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  1. China's economic growth slows to 6.7%
  2. Europe's five biggest economies launch tax crackdown
  3. Premier League revenues hit new high
  4. Citigroup quarterly profits plunge 27%

Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

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Good night

That's all from the Business live page for another week. Be sure to join us again from Monday at 06:00.

Wall Street lower as oil drags

Wall Street slipped on Friday as oil prices declined.

Oil prices dipped as traders and analysts anticipated a weekend meeting of major oil exporters would do little to clear global oversupply quickly.

The Dow Jones fell 28 points or 0.2% to close at 17,897. The Dow finished the week up 1.8% The S&P 500 fell 2 points, or 0.1% to 2,080. The Nasdaq composite fell 7 points, or 0.2% to 4,938. 

Volkswagen names North American chief executive

VW logo
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Volkswagen has said Hinrich Woebcken is to be the new president and chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America.

In March top US VW executive Michael Horn stepped down, nearly six months after the German carmaker admitted to installing software to allow 580,000 diesel vehicles to emit excess emissions in the US.

Mr Woebcken replaced Mr Horn on a temporary basis in March.

Shale firm Goodrich Petroleum files for bankruptcy protection

An oil drill is viewed near a construction site for homes and office buildings
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US shale oil firm Goodrich Petroleum has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with a plan to get $400m in debt off its balance sheet while it tries to outlast a slump in oil prices.

The Houston-based exploration and production company, which has shale assets in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, joined more than 40 energy-related companies that have sought court protection from creditors since oil prices plummeted 20 months ago. 

Senegal creates new national airline

Senegal has created Air Senegal, a new national airline intended to replace the West African nation's now defunct, heavily indebted, carrier Senegal Airlines, minister of tourism and air transport Maimouna Ndoye Seck said.

The new company was formed with capital of 40 billion CFA francs ($69m).

Senegal revoked the air operator's certificate of the country's previous carrier Senegal Airlines, which ran up debts of over 100 billion CFA francs in less than five years of operation.

By the time it was shut down the airline, in which the state owned a minority stake, no longer possessed any aircraft.

Fiat Chrysler chief challenges Tesla Model 3

Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne has said he does not understand how the Model 3, Tesla's first mass-market car, can be sold for €35,000 and make a profit.

"If he [Tesla chief executive Elon Musk] can show me that it can be done, I will do it as well, copy him, add Italian style to it and put it on the market within 12 months," he added.

Film tax dispute hits Trespass

BBC Scotland business and economy editor tweets....

Deloitte releases creditors' report on failed unicorn Powa

BBC technology correspondent tweets...

Consumers 'want the real deal' for some pasta sauce

Fiona Dawson, the Global President of Mars Food, which makes Dolmio, says the company is working to make many of its foods healthier, but some pasta sauces will remain unchanged.

We're going to reduce our salt levels, sodium, sugar, fat. We're also going to put things in - so wholegrain and added veg. Now the labelling will adhere to strict nutritional guidelines and we will reformulate the majority of our products. There will be a small set, a small exception, of products which will sit outside it, such as our pesto, or our dairy-based products like lasagne sauce. Consumers are saying to us they want the real deal when they're buying into these."

Dolmio and Uncle Ben's firm Mars defends limit on products

Dolmio lasagne kit

The company behind Dolmio and Uncle Ben's sauces has defended its "bold" advice that some products should only be consumed once a week due to high salt, sugar or fat content.

Mars Food said it would distinguish between "everyday" and "occasional" items on packaging and on its website.

It said the move was "right" as some foods were higher in salt, sugar or fat to give an authentic taste.

Some experts welcomed the move, while others said it did not go far enough.

Read more here.

NBA League approves rule to put ads on jerseys starting in 2017

LeBron James
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National Basketball Association teams will be able to sell advertising space on their jerseys starting from the 2017-18 season, the league said.

The NBA, which is the first major North American sports league to announce plans to put ads on jerseys, said a small patch will appear on the front left of the game jerseys as part of a three-year pilot programme. 

HMRC says 1,100 prosecutions of tax dodgers are coming up

Personal finance correspondent Simon Gompertz writes...

HMRC says it has 1,100 prosecutions of tax dodgers in the pipeline. Last year it secured 1,200 prosecutions, resulting in prison sentences of 407 years. Those prosecuted included barristers, accountants, lawyers, bankers, medical consultants, people hiding money offshore, money launderers and smugglers. Two out of five of those convicted had dodged more than £50,000 of tax. So what about the criticism that HMRC only has 35 wealthy people either in court or waiting to be prosecuted for tax evasion, despite having 26,000 staff working on enforcement and compliance? Well, the figure is correct, but the explanation from the tax office is that all of the 35 have wealth of at least £1m. In other words, the number isn't as small as it looks because the people involved are from a tiny proportion of the population. No doubt critics will say they need to target more people in this well-off bracket.

Chancellor hails 'international tax haven blacklist'

George Osborne
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There has been an international agreement to blacklist tax havens at an IMF and World Bank meeting in Washington, according to Chancellor George Osborne.

Today we've got an agreement on an international blacklist of tax havens, and that means the whole world can take action against those who aren't playing by the rules, and the world has just got a much colder place for those hotpots of international tax evasion."

George OsborneChancellor

British territories like the British Virgin Islands and crown dependencies like Guernsey "would definitely be on that blacklist if they don't comply with the rules" he added.

Builders hamper FTSE at the close

The FTSE 100 has closed lower after concerns about stagnation at the top-end of the housing market put pressure on builders.

The share index closed down 0.34%, or 21.35 points, at 6,343.75.

ECB sees no evidence of asset bubbles from ultra low rates says Draghi

The European Central Bank has not seen evidence that its monetary policies are creating asset bubbles, ECB President Mario Draghi has said. 

"While accommodative monetary policies over an extended horizon may have unintended consequences for certain sectors in the form of excessive risk-taking and misaligned asset prices, we do not currently see any broad-based evidence of excesses in the behaviour of banks and other financial institutions and valuations of euro area asset prices."

ECB PresidentMario Draghi

Video: Football star's biotechnology venture

Mars' once a week warning 'unambitious'

Bowl of spaghetti carbonara

Some reaction to Mars - the company that makes Dolmio and Uncle Ben's - saying some of its products shouldn't be eaten more than once a week.

Professor John Ashton, the President of the Faculty of Public Health, says processed food companies have been forced to introduce better labelling, but what's really needed is a proper commitment to producing wholesome food by reducing the amount of salt and fat in foods:    

We have to welcome it but it's not going to sort it out. It's unambitious compared with what's really needed. We haven't had a public health driven food policy since the Second World War when we actually had a balanced diet and a wholesome diet for the whole population and arguably in times of great duress of the Second World War the nation as a whole was better nourished than ever before or since."

Professor John AshtonFaculty of Public Health

Greek state railway has three suitors for privatisation

A man cleans the windows of a train to Bulgaria in Thessaloniki railway station.
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Greece has received three expressions of interest for the sale of state railways operator Trainose.

Italy's state railways, Russian Railways (RZD) and Greek construction group Gek-Terna have signaled interest, the country's privatisations agency HRADF said.

"HRADF's advisors will evaluate, per terms and criteria stipulated in the process letter, the above expressions of interest and submit to HRADF's board of directors their recommendation as to which candidates qualify for the next phase," it added.

Bombardier shares jump 16% after Delta order report

The new bombardier aircraft CSseries is shown in Mirabel
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Bombardier shares have jumped 16.3% in early trading following a Wall Street Journal report that the Canadian plane and train-maker is about to secure its largest order for CSeries jets from US airline Delta.

A final agreement between Atlanta-based Delta and Bombardier for 75 firm orders and options for 50 more of its 100-150 seat CSeries planes is expected at the end of April, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

GM recalls 1.04 million pickup trucks worldwide to repair seat belts

A Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck
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General Motors is recalling nearly 1.04 million pickup trucks over a seat belt flaw.

The largest US carmaker said the recall of the 2014-15 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups is not linked to any crashes or injuries.

GM said the cost of the large recall "is not expected to be significant and is covered within normal and customary warranty reserves." 

Wall Street flat as oil in focus

US stocks have opened flat amid expectations that a potential deal by major oil producers to freeze output may not affect global oversupply.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 1.5 points, or 0.01%, at 17,927.93, the S&P 500 was down 0.58 points, or 0.03%, at 2,082.2 and the Nasdaq composite was down 6.99 points, or 0.14%, at 4,938.90. 

Oil falls after low expectations for Doha meeting

Oil pumps in operation at an oilfield near central Los Angeles
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Oil prices have fallen after analysts said a weekend meeting of major oil exporters would do little to help clear global oversupply quickly.

Oil producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia will meet in Qatar on Sunday to discuss freezing output around current levels.

Brent crude was down 2.5% at $42.75 per barrel, and US crude was down 2.5% at $40.48.

Saunders to replace Weale on Bank of England rate committee

Michael Saunders, an economist with Citi, will replace Martin Weale as one of the nine members of the Bank of England's interest rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee, the Treasury has said.

How one person can become two

BBC Business tweets

Oil prices fall ahead of producers' meeting

Oil prices fell on Friday in thin trade, report Reuters,  as analysts said a weekend meeting of major oil exporters would do little to help clear global oversupply quickly even though it would provide a floor for the market. 

Oil producers - led by top exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia - will meet in Qatar on Sunday to discuss freezing output around current levels in an effort to contain a glut that sees some 1.5 million barrels of crude produced every day over and above global demand. 

It would be the first joint action by major OPEC and non-OPEC producers in 15 years although Iran has refused to participate, saying it wants to rebuild its output to pre-sanctions levels. 

Oil pipelines on Khark Island on the shore of the Gulf
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Never try to guess a lady's age ...

BBC technology reporter tweets

BBC World Service

Putin's Panama Predicament
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The Kremlin has apologised to a leading US bank and a respected German newspaper after President Putin claimed that one was owned by the other, reports World Service 

During his annual televised phone-in on Thursday he described the Panama papers leak as a provocation cooked up in Washington. 

He claimed this was borne out by the fact that the Süddeutsche Zeitung, which broke the story, was owned by the New-York based Goldman Sachs. This is - of course - not the case.   

Mr Putin's spokesman told reporters it should be those who'd prepared the brief - including himself - who should carry the blame for the error.   

Citgroup posts big fall in profits

Wall Street Journal tweets

Belgian transport minister resigns

BBC World Service

Jacqueline Galant at press conference in Brussels
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Belgium's transport minister, Jacqueline Galant, has resigned, amid claims that she ignored a damning report on the poor state of security at Belgium's airports ahead of last month's terror attacks. 

The confidential EU document from last year was made public by two Belgian opposition parties.  

It says the oversight of security measures at Belgium's airports was flawed and cited serious deficiencies in the way safety checks were managed. 

FTSE falls back

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The FTSE 100 is losing ground as the day wears on and is now down 0.5%, or 32 points, at 6,332 points. The market is being dragged down by house builders, with Berkeley Group the biggest faller, off 3.5%, with Barratt Developments down 2.7%.

Dressed for success

Volkswagen's other problem

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Christian Stadler of Warwick Business School says that although Volkswagen's market share in Europe has hit a five-year low, it could have been worse in the wake of the emissions scandal. "As past history of scandals has shown, people are often quick to move on and forget," he says. 

A bigger concern for VW is its lack of a new SUV, in Prof Stadler's view: "In China it does not really have a cheap mid-range SUV that the market is after. This is a problem it has been aware of for years, but when challenged about it, things always seem to be another year away. Volkswagen really need to get this right moving forward as this is perhaps a much bigger issue than the decline in European sales."

From the pitch to the lab

Arsenal player and French midfielder Mathieu Flamini has been talking to the BBC about the biochemicals company, GF Biochemicals, he set up to produce levulinic acid (LA). 

Who said footballers lacked brains? 

Read more here.

View more on twitter

How (not) to spend it ...

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Almost £400m in foreign currencies is apparently lurking in our sock drawers. That means each household has an average of £47 in five currencies lying around, according to Xpress Money Services. 

The money transfer firm reckons we don't bother to convert it to sterling because of high exchange rates and the hassle of getting to a bank or post office.    

The "research" also concludes that millions in "leftover" currency from trips abroad is discarded every year. 

Born to die...

Broken iPhone

Everyone thinks that gadgets like smartphones are designed to die. Now there is some evidence to support that conspiracy theory. 

Apple has revealed that it expects "years of use" for iOS devices - iPhones and iPads - to be three years - and four for its Macintosh computers.

At least Apple offers to recycle your device when it dies.

Hat tip to the Guardian's Sam Gibbs for alerting us to this gem.

Lagarde calls for crime crackdown


BBC News programme

IMF chief Christine Lagarde tells the BBC that more needs to be done to tackle financial crime.

IMF chief says global leadership is needed on financial crime

LGBT inclusion 'a work in progress'

Lloyd's of London chief executive Inga Beale topped an annual list of the top 100 LGBT executives last year. She has been telling the Stonewall workplace conference today that LGBT inclusion is "still a work in progress" in the UK.

View more on twitter

Where is the US?

Robert Barrington, executive director of Transparency International UK, has given its view on the tax crackdown announced last night by the big five European economies. 

Although they have committed to getting more countries on board, the US is notably absent. The UK’s own weak spot is continued secrecy in the overseas territories and crown dependencies, and the announcement strongly increases the pressure on the UK Government to act on its own back yard if it wants others to act. 
Once the information has been shared, law enforcement authorities will also needed suitable legal instruments such as unexplained wealth orders, which means that once money or property of suspicious origin has been identified it can be quickly frozen. All eyes will now be on the PM’s anti-corruption summit in May to see whether he can persuade other countries to sign up to transparency, and whether he can move his own overseas territories.

'We have to impose our will'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

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More from Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK on what he thinks a really effective tax crackdown should look like. "We have to be able to prove that we can collect data on who really owns the companies which are registered in the UK and which are registered in our tax havens," he tells Today. 

"That means we have to impose our will with regard to this issue, on those tax havens who are not complying, all of whom are celebrating this week that David Cameron has backed off requiring them to have registers of beneficial ownership that can be readily accessed by UK law enforcement agencies and we also have to make sure that our own register is absolutely accurate.

"There is no will on the part of the UK government to enforce the new requirements to disclose beneficial ownership."

Can technology save steel?