New York Times, Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis writes: "The great difference between this government and previous Greek governments is twofold: We are determined to clash with mighty vested interests in order to reboot Greece and gain our partners' trust. We are also determined not to be treated as a debt colony that should suffer what it must."

Rebecca Marston

Business reporter, BBC News

New balls, please. I'm taking over the Live Page for the rest of this afternoon. You're welcome.

Huawei recruits Lord Browne

Lord Browne
Getty Images

Chinese telecoms company Huawei has recruited one of the best-connected executives around to run its UK board. Former BP head Lord Browne takes over as Huawei continues its drive to expand across Europe. Huawei will also be hoping the appointment goes some way to allay worries about its openness and transparency. The US, in particular, has been worried about Huawei's alleged links with the Chinese state, claims that the company rejects.

Via Blog

Greek negotiations

Duncan Weldon

BBC Newsnight

Today is a not a hard deadline. The 28th February is not a hard deadline. The only real hard deadline is when the Greek government is about to miss a [debt] payment or there is a serious deposit drain on Greek banks. In other words, it isn't really clear when we'll hit a deadline that matters. It might come in March, it might be in the early summer.

AC Milan

AC Milan forward Mattia Destro
AFP

Another big money football club takeover seems to be coming to a head. There were reports in Thailand at the weekend that businessman Bee Taechaubol had offered €1bn for a controlling stake AC Milan. Then Italian media said that 30% of the club had been sold - but to an unknown buyer. Now Fininvest, the investment vehicle for the Berlusconi family, has said it is not interested in selling a majority stake in AC Milan, whose fortunes have waned since it last won the Italy's Serie A title in 2011.

Crude oil price rises

Brent Crude Price, one day
BBC

Oil prices have made gains over the last hour or so. Brent Crude is up almost 1% at $62.10 a barrel. That's helped shares in oil and gas companies.

Tullow Oil is the biggest winner on the FTSE 100, with its shares up 2.7%. On the FTSE 250
Premier Oil and
Nostrum Oil & Gas are among the biggest winners.

Apprenticeships

Grant Shapps
BBC

Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps says that former prime minister Gordon Brown made the same promise to provide apprenticeships for all

as Ed Miliband did today. Gordon Brown failed to deliver on that promise, says Mr Shapps on the BBC News Channel.

Rolls-Royce bribery allegation

From a Rolls-Royce spokesperson: "We have not received

details of the allegations made in recent press reports, nor have we been approached by the authorities in Brazil. We have always been clear that we will not tolerate improper business conduct of any sort and will take all necessary action to ensure compliance, including co-operating with authorities in any country."

Miliband speech

"Too often takeovers lead to speculative activity and not the long-term interests of business or the country," says Mr Miliband. So, he wants to reform rules on takeovers so long-term investors "have a louder voice". Also an "everyday" employee will be put on the remuneration committees of firms, to help ensure "executive pay is connected to performance".

Miliband speech

Ed Miliband, Labour leader
BBC

Labour leader Ed Miliband is making a speech at the Jaguar Land Rover plant in Wolverhampton. He has announced more support for small businesses. He has pledged to cut and freeze business rates. He also hopes to improve the availability of finance for small business, including a British investment bank to support new regional banks.

Labour apprenticeships

Labour have announced that they will guarantee an apprenticeship to every school leaver in England who gets the grades. The party will pledge to create extra apprenticeships every year but is only promising to offer a guarantee to every school leaver by the end of the next Parliament.

Jobs in New York

Wall Street signs
Getty Images

Wall Street is no longer powering the New York jobs market

according to the New York Times. It says that more jobs have been created in New York over the past five years, than any five-year period in the last half a century. But since the recession Wall Street has accounted for just 1% of jobs added. The new jobs are in technology and in lower paying service industries, the report says.

Via Twitter

Gavin Hewitt

Europe editor

Mood music ahead of FinMinisters mtg on Greece not good. German Fin Min accuses new Greek govt of 'insulting all those who helped Greece.'

Eurozone economy

The eurozone had a bigger than expected trade surplus in December, as exports rose 8% year-on-year and imports edged just 1% higher, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat said. The trade surplus was €24.3bn, almost double the €13.6bn in December 2013 and well above market expectations of 20.5 billion.

Via Twitter

Robert Peston

Economics editor

"Expectations of any deal with Greece tonight are being hosed down with German water cannon," tweets Robert Peston on those tough

comments by German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

Greek drama

Wolfgang Schaeuble
AP

German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has been pretty candid about Greece's attempt to renegotiate its bailout. And he continued with the hard line during a radio interview today. The current Athens government made him "feel sorry for the Greeks," he said, adding: "My guess is that it's all a big game of poker for this new government."

Cash payments

How much is cash-in-hand worth? Because of its very nature, that's a difficult one to answer. HMRC don't really know. In 2012, the Chartered Institute of Taxation estimated it could be £2bn-plus a year. The BBC's venerable head of statistics, Anthony Reuben, has probably got it right when he says: "I think it's fair to say we haven't the foggiest idea."

Via Email

Cash payments

Unprompted a Business live page reader has emailed about the cash in hand issue. Ian Kemmish says: "How many people even carry significant amounts of cash these days? If you pay a workman with a mobile transfer, bank transfer or crossed cheque, then there is an audit trail and you have discharged your responsibility." Any other thoughts on the issue?