That’s all from Business Live for today and indeed this week – thanks for reading.
As always we’re back bright an early at 6am on Monday so do join us then.
South Africa is proposing raising black ownership in mining companies from 26% to 30% within five years, according to a draft of new rules released on Friday.
The government and mining firms have been locked in talks over the charter, which lays out requirements for black ownership levels and other targets.
Sofie Willmott, senior data analyst at GlobaData Retail, reminds us of the difficulties Sir Philip Green’s retail empire is facing amid stiff competition from the likes of Primark and other fast fashion chains.
US markets have ended the week lower, with the Dow 0.34% lower at 25,090 points, while the S&P 500 shed 0.15% to 2,778 points and the Nasdaq gave up 0.19% to 7,746 points as investors feared the impact of a potential trade war between the US and China.
CYBG is closing in on a deal to buy Virgin Money to create a rival for the UK’s biggest banks, Reuters reports.
The owner of Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank must decide whether to make a firm offer or walk away from Virgin by 5pm Monday, when a deadline set by the Takeover Panel expires.
It faced an earlier deadline of 4 June but Virgin agreed to an extension after CYBG made an improved all-share proposal earlier this month of 1.2125 new shares for every share in Virgin.
The banks are now on track to reach an agreement before the next deadline expires on Monday, a source told Reuters. Any deal would be struck on similar terms to CYBG’s sweetened proposal and would value Virgin Money at about £1.6bn.
As always last-minute obstacles could still scupper an agreement.
Despite the doubts about its future, loss-making Alitalia has splashed out on new uniforms for cabin crew designed by Alberta Ferretti featuring the colours of the Italian flag.
Ferretti unveiled a collection of navy blue dresses, skirts and suits for Alitalia staff, adorned with green and red striped bows and cuffs, and golden buttons. The designs are matched with red ties, silk scarves and combined with leather gloves and bags.
“I wanted sober lines and for Italian elegance to travel around the world,” she said.
How much did they cost? Alitalia declined to say. But the previous version, introduced two years ago by former investor Etihad, cost about €6m. Staff called them uncomfortable and impractical, however.
The new Alitalia uniforms will be worn by 6,000 staff and should be seen by September if not earlier.
Earlier we mentioned a Tesco investor questioning the lack of ethnic diversity on the board of Tesco at the company’s annual meeting today.
The 11 men and three women on the board are all white, but chairman John Allan has pledged to take action.
“Tesco is actually… in very good shape in terms of diversity as far as our customer base, our colleagues, many layers of management are concerned,” he said. “We aren’t there as fully as we need to be at the moment on the board.”
Mr Allan added: “I’ll be very disappointed if by next year’s AGM we haven’t cracked that. I’ve managed it at Barratt (Developments), where I’m also the chairman. I’ve recruited an extremely talented woman, Sharon White, to join the board there and that’s a great symbol to the rest of the company.”
Ms White, chief executive of Ofcom and a former Treasury official, joined Barratt as a director in January. “I’m on the case at Tesco but we haven’t quite got there yet,” Mr Allan admitted.
US companies including Boeing and FedEx have criticised President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on Chinese imports.
FedEx said the move would raise prices for American businesses and consumers and are “counterproductive to US economic interests”, adding: “FedEx supports lowering trade barriers for our customers.”
Meanwhile Boeing said it would “engage with leaders in both countries to urge a productive dialogue to resolve trade differences, highlighting the mutual economic benefits of a strong and prosperous aerospace industry”.
China will impose an additional 25% tariff on 659 US products worth $50bn, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.
Tariffs on $34bn on American goods including agricultural products, cars and aquatic goods will take effect from 6 July, according to China’s Tariff Commission.
Tariffs on other US goods will be announced at a later date, Xinhua said.
Wall Street continues to struggle, with the Dow almost 0.9% lower, the S&P 500 down 0.4% and the Nasdaq off 0.3% in the wake of President Trump’s new trade tariffs.
Boeing, the single largest US exporter to China, fell 2%, dragging the Dow lower for the fourth day in a row.
Caterpillar dropped 2.9% and General Motors slipped 1.5%.
“With the announcement of the tariffs, there’s a real risk that we can see a continued increased escalation,” said Robin Anderson at Principal Global Investors.
“But you still have the underlying environment of strong economic fundamentals, at least in the US, which dampens the negative impact coming from these pockets of volatility.”
TSB has refunded £18,000 to a customer who was threatened with bank charges after fraudsters emptied his account.
Richard Lewis (pictured) had been told he would be charged up to £30 a day if payments continued to leave his account.
TSB said it was sorry for the distress caused to Mr Lewis and had now “put things right”.
More on Apple’s partnership with Oprah, which is the company’s biggest original content deal to date.
It has given no details of the type of programming that Winfrey would make, the deal’s value or when any content might be released.
Winfrey, 64, regarded as one of the most influential people in the entertainment business, has not commented either.
In November Apple ordered two seasons of a drama featuring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, looking at the lives of people working on a morning television show, as well as a remake of Steven Spielberg’s 1980s science fiction anthology series Amazing Stories.
Apple says it has signed Oprah Winfrey, the US chat show queen, to a multi-year deal as part of the iPhone maker’s push into original entertainment.
“Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world,” Apple said.
The 1.7% fall for the London market made the FTSE 100 “far and away the worst-performing major index on Friday” says Connor Campbell at SpreadEx.
“That’s because it wasn’t only dealing with the renewed trade war tensions, but an oil sector fearful of what Opec will announce next week.”
The 3.4% fall in the price of Brent crude to $73.30 today hit shares in the oil majors, with BP down 20.5p to 565p and Royal Dutch Shell falling 85p to £26.25p.
On the currency markets the pound fell 0.2% against the euro to €1.1430, but added 0.2% against the dollar to $1.3280.
Renault shareholders approved chairman and chief executive Carlos Ghosn’s €7.4m (£6.5m) pay packet for 2017, avoiding a boardroom crisis as the French car maker considers closer ties with Nissan.
Investors gave Mr Ghosn another four years and voted by 56% to 43% in favour of last year’s payout. But don’t feel too sorry for him: he also got another €9.2m in his final year as Nissan chief executive.
Mr Ghosn, who lost a shareholder vote on pay in 2016, agreed to cut his pay for this year by almost a third to win French government backing for his renewal.
France, Renault’s biggest shareholder with a 15% stake, had opposed last year’s payout.
More on that EU approval for Comcast’s Sky bid. The European Commission says it found the deal would “raise no competition concerns in Europe” and result in “only a limited increase in Sky’s existing share of the markets for the acquisition of TV content, as well as in the market for the wholesale supply of TV channels in the relevant member states”.
Comcast welcomed the news and said that it will now publish an offer document “in due course” that will include full terms and conditions of the deal.
Its chief executive Brian Roberts said: “We will invest to grow and enhance Sky’s business and be a strong steward of its valuable brand. We now look forward to posting our offer document to give Sky shareholders the opportunity to accept our superior cash offer.”
The approval will help fuel a bidding war with 21st Century Fox, which has made its own £11.7bn takeover bid for the 61% of Sky it does not already own.
The Commission cleared Fox’s competing bid for Sky in April.
The London market has ended the day 1.7% lower at 7,633 – a loss of more than 130 points.
Mining company Antofagasta was the biggest faller, down 4.3%, with most other miners also losing more than 3%.
Rolls-Royce, however, jumped 9%.
As well as stock markets, oil prices have also fallen sharply this afternoon. The falls come ahead of an Opec meeting in Vienna next week after two of the world’s biggest producers, Saudi Arabia and Russia, indicated they are set to increase output.
Brent crude oil fell $2.15 a barrel to $73.79 while US oil was $1.77 lower at $65.12 a barrel.
“We’re going into an Opec meeting where everyone is talking about raising production – the only question is by how much,” said Bob Yawger at Mizuho in New York.
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