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Scottish Business Briefing - Monday 9 December

A Scotrail train leaves Haymarket Station in Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson

A Scotrail train leaves Haymarket Station in Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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.

ECONOMY

Growth weakens but Scottish economy moving on up

SCOTLAND’S economic recovery hopes suffered a set-back today as growth in the nation’s private sector slowed to its weakest pace in six months. In a reality check for the Scottish Government, a key survey of hundreds of service and manufacturing companies showed business activity and levels of new work cooling last month. (Scotsman)

Fledgling start-ups to benefit from new support

ENTREPRENEURIAL Spark (ESpark), the Glasgow-based business incubator and accelerator, has revealed further details of its plan to support companies negotiating the critical first months of trading. ESpark has signalled that a fresh injection of funding received last month, with £200,000 coming from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and £100,000 from Glasgow City Council, has been earmarked to create a so-called nest programme. (Herald)

Read all today’s economics news from scotsman.com

ENERGY

Energy bills: Call to end ‘Punch and Judy politics’

THE outgoing chairman of Scottish Gas parent firm Centrica has called for an end to the “Punch and Judy” debate over rising energy bills amid public and political anger at the “big six” providers. Sir Roger Carr defended the industry and said investor confidence was being damaged by “political rhetoric”, inflaming “consumer passion”. (Scotsman)

Shale gas reserves ‘like North Sea all over again’

The man spearheading the hunt for shale gas in the UK says the reserves his company have found “are like the North Sea all over again”. Leading figures from the energy industry will gather in Edinburgh this week to discuss potentially huge fracking gas reserves believed to be located throughout central Scotland and spread as far as Aberdeen and Dumfries and Galloway. (P&J)

Read all today’s energy news from scotsman.com

Scotsman Conference

The Fracking Question - 11th December – Edinburgh

Join us as we hear how fracking challenges the basic premise of the UK energy story – resources are declining and prices are rising. The conference will look at the current and potential impacts of fracking on a local and global scale. Visit the Scotsman Conferences website for more details. (The Scotsman Conferences)

TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY

Business Stream pre-tax profit rises to £35.3m

SCOTTISH Water’s Business Stream arm saw pre-tax profits rise 7.6% last year despite a challenging economic climate. Business Stream has ambitions to make inroads into the English water market, which is undergoing liberalisation, while holding off competition from outsiders in its home patch. (Herald)

Scottish rail customers happiest in UK with service

SCOTLAND has the best train service in Britain because of high passenger satisfaction and well-kept stations, analysis by transport campaigners showed today. The country’s rail network was also placed fourth overall in the report by the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT), which found “huge disparities” between 11 areas of Britain. (Scotsman)

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

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