Here are the top business stories making the headlines in the morning newspapers.

Oil slumps nearly 5% to lowest in more than a year as banking fears mount

Oil prices plunged by nearly 5% on Wednesday to settle at the lowest levels in more than a year on concerns that a crisis of confidence in the banking sector could trigger a recession and cut demand.

Crude recovered some of its earlier losses along with benchmark equity indexes after Swiss regulators pledged a liquidity lifeline to Credit Suisse, which had earlier seen shares fall as much as 30%.

Reuters says both crude benchmarks hit their lowest levels since December 2021 and have fallen for three straight days.

Aberdeen hydrogen hub

Aberdeen City Council and BP’s joint venture to bring a hydrogen hub to the Granite City has submitted planning applications to bring the project one step closer to fruition.

If successful, the plans will involve building a green hydrogen production and vehicle-refuelling facility powered by a solar farm.

BP was selected in 2021 for a £215million procurement contract to help deliver three phases of the hydrogen project with Aberdeen City Council.

Energy Voice says the overall cost of the project has not been disclosed.

Ports for floating offshore wind

The Government needs to transform up to 11 ports around the UK to enable the roll-out of floating offshore wind at scale, according to a new report.

The Floating Offshore Wind Taskforce – which includes the UK and devolved governments, renewable trade associations and major offshore wind and port developers – said up to 34GW could be installed by 2040 if the Government takes swift action.

It said ministers should improve their ambitions to install 5GW by 2030 and push the UK to become a global leader in the industry.

Energy Voice says the taskforce called on the Government to invest £4billion, calculating that every £1 invested in UK port facilities would generate up to £4.30 of added value to the economy.

Rangers offer withdrawn

A US-based businesswoman who wanted to buy a controlling stake in Rangers has said she has withdrawn her offer.

Kyle Fox, head of KRF Capital, said negotiations had been ongoing with the Ibrox football club for nine months.

It is understood her desire to buy into the club was met with resistance from a number of key shareholders.

These include Rangers chairman Douglas Park, who has never given any indication he would be willing to sell his stake.

Ms Fox told the BBC: "Our interest was predicated on certain conditions being met - those conditions were not met.

"Our letter of interest included gaining anti-dilution rights protection, two board seats and access to the data room and management interviews. All were denied."

TikTok could be banned in US

The US Government says TikTok should be sold or else face a possible ban in the country.

The video-sharing app, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, is accused of posing a national security risk through data gathered from millions of users.

A request for a change in ownership, first reported in the Wall Street Journal,, was confirmed to the BBC by TikTok.

Pause for Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit is to pause operations from today in an apparent attempt to shore up its finances.

Almost all employees at the satellite-launch company will reportedly also be furloughed.

Bosses told staff about the move at a meeting on Wednesday, saying a further update would be provided next week.

The BBC says it comes after the company's failure to launch the first satellite mission from UK soil in January.

Chief executive Dan Hart told staff that the furlough would buy Virgin Orbit time to finalise a new investment plan, a source said.

Fall in spending power

People face their biggest fall in spending power for 70 years as the surging cost of living eats into wages.

The UK Government's independent forecaster said that household incomes - once rising prices were taken into account - would drop by 6% this year and next.

The BBC says living standards aren’t expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2027.

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