Scottish Business Briefing – Friday 7 June, 2013

Picture: Ian Rutherford
Picture: Ian Rutherford
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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.

BANKING

Aegon shake-up puts 160 jobs at risk

Life and pensions group Aegon UK is to embark on a major restructuring of its sales operation, casting doubts over the future of about 160 jobs. The Edinburgh-based firm has already shed more than 1,000 jobs over the past two years in a bid to lower its running costs, and said the latest shake-up reflected an increasing shift towards doing business online (Scotsman).

Read all today’s banking news from scotsman.com

ECONOMICS

Graduates fuel rise in Scots start-ups

MORE people than ever are setting up their own businesses in Scotland, but many have little ambition to grow those operations to a significant size, according to a new report. Research from the University of Strathclyde shows that total early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) in Scotland surged last year to match that of 20 peer economies for the first time. However, this has mainly been driven by high numbers of university graduates opting to work for themselves in the face of a tough job market (Scotsman).

Read all today’s economics news from scotsman.com

INDUSTRY

Engineering jobs saved by company sale

All 26 jobs at Caithness-based Mowat Technical & Design Services have been saved after administrators announced that they have sold the business and assets to Aberdeen-based Enterprise Engineering Services (EES). The deal, which is for an undisclosed sum, secures valuable specialist engineering jobs and skills, and has been secured just three weeks after Mowat went into administration (Scotsman).

Waveblade cash tops £1.1m amid global roll-out

A DUNBARTONSHIRE start-up that has developed a “groundbreaking” submersible power tool has secured fresh six-figure funding in a bid to take its technology global. Waveblade was invented by Ayrshire-based boat enthusiast and entrepreneur Hugh Fisher. It claims to be the world’s first submersible handheld power tool to remove fouling from boats and other submerged surfaces (Scotsman).

SCOTSMAN CONFERENCE

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. Book your place today.

(The Scotsman Conferences)

Read all today’s industry news from scotsman.com

TECHNOLOGY

SEP backs Twitter analytics business

SCOTTISH Equity Partners (SEP) has invested in a young firm which aims to help businesses make money out of Twitter. The private equity firm led a £1.2 million investment round in support of SocialBro’s attempts to capitalise on the booming popularity of the microblogging internet site around the world (Scotsman).

Read all today’s technology news from scotsman.com

TRANSPORT

Ford has a fiesta as sales race ahead

Scotland’s new car market continued to outpace the rest of the UK last month as private buyers flocked to showrooms. Industry bosses said a string of more environmentally friendly models were proving attractive and persuading consumer that it was “cheaper to run a new car than an old one”. Figures yesterday showed that a total of 15,377 new cars were registered in Scotland last month, a year-on-year rise of 17.5 per cent. Across the UK as a whole, there was an 11 per cent increase to 180,111 vehicles (Scotsman).

Read all today’s transport news from scotsman.com