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.
Aberdeen holds fire on buyback despite pre-tax profit rising 15%
FUND manager Aberdeen Asset Management dashed investors’ hopes of an imminent share buyback or special dividend yesterday despite a strong cash performance that shrugged off testing financial markets. The group kept its powder dry on one-off capital returns to shareholders despite a 15 per cent rise in full-year pre-tax profits to £347.8 million (Scotsman).
Osborne’s shock move on new Bank chief
CHANCELLOR George Osborne surprised the City and politicians yesterday when he unveiled Mark Carney, a Canadian, as the new Governor of the Bank of England, the first foreign national and youngest man to hold the post in its 318-year history. But the Chancellor, who pursued the governor of the Bank of Canada to replace Sir Mervyn King and was initially turned down, said Mr Carney was the best man in the world for the job (Scotsman).
Nationwide profits fall on bad loans and PPI compensation
Nationwide building society has reported a fall in half-year profits, partly due to bad commercial loans and money set aside for PPI compensation. Profit before tax for the six months to the end of September was £124m, down from £238m a year earlier (BBC).
Fears raised for overseas trade as young Scots shy away from studying foreign languages
A CRISIS in foreign language teaching across Scottish education is damaging overseas trade, the British Council warns today. The findings suggest Scottish companies are limiting their business to countries where English is spoken because of a lack of language skills (Scotsman).
Fairlie toasts US venture success
A small Scottish furniture maker is taking its first steps into export markets with a range of goods made from whisky casks which are now being sold in the United States. Fairlie Furniture’s handmade products are stocked in the recently opened whisky-themed Luxury From Scotland store in Pasadena, California (Herald).
Ashley eyes House of Fraser
SPORTS Direct tycoon Mike Ashley is eyeing a possible stake in department store chain House of Fraser. The retail stalwart, which traces its roots back to a drapery shop in Glasgow in 1849, is part-owned by Sir Tom Hunter who last year sold majority stakes in the Cruise and USC fashion chains to Ashley (Scotsman).