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  1. Blatter departure: Sponsors look forward to reform at Fifa
  2. Greece: Creditors reportedly agree 'final' proposal
  3. US car makers report strong May sales
  4. Fitbit hopes to raise $358m in first share sale

Live Reporting

By Ben Morris

All times stated are UK

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Ben Morris

Business Reporter

That's it from the Business live page today. But we're back tomorrow at 06:00 BST.

US shares close lower

Dow Industrials

It was an up-and-down day for US shares, with the Dow Industrials eventually closing 0.18% lower. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also recorded narrow losses.

Fifa's Blatter to stand down

Visa, another big Fifa sponsor has issued a statement. Unlike Budweiser and McDonald's it does mention Mr Blatter by name.

We are encouraged by the recognition by FIFA that extensive and fundamental reform is needed as reflected by the announcement that President Blatter is resigning and that FIFA will be undergoing a “profound overhaul”. This is a significant first step towards rebuilding public trust, but more work lies ahead... We look forward to understanding the nature and scope of the intended reforms in the very near future.

Visa statement

Virgin Galactic factory visit

BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott is visiting what I suppose you could call a spaceship factory. It's the manufacturing plant of Virgin Galactic in Mojave, New Mexico. 

Richard Westcott

Fifa's Blatter to stand down

And here's a statement from Budweiser on Mr Blatter's planned exit. Like McDonald's, Budweiser has not mentioned Mr Blatter by name.

“We expect today’s announcement to accelerate FIFA’s efforts to resolve internal issues, install positive change and adhere to the highest ethical standards and transparency. We look forward to the beauty of the game taking center-stage again for football fans around the globe.”

Budweiser statement

Fifa's Blatter to stand down

McDonald's is another important sponsor for Fifa. It issued this statement following the announcement by Sepp Blatter that he is going to stand down. Interestingly it doesn't mention him.

“Football has the unique ability to bring the world together while positively impacting communities and economies. The allegations of corruption and questionable ethics within Fifa have overshadowed the game and taken away from the sport, players and fans. We’re hopeful that the changes being implemented within Fifa will be a big first step in positively reforming the organization and gaining back trust from fans worldwide.”

McDonald's statement

Fifa's Blatter to stand down

Business live page reader, PT Ambini emails us:

Anyone taking bets on which tabloid has "Sepp Blattered" as their headline?

Greece's creditors 'agree final proposal'

French President Francois Hollande (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a working dinner on 1 June 2015.
Getty Images

The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund have agreed on the terms of a deal that they will offer to Greece, according to Reuters. It's being reported as a final proposal for the nation. On Monday those organisations met along with the leaders of Germany and France. Meanwhile,

the Greek Prime Minister says he has given the nation's creditors "a realistic proposal" to secure a deal.

Sikorsky announces job cuts


Sikorsky Aircraft is cutting 1,400 jobs to cope with falling demand for helicopters. Sikorsky, which is part of United Technologies, also said there was weak demand for its military aircraft. The job cuts will hit Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Poland. United Technologies is reviewing its ownership of Sikorsky and may sell, or spin-off the business.

Fifa's Blatter to stand down

The Coca-Cola Company is one of Fifa's most important sponsors. Responding to the news that Fifa President Sepp Blatter is to stand down a spokesperson from Coca-Cola had this to stay:

We respect Mr. Blatter’s decision. The announcement today is a positive step for the good of sport, football and its fans. Our expectation remains that Fifa will continue to act with urgency to take concrete actions to fully address all of the issues that have been raised and win back the trust of all who love the sport of football. We believe this decision will help Fifa transform itself rapidly into a much-needed 21st century structure and institution.

Coca-Cola spokesperson

Kendal Mint Cake firm saved

Maker of Kendal Mint Cake, JE Wilson & Sons has been rescued from administration,

reports the Daily Telegraph. The grandson of the firm's founder, Andrew Wilson has formed a new company to takeover the business and save 121 jobs, the report says. JE Wilson & Sons has been making confectionary in Cumbria since 1913.

Energy bills

This from BBC business reporter Victoria Fritz:

Are energy firms doing enough to keep bills affordable? @uSwitchUK says millions of us are in debt to suppliers. More on @BBCBreakfast 2moro

Deutsche Post strike talks

A postman of the German postal and logistics group Deutsche Post

Germany's Deutsche Post has rejected an offer from its workers to scrap a demand for higher pay as a concession in a row over pay and conditions that has already led to several strikes. Staff took strike action after Deutsche Post announced plans in January to create 10,000 new jobs at its parcel business by 2020 said new workers would have to accept lower wages than other employees. Deutsche Post says this was to help it and its DHL express division to compete with rivals such as UPS and TNT.

Blatter resignation

BBC economics editor tweets

My Qatar sources say UK officials dreaming if they think Blatter departure means it's poised to lose 2022 World Cup

Tobacco companies 'hypocrites'

World Service

A silhouette of a person smoking a cigarette

After three tobacco companies were ordered in Canada to

pay $12bn in damages to people affected by smoking, Martin Blais - who was part of the class action legal case, and whose father died of smoking in 2012 - spoke to
World Business Report: "They (the tobacco companies) keep saying that people are free to smoke or not. But by not giving people the proper information, they set a trap... I think they are hypocrites."

Instagram to open up advertising

Instagram icon on a iPhone menu

Photo-based social network Instagram is opening up its advertising to companies other than its hand-picked favourites. Currently, it only allows a few brands like Levi's and ice cream company Ben & Jerry's to directly advertise to users, based on their interests. But Instagram - whose parent company is Facebook - will be widening the net to allow all types of businesses to advertise. Instagram has about 200 million daily active users globally.

Will tobacco fine release the genie?

A woman smokes a cigarette on March 12, 2012 in London, Ontario.
Getty Images

Tobacco firms may feel they have good reason to challenge

a huge Canadian fine, says Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. "The wider implications of the legal battle are more significant than the billions of dollars in damages awarded... If this genie gets out of the bottle, it will set a precedent for court cases across the globe against the tobacco industry. The tobacco firms involved are therefore likely to throw the kitchen sink at defending their case."

Macy's 'reviewing options'


Shares of the US department store chain Macy's have lurched higher. Reuters is reporting that Macy's and its financial advisers "are listening to its shareholders, and reviewing options". Some shareholders have asked the company to consider options for its property portfolio, including selling some major sites and then leasing them back,

Reuters reports.

Sepp Blatter to stand down

Sepp Blatter is to stand down as FIFA president. It's not really a business story, but we thought you might like to know.

WPP criticised over 'excessive' executive pay

Martin Sorrell, chief executive WPP
Getty Images

Should WPP shareholders rebel over the pay packets of the firm's top executives? PIRC, which is a leading investor advisory service, certainly thinks so. It describes potential bonus payouts to executives of 400% of their base salary as "excessive". Also described as excessive by PIRC was the £43m pay packet awarded

to chief executive Martin Sorrell last year.

Shares in London finish lower

FTSE 100


FTSE 100 closed 0.36% lower, but recovered from the worst levels for the day. Tobacco firms were the biggest losers - British American Tobacco fell 2.4% and Imperial Tobacco fell 2.9%, following
an award of more than C$15bn in damages to smokers in a class action lawsuit.
Morrison Supermarkets rose 1.8% after it increased quarterly sales for the first time since December 2013, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel.

Betting on the geeks

R2-D2 USB charger

ThinkGeek describes itself as "the premier retailer for the geek community". Items for sales on its website include a Game of Thrones Royal Crown and an R2-D2 phone charger (pictured). Anyhow, its parent company,

Geeknet is being bought by GameStop which is a chain of stores selling video games and related kit. GameStop is offering $20 a share which values the deal at $140m.

Summer reading from JP Morgan

Tourist, Phuket

JP Morgan has some book recommendations in its

16th annual summer reading list. It has "become a summer tradition that our clients and our employees look forward to every year," the company confidently informs us. I think one of the titles might tempt fate, particularly for those holidaying in the UK: "Rain: A Natural and Cultural History" by Cynthia Barnett.

Currency market update

euro dollar

The euro has surged

against the dollar - it's up 1.8% and buys $1.11250. Analysts say that optimism that Greece might be able to reach a deal with its creditors have given the euro a lift. Meanwhile, sterling has risen 0.8%
against the dollar. That follows a seven-session losing run for the pound. Analysts say that a strong report on activity in the construction sector, released earlier, helped boost the pound.

BP backs gas

From the BBC's Richard Anderson, at the World Gas Conference, in Paris:  

Fitbit details share sale

Fitbit poster
Getty Images

Fitbit is planning to raise $358m by selling shares for the first time. Fitbit makes wearable devices that track exercise, sleeping and other health data. Last year it reported a net income of $131m and sales of more than $745m.
Last week, in a lawsuit, Fitbit was accused of poaching staff and stealing commercially sensitive data from its rival Jawbone. Fitbit denies the allegations.

US shares lower in early trading

US shares have sunk in early trading. The

Dow Industrials is down 0.55%, the
S&P 500 is also 0.55% lower and the
Nasdaq is off by 0.6%.
Intel is the biggest loser among Dow shares - falling by 1.3%. Investors are unenthusiastic about the chip maker's deal to buy Altera. Shares fell 1.6% when the deal was announced on Monday.
Fiat Chrysler is down 0.9%, despite reporting strong car sales for May.

May mostly healthy for US car makers

GM logo
Getty Images

General Motors has reported a 3% rise in sales for May, with sales of Chevrolet pickup trucks jumping by 30%. Earlier
Fiat Chrysler reported a 4% increase in sales in May, thanks to strong sales of its Jeep (up 13%) and Ram (up 8%) brands.
Ford sales fell by 1% in May. Sales of its F-150 truck were down 9.7%, as the company struggled to raise production of the latest model. To boost production
Ford is cutting its summer shutdown for some plants from two weeks to one week.

Soaring cost of cyber attacks


UK government has published a report on the cost of online security breaches for companies. It says the cost of the most severe breaches for big businesses is between £1.46m and £3.14m. For small and medium sized businesses the figure is between £75,000 and £310,000. Those figures are much higher than in 2014.

Grexit would be 'gigantic'

Getty Images

Reassuring words from Germany about a Grexit. Economy minister and vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel says the consequences of a Greek bankruptcy would be "gigantic" for Europe, but hopes a deal can be reached to avoid such a scenario. The heads of the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker all met for

unscheduled talks in Berlin on Monday night in a bid to reach a deal with Athens.

Ben Morris

Business Reporter

Thanks to Russell and Chris for a quality live page so far today. I'm with you until 21:30 - I'll try to maintain their high standard.

HSBC adds directors

Getty Images

HSBC has added two independent non-executive directors to its board. Irene Lee has held senior roles in investment banking and fund management in the UK, US and Australia and joins in July. Pauline van der Meer Mohr, president of the executive board of Erasmus University Rotterdam, contributed to the Dutch Banking Code Monitoring Commission that aimed to restore trust in the Dutch banking sector. She joins in September.

Canadian ruling drags on tobacco firms


FTSE 100 is down almost 12 points at 6,941, as
British American Tobacco fell 2.3% after a Canadian court awarded billions in damages to smokers in class action lawsuits. "The wider implications of the legal battle are more significant than the billions of dollars in damages awarded," said Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. "If this genie gets out of the bottle, it will set a precedent for court cases across the globe against the tobacco industry. The tobacco firms involved are therefore likely to throw the kitchen sink at defending their case."
Anglo American was the top riser, up 2.6% at £10.29.

Pharrell wins fashion prize

Getty Images

Pharrell Williams won the Fashion Icon prize at the

Council of Fashion Designers of America awards in New York on Monday night. The performer, who is also a highly successful songwriter and producer, said: "I'm not a style icon. I'm just inspired. And I'm OK with that." He also thanked Vogue editor Anna Wintour for giving his profile a boost a decade ago.

Industry correspondent John Moylan comments on energy secretary Amber Rudd's letter to the big six energy companies:

Amber Rudd
Getty Images
Amber Rudd

Creditors agree on Greek bailout deal: report

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Greece's creditors have agreed a bailout deal to put to the Greek government. Officials representing the European Union, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund struck the agreement after Monday night's meeting in Berlin that aimed to resolve differences between the various parties, according to "two people familiar with the talks". Greece will be pressed for economic reforms, but the IMF has softened its insistence that Europe help the cash-strapped country relieve some of its debt burden, the Journal says.

Only in Japan

BBC technology reporter Jonathan Keane checks into the Henn-na Hotel in Sasebo, where robots rule the roost.

Robot receptionist invites you to stay in a hotel staffed by machines #techofbusiness

Robot receptionist invites you to stay in a hotel staffed by machines #techofbusiness

European markets update

Hopes, albeit fragile ones, of a Greek debt deal have failed to underpin markets. The

FTSE 100 is down 0.58% at 6,913.3 points, having touched its lowest in more than three weeks this morning.
British American Tobacco, down 2.38%, remains the biggest faller. Paris's
CAC 40 index and Frankfurt's
DAX 30 are down 0.2% and 0.77% respectively.