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  1. Drivers 'deliberately deceived' over City Link failure MPs say
  2. ChemChina to buy 26% stake in Pirelli
  3. CBI warns of 'power vacuum' after election

Live Reporting

By Chris Johnston and Kim Gittleson

All times stated are UK

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Over and out

That's all from Kim and me on Business Live today - thanks for reading. Our esteemed colleagues Ben Morris and Howard Mustoe are back with all of Tuesday's business news from Britain and beyond at 0600 GMT - do join them then.

AbbVie payday

Abbvie logo

Executives at Pharmacyclics, the California-based cancer drug maker acquired by AbbVie for $21bn

earlier this month, are set to enjoy a near-$4bn windfall from the sale.
A securities filing reveals that Pharmacyclics boss Robert Duggan will get the lion's share - $3.55bn - while nine others directors and executives at the firm will get a cool $23m each. Don't spend it all at once, now.

Family Guy

Family Guy
Getty Images

ITV2 has nabbed the UK rights for Family Guy, the Fox animated series, away from BBC3 ahead of that channel's looming move online. Seth MacFarlane's other shows - American Dad!, The Cleveland Show and new series Bordertown - will also move to ITV2. Family Guy attracts about 500,000 viewers a night to BBC3, making it one of the station's most popular shows.

Sterling slides

Sterling hit a three-week low against the euro on Monday as investors push back their expectations of a rise in interest rates from early to mid-2016. The euro was 1.2% higher against sterling at 73.10p (meaning

£1 buys €1.368), while the pound fell slightly
against the dollar to $1.4941.

Economy class

Alexis Tsipras

Courtesy of

@ProfessorDrou: Greece's prime minister Alexis Tsipras sitting "coach" on his way to his meeting with Angela Merkel...

Another FTSE record


FTSE 100 has closed at another record high, up 15.16 points, or 0.22%, to finish at 7,037.67. It is the sixth straight day of gains for the blue-chip index after it closed above 7,000
for the first time last Friday.

Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew
Getty Images

As Prince Andrew gets set to host the

Pitch@Palace 3.0 event tonight in London, he
tells the Evening Standard's
James Ashton he is a "serial entrepreneur". And if princesses Beatrice or Eugenie told him they wanted to start their own business? "I would say get on with it, absolutely no question about it. But they have got to make their decision if they want to. They are both capable of starting a business themselves."

Via Twitter

John Mervin

New York business editor, BBC News

Fed Vice Chair warns Econ Club of NY to expect less explicit guidance about monetary policy in future. #FOMC #Fed -


US rates

Federal Reserve

Federal Reserve vice-chairman Stanley Fischer says an increase in US interest rates is likely to be "warranted before the end of the year". Last week,

the Fed hinted that the main rate, which has been at near-zero since the financial crisis in 2008, could soon rise.

Dave Hartnett

Simon Gompertz

Personal finance correspondent, BBC News

"Tax was boring, thankfully no longer" - former government head of tax Dave Hartnett being grilled by MPs after Swiss tax-dodging scandal


Dave Hartnett

Dave Hartnett tells MPs: "I'd like to understand why there weren't more criminal prosecutions [for tax]. I'd always expected there to be more ... Only Ireland and the UK have prosecuted anyone from the Falciani list. That looks like a relatively miserable result."

Dave Hartnett

Dave Hartnett, former HMRC permanent secretary for tax, tells MPs on the Public Accounts Committee that he is not to blame for the lack of prosecutions relating to tax. "I wasn't controlling the cases. The investigators had their own governance arrangements, not me. I'm not here to go on the hook - I was never on the hook for this," he says.

Wilson hits a homerun

Louisville slugger bats
Getty Images

Wilson Sporting Goods, known to Americans as the maker of NFL footballs, and to tennis fans as the maker of Roger Federer's tennis racquet,

has acquired the rights to baseball bat brand Louisville Slugger for $70m (£46m). Hillerich and Bradsby, the family-owned firm that has been making wooden baseball bats for more than a century, sold the naming rights after coming under financial stress in recent years. One, two, three strikes...

Tesco board

Richard Cousins
Getty Images

Compass boss Richard Cousins is

Tesco's new senior independent director. He takes up the role on 7 April, replacing Patrick Cescau, a former Unilever chief executive, who joined the supermarket's board in 2009 and led the search for new Tesco chairman John Allan. Mr Cescau is the fifth non-executive to leave Tesco's board this year; Mr Cousins became a director last November.

Citizens share sale

Getty Images

Royal Bank of Scotland plans to sell a stake worth as much as $3.3bn (£2.2bn) in its Citizens business in the US as it continues to focus on the UK. RBS will offload up to 132.5m shares that will take its stake as low as 46.1% in the Rhode Island-based business. RBS sold a first slice of Citizens in an IPO last September. It bought the bank in 1988.

Starbucks campaign

Howard Schultz and racetogether coffee cup
Getty Images

That didn't last long. Starbucks

has ended its controversial campaign to encourage its baristas to speak with customers about race.
In a letter to employees, chief executive Howard Schultz said the "Race Together" initiative ended on Sunday after just one week. The company said the end was pre-planned, but
constant social media criticism certainly did not help. However, he said Starbucks took the initiative because "starting this dialogue is what matters most".

Cyprus protests

There is nothing like a Cypriot bank bondholder scorned it appears. Bondholders who lost money in 2013 when the island nation was bailed out to the tune of €10bn damaged the Bank of Cyprus headquarters in Nicosia after trying to storm the building. Several windows were smashed or broken after 200 demonstrators hurled stones and other missiles, while one woman was knocked unconscious. Hundreds of junior bondholders had their savings wiped out when Laiki bank was wound up, while Bank of Cyprus depositers also lost out.

Google Glass

Prince Charles
Getty Images

Google Glass is not quite dead yet it seems. Executive chairman Eric Schmidt

tells the Wall Street Journal that the wearable technology is "a big and very fundamental platform for Google". Despite making changes to the project, he says: "Google is about taking risks and there's nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we're ending it."

US home sales

US home resales rebounded less than expected in February as a shortage of properties pushed up prices. Sales increased by 1.2% to an annual rate of 4.88m units - slightly short of the 4.9m forecast by analysts. January sales were unrevised at 4.82m units.

Via Twitter

John Moylan

Industry correspondent, BBC News

BBC News - #

Longannet power station to close next year

Wall Street


Dow Jones is 60 points, or 0.3%, higher at 18,188 as trading begins for the week, while the
S&P 500 is up 0.2% at 2,111 and the
Nasdaq is down 0.1% at 5,020.

Dyson university


James Dyson has popped into the BBC's offices to do an interview with technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones. This new engineering school of his will teach "design with engineering," he says, "in other words the practical application of science and engineering to create new products." Only 6% of engineers are female, but 42% of applications to his new department are from women, he adds.

Ukraine gas

Getty Images

Ukraine will stop buying gas from Russia as of 1 April, the country's Energy and Coal Industry Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn has said, as quoted by the privately-owned Interfax-Ukraine news agency. "We will stop buying it now… There is no urgent need," he said.

Via Email

Manufacturing outlook

Paul Hollingsworth

UK Economist, Capital Economics

Looking ahead, it is clear that exporters will struggle to make headways given sterling's appreciation and the weakness of demand in the euro-zone. But with lower oil prices set to continue to provide a boost to manufacturers through lowering their input costs, and the domestic recovery to maintain a robust pace, we still expect growth in manufacturing output to re-gain some momentum over the coming quarters.

Dyson university

Sir James Dyson

Sir James Dyson is investing £12m in Imperial College London to create the Dyson School of Design Engineering. Students attending the department will study a four-year course which will be developed in partnership with Dyson engineers. From 2017 the centre will be located in a revamped building previously owned by the Science Museum on Exhibition Road, South Kensington.

Varoufakis visit

Yanis Varoufakis

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has cancelled a trip to London planned for Tuesday, the Greek embassy said. He was due to talk at a conference in London and pop along to another couple of events.

But talks between Greece and its lenders are at a crucial stage and clearly he's focusing on that.

Back to the Future

Tony McCoy on Ned Buntline, Cheltenham Gold Cup day
Getty Images

An interesting thought experiment from the BBC's head of statistics Antony Reuben. What if you could go back in time, equipped with the knowledge that Tony McCoy would be the top jockey for 20 years?

The results may surprise you.

O2 deal this week?

Li Ka-Shing, chief executive Hutchison Whampoa

Here's something to watch for this week. The Times reports that Asia's richest man could finalise a deal to buy O2. Hutchison Whampoa, controlled by Li Ka-shing, already owns Three and could confirm the £10bn deal to buy O2 from Telefonica in the next few days. The deal,

which we first heard about in January, is likely to attract the attention of UK regulators.

Market update

Standard Chartered is the big winner among FTSE 100 shares this morning. It's up 6%, helped by a research note from JP Morgan which said that measures in the Budget might persuade Standard Chartered to move its domicile away from the UK, which could boost its performance. Overall the
FTSE 100 is down 0.2% at 7,005.

Morrisons: 'Stealth profit warning'

Morrisons Glasgow

Here's some interesting research from Bernstein analyst Bruno Monteyne. He argues that

Morrisons results released on 13 March contained a "stealth profit warning". Although the supermarket chain did not give any indication of what its profit margin would be this year, Mr Monteyne has estimated that it will be between 1.2% and 2.8%. That would be down 1.6 percentage points from last year and would mean profits fall another 50% this year.

UK factory orders slow

Factory worker Gloucester, UK
Getty Images

British factory orders unexpectedly slowed in March, hit by the sharpest decline of new business from abroad in more than two years,

a survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed. Its total order book balance fell to zero in March, a five-month low.

Train test site plan


European Union regulators have opened an investigation into Spain's planned test centre for high-speed trains, saying public support may break EU rules. Spain wants to build the proposed €358.6m (£261m) Centro de Ensayos de Alta Tecnología Ferroviaria near Malaga using government funds and the EU Regional Development Fund.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank


International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde said she welcomed China's creation of a new infrastructure bank. The institution has drawn support from Europe and scepticism from the US. "I welcome China's various initiatives in this area, including through the newly established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank," she said.

House building report


Accountants BDO canvassed 49 bosses from developers and housing associations to find out their views on house building in the UK. They found 94% thought that reaching the government targets of 245,000 new homes per annum in the next two years was unrealistic. "While the target of 245,000 is unachievable, particularly in the short term, housing bosses thought that if the planning and land availability challenges are addressed, they could, on average, increase output by 19% annually, creating more than 22,500 new homes," said the report.

Via Blog

Why Greek default looms

Robert Peston

Economics editor

Unless the ECB lightens up and takes Greek banks off the leash, or the eurozone accelerates plans to provide additional loans, it will become impossible for Athens "to service its debt obligations".

Read more in Robert's blog on the website.

Via Twitter

George MacDonald

Executive Editor, Retail Week

Heard of bogofs but never 'buy sofa get carpet free'. ScS's free carpet offer hit margin but says worth driving awareness of floorings offer

UKIP economic policy

Radio 5 live

Patrick O'Flynn, economic spokesperson for UKIP

"I don't think people earning just over 40 thousand pounds of taxed income are rich," says Patrick O'Flynn the economic spokesperson for UKIP. He wants to raise the threshold for the 40% tax rate to £55,000. But his priority would be to raise the personal tax free allowance to £13,000. That would be paid for by taking £9bn out of the foreign aid budget, reducing the net contributions to the EU budget to zero and cancelling HS2. Scotland would get less generous funding, he added.

Market update

After Friday's record-breaking

FTSE 100 close of more than 7,000 points, London's index of the largest public companies opened down 19.44 to 7,003.07. Frankfurt's DAX 30 index fell 0.45% to 11,984.79 points and the CAC 40 in Paris slid 0.18% to 5,078.25.

  • Pirelli, in takeover talks, rose 3.5%
  • Meggitt leads the FTSE100 losers, down 2.4%
  • Halfords group, with a new boss in Jill McDonald, fell 0.4%

Growing debts

Radio 5 live

pound coins
Getty Images

If interest rates were to rise two percentage points, households on average would need to find an extra £1,000 to cover their interest payments says Simon Westcott, a director at PwC's financial services practice. He says that the debt to income ratio is still below the pre-crisis peak. But on

Radio 5 live Mr Westcott points out that an official forecast has projected that by 2019/20 the debt to income ratio will have reached on all time high.