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.
Help for small firms should be better targeted
Scotland’s army of more than 320,000 micro businesses could create more jobs and boost the economy if the government provided advice better suited to their needs, a study claims. In a survey of 650 Scottish firms with fewer than ten employees, the Federation of Small Businesses found that many of the current national job creation schemes do not work well for them (Scotsman).
Firms are bringing ‘offshored’ work back to the UK
Businesses that have “offshored” work overseas are coming back to the UK, with Glasgow staking a strong claim for attention, according to a report by property advisers Jones Lang LaSalle. Its says recession, political uncertainty, and the rise of emerging nations, are prompting international corporates to re-assess their location strategy and select from three options – onshore, offshore and near-shore (Herald).
ENERGY & UTILITIES
FSA investigates energy firms over claims of price-fixing
THE Financial Services Authority (FSA) has confirmed it is investigating claims that the UK’s wholesale gas market has been manipulated by big power companies – in a potential scandal which could echo that of Libor price fixing (Scotsman).
North Sea oilfield disruption ‘is worse than Nigeria’ claim critics
ANGRY oil traders branded chronic output disruption at Britain’s biggest oilfield, Buzzard, as “worse than Nigeria” yesterday after production problems flared up again. Buzzard is the biggest of the North Sea fields that contribute to the Forties crude blend, which underpins the key Brent benchmark price (Scotsman).
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
Cutty Sark sales ahead in US
STRONG growth in emerging markets for spirits group Edrington – behind brands including Famous Grouse, The Macallan and Highland Park – is continuing to offset weakness in southern Europe. Edrington highlighted particularly good performances in markets such as Russia and in the US where its Cutty Sark brand saw sales rise for the first time in 25 years (Scotsman).
Hotel market helps push Arran Aromatics’ revival
ARRAN Aromatics is in line to achieve a second successive year in the black under the management team that led the company back from the brink of collapse, and helped by a record order from a Saudi Arabian retailer (Scotsman).