The Business: Wednesday July 9 2014

Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday

NIKE BLOWS WHISTLE ON MAN UTD DEAL

Nike is ending its 13-year Manchester United's football kit deal, reports the BBC. The sportswear giant said in a statement that "the terms that were on offer for a renewed contract did not represent good value for Nike's shareholders". The kit unveiled on Monday for the 2014/15 season will be the final one bearing the slogan of Nike. Germany's Adidas or Warrior are thought to be in the driving seat to replace them.

HMRC RAID PLAN IS ‘AGAINST MAGNA CARTA’

HMRC’s plan to raid personal bank accounts of debtors is against the Magna Carta, say MPs. Members of the Treasury Select Committee said they were “horrified” by the proposals which HMRC says are necessary to recover tax from 17,000 “recalcitrant debtors”. John Thurso MP said: “We are talking about the ability of one organ of the state to have the unique right to go against the Magna Carta charter and go in and seize - without judicial process or review – a bank account.”

RETAIL PRICES TUMBLING AT RECORD RATE

Retail prices are falling at the fastest rate since records began, says The Times. Ferocious competition on the high street is forcing retailers to offer cut-price food, clothes, footwear and electrical items. The British Retail Council says typical prices in the shops were down by 1.8% in June year-on-year. Food prices mildly bucked the trend with a marginal inflation of 0.6%, but the cost of non-edible items dropped by 3.4%.

BOSSES ‘WORK AN EXTRA UNPAID DAY’

Think fondly of your boss – he or she might work a day more than you each week. According to a study from the Institute of Leadership and Management, almost half of UK managers work an extra day of unpaid overtime per week. The pressures of work and remote access to email through smartphones and tablets leave over 90% of managers working outside contracted and paid hours, the study found.

QUOTE OF THE DAY… IF M&S WERE A FOOTBALL SIDE

“But, M&S’s latest quarterly figures were uncannily reminiscent of an England performance: lots of effort but more evidence of a team getting outplayed by the likes of Next.” Alistair Osborne notices M&S held its AGM at Wembley Stadium and the remainder writes itself.

M&S CHAIR ATTACKS ‘MISPLACED’ CRITICISM

Marks & Spencer chairman Robert Swannell said the retailer is a “stronger and more capable business” since Marc Bolland took over as chief executive. Swannell issued a passionate defence of the company’s strategy at its annual meeting, insisting it is “utterly misplaced” to suggest that management is complacent about reviving the fortunes of the troubled retailer. He was speaking after M&S reported its 12th consecutive fall in non-food sales.

THE NUMBERS... AT 0625 BST


FTSE-100: down -1.25 to 6738.45
Dow Jones: down -0.69 to 1906.62
Dax: down -1.35 to 9772.67
Cac-40: down -1.44 to 4342.53
Nikkei: down -0.41 to 15251.38
Hang Seng: down -1.21 to 23256.70
US dollar: buys €0.73430 and £0.58360
Sterling: buys $1.71330 and €1.25810
Oil: $108.03 down -1.39