Scottish Business Briefing – January 13th 2014

North Sea offshore sector investment soared over the last 12 months to its highest level since the 1970s. Picture: Complimentary

North Sea offshore sector investment soared over the last 12 months to its highest level since the 1970s. Picture: Complimentary

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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

Bankers optimistic on growth and business lending in 2014

Britain’s banks are more ­optimistic about the prospects of an economic recovery than their European counterparts, ­according to a new study that also shows lending is predicted to rise across all sectors of the economy. However, today’s report from accounting firm EY came as Bank of Scotland said the private sector economy north of the Border was growing at its weakest pace since last May, amid a slowdown in the dominant services sector.

Read all today’s finance news from scotsman.com

ECONOMY

Treasury to make debt pledge

The UK Treasury is to say it will honour all UK government debt issued up to the date of the referendum on Scottish independence. The move, expected later on Monday, is aimed at removing the risk of default from any debt-sharing dispute between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Ruling may leave firms with large holiday pay costs

AN employment lawyer has warned businesses are likely to face large bills if legal changes relating to commission and holiday pay come into force early next year. Lorna Gemmell, associate at MacRoberts, believes a case, Locke versus British Gas Trading Limited and Others, is going to lead to a shake-up of how companies work out how much staff should get paid.

Read all today’s economics news from scotsman.com

ENERGY

Oil and gas investors stoke 70s-style boom

INVESTMENT in the vital North Sea offshore sector soared over the last 12 months to its highest level since the boom of the 1970s. But analysts warned last night that, although prospects for this year are bright, the spending spree is expected to slow in 2015. And there were fresh calls for operators, government and regulators to heed industry doyen Sir Ian Wood’s call for them to work together to maximise the UK’s remaining oil and gas reserves.

Read all today’s energy news from scotsman.com

Scotsman Conference

The Digital Fabric of Scotland: The Challenge of stitching it together - 29th January – Edinburgh

Join us and the Scottish Council on Archives as we bring the first event of its kind to Scotland. Fiona Hyslop MSP Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs and Annelies van den Belt, CEO of DC Thomson Family History are among some of the expert speakers that will aim to raise awareness of digital records among key decision makers across different sectors, help build a Scottish digital records community to collaborate on finding the best technological solutions and securing investment and  examine the options for ensuring long term access to valuable digital resources. Visit the Scotsman Conferences website for more details.

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

City outlet for Latin American restaurant firm

A LATIN American-themed restaurant group will open its first Glasgow outlet next month, doubling it presence in Scotland after a successful launch in Aberdeen’s Union Square. Bristol-based Las Iguanas, which has 33 outlets across the UK, brought a long search for premises in the city to an end by signing a 25-year lease on a property on West Nile Street.

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

TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY

Nautronix sets sights on turnover rise

Aberdeen firm Nautronix is targeting turnover growth of about 30% in its current trading year, boss Mark Patterson said yesterday. Mr Patterson, the marine technology company’s chief executive, said 2014 had got off to a strong start after the successful delivery of the first two subsea systems in a £6million-plus contract with offshore contract drilling giant Rowan Companies.

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

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