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  1. Get in touch:
  2. Retail sales slip 2.7%
  3. AO World cuts losses
  4. FirstGroup calls special AGM
  5. $125bn for Royal Dutch Shell investors

Live Reporting

By Simon Read and Ben Morris

All times stated are UK

  1. See you tomorrow

    Due to staff training, the Business Live page is closing early today. We'll be back at 06:00 BST on Tuesday.

  2. Kent Council tried to redeem Woodford investment

    Kent County Council (KCC) has an investment worth £263m in the Woodford Equity Income Fund, which it can't redeem as the fund has been gated.

    It points out that the investment is only 4% of the council's total pension fund.

    The funds performance was so bad that in May the council wanted to redeem all its money and had made arrangements to do so on 3 June.

    "The announcement on Monday that trading in the investment fund was suspended was not anticipated. KCC is disappointed that, as a major investor in the fund, we did not receive this prior notification," the council said in a statement.

    "We do not know whether the decision to suspend trading was linked to the council's decision to redeem.The council is committed to seeking the best outcome and could still seek a managed redemption in order to maximise the benefits for the pension fund," it said.

  3. Uber under investigation by tax authorities

    Uber app

    Uber is under investigation by US tax authorities, according to an official filing.

    In particular the Internal Revenue Service is looking at its accounts for 2013 and 2014.

    Uber said that state and foreign tax authorities are also examining its tax affairs.

    The company said that it is possible that its tax benefits could "significantly change" in the next 12 months.

    It says that unrecognised tax benefits could be reduced by at least $141m in the next year.

  4. 'Let's do this deal' Trump tells May

    Donald Trump visits Downing Street

    US President Donald Trump has said he believes Britain can have a "very very substantial trade deal" with the US after it leaves the EU.

    Mr Trump told Theresa May to "stick around" during a meeting with business leaders on day two of his state visit.

    During a breakfast meeting at St James's Palace earlier today, Mr Trump said he believed there was scope for further expansion of trade between the US and the UK.

    "I think we will have a very, very substantial trade deal," he told Mrs May.

    "This is something you want to do and my folks want to do," he added. "Stick around. Let's do this deal."

    The meeting of five British and five American firms, senior ministers and officials was held in a bid to boost trade links.

  5. FTSE climbs in morning trading

    FTSE graph

    After starting the day in the doldrums the FTSE 100 climbed into positive territory before 10am and has remained there.

    It's currently at 7,201.60, up 16.80 or 0.23% on the day.

    Leading the charge of blue-chip shares are Standard Life Aberdeen, up 4.29%, BT up 3.85% and ITV, up 3.38%.

  6. Shell backs away from new oil investment

    Shell logo

    Royal Dutch Shell plans to hand shareholders $125bn over the next five years.

    To help pay for that the company is curbing investment in new oil and gas fields, which will free up cash.

    Does that make sense? Here is some analysis from Reuters Breaking Views.

    "Favouring cash returns over new fossil-fuel investments makes sense. Projects take years to pay off, and there’s a risk that governments will in the meantime upend those projections by imposing carbon taxes or other measures to prevent the planet from cooking.

    "A more sustainable alternative would be to pile into renewable forms of energy. But projects like wind farms often offer lower returns than Shell’s current targets."

  7. Wizz Air opens new routes, gets more passengers

    Wizz Air plane

    Opening new routes has helped budget airline Wizz Air to attract more passengers than ever.

    Passenger numbers in May soared 22.4% to 3.4 million. Over the year, numbers jumped 17.1% to 35.7 million.

    It launched nine new routes to Poland and Ukraine in the period.

    Last month, the Hungarian-based company posted a 4.5% jump in pre-tax profits to €300m (£265.7m).

  8. 'Daunting task' facing AO World boss

    AO worker

    Shares in online retailer AO World have slumped 6.55% this morning.

    Here's reaction from Julie Palmer, a partner at Begbies Traynor, to the company's disappointing annual results.

    “Since retaking the reigns at AO World, founder John Roberts has been faced with the daunting task of preparing the electrical retailer for the potential fall-out from a no-deal Brexit and dealing with a shrinking market as consumers curb their spending on big ticket items.

    “Roberts has led a management restructure to add a new spark to the business and improve efficiencies. The investment in this restructure, as well as the costs of stockpiling popular goods ahead of the original Brexit date, has meant AO has taken a hit in its profits.

    "But the company is hoping to regain this investment with the launch of a new rental service as a means of targeting those who cannot afford to purchase a major electrical product and the acquisition of Mobile Phones Direct, a new market for the firm."

  9. Tiffany sales disappoint

    Tiffany & Co

    That Trump gift may prove a welcome marketing boost to Tiffany & Co which today posted disappointing sales figures, blaming "dramatically" lower spending by tourists worldwide.

    The company's comparable-store sales, excluding the effects of currency exchange rates, fell 2%.

    Tiffany's net income fell to $125.2m in the first quarter to the end of April, from $142.3m a year earlier.

  10. Trump hands Queen £600 brooch

    Poppy brooch

    President Trump has presented the Queen with a Tiffany silver and silk poppy brooch, possibly worth £600.

    According to PA, an Elsa Peretti sterling silver and red silk brooch - called Amapola after the Spanish word for poppy - is for sale for £600 on the Tiffany & Co website (pictured).

    The Duke of Edinburgh was presented with an unique item, despite not meeting the Trumps - a personalised Air Force One jacket (not pictured).

  11. Camelot sales up - but 'good causes' money shrinks

    National Lottery sign

    Camelot, the operator of the UK National Lottery, increased sales by £255m to £7.2bn in the year to the end of March.

    But returns to good causes fell £600,000 to £1.6bn.

    That's because some of the 'good causes' money - £39m - was spent on “necessary marketing expenditure agreed with the Gambling Commission”, according to Camelot.

    The sales rise was driven by record digital sales of £1.8bn, up from £1.6bn the year before.

    Camelot has held the exclusive licence for the UK lottery since its inception in 1994 with the current licence expiring in 2023.

  12. P2P risks should be spelled out

    Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at investment platform AJ Bell, has been looking at those new P2P rules. She said:

    Quote Message: The regulator’s moves to ensure peer-to-peer providers spell out the risks of the investments to customers should be encouraged, particularly looking at how providers manage the risk of a borrower defaulting and how they reach their example interest rate figures. The latest ISA season highlighted the flood of marketing from peer-to-peer lenders, some of which made comparisons with cash ISA rates or didn’t fully highlight the risks involved in the sector.
  13. Watchdog tightens peer-to-peer rules

    P2P book

    The Financial Conduct Authority has confirmed new peer-to-peer rules designed to prevent harm to investors.

    Crucially the City Watchdog will limit new investors to only putting 10% of their assets into P2P or crowdfunding.

    Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA said: "'These changes are about enhancing protection for investors while allowing them to take up innovative investment opportunities. For P2P to continue to evolve sustainably, it is vital that investors receive the right level of protection."

    Read the new rules here

  14. UK economy 'set to suffer marked slowdown'

    London souvenirs

    We reported earlier that a report on the construction sector has indicated that it contracted in May.

    So what does that mean for the overall economy?

    Here's what Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club said: "The May construction survey fuels suspicion that the economy is having a very challenging second quarter and is set to suffer a marked slowdown after growth of first quarter GDP growth of 0.5% quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter (this suspicion is reinforced by a weakened BRC retail sales survey which indicates consumers took a serious breather in May).

    "We suspect that the economy will struggle to grow any more than 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter. Much will depend on how the services sector performs so there will be much interest in the May services purchasing managers survey out on Wednesday."

  15. BreakingSharp slowdown for South Africa

    South African flags

    South Africa's economy shrank 3.2% in the first quarter, compared with the previous quarter.

    That was much worse than analysts had been expecting and the worst contraction in a decade.

  16. Report calls for the replacement of council tax

    Private property sign

    A report commissioned by the Labour Party has called for the replacement of council tax with a property tax, which would place a greater tax burden on the well off.

    Land for the Many argues that much of the inequality in the country can be traced back to the soaring price of land.

    It makes many recommendations including that empty homes and second homes should automatically be taxed at a higher rate.

    It also says stamp duty should be phased out for those buying homes for themselves.