Scottish Business Briefing - Monday 21 October

Stagecoach co-founder Sir Brian Souter. Picture: Steve Welsh

Stagecoach co-founder Sir Brian Souter. Picture: Steve Welsh

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WELCOME to scotsman.com’s Scottish Business Briefing. Every morning we bring you a comprehensive round-up of all news affecting business in Scotland today.

TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY

Grangemouth: Hundreds reject new pay and conditions

Hundreds of workers at the Grangemouth oil plant have rejected new pay and conditions put forward by management, according to union chiefs, raising the prospect of a continued shutdown of Scotland’s largest refinery. Unite said it had received written assurances from more than 500 employees that they would not accept proposed changes to their pensions, overtime and redundancy payments. (Scotsman)

Souter seeks investments after building up war chest

Sir Brian Souter is eyeing a range of new investments of up to £30 million each after building a “sizeable” war chest during the economic downturn. The Stagecoach co-founder said he had benefited from having access to capital “when many investors were avoiding risk”. A newly published review for his Souter Investments vehicle reveals a record performance over the three years to the end of March, with an annual return averaging 21 per cent per annum.

(Scotsman)

Read all today’s transport and industry news from scotsman.com

ECONOMY

Pay rising for new recruits, says Bank of Scotland jobs report

Pay for new recruits is on the rise, according to the latest market report from Bank of Scotland. There has also been a continued improvement in permanent and temporary placements, with the strongest prospects in Aberdeen. (BBC)

Read all today’s economics news from scotsman.com

SCOTSMAN CONFERENCES

Independence White Paper: A business plan for Scotland? - 3rd December - Edinburgh

Will the forthcoming SNP blueprint for independence help provide the answers for undecided Scots ahead of next year’s referendum?

Join us to hear keynote speakers including Chris van der Kuyl, from the world of politics and business to debate the merits of the independence white paper. Join the debate today and ask the questions that matter to you. Visit (the Scotsman Conferences) for more details

RETAIL

Consumers cautious as Christmas approaches

A significant drop in the number of people visiting Scotland’s high streets has been attributed by retail experts to pre-Christmas caution. Last month, footfall dropped to the lowest level since March after a strong result in August – which had suggested that consumer spending was showing signs of recovery. (Scotsman)

Box opens Edinburgh drive-through coffee shop

An Australian entrepreneur has pipped national chain Costa to the post by opening Edinburgh’s first drive-through coffee shop. Geoff Box, who moved to the UK to work for engineering giant Honeywell, opened his first Coffee Drive branch on Duddingston Park South last week. Box aims to open a further two outlets in Edinburgh in the next year before looking to franchise the business into other areas. (Scotsman)

Read all today’s retail news from scotsman.com

MEDIA, TECH & LEISURE

Fuze vows growth after scooping prize

AN events company specialising in humanist wedding and baby naming ceremonies is planning for further growth in Scotland and the rest of the UK after scooping a business support prize worth tens of thousands of pounds. Fuze Ceremonies was named the most promising start-up in the LESL Enterprise Challenge. (Herald)

Read all today’s media. tech and leisure news from scotsman.com

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