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Summary

  1. Grocer watchdog probes Tesco
  2. BT buys EE for £12.5bn
  3. Global debts rise $57tn since crash

Live Reporting

By Joe Miller and Howard Mustoe

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    Joe Miller

    Business Reporter

    That's it from us for today. Join us tomorrow from 06:00.

  2. Greek bailout

    "We need to act together," says Mr Varoufakis, to counter-act "cross-border shenanigans and violations," including tax evasion. He wants to tell voters "there is not immunity from prosecution in this eurozone of ours".

  3. Via Twitter

    Joseph Weisenthal, Bloomberg

    WOW. Varoufakis compares Greece's condition to Germany before the rise of Hitler. Says Germany should be able to relate.

  4. Greek bailout

    "From our government you can expect a frenzy of reasonableness," says the new Greek finance minister. He adds that his party will promote "the interests of the average European, not just Greeks".

  5. Greek bailout

    "My fellow Greeks wish for nothing more than to end the gross indignity," says Mr Varoufakis. He adds that his government will fight corruption and rent seeking (that's profiteering to you and me). Speaking of 2010, he says "The largest loan in history was granted to the most insolvent of nations". This, he says "would not end well".

  6. Greek bailout

    meet

    Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who is touring European capitals, is meeting with his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schaeuble. Mr Varoufakis begins to speak. "We didn't even agree to disagree," he tells assembled press. "We agreed to enter into deliberations as partners."

  7. African tourism

    World Service

    The vice president of the African Development Bank, Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa, has told the BBC's Russell Padmore the economies of many countries across the continent are missing out because governments are failing to develop tourism. "We are not doing nearly enough to promote tourism," he said, pointing out how safaris are promoted in nations that also have great beaches. Listen to Business Update

  8. Via Twitter

    Graeme Warden, business reporter at the Guardian

    Schäuble says he and @YanisVaroufakis "agreed to disagree" over the steps Greece must take

  9. Ukraine rate rise

    Ukraine

    The Ukranian hryvnia has tumbled 32% against the dollar. The country's central bank ended daily foreign currency auctions, loosening its grip over the hryvnia's exchange rate against the dollar. It raised its key refinancing rate to 19.5% from 14%.

  10. Via Twitter

    Linda Yueh

    Chief business correspondent

    Ukraine's currency is in freefall: hryvnia has crashed 31% to new record low of 24.5 per $, -64% YoY despite rate hikE

  11. BreakingBreaking News

    Rate decision

    As expected, the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the key interest rate steady at 0.5%. It also kept its bond buying budget at £375bn.

  12. Dilbert

    While we wait for the Bank of England's rate decision, due at noon, contemplate today's Dilbert. Do you ever feel that rather than owning your technology, it owns you?

  13. Via Twitter

    John Moylan

    Industry correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Jan new car sales up 6.7% (almost 165K units) @SMMT says demand back to pre-recession levels..expects market to level off after strong 2014

  14. Wind jobs

    MHI Vestas Offshore Wind has started hiring for more than 200 jobs on the Isle of Wight, the firm says. It's opening a blade-making plant on the island.

  15. Swiss fortunes

    Swatch

    Lots of news from Swiss companies this morning. Telecoms firm Swisscom said its earnings would drop by 100m francs this year, partly due to the currency's sharp appreciation. Meanwhile watchmaker Swatch was more defiant, saying it was in a "very strong position" despite an "unfavourable currency situation".

  16. Eurozone growth

    The European Union's economists have upped their forecast for how much the eurozone will grow this year to 1.3%. But they warned prices would fall by 0.1% due to cheaper oil and a weaker euro.

  17. Via Email

    BT Deal

    Adam Kirtley, BBC business reporter

    Interestingly BT sold its spun off mobile business O2 back in 2002 to Telefonica for £18 billion, rather more than it is buying EE for!

  18. Via Email

    Tesco probe

    Clive Black

    Shore Capital stock brokers

    The GCA probe, coming as it does after the company has made announcements to the market on over-statement or profits and the prior FCA probe that has been superseded by the SFO investigation feels very much like self-justification by an organisation that has talked much but not actually done anything of note in practical terms to our minds.

  19. Better off?

    Yesterday, research from Oxford Economics claimed that the average person in the UK would have an extra £417 to spend in 2015, with a disposable income of £18,106. Are you feeling better yet? Our statistics guru Anthony Reuben investigated.

  20. Milk prices

    cow

    Dairy Crest adds its views to the dairy debacle. "Milk costs have fallen but production is higher and selling prices are lower. This has adversely affected profits in this product group," it says.

  21. Siemens job cuts

    SIEMENS

    Alex Webb, Bloomberg's industrials reporter, says sources are telling him that Siemens will cut 7,400 jobs globally, including 3,300 in Germany.

  22. Via Twitter

    Ben Thompson

    Business correspondent, BBC News Channel

    Boom in new car sales continued into the new year. 164,856 new vehicles were registered in January 2015 - up 6.7% rise on Jan 2014.

  23. BT deal

    Vodafone have just hosted their earnings press conference. Chief executive Vittorio Colao says the BT purchase of EE creates a dominant player in Britain and will need scrutiny. He called for a separation of BT's Openreach business, which looks after the network, including exchange connections.

  24. Via Email

    House price index

    Martin Ellis

    Halifax housing economist

    House prices in the three months to January were 1.9% higher than in the preceding three months. This was the first increase in the quarterly rate of increase for six months. Annual price growth also picked up, to 8.5% from 7.8% in December, but remained significantly below last July's peak of 10.2%. This bounce-back in house price growth in January coincides with reports of the first rise in mortgage approvals for six months in December.

  25. Markets update

    The main European stock indexes are all down this morning.

    • The FTSE is down 0.5%, the Cac-40 is down 0.6% and the Dax is down 0.3%.
    • BT is the highest riser in London, up almost 3% on news that it has bought EE
    • AstraZeneca is down almost 2.8%, after reporting a 20% drop in pre-tax profits for 2014.
  26. Ukraine rate rise

    price of fish

    You won't get many bigger interest rate hikes than this. Ukraine's central bank has said it will raise its key rate from 14% to 19.5%. It's hoping that this move will help combat the country's rampant inflation - which is about 25%.

  27. Via Twitter

    Adam Parsons

    Business Correspondent

    Groceries adjudicator @ChristineTacon tells me she will expand her investigation into other retailers if she's given evidence

  28. Pension proposals

    The Telegraph trumpets what it calls a victory for the paper - saying that after many years of campaigning, draft regulations to cap the fees on company pensions were finally put before parliament yesterday. It reports that charges of more than 0.75% a year are to be outlawed in April under the proposals, benefiting millions of people. It's also the lead for the Daily Express, which says as much as two hundred million pounds will be diverted from fund managers to hard-pressed savers over the next decade.

  29. Vodafone sales

    Vodafone's sales decline has slowed down in the last three months of 2014 as things start looking up in Europe. Its main "organic service revenue", which excludes handset sales and currency movements, fell 0.4%.

  30. Tesco troubles

    BBC Radio 4

    The head of the Groceries Code Adjudicator, Christine Tacon, has just told the Today programme that she cannot fine Tesco, as any offences she is looking at would have been committed before she was given the power to fine (only granted last month after a year delay).

  31. AstraZeneca results

    AstraZeneca

    It was a year of will they/won't they for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which made more headlines for a proposed takeover by US firm Pfizer than any of its drugs. But despite all the gung-ho rhetoric, pre-tax profits for the year dipped by almost a fifth, to $6.4bn. Nonetheless, boss Pascal Soriot says the company is "on track to return to growth by 2017".

  32. BreakingBT buys EE

    BT has agreed terms to buy mobile phone operator EE for £12.5bn in cash and shares. It will make Deutsche Telekom and Orange owners of a slice of BT. "Deutsche Telekom will hold a 12% stake in BT and will be entitled to appoint one non-executive member of the BT Board of Directors. Orange will hold a 4% stake in BT," it said.

  33. Let's be franc

    Franc

    "Manufacturing companies in Switzerland are suffering from a significant loss of price competitiveness," the country's government has said today, assessing the impact of the central bank's decision to decouple the franc from the euro. The move, which strengthened the franc, has made life harder for Swiss exporters.

  34. AstraZeneca results

    Radio 5 live

    Tom Stevenson, of Fidelity is on 5 live, this time talking about AstraZeneca's results. They "are not going to be great," he says. "It was a big [takeover] target last year" as Pfizer was sniffing around it. "Astrazeneca has been through a rather tricky period, a lot of its drugs have fallen off patent."

  35. Antibiotic gap

    Radio 5 live

    Dr Neil Murray, chief executive of Redx Pharma, says the current batch of antibiotics has been overused and bugs have become resistant. "The potential is to go back to a pre-antibiotic era." Routine prescriptions of antibiotics after surgery have helped diminish the potency of the drugs. "The crisis is similar to that in cancer 25-30 years ago." Still, Britain has "a clear leadership position… which is not to be squandered," he adds.

  36. Tesco troubles

    Tesco

    Business secretary Vince Cable is up early, reacting to the new Tesco probe. "This is an historic day for the groceries code adjudicator," he says, "and shows we have created a regulator that has real teeth". Mr Cable adds that legislation is currently being put in place "to enable the regulator to impose hefty fines for those supermarkets found guilty of mistreating suppliers".

  37. Tesco troubles

    It's worth remembering, our business editor Kamal Ahmed says, that the head of the GCA was only recently given powers to fine, after the BBC's Panorama programme revealed she had applied for such powers more than a year ago.

  38. Antibiotic gap

    Radio 5 live

    5 live presenter Adam Parsons is in Macclesfield, a big pharmaceutical centre for the UK, and he's talking to Dr Neil Murray, chief executive of Redx Pharma. Their anti-infectives business is based in the town. The economist Jim O'Neill has said the gap between spending on cancer and antibiotic research needs to be closed. Dr Murray agrees. "We really are on the threshold" of big trouble with antibiotics, he says.

  39. BreakingBreaking News

    Tesco troubles

    Yet another regulator has announced an inquiry into the beleaguered supermarket giant Tesco. The Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) joins the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Reporting Council in investigating the firm. The GCA will look into Tesco's profit fudge in September last year, as well as any delays in payments to suppliers.

  40. BT deal

    Radio 5 live

    Tom Stevenson, investment director at Fidelity is talking about BT's plans to become a one-stop media shop. "I think the interesting question about BT is where the money comes from for all these things? The investment in football rights, very expensive, but the whole quad play thing is absolutely essential," he says. He's using the industry lingo for fixed line phone, mobile, TV and broadband.

  41. Post update

    Joe Miller

    Business Reporter

    Good morning. The European Central Bank has added to the pressure on the new Greek government by saying it will no longer accept its bonds as collateral for lending money to banks in Greece. The move comes as Athens seeks to renegotiate its bailout with the rest of the eurozone. Stay tuned for more on this and the rest of this morning's business news.