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.
Union anger as RBS cuts 1,400 more jobs
The Royal Bank of Scotland is to cut 1,400 jobs – about half of them at its Scottish headquarters in Edinburgh – in the latest round of redundancies since it was bailed out by the taxpayer. The Edinburgh-based banking giant said the positions will be axed over the next two years as part of plans to restructure its retail head office functions.
Lloyds Banking Group close to break-even point
SHARES in Lloyds Banking Group last night closed close to the taxpayers’ break even point after its chief executive confirmed the bank would be profitable in 2013. Shares broke through the 60p price barrier for the first time in almost two years, closing at 60.9p. The government regards 61p as its break-even point after it bailed out the bank to the tune of £20.5 billion during the banking crisis.
ENERGY & UTILITIES
Dominion on verge of completing US buyout
Dominion Gas is on the verge of being sold to a US international gas supplier. Praxair has agreed to buy 100% of the Aberdeen-based company, which supplies gas to the offshore industry, in what is believed to be a multimillion-pound deal. Praxair is buying Dominion’s ultimate parent, Dominion Technology Gases Investment (DTGI), which is majority owned by private-equity firm Graphite Capital.
Hargreaves steps in to save Scottish coal miners’ jobs
More than 200 jobs Scottish coal jobs have been saved after energy and waste services group Hargreaves Services agreed to buy “certain assets” of miner Aardvark, which is being wound up. Aardvark is owned by Doncaster-based ATH Resources and has all its open-cast mines in Scotland. ATH fell into administration in December and Aardvark has now appointed Mark Granville Firmin, Brian Green and Howard Smith of KPMG as joint liquidators.
£37m harbour vision promises 2,000 jobs
THE blueprint for a multimillion-pound expansion of a Highland harbour that would create hundreds of jobs was revealed yesterday. The £37million redevelopment of the rundown south quay at Nigg Energy Park would pave the way for owner Global Energy to hit its target of having 2,000 workers by 2015 as the forecast renewables boom takes off. (P&J)
Defence Policy: Protecting Scotland & Preserving Jobs – 14 June, Edinburgh
Join delegates from the defence industry, legal, PR, academia and more at this hugely important conference. Top speakers will tackle the burning issues facing the defence industry, one of Scotland’s most economically significant sectors.
(The Scotsman Conferences)
MEDIA & LEISURE
No recovery in sight for magazines market, says Menzies
Newspaper distributor and baggage handler John Menzies does not expect to see a recovery this year in the magazines market, where sales for weekly titles were described as “poor”. However, the Edinburgh-based group said trading at its aviation business during the four months to the end of April was ahead of the same period last year.