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.
‘We’re building a normal bank at RBS’
ROYAL Bank of Scotland (RBS) chief executive Stephen Hester has signalled the end of the “big shrinkage” of the company and said it would soon start to grow again. He said the bank had become “too big” but it was returning to “normal” after cleaning up its balance sheet and disposing of assets worth £700 billion (Scotsman).
Barclays to acquire ING Direct UK
Barclays Bank has agreed to buy ING Direct UK, taking on its £10.9bn deposits and £5.6bn mortgage book. The deal will involve the transfer of 750 ING Direct staff and 1.5 million customers to Barclays (BBC).
Scottish private sector output ‘contracts’
Output in Scotland’s private sector has contracted for the first time in 20 months, according to a new report. A Bank of Scotland survey of purchasing managers attributed the slight fall in September to a drop in the amount of new business firms were picking up (BBC).
ENERGY & UTILITIES
Scotgold predicting premium jewellery price for Cononish gold
Scotgold has predicted that jewellery buyers will pay a premium for gold from the firm’s Cononish mine near Tyndrum, where production is set to begin in early 2014 (Scotsman).
Pre-tax profits at Howden up 156% before takeover
PRE-TAX profits at Renfrew-based engineering firm Howden surged 156.4% in 2011, the last year of Bob Cleland’s reign as chief executive before it was acquired by Maryland-based Colfax Corporation. According to accounts for Howden Group filed with Companies House, turnover rose 30.3% to £121.2 million at the company (Herald).
Scots heavyweights join forces as legal merger fever continues
LAW FIRMS Burness and Paull & Williamsons are the latest to join the merger fever sweeping through the sector. The tie-up will see the formation of Burness Paull & Williamsons, creating one of the largest firms based solely north of the Border (Scotsman).