Here are five of today’s key business stories in one handy package.
Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell said its multi-billion pound deal to buy oil and gas firm BG Group is set to lead to 2,800 job losses. The announcement came as the group said China’s Ministry of Commerce had given the merger the green light. Following previous approvals from Australia, Brazil and the European Union, the clearance overcame the final hurdle required for the tie-up.
The downturn in the oil and gas industry saw Scotland’s economy contract in November for the second time in three months. The latest decline in business activity was driven by manufacturing, where the rate of contraction was the sharpest in just over three years, according to the latest Bank of Scotland/Markit monthly purchasing managers’ index.
Plans for Clydesdale Bank’s flotation were officially submitted to the London stock market. The Glasgow-based lender, along with its Yorkshire Bank brand, is to be spun off by its parent, National Australia Bank (NAB), next year. The sell-off had been expected to take place before the end of this year, but NAB said earlier this month will now happen in February, with institutional investors being offered 25 per cent of the shares.
Rooney Anand, the chief executive of Belhaven Brewery owner Greene King, was appointed to the board of Morrisons. The Bradford-based supermarket chain said that Anand, who has been boss of the pubs and brewing group since 2005, will join as a non-executive director at the start of next month.
Aberdeen Harbour appointed Pinsent Masons as legal adviser for its proposed £410 million expansion plans. The international law firm will advise on procurement, construction, funding, planning, environmental and property issues relating to the project, located in Nigg Bay south of the existing Aberdeen Harbour.