The Business: Wednesday March 12 2014
Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday
The Bank of England has said that interest rates could rise to 3 per cent by 2017 - six times their current level, the Daily Telegraph reports. Governor Mark Carney’s warning will be a relief to savers who have put up with five years of the lowest rates in history. Carney’s comments come as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said the UK was experiencing the fastest growth of the world’s major economies.
Euan Sutherland has resigned as chief executive of the Co-operative Group after less than a year in the job. Sutherland said the structure of the group made it “impossible to implement" reforms. John Thanassoulis, professor of financial economics at Warwick Business School, told the BBC that the resignation suggested Sutherland’s plans might have been seen by some at the Co-op as being against its ethical business model.
Competition from discount stores on one side and Waitrose on the other has pushed down Tesco’s share of the grocery market to its lowest in a decade, according to the Guardian. Data from Kantar Worldpanel shows Tesco's market share dropped to 28.7 per cent in the 12 weeks to 2 March, compared with 29.6 per cent a year ago. "Over the past three years Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl have taken a combined 3.5 share points from the competition which equates to £4.4bn per year," said a Kantar Worldpanel spokesman.
"So you can't buy a share in Poundland for £1 or less!" Sally Bundock, presenter of the BBC’s World Business Report, reacts to the news that Poundland will float on the stock market for £750m – or £3 a share.
New York’s financial regulator has invited firms to submit proposals for setting up regulated exchanges to trade virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. Benjamin Lawsky, New York's superintendent of financial services, told the BBC: "Turning a blind eye and failing to put in place guardrails for virtual currency firms while consumers use that product is simply not a tenable strategy for regulators." Bitcoin transactions are currently difficult to trace – part of their attraction for some.
Up to 200,000 jobs could be created in the UK over the next decade as the growing trend for ‘reshoring’ – bringing jobs back from overseas - gathers pace, the Financial Times reports. Research by PwC suggests that the textile industry, which has been hit hard by low-cost manufacturing in Asia, could see the return of between 30,000 and 60,000 jobs. The government is hoping to encourage the trend: it launched a service for British companies, Reshore UK, in January.
FTSE-100: down -0.06 to 6685.52 Dow Jones: down -0.41 to 16351.25 Dax: up +0.46 to 9307.79 Cac-40: down -0.48 to 4349.72 Nikkei: down -2.59 to 14830.39
Hang Seng: down -1.65 to 21901.88
US dollar: buys €0.72180 and £0.60116 Sterling: buys $1.66346 and €1.20069 Oil: $108.39 up +0.3