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Scottish Business Briefing - September 30th 2013

A slimmed-down RBS would be easier to privatise, according to UBS analysts. Picture: AP

A slimmed-down RBS would be easier to privatise, according to UBS analysts. Picture: AP

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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.

FINANCE

Slimmed-down RBS easier to privatise, says UBS

Royal Bank of Scotland should split off its US-based Citizens arm, as well as the loss-making Ulster Bank division, to create a new bank that could be privatised more easily, according to analysts UBS. However, the bank’s house broker said the state-backed lender should not be carved up into a “good” and “bad” bank, arguing that the benefits would be outweighed by the efforts involved. (Scotsman)

Read all today’s finance news from scotsman.com

ENERGY

SSE warns of lower half-year profits as costs rise

Scottish Hydro parent company SSE today warned that its first-half profits will be lower than a year ago because of rising wholesale gas prices. However, the Perth-based group said it remained on track to meet its “principal financial objective” of delivering an inflation-beating rise in its annual dividend. (Scotsman)

Read all today’s energy news from scotsman.com

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Roll up for Scotland’s biggest food and drink fair

Scotland’s biggest food and drink showcase is set to be launched by the organisers of the Royal Highland Show. They are hoping to attract about 10,000 people to the three-day event, to be held at the vast Highland Hall at the showground near Edinburgh Airport annually from September 2014. Eat, Drink, Discover Scotland will have a focus on rural parts of Scotland, although it will be open to everything from one-person businesses to supermarket giants. (Scotsman)

(http://www.scotsman.com/business/food-drink-agriculture|Read all today’s food, drink and agriculture news from scotsman.com|Click here}

RETAIL

Rox jeweller adds sparkle in expansion

Luxury jeweller Rox has taken the wraps off its first store south of the Border after a £1 million investment in Leeds. The store, in the city’s flagship Trinity shopping centre, adds to Rox’s existing network of three shops in Glasgow and one each in Aberdeen and Edinburgh. A branch in Newcastle-upon-Tyne is due to open next month. (Scotsman)

Read all today’s retail news from scotsman.com

TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY

Two-year limit on start-up cash is ‘missed opportunity’

Plans to limit start up-aid for new air passenger routes have come under attack in the north. Highlands and Islands Airports (Hial) said they were a “missed opportunity” to deliver meaningful support for the aviation industry in Scotland. The European Commission (EC) is consulting on new guidelines on state aid to airports and airlines. (Press and Journal)

Fishers eyeing expansion after £5m injection

FISHERS, the Scottish company that provides laundry services to hotels, has secured £5 million of additional funding from majority shareholder Caird Capital to support growth plans including continued expansion in northern England and the exploration of bolt-on acquisition opportunities. The funding from London-based Caird coincides with a refinancing by Fishers, with existing lender Lloyds Banking Group providing £25m of new bank debt facilities. (Herald)

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

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