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Summary

  1. Government may invest in Tata plant as sale of Scunthorpe steelworks to Greybull announced
  2. David Cameron and other senior politicians publish tax returns
  3. Daily Mail owner ponders bid for Yahoo
  4. British Chamber of Commerce warns on economic growth

Live Reporting

By Rebecca Marston

All times stated are UK

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Bye for now

Business Live is back on Tuesday - from 0600. Oh yes. See you back here then.

US market close

US shares closed lower after a late session sell-off. The Dow Jones fell 20.55 points to 17,556.41. The S&P 500 lost 5.61 points to 2,041.99 and the Nasdaq fell 17.29 points to 4,833.40. 

Cash will disappear in five years time

Business Insider reports this from Mark Barnett, the boss of MasterCard in the UK and Ireland. He believes that in five years time cash will be practically extinct in Britain and Ireland — and in 30 years it will seem as old fashioned as the horse and cart.

Barnett told Business Insider at the Money2020 conference in Copenhagen last week: "By the time we get to another generation, 30 years down the track, will there be any cash? I very much doubt it. The idea of carrying coins — 2p, 1p, 50p all cluttering up your pocket — it will be an anachronism. It will seem as antediluvian as carrying a pouch full of gold.

"In five years time the vast majority of the cash will be out of the system"

Of course, MasterCard would say that. The more people use plastic to pay for things, the more business MasterCard gets. But figures show electronic payments have alrready overtaken cash ones in the UK.

Religious window
Business insider

Calling Venezuela...

Two of Venezuela's biggest mobile phone companies are suspending long-distance phone calls.

Movistar, a subsidiary of Spain's Telefonica, will end the service on Friday, while Digitel's will do so on Friday.

It come as the two companies struggle to pay bills because of the country's strict currency controls. 

Venezuelans will still be able to make international calls from some landlines. 

Oakbay to start setting up bank talks

Oakbay has not given up fighting for its future. It says it will start a round of talks with banks: "We will start setting up meetings with banks on Tuesday to try and restore those relations because the lives of 7,500 employees are at stake," chief executive, Nazeem Howa, told Reuters in an interview.    

Steel: Parliament to hold emergency debate

MPs are to hold an emergency debate on the crisis in the steel industry. The Labour Shadow Business Secretary, Angela Eagle, used a parliamentary procedure - Standing Order 24 - to ask for an urgent debate - to take place tomorrow (Tuesday 12 April). She complained that the government had refused to recall parliament from its Easter break to discuss the news that Tata was selling its UK steel operations. Angela Eagle had up to three minutes to make her case for an emergency debate. The Commons Speaker, John Bercow, accepted the application and because Ms Eagle had the support of enough MPs, including some Conservatives, tomorrow's parliamentary business has been changed. This means there will be a three hour debate about the UK steel industry.

Auditors and banks withdraw support for Oakbay Resources

Oakbay Resources and Energy, which until last week was run by the controversial Gupta brothers, is facing ruin as auditors KPMG and several national banks withdrew their support for the company. They cited concerns about the political storm surrounding the Gupta family's friendship with President Jacob Zuma. It has been alleged the Gupta brothers unduly influenced his choice of appointments to the cabinet. They've resigned from their positions in Oakbay Resources, following what they called "a period of sustained political attack on our family and our businesses". Lucy Burton spoke to the new chief executive of Oakbay, Nazeem Howa. He said that if the company can't re-establish its relationship with the banks, thousands of jobs will be at risk.

Oakbay hopes to restore its relationship with its banks, which has faltered.

Government says will not nationalise Port Talbot

There are media reports that the Government is planning to part-nationalise Port Talbot. But the Department for Business Innovation and Skills says it is not planning this. In the Commons today, Sajid Javid, talked about "‘co-investing on commercial terms". BIS says he is talking about a debt investment on commercial terms, which is the same as they are proposing to do with Greybull in Scunthorpe. This is OK under EU state aid rules. BIS say he was not referring to an equity investment, or a part-nationalisation,

Tax islands to share data with UK authorities

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, says some British overseas territories and crown dependencies - often seen as tax havens - would now share information with British authorities. He said territories, apart from Guernsey and Anguilla, had agreed to provide UK law and tax agencies with full access to information on the beneficial ownership of companies: "For the first time UK police and law enforcement will be able to see exactly who really owns and controls every company incorporated in these territories -- Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Isle of Man, Jersey, the lot. This is the result of a sustained campaign, building on the progress that we made in the G8 and I welcome the commitment of the governments of these territories to work with us and implement these arrangements."

Goldman fined $5bn for bad mortgage-backed products

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $5bn ($3.5bn) to settle allegations of “serious misconduct” relating to mortgage-backed securities it sold before the financial crisis.

The investment bank reached a deal with the Department of Justice and state governments. The penalty includes $1.8bn earmarked for consumer relief.

“This resolution holds Goldman Sachs accountable for its serious misconduct in falsely assuring investors that securities it sold were backed by sound mortgages, when it knew that they were full of mortgages that were likely to fail,” said associate attorney general, Stuart Delery.

Steel industry analysis

The BBC's business editor Simon Jack writes:

The key questions are: how long is the list of buyers and how long will that process take? Tata Steel is losing millions a week and today's deal with Greybull took six months to conclude. Group Executive Director Koushik Chatterjee told me that the process would be given "due time" without specifying what that might be. 

He also said workers should take comfort from the fact that the company had already waited two weeks before starting the process and that he saw potential buyers in "the tens". 

There has already been tentative interest from the steel company Liberty House but the vision outlined by its chairman, Sanjeev Gupta, would require a radical and time consuming restructuring of operations at Port Talbot along with significant government support.

That appeared to be on hand as the Business Secretary Sajid Javid said the government would be prepared to co-invest with a buyer on commercial terms to secure a sale of Tata's remaining assets. 

This is a step further than the government has gone before, and, while giving extra hope, also shows just how difficult it may be to find a buyer.  

Read Simon's blog in full

Oil price rises 2%

Oil has had a good day. Brent has risen 1.9% to $42.72 a barrel. US light sweet crude is up 1.4%. Earlier it was above $43 a barrel. That's the highest since December.

Goldman deal

Elsewhere in the world...

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $5bn ($3.5bn) to settle allegations of “serious misconduct” relating to mortgage-backed securities it sold before the financial crisis.

The investment bank reached a deal with the Department of Justice and state governments. The penalty includes $1.8bn earmarked for consumer relief.

“This resolution holds Goldman Sachs accountable for its serious misconduct in falsely assuring investors that securities it sold were backed by sound mortgages, when it knew that they were full of mortgages that were likely to fail,” said associate attorney general, Stuart Delery.

The BBC's political editor tweets:

Tata will contact 'tens' of potential Port Talbot buyers

Tata Steel's executive group director, Koushik Chatterjee, says it will contact "many tens" of potential buyers for its UK steel business. Mr Chatterjee said the aim was to sell the assets as one, rather than split up the business. He spoke after Tata announced the signing of an agreement to sell its Long Products business, including the giant Scunthorpe plant, to investment firm Greybull Capital.

German steel workers in anti-dumping protest

Steel is a big issue in Germany, too. Thousands of German steelworkers are staging demonstrations across the country to demand action to prevent China from dumping cheap steel on world markets. The protesters want the EU to impose higher tariffs on Chinese imports. Hannelore Kraft is the premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, home to many steel plants. Addressing workers in Duisburg, she said action was needed to give the European steel industry a fair chance:  "When I say: A fair solution, fair competition then this fairness must also apply internationally. We need fair rules world-wide. We cannot accept unfair steel dumping from China making life difficult for us.So we have come together to support tougher and faster anti-dumping measures, better and faster market monitoringThe EU Commission's steel summit has picked up on our demands but now words must be transformed into actions."

Steel workers protest in Germany
Reuters

Government to consider co-investment in Port Talbot

The Government will consider co-investing with a buyer on commercial terms to save the Port Talbot steel plant in south Wales, Business Secretary Sajid Javid has told the Commons.

No promises on steel jobs, minister

The Business Minister, Sajid Javid says he cannot promise that no more jobs in the British steel industry will be lost. 

London market closes flat

The FTSE-100 index at the close was down 4.29 at 6200.12.

Food producers caught in supermarket crossfire

Press Association tweets

Boris Johnson files tax return

Limit or not to who publishes their return, the Mayor of London and MP for Uxbridge, Boris Johnson, clearly considers he is among those who should do so. His tax return shows he paid £1m in tax over four years. 

Boris Johnson
Reuters

Prime minister cautions on tax returns

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, says there should be a limit to who publishes their tax return: "There is a strong case for the prime minister and the leader of the Opposition, and for the Chancellor and Shadow Chancellor because they are people who are or who wish to be responsible for the Nation's finances. As for MPs, we already have robust rules on members' interests and their declaration. And I believe that's the model we should continue to follow. We should think carefully before abandoning completely all tax payer confidentiality in this house as some have suggested."

Jeremy Corbyn publishes tax return

The leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has published his tax return now. Bit of a relief as he temporarily mislaid it. He filed a paper return rather than online as is more common now, so you can see his handwriting (Well, presumably it's his).

Jeremy Corbyn
AFP

George Osborne tax return

Chancellor George Osborne said: "I am today releasing my most recent tax return, the details of my income, and I will continue to do so in the future. It confirms what has been publicly known; that I get a salary as Chancellor the Exchequer, that I rent out my home in London while I live in Downing Street, and that I receive a dividend from my family's manufacturing business [wallpaper and interiors firm Osborne and Little]. This is unprecedented degree of transparency from a government that has done more than any other to tackle tax evasion, while I think the Labour Party are using this debate to go after family homes and family business and people who leave money to their children, and that's an argument we're going to take on."

Wallpaper
Osborne and Little

George Osborne's tax return

He's the first Cabinet Minister to do so.

"2014/15 

Taxable pay and earnings as MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer: £120,526

Bank Interest: £3

Net Rental Income: £33,562

Dividend Income: £44,647

Taxable Total Income: £198,738

Net Income Tax paid: £72,210"

George Osborne's tax return - read all about it

The Chancellor has manned up and published details of his tax return. See here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/515628/Chancellor_tax_return.pdf

3 owner Hutchison responds to CMA

A statement from Hutchison, owner of the 3 phone company, arrives: "We are very disappointed that the UK CMA has published a letter to Commissioner Vestager this morning concerning the proposed Three UK /O2 merger. This can have no legitimate status in the merger control process. It is no surprise that CMA opposes the merger. It always has, and so has Ofcom. But it is for the Commission to assess any competition concerns, on the basis of the facts and proposed remedies. It is interesting to contrast the content of the letter with the attitude of the CMA (when it was the decision maker) and Ofcom in the BT-EE CMA merger clearance, which was approved without conditions or remedies, creating a dominant fixed-mobile behemoth in the UK market. The CMA letter claims that the creation of a 4th full-fledged network operator is the only possible solution to address competition concerns. But no analysis or argument is given to support this, nor why Hutchison’s proposed remedies are insufficient. It is an entirely one-sided argument designed to support a preordained outcome."

MPs 'shouldn't publish tax returns'

Sir Eric Pickles, the government's anti-corruption tsar says he does not support MPs and Peers having to publish their tax returns. He questioned the action and said he always knew that colleagues like the prime minister and the chancellor had a "few bob": "Transparency needs to have a purpose because without a purpose it's just prurience masquerading as a policy. And I'm not entirely clear what we'd get by all members of parliament producing their tax returns, though I'm willing to listen and to participate in the debate."

US shares open higher

Shares in the US are higher at the first trading session of the week. The Dow Jones is 51.46 points up at 17,628.42, the S&P 500 is 6.27 points higher at 2,053.87 and the Nasdaq is 24.21 points up at 4,874.89. 

Johnson: No bullying please

Boris Johnson
Getty Images

Moving away from the steel story for now - to the other rumbling saga, tax. Boris Johnson has been asked if David Cameron's decision to publish details of his tax affairs had put pressure on ministers and other MPs to follow suit. 

"I don't think anyone should be bullied into doing this," says the Mayor of London and MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip. "I've done it before, I'm very happy to ask my accountant to do it again we will put all the stuff out there. I think it is very important for everybody to realise there is nothing to hide in all of this. The last time I remember doing this in 2012 I put all my accounts and taxes and stuff online."

OECD: Growth outlook deteriorating in US and UK

Bridge construction
Getty Images

Growth is easing off in some developed economies, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The OECD says the outlook is continuing to deteriorate in the United States and Britain while the German economy is losing steam.

Its monthly Composite Leading Indicators (CLIs), which are supposed to highlight turning points in the world economy, showed signs of stabilisation in China, India and France.

 "The composite leading indicators continue to point to easing growth in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan, with a similar outlook now expected in Germany and Italy," it says. 

"In India and France, growth momentum is stabilising. Signs of growth stabilisation are also emerging in China and Canada," it adds

York workers saved by steel deal

Scunthorpe isn't the only town to benefit from Tata division's sale to Greybull

Steel sale 'fantastic' news

Tata Steel sign at Scunthorpe
Getty Images

Another Scunthorpe businessman welcomes the news that Greybull Capital is to buy the Tata steel works .

"I think it's fantastic news. The town would have been a bit of a ghost town. We employ about 300 people in Scunthorpe and it would have meant a lot of jobs going."

Scunthorpe deal a boost for whole community

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

More on that news that Tata Steel has announced the signing of a deal to sell its Scunthorpe plant to Greybull Capital. This local businessman said the news was a welcome boost for the wider community: 

"We manufacture garage doors, shutters, awnings, nationwide but we are based in Scunthorpe. We rely on people that live round here that work for the steelworks. 

"Obviously it is of major importance for us to keep the place open as well - people without jobs don't spend money. We need them employed for them to keep us employed." 

'Buy rail from Scunthorpe' call

Crossrail tunnel
Getty Images

One of the Scunthorpe plant's main products is railway track. Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, has called on the Government to ensure that track for Crossrail, Crossrail 2, HS2 and all other future rail track infrastructure projects must be bought from the plant.

"The technology and the worker skills at Scunthorpe combine to make the best, the longest and the safest rail track in the world," he said.

Javid: 'Step in right direction'

Sajid Javid
Getty Images

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Today's announcement is a step in the right direction for the long-term future of British steel manufacturing in Scunthorpe. This agreement sends positive signals to any potential investor for the rest of Tata's UK business."

Greybull aims for growth

Scunthorpe plant
Reuters

Greybull's Marc Meyohas said the aim was to avoid any more redundancies, expand the business and become profitable within a year. The investment firm has bought the business for a nominal £1 and is now arranging a £400m investment and financing package. 

The business is already making a profit, he said, but would not be drawn on whether Greybull was interested in other parts of Tata's UK steel operations. "We are always interested in growth. We would review any opportunities as and when they are presented to us," Mr Meyohas said. 

The British Steel name was "world renowned" and had an "incredible heritage", he added. "At its core, it is a very good business." 

Workers making 'huge sacrifices'

Scunthorpe plant
Getty Images

Unions have welcomed the sale by Tata, with Dave Hulse, national officer of the GMB, saying: "Our members must be congratulated for their pure determination in campaigning over the last two years. Their efforts were a major factor in the success of the sale." 

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community union, said: "There are still crucial steps to be taken to complete the deal and all parties involved need to retain their focus towards achieving the objective of securing the future of Long Products."

Unite union's convenor in Scunthorpe, Martin Foster, said: "It should not be forgotten that many workers have already lost their jobs at Scunthorpe and those that remain are making huge sacrifices with their pay and pensions to secure their jobs."

Commons schedule

Later today in the House of Commons:

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