Wednesday business round-up: Five key stories of the day

RBS is working on plans for a trade sale of Williams & Glyn. Picture: Neil Hanna

RBS is working on plans for a trade sale of Williams & Glyn. Picture: Neil Hanna

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Here are five of today’s key business stories in one handy package.

Royal Bank of Scotland is planning to launch a trade sale for its Williams & Glyn subsidiary following a number of approaches. Although the state-backed lender continues to prepare for an initial public offering of the 300-branch business, it is targeting the signing of a binding agreement to sell the division by the end of next year, with full divestment by the end of 2017.

Property developer London & Scottish Investments unveiled proposals to redevelop a raft of former Tesco sites north of the Border. The Glasgow-based firm said the package of planning applications – billed as one of the biggest in Scotland – was expected to create more than 500,000 square feet of retail space, resulting in “thousands of new jobs” across ten communities.

A company founded in Edinburgh that hopes to reinvent online security raised £350,000 to develop its technology. AimBrain has developed a “biometric security” system that detects how people interact with their mobile devices and learns their behaviour to create a unique “signature” through factors such as touch pressure and typing speed.

Wood Group said it was creating about 250 jobs after winning a $400 million (£266m) deal with Norwegian oil major Statoil. The Aberdeen-based energy services giant’s Mustang Norway division will provide maintenance and modification services to four Statoil installations – Grane, Snorre A and B and Visund – in the Norwegian continental shelf.

A Paisley firm revealed plans to launch a retail version of its ethical rice product, which provides income to farmers in Africa, on the back of securing £70,000 investment from Social Investment Scotland. Just Trading Scotland (JTS) said it hoped to see the start of “a rice revolution right here in Scotland”.

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