The 10 biggest business stories on Wednesday March 2

ITV's annual pre-tax profits up 6% to £641m; Moody's cuts China outlook; Entertainment One revenues dip as film disappoints

Peppa Pig maker Entertainment One expects revenues to be 3%  in the nine months to 31 December
Peppa Pig maker Entertainment One expects revenues to be 3% in the nine months to 31 December

1. Gerard Lyons of BlackRock and chief economic adviser to the Boris Johnson said that London is far more competitive than any other European city, on the Today programme. But if the UK were to leave the European Union there “would be an economic shock”, the BBC reports.

2. Ratings agency Moody’s today placed China’s sovereign rating on watch negative, suggesting a one-in-three chance that the group may downgrade the nation’s Aa3 rating in the months ahead.

3. A burst of renewed confidence helped investors to drive the Tokyo market up to its highest level since 8 February. Japan’s Nikkei surged by 4 per cent.

4. ITV has reported a 6 per cent rise in annual pre-tax profits of £641 million, compared to £605 million in 2014 on the back of revenue growth across the firm. The company said it expected to outperform the television advertising market in 2016.

5. Virgin Money's share price soared 8 per cent after posting strong figures for its first full year as a public company, with profits rising as customer numbers climb. The company saw underlying profits rise by 15 per cent to £160.3 million for 2015.

6. Shell is being sued in London for the second time in five years over spills in the Niger Delta. Two Nigerian communities want compensation for damage to their and for the oil giant to clean up their land.

7. Rolls-Royce has appointed a partner from its largest shareholder ValueAct Capital to its board after the activist investor built up a stake in the British engineer as it issued a string of profit warnings last year.

8. Peppa Pig maker Entertainment One expects revenues to be three per cent lower in the nine months to 31 December, dragged down by its film sector.

9. Poundland said Jim McCarthy, chief executive, will retire in September after a decade in the job. The discount retailer said he will be replace by Kevin O’Byrne, the former boss of home improvement retailer B&Q.

10. Ant Financial Services Group, the finance arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is in talks to invest in business magazine publisher Caixin Media, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

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