Scottish Business Briefing – Thursday 13 June, 2013

Stephen Hester is to leave RBS. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Stephen Hester is to leave RBS. 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

Hester forced out at RBS as Treasury pushes for 2014 sell-off

ROYAL Bank of Scotland chief executive Stephen Hester announced his resignation last night in a surprise move that sparked speculation of clashes with the Treasury. Hester, who will leave with just short of £6 million in pay and bonuses, insisted he would have been happy to see the job through to privatisation, which is set to begin next year (Scotsman).

Read all today’s banking news from scotsman.com

ECONOMICS

Scotland economy stymied by ‘anaemic recovery’

AN “anaemic recovery” from the grip of recession is gaining a foothold in Scotland, the country’s top economic group has declared, as it issued a cautious note on the prospects of a speedy return to health today. In its latest assessment of Scotland’s long road back from the depths of the 2008 financial crash, the Fraser of Allander Institute uprated its figures in the medium-term, saying growth would squeeze above 2 per cent in 2015 (Scotsman).

Read all today’s economics news from scotsman.com

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)

ENERGY & UTILITIES

CNR pumping £300m to extend life of Ninian oil field

Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) yesterday unveiled plans to inject £300 million to extend the life of one of the oldest oil fields in the North Sea. The Canadian company said that its decision to invest in the field was triggered after the Treasury awarded it a tax break under the “brownfield allowances” introduced by Chancellor George Osborne last year (Scotsman).

Big demand for support vessels lifts Vroon profits

OIL services company Vroon Offshore UK has seen a 1168% increase in its profits thanks to more charters for the company’s vessels and higher prices paid by its customers.

Turnover went from £102.3 million to £115m according to accounts filed at Companies House for operations in 2012. As well as more than 60 shore based staff in Aberdeen it has around 1200 seafaring employees and a rescue craft maintenance workshop in Montrose (Herald).

Watchdog to force energy giants to ‘level’ market

Britain’s “big six” power companies will be forced to trade electricity fairly and transparently with smaller rivals under plans to “break their stranglehold” on the market. Energy watchdog Ofgem yesterday laid out plans to fine the firms, which include SSE and Scottish Power, if they don’t stick to rigorous pricing plans submitted two years in advance (Scotsman).

Wind turbine firm Gamesa sells Scottish farm to Laing

RENEWABLES giant Gamesa has sold a wind-farm development in Scotland to international ­specialist investor and asset manager, John Laing. The 15.3 megawatt Carscreugh project in Dumfries and Galloway, producing enough energy to supply 9,500 households, will be equipped with 18 turbines, each with a unit capacity of 850 kilowatts (Scotsman).

Read all today’s energy and utilities news from scotsman.com