The latest stories from the Business section of the BBC News web site.
Updated: 11 hours 17 min ago
The government made £180m less from the sale of Royal Mail than it could have, and the process of privatising state assets should be reformed, says new report.
Beauty company Avon has been fined by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for paying bribes and gifts to Chinese officials.
Asia stocks are rising after the Federal Reserve pledges to be 'patient' on raising interest rates from record lows.
Sony cancels the release of The Interview, a film about a fictional plot to kill North Korea's leader, after major cinemas decide not to screen it.
People in the UK are using less energy, even though the economy is growing, new figures confirm.
The director of Premier Oil says no new North Sea projects are profitable with oil below $60 a barrel and the industry is "close to collapse".
Those who plan to spend the day working rather than celebrating
The US Federal Reserve leaves interest rates on hold and says it "can be patient" over any decision to raise them, sending stocks higher.
As the Russian rouble falls in value - and prices for imported goods looks set to rise - Russians have been flocking to the stores, to spend their cash on durable goods.
Fracking, the controversial method of oil and gas development, will be banned in New York state after a report concludes the process poses "significant public health risks".
Five economic upsides to the US-Cuba deal
More shares in Lloyds Banking Group are to be sold by the government, in a move which could raise up to £3bn.
The German government approves plans for a controversial road toll, including charging foreigners for using the Autobahn.
London's benchmark index closed marginally higher on Wednesday, after the Russian central bank pledged to provide additional capital to the country's banks, if necessary.
Newly merged Dixons Carphone says it saw a "barnstorming performance" in the UK and Ireland, but "tougher" conditions in its smaller European business.
Russia says it is planning new measures to stabilise the rouble after its slump against the dollar.
Chancellor George Osborne is to deliver his last Budget of the Parliament on 18 March 2015, weeks before the election.
Employers could scupper the season of goodwill by leaving their staff exposed to a tax charge after their Christmas party, accountants warn.
The prolonged slump in the price of oil forces oil-export dependent Nigeria to revise its budget plans, prompting its currency to fall to a record low.
Wage growth picked up in the three months to October and outstripped the rise in the cost of living, while unemployment fell again, official figures show.