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Scottish Business Briefing - Thursday 21 February, 2013

Scotlands housing market remains muted, with only a slight rise in prices over the last year. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Scotlands housing market remains muted, with only a slight rise in prices over the last year. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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.

ECONOMICS

Bank of England split drives talk of further QE by spring

OUTGOING Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King surprised the markets yesterday by calling for more money to be pumped into the struggling British economy. Analysts believe that the central bank could restart its programme of quantitative easing (QE) or launch fresh stimulus measures as early as the spring, despite fears the move could stoke inflation (Scotsman).

Scotland’s housing market remains ‘muted’, says bank report

Scotland’s housing market remains “muted”, with only a slight rise in prices over the last year, according to a report from Lloyds TSB Scotland. The average price of a property rose by 0.2% to £151,320 during 2012. But the number of sales fell towards the end of the year because of a small number of festive-period sales (BBC).

Read all today’s economics news from scotsman.com

BANKING

Lomond Advisory wins several mandates in first six months

A boutique advisory firm has won around half a dozen “substantial” mandates for corporate and private equity clients in its first six months amid signs of “a stronger marketplace for corporate activity”, its founder has claimed. Glasgow-based Lomond Advisory started trading in September 2012, offering “ongoing advice, rather than simply transaction management” (Herald).

Read all today’s banking news from scotsman.com

INDUSTRY

Weir Group shells out £55m on trio of acquisitions

Weir Group has further extended its reach into emerging markets with a clutch of acquisitions valued at £55 million. The deals will give the Glasgow-headquartered engineer new production capacity in Malaysia and South Africa, allowing sales to expand along with the fast-growing mining markets of Africa and the Asia-Pacific region (Scotsman).

Read all today’s industry news from scotsman.com

MANAGEMENT

Countrywide takes £500m float gamble on housing market lift

Estate agent Countrywide is set to trump Crest Nicholson’s recent £550 million float after unveiling plans to join the FTSE 250. The company, which was listed for 21 years before being taken private at the top of the market in 2007, is hoping a fragile housing market recovery will be enough to tempt investors amid growing demand for new issues (Scotsman).

Read all today’s management news from scotsman.com

MEDIA & LEISURE

STV eyeing return to dividend list

STV’S directors will consider reinstating its dividend payments to shareholders after the Glasgow-based broadcaster continued to slash its debt pile and grow its production business. Chief executive Rob Woodward told The Scotsman that STV’s debt-to-profits ratio will fall below 2.5 later this year, at which point the board will look at a return to the divi list (Scotsman).

Read all today’s media and leisure news from scotsman.com

 

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