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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Dyson to move HQ to Singapore

Live Reporting

By Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    We're shutting the page early tonight as we deal with a flurry of incoming news, but we'll be back at 6am tomorrow morning. Hope to see you then.

  2. What went wrong at Patisserie Valerie?

    Until recently the cake and cafe chain seemed to have its problems under control.

    After discovering a major accounting scandal earlier this year, chairman Luke Johnson agreed to lend the business £10m to keep it afloat. The firm also raised another £15m by issuing new shares.

    But last week, it confirmed its accounts had been more extensively manipulated than previously thought.

    Profitability and cash flow had been overstated and were "materially below" figures announced in October, it said.

    Then on Monday it revealed talks with banks to extend its credit facilities had stalled, leaving it on the brink of administration.

  3. Patisserie Valerie chairman to pay staff wages

    In its statement, the firm also confirms that chairman Luke Johnson has personally extended an unsecured, interest-free loan to help ensure that the January wages are paid to all staff.

    "This loan will also assist the administrators in trading as many profitable stores as possible while a sale process is undertaken," it said.

  4. BreakingPatisserie Valerie goes into administration

    Cakes

    Cake chain Patisserie Valerie has said it is going into administration after discovering that a recent accounting scandal was worse than initially thought.

    It comes just months after the firm was saved by a cash injection from its top shareholder and chairman Luke Johnson.

    In a statement, the firm said: "Patisserie Holdings announces today that, as a direct result of the significant fraud referred to in previous announcements, it has been unable to renew its bank facilities, and therefore regrettably the business does not have sufficient funding to meet its liabilities as they fall due.

    "As a consequence, the directors have appointed partners at KPMG as administrators to the company and its various subsidiaries."

  5. FTSE 100 closes lower

    The London market has closed lower after gloomy forecasts for global growth weighed on stocks.

    The FTSE 100 closed at 6,899.00, marking a fall of 71.59 points or 1.03% for the day.

    The worst performers were energy services company Wood Group, which fell 4.3%, miner Evraz, down 3.2% and Shell, which lost 3.1%.

    On Monday the IMF trimmed its forecasts for global growth to 3.5% for 2019, down from an October projection of 3.7%. It blamed geopolitical tensions and China's slowdown, as well as warning of the risks of a no deal Brexit.

    This hit indexes across Europe on Tuesday, sending major banking, mining and energy stocks lower.

    The US share markets are also lower - compounded by renewed fears about US-China trade relations - with the S&P 500 now down 1.1%.

  6. Deal to sell Grenfell-cladding maker collapses

    Firemen at Grenfell

    Shares in the aluminum parts company Arconic (formally Alcoa), which provided cladding for the Grenfell Tower, have dived 18% after plans to sell the business failed.

    According to the Financial Times, Arconic had been in talks with private equity firm Apollo Global Management about a potential deal but banks were said to be unwilling to fund the tie-up.

    Would-be buyers had also been put off by potential liabilities connected to Grenfell Tower blaze.

    Arconic provided some of the cladding for the London tower block that went up in flames in 2017 killing 72.

    No finding of wrongdoing has been made against it, but US investors are taking legal action against the firm and some speculate victims of the fire could also take action via American courts.

    "Together with management, we have been conducting a rigorous and comprehensive strategy and portfolio review over the past year and as part of that process considered a sale of the company, among other matters," said boss John Plant on Tuesday.

    "However, we did not receive a proposal for a full-company transaction that we believe would be in the best interests of Arconic's shareholders and other stakeholders."

  7. BreakingDyson to move head office to Singapore

    James Dyson

    Dyson has announced that it is moving its headquarters to Singapore, from Malmesbury in Wiltshire.

    The household appliance maker said it would mean two executive staff moving - chief financial officer Jorn Jensen and chief technical officer Martin Bowen.

    Other work at Malmesbury will not be affected and no jobs will be lost.

    Chief executive Jim Rowan said it was not to do with Brexit or tax but added: "It's to make us future-proof for where we see the biggest opportunities."

    Read more

  8. Major port operator 'ready for Brexit'

    Katie Hope

    BBC business reporter

    Port

    The boss of one of the world's largest port operators has said it has extra capacity to handle cargo from Europe in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the group chairman and CEO of DP World, said it was in constant dialogue with the UK government and "was ready" in the event of a no deal.

    He said both its UK ports - London Gateway and Southampton - currently had 30 to 40% spare capacity.

    "The government knows what we can do. If they ask us we are able," he said.

  9. Remy-Cointreau 'zen like' about China slowdown

    Remy Martin

    Chinese consumers may be buying less but not when it comes to spirits - at least that's according to French spirits giant Remy Cointreau.

    The French firm, which posted stronger-than-expected sales in the third quarter, struck a confident note about its prospects in China, even as increasing signs of a slowdown in that country have started to hit global markets.

    Finance chief Luca Marotta told analysts that Remy’s cognac sales in China were growing 20% on average, adding: "We are confident we can keep on with that trend."

    He also said Remy was “zen-like” about a possible slowdown in China and well prepared to handle it.

    Group sales reached 348 million euros in the three months to 31 December, showing like-for-like growth of 8.7%.

  10. UBS warns of difficult start to 2019

    UBS

    Swiss banking giant UBS has warned over a difficult start to 2019 after worse-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter of 2018.

    The group reported a 2% rise in pre-tax profits to $862m in the quarter, which missed analyst forecasts. Profits in its trading division slumped more than 20% however.

    The group blamed "geopolitical tensions, rising protectionism and trade disputes along with increased volatility" for its woes.

    It added this would also "affect client activity in the first quarter of 2019".

  11. FTSE 100 slips

    Umbrella

    Fears about global growth are weighing on world stock markets today and the FTSE 100 is no exception.

    The blue chip index has lost 0.8% to 6,911.94, a drop of 58.65 points since the start of the day.

    Mining stocks have been particularly badly hit, with Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Evraz down between 2.1% and 2.9%.

    Oil majors shell and BP have lost 2.7% and 1.5%, while Barclays and RBS have lost about 1.5% apiece.

  12. US markets open lower

    Wall Street has opened lower after yesterday's gloomy forecasts for global growth from the IMF.

    After the bell, the Dow Jones fell 98.59 points, or 0.4%, to 24,607.76 points while the S&P 500 slipped 12.83 points, or 0.5%, to 2,657.88.

    The Nasdaq Composite was 47.66 points, or 0.7% lower, at 7,109.57.

  13. Barclays to cut 300 jobs

    Barclays

    Barclays has told 300 staff at its Millshaw site in Leeds that they will lose their jobs. The workers, who face compulsory redundancy, are from the bank's customer relations, digital, and technology and business divisions.

    Unite the union said a large number of contractor and agency staff had also been asked to leave."Unite has made it clear to the bank that these plans will significantly damage both the business and the customer experience," regional officer Christian Ratcliffe said.

    “The number of employees at this key Barclays strategic site was 1,500 back in 2014, and the announcement today will leave less than 600 permanent employees in Millshaw. Employees will be devastated."

  14. 'Huawei is very open'

    Huawei Chairman Dr Liang Hua in Davos also told the BBC that Western lawmakers with concerns about espionage would be "welcome" to tour the company's facilities in China, and witness the manufacturing process.

    "If they have future requests - we welcome them to visit our labs and to see product development processes," he said.

    "Communication and exchange of dialogue can facilitate mutual understanding and help dispel misunderstanding. Huawei is very open."

    Dr Liang also called for a "quick conclusion" in the case of Meng Wanzhou, the firm's chief financial officer, who is awaiting extradition to the US in Canada over allegations that she breached sanctions against Iran.

    He said it was time she had her "personal freedom" back, but said Huawei was not in direct contact with US authorities.

  15. Huawei threatens to takes its business elsewhere

    Huawei app

    Huawei chairman Dr Liang Hua has been speaking at Davos about the company's recent national security challenges.

    A number of Western countries have expressed concerns about using the Chinese firm's technology in their 5G networks, warning that it could be used by the Chinese government to spy on them - claims the firm has strongly denied.

    At Davos, Dr Liang Hua issued a thinly veiled threat to countries such as the US, UK and Germany, saying that if they continued to limit Huawei doing business, "we would transfer the technology partnership to countries where we are welcomed and where we can have cooperation”.

    Dr Liang added he is confident that all developed nations would need the company's 5G tech in the future.

  16. Aldi increases staff pay rates

    Aldi shopping basket

    Discount supermarket chain Aldi has announced that it is raising its pay rates for store employees from 1 February onwards.

    The new minimum hourly rate for store assistants will be £9.10 nationally and £10.55 inside the M25, rising to £10.41 after three years nationally and £10.89 in London.

    The previous rates were £8.85 and £10.20 respectively.

    All store assistants will also receive an enhanced employer pension contribution.

  17. When your dad decides to do the same apprenticeship as you

    Dominic and John Foster

    "We tried to keep it a bit low key... I didn't want to say 'Oh my dad's in the same company as me,' I didn't want all the attention - but it got round pretty quickly," says Dominic Foster.

    Dominic left school in Peterborough in 2018 after A-levels and he and his dad have ended up doing the same apprenticeship at the same company through very different routes.

    John Foster was already working as a call handler for RSA, one of the world's oldest insurance companies, when Dominic applied for an apprenticeship in the claims team.

    After a gruelling three-hour interview, Dominic was hired and this inspired his dad to go for the apprenticeship programme for existing employees - and he was hired too.

  18. Beefeaters on strike for first time in more than 50 years

    Beefeaters

    Some of the ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London, the Beefeaters, are on strike for the first time in more than half a century in a dispute about their pensions.

    There have been picket lines outside the Tower - where the red-and-black-coated warders normally stand guard - and at Hampton Court Palace in south-west London.

    The Beefeaters, and other staff at the two historic buildings, have walked out for 24 hours over their employers' plans to replace the pension scheme with one their union says is inferior.

    Read more here.

  19. Rebound expected in toy market

    Kevin Peachey

    Personal finance reporter

    Playmobil vet playset

    Toy sales fell by 7% in the UK last year compared with the previous 12 months, new figures show.

    The collapse of Toys R Us, which held 10% of the market, and a lack of big films with toy spin-offs were the key factors, according to the British Toy and Hobby Association.

    Analysts NPD said the UK saw a bigger drop in sales than the rest of Europe, but it remains the fourth largest market in the world after the US, China and Japan.

    All the talk at the Toy Fair in London today, the biggest UK toy trade fair, is how a rebound is expected with the release of family movies in 2019 including Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2.