Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. BreakingPatisserie Holdings appoints new management

    Patisserie Valerie sign

    Patisserie Valerie owner Patisserie Holdings has announced that it is appointing a host of new executives, including a new chief executive, a new interim chief financial director, a new non-executive director, a new commercial director and a new production director.

    More interesting, the company says its forensic accountants have discovered that "the misstatement of its accounts was extensive, involving very significant manipulation of the balance sheet and profit and loss accounts".

    "Among other manipulations, this involved thousands of false entries into the company's ledgers," said Patisserie Holdings.

    The firm said it will take some time before a reliable trading outlook can be completed.

    It has hired KPMG to carry out a review of all options available to Patisserie Holdings in recovering from fraud, and it has appointed RSM as auditors to create a restatement of the company's accounts once the fraud and attend accounting issues have been investigated.

  2. More on Goldman Sachs and 1MDB

    Former banker Tim Leissner and his wife model and fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons
    Image caption: Former banker Tim Leissner and his wife model and fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons

    In December, Malaysia filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs and two former employees for its role in helping to raise funds for the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

    Tim Leissner, the former chairman of Goldman Sach's South East Asia operation, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

    "When control functions in the firm asked if each transaction whether intermediaries were involved, they were told no. Leissner himself said no intermediaries were involved in the transaction," Goldman Sach's chief executive David Solomon said on Wednesday during a post-earnings conference call with analysts.

  3. Snap shares slide

    Snap logo with US flag

    Shares in Snap - owner of social media app Snapchat - are down 11.3% to $5.80.

    This has been sparked by the unexpected resignation of Tim Stone, chief financial officer, after eight months.

    He follows several other executives who have left the firm in the last 12 months.

    However, Snap said in its filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission that Mr Stone "has confirmed that this transition is not related to any disagreement with us on any matter relating to our accounting, strategy, management, operations, policies, regulatory matters, or practices (financial or otherwise)".

  4. 'We apologise to the Malaysian people'

    David Solomon

    The chief executive of Goldman Sachs David Solomon has apologised for the bank's role in the 1MDB corruption scandal.

    "It's very clear that the people of Malaysia were defrauded by many individuals, including the highest members of the prior government," he said in a conference call to discuss fourth-quarter earnings results, according to Bloomberg.

    "Tim Leissner, who was a partner at our firm, by his own admission was one of those people," said Mr Solomon.

    "For Leissner's role in that fraud, we apologise to the Malaysian people."

  5. Wall Street opens higher

    The Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street

    Wall Street shares have opened higher, boosted by positive bank earnings results.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is 127 points or 0.5% higher to 24,192.54. Top of the winners is Goldman Sachs, which has climbed 3.6% to $186.33 after reporting better-than-expected fourth quarter profits.

    The S&P 500 is flat - just 8.4 points or 0.3% ahead to 2,618.66. United Airlines owner United Continental leads the winners, rising 6.4% to $86.36 after raising its earnings growth outlook for 2019.

    And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is 48.7 points or 0.7% up to 7,072.50. Wynn Resorts is top of the winners, climbing 4.6% to $112.70 after Stifel reiterated a "buy" rating on its shares.

  6. Sears saved?

    Sears store

    The once-dominant US department store chain Sears looks as if it is going to be able its doors open.

    Chairman Eddie Lampert raised his offer to $5.2bn to buy the business out of bankruptcy.

    That's according to reports.

    Sears Holdings - which also owns Kmart - first filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October, seeking court protection to reorganise its debts or sell parts of the business.

  7. Good afternoon

    Millennium Bridge, London

    Thanks Ben and Jill for this morning's live coverage of all things business.

    It's a rainy day in London as commuters walk across the Millennium bridge in central London.

    At 19:00, Prime Minister Theresa May faces a no-confidence vote, after MPs overwhelmingly rejected her deal on leaving the European Union on Tuesday.

    Got a point of view? You can tweet me at @concertina226 and @BBCBusiness.

  8. 'Interest rates on hold for now'

    Cyclist near the Bank of England

    Back to inflation data.

    "With inflation within a whisker of its 2% target, the MPC will probably feel comfortable in waiting until Brexit uncertainty is resolved before moving [interest rates] again," said Ruth Gregory, senior UK economist at Capital Economics.

    "Overall, our expectation is that inflation will remain below its 2% target for much of the year."

    Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics has this forecast: "Looking ahead, we still expect the headline rate of CPI inflation to fall slightly below 2% January - the first below-target reading for two years - and to average just 1.8% over the course of the year."

    He thinks that there will be some kind of soft Brexit deal. Once that has happened "we expect the economy to recover, giving the MPC the green light to raise Bank Rate again, probably as soon as May".

  9. Record cinema visitors

    Samuel L Jackson on the red carpet at the UK Premier of Incredibles 2.
    Image caption: Samuel L Jackson on the red carpet at the UK Premier of Incredibles 2.

    Cineworld said a record 308 million people visited its cinemas in 2018.

    This generated revenue growth of 7.2% and the company said it was trading in line with its expectations.

    In the UK, revenue growth was 3% but this became a 0.6% fall when currency movements were taken into account and measured against the popularity of Star Wars in 2017.

    The highest grossing films for the year in the UK were "Avengers: Infinity War", "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!" and "Incredibles 2", the company said.

  10. Sterling update

    chart

    A quick update on sterling as the US markets open.

    Against the dollar, the pound is now off the day's highs but still in positive territory - up 0.05% at $1.2867.

  11. HMV offers come in

    HMV store

    At the end of last year, administrators were called in at music retailer HMV for the second time in six years.

    It has 2,200 staff at 125 stores.

    Administrators KPMG says some offers have been received.

    Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator of HMV, said: “We can confirm that a number of offers on various bases have been received, and we now need to evaluate these further over the coming days.

    "Given the commercially sensitive nature of this process, we will not be providing further detail at this time. We will continue to endeavour to trade all stores while discussions with all the relevant stakeholders continue.”

  12. Goldman Sachs profits rise

    Goldman sign

    Goldman Sachs has reported net earnings in the fourth quarter of $2.3bn. In the same quarter of 2017 it reported a $2.1bn due to changes in tax law.

    Sales in its bond trading division were 822m, 18% lower than the same period in the previous year.

    “We are pleased with our performance for the year, achieving stronger top and bottom line results despite a challenging backdrop for our market-making businesses in the second half," said David Solomon, the company's chief executive.

    Investors will be keen to hear if he has anything to say about the company's problems in Malaysia, where it has been charged in connection with a corruption and money laundering investigation.

  13. Ford profits set to be weaker than expected

    Ford logo

    Keep an eye shares in Ford later. The company has said that earnings in the fourth quarter will be less than analysts had been expecting.

    It expects profits of 30 cents a share, analysts had been expecting 32 cents a share, according to Reuters.

    However, the company expects its performance to improve in 2019.

    “For 2019, we see the potential for year-over-year improvement in company revenue, EBIT [a measure of profit] and adjusted operating cash flow,” said Bob Shanks, the company's chief financial officer.

  14. Political tensions at 'crisis levels'

    Davos snow

    Political tensions between world powers are at “crisis levels” making it one of the biggest global risks this year, the World Economic Forum has warned.

    The not-for-profit group’s report – released ahead of next week’s conference in Davos - says most experts expect international relations to worsen this year, which it warns will hold back global growth.

    “We simply do not have the gunpowder to deal with the kind of slowdown that current dynamics might lead us towards.

    What we need now is coordinated, concerted action to sustain growth and to tackle the grave threats facing our world today,” says WEF president Borge Brende.

  15. US federal workers recalled - without pay

    Capitol Hill

    UK politics might be a mess, but the situation is not much tidier in the US.

    The Trump administration has called back tens of thousands of federal workers - unpaid - to fulfill important government tasks, reports the Washington Post.

    That includes workers handing out tax refunds, overseeing flight safety and inspecting food and pharmaceutical supplies.

    Almost 50,000 staff have been called back to work without pay.

    The partial government shutdown is the result of a dispute between President Trump and Congress over who should pay for a border wall between the US and Mexico - one of Mr Trump's key campaign pledges.

  16. Bank of America reports strong profits

    Bank of America

    Bank of America has reported a fourth quarter net income of $7.3bn, a big increase on the same quarter last year which was hit by tax reform.

    Its consumer banking business saw strong growth as did its wealth management and global banking businesses.

    However, its important bond trading division saw sales decline 15% to $1.4bn - it blamed weakness in credit and mortgage markets.

  17. 'National credibility'

    Richard Sharp is also giving evidence to the Treasury Committee alongside Mark Carney.

    Mr Sharp is an out-going member of the Financial Policy Committee at the Bank of England which was set up to look for risks in the financial system.

    He pointed to uncertainty: "In the event of a disorderly exit.. it relates, specifically, in my view, to the question of national credibility."

    The FPC has conducted analysis on the effect of a disorderly Brexit, in which the UK economy could shrink by 8% in the immediate aftermath and interest rates rise.

    It found that interest rates would rise and also the cost of borrowing for the government would rise.

  18. Foreign investment in UK

    Alex Brazier, a Bank of England official sitting along side Mark Carney at the Treasury committee, has been talking about the UK's current account deficit.

    He said this has been financed by capital flows from abroad, with 60% over the last year accounted for by buying UK property and leveraged loans from companies.

    "Those have financed the fact that the UK is spending more than it earns."

    For that to continue foreign investors need to keep buying corporate debt and commercial property, he said.

    This was looked at in the stress test but the Bank of England did not try to conclude what might change investor appetite.