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  1. Greece reaches interim deal with eurozone
  2. UK finances show £8.8bn surplus
  3. UK retail sales fall 0.3% in January

Live Reporting

By Rebecca Marston

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    Rebecca Marston

    Business reporter, BBC News

    We have a deal - for now. Business Live is also off - for now. Back Monday when we'll again have all the developments on the Greek story, and the pick of the rest. We're here from 06:00. Have a good weekend.

  2. Greece deal

    Yanis Varoufakis

    The Eurogroup's joint statement says: "The Greek authorities will present a first list of reform measures, based on the current arrangement, by the end of Monday February 23. The institutions will provide a first view whether this is sufficiently comprehensive to be a valid starting point for a successful conclusion of the review. This list will be further specified and then agreed with the institutions by the end of April." Plenty more work for Greece's energetic Mr Varoufakis ahead.

  3. Via Twitter

    Linda Yueh

    Chief business correspondent

    tweets: Primary budget surplus target for this year now can be adjusted to econ conditions but #Greece can't just decide

  4. Greece deal shares rise

    Dow Jones is up -.83% at 18,134.63 and the S&P 500 is up 0.58% at 2,109.53. OK, they've not gone wild, but it is a sign of welcome from investors.

  5. Greece deal

    They all seem happy. A Greek government official says "Greece today has turned a page - we have avoided recession."

  6. Greece deal

    The Greeks must of course take the deal back to their voters. There is "flexibility" in the agreement so some of the conditions may be made easier for Greece. Although the four months deal is shorter than the six months extension Greece wanted. Greece must provide a list of reforms by Monday before the plan is actually rubber-stamped.

  7. Greece deal

    The outcome of today's meeting is being described as a "very positive outcome". The speakers so far have indeed looked very chuffed.

  8. Greece deal

    Christine Lagarde, the IMF boss, urges us to view the agreement carefully and measure every paragraph as the document has been put together very carefully. She says work can now begin.

  9. Via Twitter

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    tweets: Greece will present reform programme on Monday - so eurogroup, IMF and ECB can decide whether this comprehensive enough

  10. Greece deal

    The Eurogroup head, Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Greece repeated its commitment to honour all debt "in a timely manner".

  11. Greece deal

    "Strong commitment to a broader and deeper reform process," says Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

  12. Greece deal

    "There is flexibility in the programme and we will make the best use of it."

  13. Greece deal

    "Tonight was a first step in the process of rebuilding trust," says Eurogroup head, Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

  14. Via Twitter

    Business Live is not playing #Eurogroupmovies. But the rest of the pack seem to be. Business editor Peston tweets: "Oh my god #EurogroupMovies is trending. The whole world must be close to losing the will to live". We're back doing real work now. Press conference starting.

  15. Greece deal

    You can watch the press conference here. It's scheduled for 19:50 UK time - in a few minutes.

  16. Via Twitter

    EU Council Press Office

    tweets: #Eurogroup meeting: press conference starting soon. Watch live on . #Greece

  17. Greece deal

    Reuters says: "Greece and eurozone finance ministers reached deal on Friday to extend the Greek bailout by four months, euro zone officials said. It's done. For four months," one official said.

  18. Via Twitter

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    tweets: I know we hacks have a cushy life, but waiting like a lemon for a draft EU or eurozone communique is so TEDIOUS #Greece

  19. Greece debt talks

    Wall Street is up in afternoon trading following reports that Greece and its creditors were close to an agreement on extending the country's bailout. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 98 points, or 0.6%, to 18,084 points, while the S&P 500 was up 0.4%. Eurozone finance ministers are expected to hold a press conference after ending their meeting.

  20. Greece debt talks

    The European Union economics commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, tweeted from an emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers on the Greek bailout negotiations that they were making progress: "On avance, on avance, on avance".

  21. Greece debt talks

    Reuters is reporting the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, has ruled out a eurozone summit on Sunday. Does that mean there's going to be a deal tonight? No idea. Reuters goes on to say he's ready to convene one in due course if necessary.

  22. Greece debt talks

    A lot is coming out now about these talks. Unnamed officials are being quoted. One as saying Greece appears to have given in completely. The BBC's Mark Lowen says a "Greece government source tells me 'There is no agreement so far. There is only the clear message of the Greek Prime Minister to Donald Tusk [EUCO chair] that if no agreement tonight, he will ask for an extraordinary summit'".

  23. Greece debt talks

    Reuters is now reporting that eurozone finance ministers have drafted a common text with Greece that Greek and eurozone officials said on Friday could form the basis for an agreement to extend Athens' bailout package. Officials stressed that there was as yet no formal agreement in the full meeting of the Eurogroup of 19 finance ministers.

  24. Greece debt talks

    Reuters is reporting the Greek prime minister has asked the European Council president to convene an EU summit on Sunday if they can't get anything sorted out this evening. The agency cites the sourece as a Greek government official.

  25. Market update

    US shares are as lacking in bounce as Europe's. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,095. The Dow Jones - change not worth mentioning - stands at 17,993 and the Nasdaq equally unmoved at 4,926.

  26. Via Twitter

    Yanis Varoufakis

    tweets: One must believe @BILD's tall stories (about us Greeks) at one's peril.

  27. Market update

    Modest moves for the leading European indexes. The FTSE 100 rose 0.34% to 6,912.66. Germany's Dax was also higher by 0.43% to 11,049.38 and France's Cac 40 was down by a whisper - 0.04% lower at 4,831.11. Lufthansa shares were whacked by the news it wouldn't pay a dividend this year - closing down 4.2%. The pound lost 0.2% against the euro to €1.3534, and was also down 0.24% against the dollar at $1.5378.

  28. Greek slip up?

    Nigel Cassidy

    BBC News

    Analysis from our Brussels veteran: "This is a fascinating new twist if it turns out to be true. If Greece is saying it is actually prepared to go along with more of the existing tough terms of its loan extension, then there could be some hope of a deal in this evening's talks if Germany were also to give more concessions. But the very idea that an entire previous meeting was based on discussions of the wrong document does appear, on the face of it, rather unlikely."

  29. Greek slip up?

    Bild's report says it was the Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis who sent an altered version of the letter in which - against previous agreements - omitted assurances that Greece will accept bailout conditions agreed to by the previous government. Prime minister Alexis Tsipras described the letter as an "administrative mistake". The proposal that had been sent was the one ditched on Thursday by Germany as insufficient.

  30. Via Twitter

    Joe Lynam

    BBC Business Reporter

    Patrick Duffy

    tweets: Is Greece seriously using the Bobby Ewing solution by saying it might have sent the wrong letter yesterday to #Eurogroup? (Guidance for younger readers: It was a soap opera plot line that implied the bad stuff - Bobby's death - had all been a dream.)

  31. Via Twitter

    The Economist Intelligence Unit tweets: Well, it's one way of executing a U-turn. Greek government reportedly saying it sent the wrong letter on Thursday; willing to offer more.

  32. Greek slip up?

    Oh my. The Greek government accidentally sent the wrong letter to Brussels on Thursday with the intended version going a step further, accepting conditions agreed to by the previous government, Germany's Bild Zeitung reported Friday citing government sources.

  33. Takata air bag fine

    Almost eight million cars are potentially affected by those defective air bags made by Takata. US safety officials are asking owners of certain types of Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors vehicles are well as Hondas, to replace the air bags as soon as possible.

  34. Greece debt talks

    Are proving "very difficult", but there is still room for some optimism, the top euro zone official Jeroen Dijsselbloem. There're bilateral talks between the Germans and the Greeks and then there's the full pow-wow between the 19 euro zone finance ministers.

  35. Danish krone

    Euro Krone chart

    The Danish krone is getting a bashing. Relatively speaking. It's been down 0.2% against the euro, but the long-running peg to the European currency has been so tight, the movement is the biggest since 1999, when the euro was launched, reports Reuters.

  36. Takata airbag fine

    The US government is fining Japanese air bag maker Takata $14,000 a day for failing to cooperate fully in an investigation. The bags are widely used in Honda cars. As AP puts its they "can explode with too much force, spewing shrapnel into drivers and passengers". At least six people have been killed worldwide because of the problem.

  37. Lufthansa dividend

    Lufthansa share price graph

    Lufthansa shareholders are not happy with the news there'll be no dividend payout for last year. Shares are down 3.5%.

  38. Markets update

    The US markets have opened a touch edgy with the Greece talks under way. The Dow Jones is down 0.23% at 17,943.83, while the S&P 500 is down 0.1% at 2,095.36 and the Nasdaq is up 0.03% at 4,926.35. London's up a bit and Paris and Frankfurt are down a bit.

  39. Greece debt talks

    Yanis Varoufakis

    Greece's finance minister Yanis Varoufakis remains eloquent on this crucial day: "The Greek government has not gone the extra mile... but the extra 10 miles. Hopefully by the end of this we will see white smoke."

  40. Lufthansa dividend

    Lufthansa check in desk

    Lufthansa has ditched its dividend for 2014. Results have been affected by the sale of an IT unit, an increase in pension liabilities and losses from fuel hedging activities. Losses were €732m ($828 million) compared with €407m in profit last time.

  41. Greece debt talks

    The Austrian chancellor, Werner Faymann, says he wants a quick solution in debt talks between Greece and the others. He said the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble's, quick rejection of the latest proposal from Athens was "exaggerated".

  42. Post update

    Rebecca Marston

    Business reporter, BBC News

    Boys overboard. Me now. You're welcome.

  43. Signing off

    Tom Espiner

    Well, that's it for today from the early Business live page team - we're clocking off just before the Greece and EU talks kick off in earnest this afternoon. Rebecca Marston will now be steering the ship until 18.00 tonight.

  44. Public sector borrowing

    Chancellor George Osborne

    Chancellor George Osborne tells BBC News: "This week we heard that Britain's got the lowest rate of inflation in our modern history, we've got the highest number of people in work, ever, and now we've got great news on improving public finances, so we've got a real golden opportunity to secure the ongoing prosperity of our economy. It's vital we don't put that at risk, we've got to go on working through the long-term [economic] plan."

  45. Via Twitter

    Rafael Behr, political columnist, The Guardian

    tweets: I now hear 'our long-term economic plan' in the same voice as 'there is currently a good service operating on all London Underground lines.'

  46. Via Twitter

    Alexis Tsipras, Greek prime minister

    Alexis Tsipras

    tweets: This is the moment for a historic political decision for the future of #Europe

  47. Market update

    FTSE 100 graph

    The FTSE 100 continues to take baby-steps towards a new record high. The index was up 27.18 points at 6,916. Its record close of 6,930 points was in 1999. Meanwhile, Standard Life, 2.7% better, continued to benefit after reporting operating profits up 19% to £604m. But DIY retailer Kingfisher, which owns B&Q and Screwfix, saw shares fall after a broker downgrade. The shares were down 1.6%.

  48. Greece debt talks

    Mats Persson

    It's easy to "do a lot of Germany-bashing" over Greece, Mats Persson, from euro-sceptic think tank Open Europe, tells BBC News. But people should remember Germany's history, he says. "It's precisely because of its own history that it's so incredibly keen on a country's spending within its means, on sound money, on savings politics - that's what has saved Germany itself. It allowed it to rise from the ashes post World War Two, and then it allowed for reunification to happen between east and west in a smooth manner."

  49. Via Twitter

    Financial Times

    tweets: Just published: Warren Buffett is adding biker gear to Berkshire Hathaway's swelling family of businesses

  50. Public sector borrowing

    Robert Wood

    Robert Wood, UK economist for Berenberg Bank, tells BBC News that the budget deficit has "come down at a glacial pace, much lower than George Osborne initially planned." Mr Osborne "has found it very hard to get tax in, and that's in part because of the weakness of wages - they haven't grown very fast until recently," Mr Wood adds.

  51. Public sector borrowing

    Chris Leslie

    Chris Leslie, Labour's shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, tells BBC News that the government has not made good on promises to get rid of the deficit made at the start of its term of office. "Bear in mind that the Chancellor's promise to the public was that by now we would have no deficit at all, it would have been eradicated. He's had five years so far, and on today's figures he's suggesting it's going to be another 12 years beyond this. I mean, that's ridiculous."

  52. Sim card 'hack'

    NSA office

    More on the possible fallout from allegations that GCHQ and the NSA intelligence agencies gained the potential to eavesdrop on many of the world's mobile phones. IT security expert Bruce Schneier told tech publication The Register "Wow. This is huge... We always knew that they [intelligence agencies] would occasionally steal SIM keys. But all of them?"

  53. Greece debt talks

    The Greek and EU flags

    Is the German government softening - slightly - its hardline approach to Greece's request for a loan extension? "From the German government's point of view, (the request) is still not sufficient," said Christiane Wirtz, spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel. But "it certainly offers a starting point for further talks," he adds.

  54. London Fashion Week

    Shot from BBC World business

    The UK fashion industry has grown fast, and that means young designers and start-ups are increasingly open to copyright theft, Sally Britton, from law firm Mischon de Reya, tells the BBC. In the world of social media, even the smallest firms can have a global audience, opening up their latest designs to theft. Legal protection is as important and design and distribution, she says.

  55. Google


    Russia's anti-monopoly regulator has opened a case against Google following a request from Russia's biggest search site Yandex, the Interfax news agency reported. Yandex has alleged that Google abuses the dominance of its Android mobile operating system.

  56. Public sector borrowing

    George Osborne

    Chancellor George Osborne says the £8.8bn monthly surplus puts the government on track to meet key economic targets. "In a week of economic milestones, today we learn that January saw the largest monthly surplus in the public finances since the crisis, putting us on track to meet our borrowing forecasts and halve the deficit as a share of GDP this year," he says.

  57. Via Email

    Public sector borrowing

    Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS, says George Osborne can thank big bonuses for higher tax receipts. "The Chancellor had been expecting a marked improvement in tax receipts this January and this duly materialized. This was largely because top rate taxpayers made their self-assessed tax payments for income earned in 2013/14 and a substantial amount of bonus payments were delayed until April/May 2013 to take advantage of the top rate of income tax cut being cut from 50% to 45% in April 2013," he writes.

  58. Public sector borrowing

    Piggy banks

    Government borrowing for the fiscal year starting in April 2014 is now £74bn, 6% lower than the same period last year. And that brings the figure into line with the annual fall in the deficit forecast by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility after several months of lagging behind.

  59. Via Email

    Retail sales

    Lloyds Bank retail managing director Keith Richardson says: "As retailers try to get back to normal after several months of promotions-driven sales, the message from shoppers is clear: heavy discounts are the new norm. Consumers are in no mood to break their bargain habit. Retailers and consumers have "overdosed on a diet" of Black Friday, Boxing Day and early January sales. They are due "a hangover".

  60. Via Twitter

    Linda Yueh

    Chief business correspondent

    tweets: "@ONS UK productivity 31% below USA but 15% above Japan " Output per worker nearly 1/3rd lower than US, Japan stagnant

  61. Public sector borrowing

    Notes and coins

    January is usually a surplus month, due to self-assessment tax return receipts. This year, the figures were boosted by delayed payments of bonuses in the 2013/14 tax year. Income tax and capital gains tax revenues rose by 6.1% compared with a year earlier.

  62. Retail sales


    UK retail sales fell 0.3% in January from December, when there was a 0.2% rise, the Office for National Statistics said. The January figure was a 5.4% rise on a year earlier.

  63. Public sector borrowing

    Fading £20 note

    UK government borrowing saw a surplus of £8.8bn in January, an increased surplus of £2.3bn on January 2014, according to the Office for National Statistics.

  64. Greece debt talks

    Klaus-Peter Willsch

    More from Klaus-Peter Willsch on Today about Greece's request to re-write its bailout terms. The Greeks voted in a new government - that's fine and it's their choice, says the Bundestag member. "But they cannot make other countries pay for they way they live."

  65. Greece debt talks

    Strong stuff from German politician Klaus-Peter Willsch on the BBC's Today radio programme. The member of Angela Merkel's CDU party says Greece should never have had any money from the beginning, and "we should keep our pockets closed" now. Greece does not want to fulfil its international obligations, he says.

  66. Market update

    FTSE 100

    The FTSE 100 is hovering below a 15-year-high as traders await developments regarding Greece's debt talks. The index was up 1.93 points at 6,890.8. Standard Life was the biggest gainer after reporting operating profits up 19% to £604m. But DIY retailer Kingfisher, which owns B&Q and Screwfix, saw shares fall after a broker downgrade. Shares were 2% lower, making the firm the biggest FTSE 100 faller.

  67. Via Twitter

    London Fashion Week

    Yuan Potts

    BBC producer

    Steph McGovern at London Fashion Week

    tweets: It's an industry worth £26bn to the UK economy. Our fashionista @stephbreakfast is backstage at #LFW this morning.

  68. Greece debt talks

    George Osborne

    George Osborne says the stand-off between Greece and its eurozone partners risks turning into "a full-blown crisis". The UK Chancellor told Today that failure to agree a deal "will do real damage to the European economy. We need the eurozone to find a common solution".

  69. Newspaper review


    Greece dominates the business pages, understandably. But as the clock ticks towards a possible Greek exit from the eurozone, Allister Heath in the Daily Telegraph urges people to tone down the panic. Sure, a Grexit would be a major event, but it would not be catastrophic, he says. The Financial Times talks of a "bitter face-off in Brussels today" at talks between Greek and German finance ministers. The Times says Athens offered a "take-it or leave it" deal to its European partners.

  70. London Fashion Week

    London Fashion Week

    London Fashion Week is not just about showcasing the UK's top design talent on the catwalk, the chief executive of the British Fashion Council tells Today. Behind the scenes "we will be talking about business support" to help start-ups and exporters, she says, adding that the growth of the UK fashion industry is far outpacing the growth of the economy generally.

  71. Greece debt talks

    Greek demo Athens

    Greece looks set for another tough round of negotiations with eurozone finance ministers today. Athens will not budge on its demand for fresh bailout terms, government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis says. "The Greek government has done all it should at every level in an effort to find a mutually beneficial solution. We are not discussing the continuation of the (bailout) programme. The Greek government will maintain this stance today."

  72. Standard Life

    Standard Life

    Standard Life's annual operating profits jumped 19% to £604m. But it says that annuity sales would be hit this year by government pension reforms. "In 2015, we expect contribution from annuity new business to reduce by between £10-£15m," Standard said in a statement. The company said assets under administration from continuing operations rose 38% to £296.6bn

  73. Theatres

    BBC Radio 4

    Rosemary Squire, boss and founder of the Ambassador Theatre Group, is being interviewed for The Friday Boss slot on Today. ATG is still a husband and wife business. She looks after the finance side, while her husband is in charge of creative and marketing. "Apart from acting, we've done every single job there is to do in the theatre," she says.

  74. Oscars

    Radio 5 live

    Oscar statue in hand

    More from CMC Markets' Jasper Lawler on the counter-intuitive impact of the Oscars on film studios. Examples of shares dipping after a big win include Fox in 2014, which had a bit hit with 12 Years a Slave. "Unfortunately, last year Fox didn't fare too well. In the month following their win they were down 4%," Mr Lawler tells Wake up to Money. Historically, Universal and Paramount, after winning an Oscar, have lost more than 2% in the month after their wins, he adds.

  75. Theatres

    BBC Radio 4

    Bristol Hippodrome

    Rosemary Squire, chief executive and founder of the Ambassador Theatre Group, tells Today that running 40-plus theatres has be tackled as a "military operation" each day. "We own and operate the buildings, we are the largest theatre ticketer in the UK, and we are prolific producers of shows," she says.

  76. Oscars

    Radio 5 live

    Oscar statuettes

    Shares in the film studio sector as a whole tend to do better in the run up to the Oscars rather than the aftermath, CMC Markets analyst Jasper Lawler tells Wake up to Money. "Following the Oscars, adversely to what you might think, the overall sector tends to do a bit poorly," he says.

  77. Lorry drivers

    Radio 5 live

    lorry drivers

    There's a "chronic" shortage of lorry drivers, according to the Road Haulage Association. RHA regional director John Howells tells Wake up to Money: "We are not seeing younger people coming into the industry, and a large number of drivers are reaching retirement age."

  78. Greece debt talks

    Radio 5 live

    Germany's hardline stance over Greece's bid to re-write its debt deal has the support of the vast majority of the German people, says Timo Klein, Frankfurt-based senior economist at IHS. That does not mean they want Greece to leave the eurozone, he tells Wake up to Money. But they are just very worried about providing yet more financial support.

  79. Greece debt talks

    BBC World News

    Greek flag

    Evangelos Sioutis, of Guardian Trust Securities, tells the BBC there's a danger of a run on Greek banks if there is no imminent agreement between Greece and the EU over its loan. "If there's no agreement in the next few days, there is a risk of a bank run, because liquidity in banks is very limited, and there are many who say that capital controls are very close," he says.

  80. Russell Hotten, business reporter

    Morning all. It's Greece, Greece, Greece and more Greece today. Plus some important stats on the UK's public finances and retail sales. Keep in touch via email or tweet @bbcbusiness.