{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"business","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/wednesday-market-close-carney-s-rate-rise-hint-sees-pound-soar-1-4292657","id":"1.4292657","articleHeadline": "Wednesday market close: Carney’s rate rise hint sees pound soar","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498671032000 ,"articleLead": "

The pound soared after Bank of England governor Mark Carney hinted at a potential interest rate hike.

" ,"articleBody": "

But sterling’s rise took its toll on the FTSE 100 index which was down 46.56 points at 7,387.8, with multi-national stocks feeling the heat.

Carney suggested that rates could rise if wages firm and the economy is boosted by stronger business investment.

He said “some removal of monetary stimulus is likely to become necessary”, but would depend on whether a drop in household spending is countered by more companies ploughing money back into their businesses.

Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said the intention was “surprising”.

“Coming off the back of the 5-3 split at the last MPC meeting and hawkish comments from the Bank’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, it’s the clearest signal yet that the Bank is minded to tighten.”

Outsourcing firm Bunzl lifted 1 per cent following a trading update where it said revenues would rise thanks to a boost from new business in the US.

Shares were up 34p to 2,343 as the company also announced deals for three businesses in Spain and Canada.

Electricals retailer Dixons Carphone slipped back despite batting away fears of a consumer spending slowdown and said it had seen “no changes yet”.

The FTSE 250 firm reported underlying pre-tax profits of £501 million for the full year, up from £457m the previous year.

Shares closed down 2.2p to 293.7p.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "businessdesk@scotsman.com" ,"author": "EMMA NEWLANDS"} ,"topImages": [ ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/bills-rocket-twice-as-fast-as-wages-over-past-decade-1-4489218","id":"1.4489218","articleHeadline": "Bills rocket twice as fast as wages over past decade","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498665486949 ,"articleLead": "

Basic household bills have increased by an average of 43 per cent in the last decade – more than double the rate of wage growth, a report has claimed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4489217.1498665577!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bills are going up far faster than wages or inflation"} ,"articleBody": "

Bills for council tax, TV, phone, broadband, gas, water and electricity have increased by an average of 10 percentage points more than inflation over the past 10 years, according to figures analysed by Santander.

The report found that gas and electricity are the biggest drivers of price increases, rising 73 per cent and 72 per cent respectively in the last decade, while water bills have increased by 41 per cent – all significantly higher than inflation at 32 per cent. Council Tax has risen by 27 per cent and TV, phone and broadband prices have all risen by 24 per cent, albeit slower than inflation but still faster than wage growth of 19 per cent.

In Scotland, bills account for 12.9 per cent of household income, just slightly below the UK average of 13.3 per cent. Scots spend an average of £504,796 on bills over a lifetime.

UK-wide, over the course of their lives, people will fork out an average £524,464 on bills, with those in London set to spend the most at £601,638, closely followed by people in the South East, where residents have to pay around £580,566.

Matt Hall, head of banking and unsecured credit at Santander, said: “Households have been hit hard as the cost of bills and other goods continue to rise. With increased prices across a variety of key household items, families will be looking for ways to make their money go further.”

He added: “There are a number of things people can do to reduce the cost of their household bills. From installing home energy monitors to analysing their energy usage or changing their electricity supplier or mobile provider, people can save a small fortune.”

Norman Kerr, director of Energy Action Scotland, said people worried about their energy bills should switch supplier.

He said: “Ten years ago energy prices were at a low and now they are outstripping inflation. Gas and electricity are regulated fuels and it is important that regulation works to protect consumers.

\"The current level of energy prices underlines the need for the Scottish Government to redouble its efforts to make homes more energy efficient and to support people who live on very low incomes.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "jane.bradley@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Jane Bradley"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4489217.1498665577!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4489217.1498665577!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Bills are going up far faster than wages or inflation","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bills are going up far faster than wages or inflation","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4489217.1498665577!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/tech/former-standard-life-boss-sir-sandy-crombie-takes-tech-role-1-4488865","id":"1.4488865","articleHeadline": "Former Standard Life boss Sir Sandy Crombie takes tech role","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498654331000 ,"articleLead": "

One of Scotland’s best-known businessmen has made his first active foray into the tech scene north of the Border by signing up to a chairman role.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488864.1498654328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sir Sandy Crombie, left, with Amiqus CEO Callum Murray. Picture: Stewart Attwood"} ,"articleBody": "

Former Standard Life chief executive Sir Sandy Crombie has joined the board of Leith-based legal software specialist Amiqus.

Its first product, Amiqus ID, launched last year and provides encrypted online compliance checks making it easier for clients to access a lawyer or accountant. It has also doubled headcount to 12 over the last year.

• READ MORE: 5 Scottish tech start-ups to watch in 2017

Chief executive and founder Callum Murray said: “We’re honoured to welcome Sir Sandy to our board. [His] experience, networks and thorough understanding of the business and professional services landscape will be invaluable for the company as we enter our next phase of growth. Myself and the team are delighted to have his know-how, drive and guidance for the journey ahead.”

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Crombie said: “I’ve known Callum for a number of years and have been impressed by Amiqus’ rapid move from an early-stage concept to a revenue-generating business. I’m pleased to be on board to help build value for one of the most promising tech startups in Scotland.”

Amiqus won the Pitch of the Day and Audience’s Choice awards at last month’s EIE start-up investment conference, has previously won all three categories of the Scottish Edge competition, and received an Enterprise Fellowship from The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Before setting up the firm, Murray was a civil and commercial mediator in the legal sector.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "EMMA NEWLANDS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488864.1498654328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488864.1498654328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sir Sandy Crombie, left, with Amiqus CEO Callum Murray. Picture: Stewart Attwood","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sir Sandy Crombie, left, with Amiqus CEO Callum Murray. Picture: Stewart Attwood","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488864.1498654328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/financial/fund-management-sector-needs-radical-shake-up-says-regulator-1-4488833","id":"1.4488833","articleHeadline": "Fund management sector needs radical shake-up, says regulator","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498652998000 ,"articleLead": "

Sweeping reform of the UK’s £7 trillion asset management industry is necessary because of its failings towards customers, the financial regulator has declared.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488832.1498652995!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The City watchdog found that price competition is weak and investors may not be clear on a fund's objectives. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

It came as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) detailed a series of concerns around the industry as it published the final findings of its study into the sector.

The FCA found that price competition is weak, investors are sometimes unclear on what the objectives of funds are, and fund performance is not always reported against an “appropriate benchmark”.

• READ MORE: City watchdog proposes shake-up for fund management

The watchdog added that, despite a large number of firms operating in the market, there was evidence of sustained high profits over a number of years and there were concerns about the way the investment consultant market operates.

As a result, the regulator said it was proposing a series of remedies including supporting the disclosure of a single, “all-in” fee to investors. In addition it wants “consistent and standardised disclosure” of costs and charges to institutional investors.

The FCA also wants to strengthen the duty on fund managers to act in the best interests of investors, using the senior managers regime to bring individual accountability.

Fund managers will also be required to appoint a minimum of two independent directors to their boards, and examine the way fund managers profit from investors buying and selling their funds.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the FCA, said: “The asset management sector is important to the economy, managing the savings of millions of people, and in the current low-interest environment it’s vital we help people earn a return on their savings.

“We have put together a comprehensive package of reforms that will make competition work better and help both retail and institutional investors to make their money work well for them.”

Initial response from the industry to the shake-up was positive. Chris Cummings, chief executive of the Investment Association (IA), the fund management trade body, said the organisation strongly supported the FCA’s objective of serving its customers “in a competitive, accountable and transparent manner”.

He said: “Many of the key recommendations work with the grain of European legislation already in the pipeline to introduce more clarity and transparency for consumers.

“We will work closely with the FCA as it looks further into the detail of how to present costs and charges in the clearest way for savers and how it will develop more independent oversight of investment funds in a way that is effective and proportionate.”

• READ MORE: Watchdog clears Standard Life’s £11bn Aberdeen Asset deal

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, in the process of an £11 billion merger with Standard Life to create a fund management giant, said the recommendations to improve investor protection were “constructive and sensible”.

He added: “I have stated several times that I am in favour of all-in fees including all costs as the industry has an obligation to deliver what the customer wants.

“I am a vocal advocate of the benefits of involving independent directors in fund governance, having seen how they help elsewhere in the world. While supporting the FCA’s general moves in this direction, Aberdeen would advocate going further than the FCA currently suggests by introducing two independent directors on to the boards of UK open-ended fund ranges. This introduces a separate and independent level of oversight from that undertaken by the manager.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "mflanagan@scotsman.com" ,"author": "martin flanagan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488832.1498652995!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488832.1498652995!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The City watchdog found that price competition is weak and investors may not be clear on a fund's objectives. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The City watchdog found that price competition is weak and investors may not be clear on a fund's objectives. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488832.1498652995!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/financial/fintech-outfit-sharein-sets-sights-on-european-expansion-1-4488704","id":"1.4488704","articleHeadline": "Fintech outfit ShareIn sets sights on European expansion","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498648875000 ,"articleLead": "

Crowdfunding technology firm ShareIn is targeting expansion in Europe after launching its first multilingual and multi-currency platforms.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488703.1498648870!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "ShareIn co-founders Andrew Pickett and Jude Cook. Picture: Chris Watt"} ,"articleBody": "

The Edinburgh-based fintech company, which was founded in 2011 and develops software for the crowdfunding market, said its systems can now accept investments in both euros and sterling and can be navigated in multiple languages.

• READ MORE: ShareIn aims to build crowdfunding bridges with China

ShareIn co-founder and chief executive Jude Cook said: “Our clients have told us that they want to reach a much wider international audience. Offering our platforms in multiple languages and currencies will enable our clients to open up their opportunities to international investors in a far clearer and simpler way.”

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Cook, who set up the firm alongside chief technology officer Andrew Pickett, said that alternative investments “can and should” be made over the internet, adding: “The days of paper brochures and posting cheques are long gone.

“We provide both a digital tech and compliance service that lets our clients connect with their network and raise capital. We take away the headaches of operating a website, managing payments and financial regulation.”

Along with its European expansion plans, ShareIn said it would be adding more staff to its 12-strong workforce.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "gareth.mackie@scotsman.com" ,"author": "gareth mackie"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488703.1498648870!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488703.1498648870!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "ShareIn co-founders Andrew Pickett and Jude Cook. Picture: Chris Watt","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "ShareIn co-founders Andrew Pickett and Jude Cook. Picture: Chris Watt","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488703.1498648870!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/financial/what-will-the-atms-of-the-near-future-look-like-1-4488627","id":"1.4488627","articleHeadline": "What will the ATMs of the near future look like?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498645578000 ,"articleLead": "

With this week marking the 50th anniversary of the first cash machine appearing on the nation’s streets, what does the future hold for the humble ATM?

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488624.1498645565!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The ATM of the future could provide a much wider range of services than today's devices. Picture: Ian Rutherford"} ,"articleBody": "

Aravinda Korala, founder and chief executive of Edinburgh-based ATM software specialist KAL, believes we could soon be using the devices to arrange mortgages instead of visiting a bank branch to go though the paperwork.

While most people in the UK think of ATMs as a handy way of checking their balance and withdrawing cash – or possibly making a deposit if they can find the right machine – the picture is very different in countries like China, where consumers can choose from more than 100 different transactions.

• READ MORE: Scottish invented ATM celebrates 50 years in operation

Speaking to The Scotsman from Copenhagen, where he was attending an international fintech conference, Korala said: “Our ATM software in China has about 100 transactions. What they’re doing there is putting the kind of transactions you’d do in a bank onto the ATM. Some could be as simple as changing your name or address – you can’t do that at an ATM in the UK, but the US is not very different.

“On the other hand, in Spain, the transaction set is very rich. The question is, which is the right model, but the answer is quite complicated. Even though in China there are these 100 transactions, not many people are using a lot of them, so the business case can be questionable. Having said that, branches are a big problem as they’re very expensive to keep open.”

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Korala added: “We think the answer is what we call remote teller-assisted transactions. We believe that, even if you can do some of these transactions on an ATM, people don’t like doing them if it’s too difficult or something they do rarely. But it’s not just about the simplicity – it’s about service.

“The halfway house is a machine where you can get someone to hold your hand – you could press a help button to get an online video connection, say with an expert in mortgages, and get an experience that’s almost like being in the branch. The person could be on the other side of the world, but it could be 24/7, in your language.”

• READ MORE: Collaboration ‘key to unlocking fintech potential’

He said there is a “lot of excitement” in the industry about remote teller-assisted transactions “and I think that’s the next big revolution in ATM technology”.

“People think of ATMs as something that just gives you cash, but it’s a public machine that allows you to interact with your bank. And soon they’ll be able to do all the things you might do in a branch, with video assistance so you’re not on your own.”

Korala founded KAL in 1989. Europe is the company’s biggest market in revenue terms, followed by the US, while China is the largest when it comes to volumes.

The firm counts major international lenders such as China Construction Bank, Citibank, ING and UniCredit among its clients, but it has less of a presence in the UK, where it has worked with the Nationwide and Norwich & Peterborough building societies.

KAL employs about 150 people around the world, of whom a third are based at its Edinburgh headquarters, just off Easter Road.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "gareth.mackie@scotsman.com" ,"author": "GARETH MACKIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488624.1498645565!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488624.1498645565!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The ATM of the future could provide a much wider range of services than today's devices. Picture: Ian Rutherford","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The ATM of the future could provide a much wider range of services than today's devices. Picture: Ian Rutherford","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488624.1498645565!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488625.1498645567!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488625.1498645567!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Aravinda Korala, founder and CEO of Edinburgh-based KAL. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aravinda Korala, founder and CEO of Edinburgh-based KAL. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488625.1498645567!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488626.1498645575!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488626.1498645575!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A gold-coloured ATM outside a branch of Barclays in London marks the 50th anniversary of the UK's first cash machine. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A gold-coloured ATM outside a branch of Barclays in London marks the 50th anniversary of the UK's first cash machine. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488626.1498645575!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/media-leisure/edinburgh-s-bonham-hotel-sold-to-us-investment-group-1-4488574","id":"1.4488574","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh’s Bonham Hotel sold to US investment group","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498643659000 ,"articleLead": "

The Bonham Hotel in Edinburgh’s west end has been snapped up by a group of US investors led by fund manager Richard Driehaus.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488573.1498643727!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A group of US investors has paid an undisclosed sum for the Bonham Hotel. Picture: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

The boutique venue, on the city’s Drumsheugh Gardens, was sold for an undisclosed sum by an arm of global private investment firm Starwood Capital, which bought the property in 2015 as part of the Town House Collection, which included the Blythswood Hotel in Glasgow.

• READ MORE: Edinburgh hotel changes hands in £18m deal

Spanning three Georgian townhouses, the 49-bed Bonham includes a bar and restaurant along with an 18-space car park. It is said to have “significant scope” for further development, including the addition of five more bedrooms, subject to planning permission.

Property consultant JLL acted on behalf of Starwood Capital Group for the off-market sale.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Kerr Young, of JLL’s hotels and hospitality group, said: “It is no surprise that the sale of The Bonham attracted significant interest from both domestic and international buyers, having long been regarded as one of Edinburgh’s most stylish and iconic hotels.

“Edinburgh currently boasts the strongest UK hotel market outside of London, with a thriving corporate, finance, tech and leisure market, attracting 35 million visitors each year creating £1.15 billion in revenue. This combination of factors provided a compelling investment proposition.”

Click here to ‘Like’ The Scotsman Business on Facebook

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "gareth mackie"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488573.1498643727!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488573.1498643727!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A group of US investors has paid an undisclosed sum for the Bonham Hotel. Picture: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A group of US investors has paid an undisclosed sum for the Bonham Hotel. Picture: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488573.1498643727!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/financial/santander-chief-nathan-bostock-we-must-help-scots-smes-flourish-1-4488553","id":"1.4488553","articleHeadline": "Santander chief Nathan Bostock: We must help Scots SMEs flourish","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498642185000 ,"articleLead": "

The warning that businesses and markets don’t like uncertainty has become a wearily familiar refrain in these unpredictable times.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488552.1498642183!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Santander UK chief executive Nathan Bostock. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

And with four national polls in the space of just three years, Scots have had more than their fair share of political turmoil.

Still, while many Scottish SMEs will understandably feel anxious about the future, I believe their outlook, given the right support, is brighter than ever.

Access to finance for Scottish SMEs has improved dramatically since the dark days following the financial crisis. New entrants to the market for SME finance, both from the banking sector itself – including Santander – and from technology-driven alternative finance providers, are transforming the competitive landscape, offering greater choice for SMEs looking to invest for future growth.

• READ MORE: Sage chief hails Scotland’s ‘vibrant’ SME community

Moreover, Scottish SMEs concerned by the macro environment in their domestic markets are increasingly finding success as they attract overseas customers.

One in four Scottish SMEs now exports, according to YouGov. Exporting SMEs both tend to grow faster and be much more resilient.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Opportunities for SME growth are to be found across every industry. At Santander, we’ve seen rising levels of business activity in sectors ranging from hospitality and leisure to manufacturing, and from construction to professional services.

None of which is to gloss over the challenges Scottish SMEs face, whether from the continuing political uncertainties, particularly around Brexit, and long-standing problems including late payments.

• READ MORE: Scotland’s economy: business confidence levels fall

How, then, can Scottish SMEs overcome such hurdles? The SMEs I have met in Scotland recently are optimistic about the future and pragmatic about dealing with Brexit – but they need help if they are going to convince European customers to stick with them through a period of uncertainty.

Government can help by giving SMEs the information and support they need to adapt to future changes to trade. Large businesses can reach out to their supply chains. And the banking sector can provide the solutions, advice and connections SMEs need to fulfil their potential.

Scotland’s SMEs are the backbone of its economy, accounting for 99 per cent of its businesses, employing 1.2 million and generating 39 per cent of private sector turnover. Let’s give them the help they deserve.

Nathan Bostock is chief executive of Santander UK

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "NATHAN BOSTOCK"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488552.1498642183!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488552.1498642183!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Santander UK chief executive Nathan Bostock. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Santander UK chief executive Nathan Bostock. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488552.1498642183!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/petrofac-hails-positive-start-to-year-despite-sfo-probe-1-4488514","id":"1.4488514","articleHeadline": "Petrofac hails positive start to year despite SFO probe","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498641200000 ,"articleLead": "

Petrofac has made a “positive start to the year” despite seeing its backlog of work slip and remaining under investigation by Britain’s fraud squad.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488513.1498641197!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Petrofac CEO Ayman Asfari. Picture: Andrew Shaw"} ,"articleBody": "

The oil services firm, which has a major base in Aberdeen, said half-year underlying net profit would come in between $135 million (£106m) and $145m, with full-year profits “weighted to the second half of the year”.

Its backlog of work was lower at $13 billion at the end of May, in contrast to $14.3bn at the end of December. New orders stood at $1.7bn for the year to date.

• READ MORE: Petrofac executive suspended amid fraud investigation

Group chief executive Ayman Asfari said: “We have made a positive start to the year, driven by good project execution and financial discipline.

“Our core business continues to trade in line with expectations and we remain competitive, securing new contract awards in both our E&C and EPS divisions throughout the last six months.

“The high level of tendering activity is evidence of greater confidence in our core markets and we continue to have a very good pipeline of bidding opportunities.”

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

It comes after the firm’s chief operating officer Marwan Chedid was suspended and resigned from the board in May after the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) launched a probe into the firm’s activities under suspicion of bribery, corruption and money laundering in relation to oil contractor Unaoil.

Chedid and Asfari had been arrested by the SFO and were later released without charge.

Asfari has continued in his role, but has not been involved with the investigation and has had “no role or responsibilities for engaging with or liaising with agents and consultants”.

Chairman Rijnhard van Tets said: “An independent committee of the board will continue to engage with the SFO and its investigation.”

• READ MORE: Kuwait training deal for energy services group Petrofac

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said if new contracts continue to struggle then Petrofac’s order book would “drain away”.

He said: “The Serious Fraud Office investigation will continue to drive Petrofac shares in the near term, but our bigger worry is the state of the group’s order book.

“Oil prices may have stabilised, but E&P companies were too badly scarred by the crash to start splashing large sums on new projects straight away. Even the group’s impressive cost cutting can’t offset a lack of projects to work on.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ben Woods"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488513.1498641197!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488513.1498641197!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Petrofac CEO Ayman Asfari. Picture: Andrew Shaw","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Petrofac CEO Ayman Asfari. Picture: Andrew Shaw","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488513.1498641197!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/farming/farming-faces-tough-job-to-seal-export-deals-post-brexit-1-4488503","id":"1.4488503","articleHeadline": "Farming faces tough job to seal export deals post-Brexit","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498640363000 ,"articleLead": "

Maintaining exports to the EU has been viewed as a key factor for agriculture in the post-Brexit world – but experts have warned that holding on to deals with countries outside the EU could also represent a major challenge.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488502.1498640361!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "AHDB warned that securing the future of vital exports such as seed potatoes would be complex. Picture: Stuart Cobley"} ,"articleBody": "

Peter Hardwick, head of exports at the Agricultural & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), said that securing the future of vital exports such as seed potatoes and malting barley was likely to be a complex and challenging task – but would be crucial for the industry.

“Taking the seed potato sector as an example, the industry sees some real challenges,” he said.

“We need to be realistic – 75 per cent of our seed potato exports now go outside the EU and we need to ensure there’s continuity in those markets.”

• READ MORE: Farming news

Hardwick said that, as the UK was listed separately in the agreement, it might at first appear that it would be a straightforward job to disentangle the UK from the wider agreement and then enter a bilateral deal with non-EU countries.

However, Hardwick he that it only took “a bit of digging” into the detail of these agreements to discover that that the underlying commitment which had actually been signed up to was one which was governed by European treaties which the UK was set to leave.

“For example, within the agreement with Egypt, there’s a specific commitment that the EU supplies seed potatoes tariff and quota free, but there is a reciprocal agreement that we take 250,000 tariff-free tonnes of ware potatoes from Egypt.

“It’s quite clear the UK will not want to take that full quota, so we will have to enter into some form of negotiation.”

• READ MORE: Ground-breaking Brexit farm policy link-up put on hold

Hardwick added that even the UK’s bilateral agreements – such as that for exporting malting barley to China – would be affected by Brexit.

However, the organisation’s knowledge exchange manager, Phil Dolbear, said that although farmers should be aware of these problems, they should concentrate on issues which they could control themselves.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

“Although farmers are acutely aware of the markets at a global level, they are becoming more aware of what they can control at an on-farm level,” said Dolebear, who added that a greater degree of trust and co-operation was developing between producers.

The UK potato acreage looks set to be up 4 per cent on the year, according to the latest estimates.

With plantings in Great Britain standing at just over 121,000 hectares, the figure is close to that in the ground in 2014 and similar to those of 2012 and 2013.

The statistics, drawn together by AHDB potatoes market intelligence analysts, show a similar increase has taken place across much of Europe, where a 3.6 per cent increase is expected in the main potato growing areas of Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France.

However, AHDB analyst Amber Cottingham said that everything was yet to play for as far as overall production.

Despite the area increase, final production figures would depend on the yield of potatoes per hectare – but Cottingham said that various scenarios did point to higher production.

“There is still a lot of growing time remaining in the season, so nothing can be taken for granted at this stage,” she said.

“An increase in production of between 4 per cent and 8 per cent might sound sensible, but if this season sees another record high-yielding year such as 2015 then production could be as high as 5.9 million tonnes.”

• READ MORE: Scottish potato exporters eyeing new market in Kenya

A good growing season could see production up by as much as 13 per cent up on the year, she said – but if weather events changed dramatically and yields took a nosedive then production could fall overall.

“A five-year average yield of 44.7 tonnes per hectare (t/ha) would see a production increase of 4 per cent. This average includes 2012, which was an extremely low yielding year due to adverse weather. If we exclude 2012 from the average it becomes 46.7t/ha, harvest at that rate would result in an 8 per cent increase in potatoes on the market compared to the 2016-17 season.”

She added that an area update would be issued in August.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Brian Henderson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488502.1498640361!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488502.1498640361!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "AHDB warned that securing the future of vital exports such as seed potatoes would be complex. Picture: Stuart Cobley","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "AHDB warned that securing the future of vital exports such as seed potatoes would be complex. Picture: Stuart Cobley","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488502.1498640361!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/tech/highlands-medical-tech-specialist-expands-with-cash-injection-1-4488488","id":"1.4488488","articleHeadline": "Highlands medical tech specialist expands with cash injection","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498638776000 ,"articleLead": "

Inverness-based Mime Technologies, a medical technology firm offering software that helps first responders in emergencies, has won £80,000 and a trip to Silicon Valley from Scottish Edge, a competition to foster start-ups.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488487.1498638774!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left: Mime co-founders Anne Roberts and Alasdair Mort with clinical lead Chris Williams. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Dr Alasdair Mort, chief executive and co-founder of Mime Technologies, said the firm aims to “revolutionise the quality of pre-hospital care data and vastly improve those first-responding organisations plagued by pen and paper recording”.

• READ MORE: Start-up behind revolutionary child swim aid gains funding

He added: “The Scottish Edge award is truly pivotal for us. It means we can increase our team and engineer our software to work on any mobile device around the world.”

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Edinburgh Airport has become the first business member of Entrepreneurial Scotland. The package allows chief executives and other company leaders to extend the benefits of Entrepreneurial Scotland membership across their teams.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "EMMA NEWLANDS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488487.1498638774!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488487.1498638774!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "From left: Mime co-founders Anne Roberts and Alasdair Mort with clinical lead Chris Williams. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left: Mime co-founders Anne Roberts and Alasdair Mort with clinical lead Chris Williams. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488487.1498638774!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/media-leisure/jim-duffy-what-would-elton-john-think-of-airdrie-s-burgers-1-4488468","id":"1.4488468","articleHeadline": "Jim Duffy: What would Elton John think of Airdrie’s burgers?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498637768000 ,"articleLead": "

This will indeed sound surreal – Elton John playing his Scottish gig as part of his world tour at Airdrie Stadium.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488467.1498637766!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sir Elton John is a national treasure but Jim Duffy was less than impressed by the catering at his Airdrie show. Picture: Robert Perry"} ,"articleBody": "

Well he did last weekend and he started off with these words: “Good evening Airdrie. Well, I never thought I’d ever be saying that!”

And to be fair, neither did I. But he did and it was a magnificent concert. Typical Elton John; the full array of his old classics with some new stuff thrown in. I have no doubt that this guy is a national treasure and worth every penny. But one thing did not sit well with me or others who attended, having paid the £85 ticket price – the price of the catering.

How many times have you paid a fair bit of cash for concert tickets, only to be stiffed by the catering or bar inside the venue? It’s a racket and it has to stop.

Having been scanned with a hand scanner, a quick body search and my tickets checked, I headed into the venue with Lucy-Rose, my partner and had a quick check of where we were seated. Just outside the 18-yard box in front of the stage. Nice one!

Having recced this, we though it best to get a quick drink and a burger of sorts. First we headed to the bar. It was pretty basic offering a choice of about eight to ten drinks. A tiny wee bottle of wine poured into a plastic glass was £5. This price being what you would pay in a supermarket for a proper bottle of plonk. Then a plastic glass of Prosecco for £6. Again, Prosecco is on sale at six quid a bottle in the supermarkets right now! Okay, I thought it’s a one-off and let’s enjoy it. But, only with a burger.

So we headed out to the array of burger vans that were situated on the outer concourse. The full gamut of healthy food was there to be sampled; fish and chips, chips and gravy, chips and cheese, pizza, haggis balls, chocolate muffins, hotdogs and of course burgers.

We both opted for the “stag” burger. I noted that this was retailing at £5. It was labelled in big gold letters up the side of the Winnebago catering-style van as choice veal with rich seasoning in a brioche bun. Yummy yummy, I thought.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

“Two stag burgers please, with onions,” I said as we got to the front of the queue. “Di yi want onions?” “Yes, please.” A good start, I thought. Then I looked at the stag burgers that were lying in the silver heating trays. These things looked like they had been pre-cooked two hours ago.

They had a grey hue around them with that dried-out look. You know exactly what I mean right? “£10 please love.” I parted with another brown note and was handed my stag burgers. But that was not a brioche bun. We opened the burgers to stick on some ketchup. Nothing in or on the bun – no butter, marg and only three small slivers of onion. This was going to need a fair bit of ketchup. Thank God that was free.

Off we trotted to find a ledge in the inner concourse where we could camp out and eat our stag burgers. Now I want you to imagine the worst burger you can think of, that has never seen a stag in its life, with a dry burger bun. Yep, that was it. And to me that is unacceptable.

Why do we have to accept this style of catering at venues when we pay good money already for our tickets? And this is not a new problem. Big football clubs had this issue for years as they peddled cold stodgy pies with boiling hot Bovril. But they have moved on, with very decent catering options for fans who want more.

When attending a big international rugby match at Murrayfield, the catering vans on the outer concourse are really good. Yes, they are pricey, but the quality of the product reflects this. But, it would appear that Airdrie Stadium or indeed Elton’s representatives did appear to have this one cracked.

There’s a big non-sequitur between the world-class quality of Sir Elton and his band and the third-rate catering offered to Joe Public paying to enjoy the man.

Just one man’s opinion and I’m not sure Sir Elton will ever find out…

• Agitator and disruptor Jim Duffy is head of #GoDo at Entrepreneurial Spark

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jim Duffy"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488467.1498637766!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488467.1498637766!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sir Elton John is a national treasure but Jim Duffy was less than impressed by the catering at his Airdrie show. Picture: Robert Perry","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sir Elton John is a national treasure but Jim Duffy was less than impressed by the catering at his Airdrie show. Picture: Robert Perry","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488467.1498637766!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/financial/private-bank-hampden-co-cuts-losses-after-excellent-year-1-4488452","id":"1.4488452","articleHeadline": "Private bank Hampden & Co cuts losses after ‘excellent’ year","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498636683000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinburgh-headquartered private bank Hampden & Co unveiled a picture or progress yesterday as the group published reduced operating losses for 2016 in its first full year of trading.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488451.1498636681!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hampden & Co chief Graeme Hartop hailed the results as 'excellent for such a young bank'. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Hampden & Co said it had seen “steep growth on both sides of the balance sheet”, as deposits grew to £143 million, an increase of £113m over the year, and loans lifted to £48m, up from £12m at the end of 2015.

Chairman Ray Entwistle said: “We are building the bank on the premise that, in an age impersonalised by technology but impacted by financial complexity, personal service remains an important requirement for many.

“We are very pleased with the progress of the bank, and the positive reaction we have received from our clients.”

• READ MORE: Private bank Hampden & Co hits £200m deposits milestone

In terms of the bank’s overall financial performance, income grew to £1.6m, from £200,000 in 2015, and expenditure was £7.9m, down from £8.3m in the previous year. That led to a reduced operating loss of £6.3m, compared with £8.1m in 2015.

Graeme Hartop, chief executive of Hampden & Co, hailed the results as “excellent for such a young bank”.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

He said: “Our prudent approach to banking, and the service we offer clients is already translated into an improved financial performance.

“The strength of the bank is fundamentally driven by the quality of our people, and as we continue to attract an excellent calibre of banker to our business, we are accelerating the pace at which we are attracting clients”.

Hampden & Co opened in June 2015 to offer private banking facilities to high net worth clients, and their families. Entwistle is former boss of Scottish private bank, Adam & Co.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "martin flanagan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488451.1498636681!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488451.1498636681!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hampden & Co chief Graeme Hartop hailed the results as 'excellent for such a young bank'. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hampden & Co chief Graeme Hartop hailed the results as 'excellent for such a young bank'. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488451.1498636681!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/world-in-grip-of-widespread-ransomware-cyber-attack-1-4488446","id":"1.4488446","articleHeadline": "World in grip of widespread ‘ransomware’ cyber attack","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498635844000 ,"articleLead": "

Widespread disruption has hit organisations across the world in the second major cyber attack to strike in as many months.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488445.1498635842!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Organisations around the world have been hit by the second major cyber attack in as many months. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Big business including advertising giant WPP and law firm DLA Piper were affected, while government offices in eastern Europe were also hit.

A hospital in the US and pharmaceutical company Merck also fell victim, and Cadbury owner Mondelez International said it had experienced a “global IT outage” which it was working to resolve.

Government officials reported major disruption to the power grid, banks and government offices in Ukraine, where news of the attack first emerged on Tuesday.

The latest virus comes just weeks after ransomware – the name given to programmes that hold data hostage by scrambling it until a payment is made – downed systems across the globe, including the NHS in the UK.

• READ MORE: Global cyber attack strikes heart of NHS in Scotland

More than 200,000 victims in around 150 countries were infected by the WannaCry or Wanna Decryptor ransomware, which originated in the UK and Spain last month, before spreading globally.

The National Cyber Security Centre, part of intelligence agency GCHQ, said it was monitoring the current “global ransomware incident”.

WPP, the world’s biggest advertising business, confirmed it had been hit, while DLA Piper has taken its email system down as a preventative measure.

Russia’s Rosneft energy company also reported being hit, as did shipping company AP Moller-Maersk, which said every branch of its business was affected.

Ukrainian deputy prime minister Pavlo Rozenko posted a picture of a darkened computer screen on Twitter, saying the computer system at the government’s headquarters had been shut down.

In reference to the attack, the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management said Chernobyl’s radiation monitoring system has been switched to manual and is operating normally.

An email address posted at the bottom of ransom demands was blocked by Berlin-based host Posteo, which said it had contacted German authorities after realising the account was associated with the malware.

• READ MORE: HMS Queen Elizabeth ‘not vulnerable’ to cyber attack

The current ransomware is known as GoldenEye, according to Bogdan Botezatu, a senior e-threat analyst at Bitdefender.

Victims of the malware are asked to pay a $300 (£234) ransom after their hard drive is encrypted, crashing their computer.

Botezatu, who warned against paying any money, said that the malware operators received 27 payments totalling almost $7,000 in digital currency in around five hours.

He said: “I would strongly advise against paying the ransom, because this keeps this vicious circle in which hackers get enough money to fuel even more complex malware and this is why ransomware has become so popular in just three years.

“It’s a billion-dollar business and the more customers they have, the more advanced the future ransomware attacks will be.”

The ransomware is believed to be spreading from one computer to another using the exploit EternalBlue, which was also used in the WannaCry attack.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Botezatu said GoldenEye, a more advanced version of the malware Petya, may have a number of exploits, meaning even those who patched their systems against EternalBlue after the WannaCry attack may still be vulnerable to the latest hack.

He said experts will work on trying to find a flaw in the ransomware in order to create a decryption tool, but there is no guarantee victims will get their information back.

Following last month’s WannaCry incident some of the blame was directed at US intelligence agencies the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA) who were accused of “stockpiling” software code which could be exploited by hackers.

Dr David Day, a senior lecturer in cyber security at Sheffield Hallam University, said he believed the latest attack is the “tip of the iceberg” and said he is frustrated at how it has been able to unfold.

He said: “Basically what they (the NSA) have done is they have created something which can be used as a weapon, and that weapon has been stolen and that weapon is now being used. And I think it underlines the whole need for debate over privacy versus security.

“The NSA will argue that the tool was developed with a need to ensure privacy, but actually what it’s being used for is a weapon against security.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Russell Jackson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488445.1498635842!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488445.1498635842!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Organisations around the world have been hit by the second major cyber attack in as many months. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Organisations around the world have been hit by the second major cyber attack in as many months. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488445.1498635842!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/tech/funding-boost-for-fife-laser-tech-outfit-powerphotonic-1-4488438","id":"1.4488438","articleHeadline": "Funding boost for Fife laser tech outfit PowerPhotonic","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498634830000 ,"articleLead": "

PowerPhotonic, a designer and maker of micro-optics for the laser industry, has received a £750,000 finance package from Clydesdale Bank.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488437.1498634827!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "PowerPhotonic, based in Dalgety Bay, is recognised as a leader in the field of micro-optics. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Founded in 2004, the Dalgety Bay-based business said the funding would “propel the company into a new phase of growth” as it establishes a new operating facility.

• READ MORE: Angels smile on four growing firms with £3.9m boost

“The growth will include bringing 16 new permanent highly skilled jobs to the local area over the next three years,” PowerPhotonic said.

The group is recognised as a world leader in the field of micro-optics, and has developed a commercial technology out of research done at the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

As part of its expansion plans, it has also been successful in applying for a regional selective assistance grant of £245,000 from Scottish Enterprise. That takes funds raised for business growth to almost £1 million.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "martin flanagan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488437.1498634827!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488437.1498634827!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "PowerPhotonic, based in Dalgety Bay, is recognised as a leader in the field of micro-optics. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "PowerPhotonic, based in Dalgety Bay, is recognised as a leader in the field of micro-optics. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488437.1498634827!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/stagecoach-in-government-talks-after-east-coast-main-line-hit-1-4488409","id":"1.4488409","articleHeadline": "Stagecoach in government talks after East Coast main line hit","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498633755000 ,"articleLead": "

Stagecoach is in talks with the UK government over its contract to operate the East Coast main line after exceptional charges linked to the loss-making franchise saw profits at the Perth group sink last year.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488408.1498633752!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stagecoach said it was 'disappointed' to report losses at Virgin Trains East Coast. Picture: David Parry/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The train and bus operator said pre-tax profit plunged to £17.9 million in the year to 29 April, from £104.4m last time, after booking an £84.1m exceptional charge to “provide for anticipated losses” under the East Coast contract, which it jointly runs with Virgin.

Stagecoach was also hit by a £44.8m non-cash exceptional impairment linked to the Virgin Trains East Coast franchise.

• READ MORE: FirstGroup and Stagecoach shortlisted to run HS2 railway

Chief executive Martin Griffiths said: “We are engaged in discussions with the Department for Transport regarding our respective contractual rights and obligations under the current Virgin Trains East Coast franchise and reflecting the reprioritisation of Network Rail’s infrastructure programme.

“However, separately we have made financial provisions to reflect the short-term outlook for that business over the next two years, including in view of the weak growth environment affecting the UK rail sector as a whole.

“We are disappointed to report losses at Virgin Trains East Coast. However, I am confident that we can return the business to profitability.”

To compound matters, Stagecoach also said that slowing economic growth, the Brexit vote and terrorism have begun to take their toll on the company.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Revenue is not growing as strongly as anticipated as sales are hit by “increased terrorism concerns and political uncertainty”, as well as “macroeconomic” factors, the firm said.

Revenue came in at £3.9 billion last year, down from £3.8bn previously.

The firm said it is taking action across its bus network, including targeted network, pricing and management changes.

The company operates routes such as South West Trains, East Midlands Trains, Virgin Trains East Coast and Virgin Rail Group’s West Coast franchise.

It has also been shortlisted for new East Midlands and South Eastern rail franchises and has embarked on a new joint venture with Virgin and SNCF, which is bidding for the West Coast Partnership rail franchise.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ravender Sembhy"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488408.1498633752!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488408.1498633752!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stagecoach said it was 'disappointed' to report losses at Virgin Trains East Coast. Picture: David Parry/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stagecoach said it was 'disappointed' to report losses at Virgin Trains East Coast. Picture: David Parry/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488408.1498633752!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/youtube-stars-help-minecraft-team-top-out-dundee-business-hub-1-4488385","id":"1.4488385","articleHeadline": "YouTube stars help Minecraft team top out Dundee business hub","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498631968000 ,"articleLead": "

Tech entrepreneurs Chris van der Kuyl and Paddy Burns have marked the “topping out” ceremony for their Shed 25 project on the Dundee quayside by unveiling the commercial office development’s new name – Water’s Edge.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488384.1498632067!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left: YouTubers BigBst4tz2, ibxtoycat, Eckosoldier, Sqaishey and Stampy Cat, with Chris van der Kuyl, Paddy Burns and Stewart Clark of Tayforth Properties. Picture: Fraser Band"} ,"articleBody": "

The duo – founders of 4J Studios, developer of the console editions of the hit video game Minecraft – were joined at the ceremony by a number of big names from the YouTube world, including Joseph Garrett, who posts videos about Minecraft under the pseudonym of Stampy Cat.

• READ MORE: Minecraft maker 4J Studios has high hopes for Switch game

Burns and van der Kuyl own Tayforth Properties, which is in the final stages of developing Dundee’s historic transit Shed 25 into business units for entrepreneurial companies. Tayforth is led by managing director Stewart Clark.

Speaking to an audience of 300 business leaders, politicians and neighbours, van der Kuyl said: “We currently have an office at City Quay which we really like. But Paddy and I decided we wanted something a little bit bigger, maybe a little bit cooler and even closer to the waterfront.”

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

He added that the team wanted to attract “businesses with a real energy and appetite for innovation”. He added that the idea was to stimulate “contagious energy” to drive Dundee’s growth.

Garrett, who last visited Dundee in November 2015 to deliver the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Christmas lecture at the Caird Hall, said of the development: “It’s exciting. We’d heard tales of this building, but this is my first time seeing and getting an idea of what it’s going to end up like.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RUSSELL JACKSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488384.1498632067!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488384.1498632067!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "From left: YouTubers BigBst4tz2, ibxtoycat, Eckosoldier, Sqaishey and Stampy Cat, with Chris van der Kuyl, Paddy Burns and Stewart Clark of Tayforth Properties. Picture: Fraser Band","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left: YouTubers BigBst4tz2, ibxtoycat, Eckosoldier, Sqaishey and Stampy Cat, with Chris van der Kuyl, Paddy Burns and Stewart Clark of Tayforth Properties. Picture: Fraser Band","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488384.1498632067!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/media-leisure/scottish-pubs-trade-group-unhappy-with-heineken-s-punch-offer-1-4487365","id":"1.4487365","articleHeadline": "Scottish pubs trade group unhappy with Heineken’s Punch offer","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498630811000 ,"articleLead": "

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) has criticised Heineken’s offer to sell a string of pubs to try to address competition concerns over its £403 million takeover of Punch Taverns.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487364.1498630809!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The competition watchdog is examining Heineken's swoop on Punch Taverns. Picture: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

It came after the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) said it would look at the brewing giant’s proposal to offload pubs in each location that could see the deal affect competition and see drinkers face higher prices.

• READ MORE: Warning over higher beer prices from Heineken’s Punch deal

The competition watchdog had identified 33 areas of concern across Britain, but said that Heineken’s proposals, or a modified version of them, “might be acceptable to remedy the competition concerns it has identified”.

The CMA will now undertake a public consultation and decide by 22 August whether to refer the merger for an in-depth investigation.

It has previously said the 1,895 Punch pubs being snapped up by Heineken only account for 4 per cent of the market and are therefore “not a major route to market for brewers”.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

However, SLTA chief executive Paul Waterson said that Heineken’s offer “may well tick a box where competition is concerned, but it does nothing to address the significant list of issues voiced by the industry when this merger was announced”.

The SLTA has predicted the tie-up would trigger higher prices for consumers and pub landlords, job losses and pub closures.

Waterson added: “We would urge the CMA to look deeper into the matter and launch an in-depth investigation… allowing this deal to go through would be a step back.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "EMMA NEWLANDS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487364.1498630809!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487364.1498630809!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The competition watchdog is examining Heineken's swoop on Punch Taverns. Picture: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The competition watchdog is examining Heineken's swoop on Punch Taverns. Picture: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487364.1498630809!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/markets-economy/banks-told-to-put-aside-extra-11bn-amid-borrowing-fears-1-4488344","id":"1.4488344","articleHeadline": "Banks told to put aside extra £11bn amid borrowing fears","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498630283000 ,"articleLead": "

UK banks will have to find an additional £11.4 billion in capital as ammunition against any potential consumer credit shock, the Bank of England has warned.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488343.1498630280!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bank of England governor Mark Carney delivers the financial stability report. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The crackdown came as the Bank said in its latest twice-yearly financial stability report that the economy, which has been slowing as inflation has outpaced earnings growth, faced a “wide range” of risks.

The Bank raised fears over surging levels of unsecured consumer borrowing on credit cards and car finance, which have leapt by 10 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

• READ MORE: Markets and economy news

It announced plans that will see banks have to build up their capital cushions by £5.7bn initially, and indicated that it will probably double that in November 2018.

The Bank also said it will tighten affordability tests for mortgage lending, amid concerns that the banking sector – about 10 per cent of UK GDP – has become too reliant on relatively “benign” economic conditions.

It said the financial policy committee (FPC), headed by Bank governor Mark Carney, was continuing to work on contingency planning for a “range of possible outcomes” of Brexit negotiations.

• READ MORE: BoE chief economist may support interest rate hike

These will help “mitigate the risks to financial stability as the withdrawal process unfolds”, it said. The FPC’s remit is to monitor systemic risk, credit bubbles and economic growth.

The Bank added: “Lending conditions in the mortgage market are becoming easier. Lenders may be placing undue weight on the recent performance of loans in benign conditions.”

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Threadneedle Street is to increase the so-called counter-cyclical buffer for banks – the “rainy day” money for banks – from the present 0 per cent to 0.5 per cent initially, and then again to 1 per cent in November, if the wider economy remains stable. The banks will have 18 months to meet the increased limit.

Yesterday’s move sees the Bank scrap an emergency policy brought in after last June’s Brexit vote, when the buffer rate was cut to zero, which allowed banks to release reserves to help avert the threat of recession.

The economy has since proved surprisingly resilient, although growth slowed sharply to 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2017.

Other actions outlined by the Bank yesterday include plans to bring forward from November to September stress testing on banks’ balance sheets for losses on consumer credit lending.

• READ MORE: Holiday costs push inflation towards four-year high

It will also tighten up affordability tests for mortgage lending, ensuring borrowers can meet repayments in the event that interest rates jump to about 7 per cent.

Earlier this month a divergence on interest rate policy was highlighted in the monetary policy committee, when three of the eight members voted for a rise in rates to 0.5 per cent due to soaring inflation. This marked the biggest hawkish show of dissent since 2011.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "mflanagan@scotsman.com" ,"author": "martin flanagan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488343.1498630280!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488343.1498630280!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Bank of England governor Mark Carney delivers the financial stability report. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bank of England governor Mark Carney delivers the financial stability report. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488343.1498630280!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/media-leisure/madebrave-boss-andrew-dobbie-joins-film-firm-park-circus-1-4488331","id":"1.4488331","articleHeadline": "MadeBrave boss Andrew Dobbie joins film firm Park Circus","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498629190000 ,"articleLead": "

Andrew Dobbie, founding director of digital creative agency MadeBrave, has joined the board of global film sales and distribution specialist Park Circus Group.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488330.1498629187!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "MadeBrave's Andrew Dobbie says Park Circus represents many of his favourite films. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The entrepreneur has taken up his role as a non-executive director as Glasgow-based Park Circus announced the relocation of its London office to a new base in Soho.

• READ MORE: Glasgow’s MadeBrave has designs on record turnover

Park Circus, which also has an operation in Los Angeles, employs 30 people and represents a number of high-profile studios and independent producers, including The Cohen Film Collection, ITV Studios, Miramax, Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures.

Dobbie, who launched Glasgow-based MadeBrave in 2012, said: “Park Circus represent Hollywood’s best-loved movies, including tons of my own favourites, so I’m absolutely delighted to join the board.

“They have an amazing bank of film content and I’m really looking forward to collaborating with the team on finding new and creative ways to share it.”

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

MadeBrave counts the likes of spirits giant Beam Suntory and veterinary chain Vets Now among its clients, and recently signed up as creative partner to help promote Magenta, a massive new office development in Glasgow’s east end.

Park Circus co-chief executives Nick Varley and John Letham said: “We are delighted to welcome Andrew to the Park Circus board.

“He brings with him a wealth of experience in the creative and brand sector, and we cannot wait to collaborate with him on our work to share the wonderful films we represent with audiences on both the big and small screen.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "gareth.mackie@scotsman.com" ,"author": "gareth mackie"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488330.1498629187!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488330.1498629187!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "MadeBrave's Andrew Dobbie says Park Circus represents many of his favourite films. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "MadeBrave's Andrew Dobbie says Park Circus represents many of his favourite films. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488330.1498629187!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/regions/edinburgh-fife-lothians/harry-potter-to-become-a-scots-speaker-in-new-book-1-4488884","id":"1.4488884","articleHeadline": "Harry Potter to become a Scots speaker in new book","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498655304000 ,"articleLead": "

AS the literary world celebrates the 20th anniversay of Harry Potter first hitting the bookstands, a new version of the first book is to be published in Scots language.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488883.1498655300!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "First Harry Potter book to be translated into Scots language. Picture PA"} ,"articleBody": "

‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stane’ will become the 80th translation of the global phenonenon, telling the introduction to the world of JK Rowling’s wizard hero.

The first book in the series has been translated by Matthew Fitt, an acknowledged expert in the field of Scots language education.

READ MORE: Celebrations mark 20th anniversary of first Harry Potter book

It is being published in October by Scots publishers Itchy Coo.

Written in several Edinburgh cafes by JK Rowling, who has lived and worked in Scotland throughout her career, it is now fitting that - after being translated into an 79 languages around the world - the Scots translation will be language number 80.

Matthew Fitt has written numerous children’s books and translated a number of titles into Scots including Roald Dahl’s The Eejits and Chairlie and the Chocolate Works and David Walliams’ Mr Mingin and Billionaire Bairn.

Speaking of his latest venture, he said: “It’s a book I’ve always wanted to translate.”

Matthew is a co-founder of the award-winning Itchy Coo, the Scots language children’s imprint at Black & White Publishing.

His forthcoming Scots translation of JK Rowling’s extraordinary adventure story is expected to break new ground and earn a place in hearts of young Scots readers and Harry Potter fans alike.

READ MORE: Edinburgh cafe’s claim to be true birthplace of Harry Potter

One example of what fans can expect is: “Mr and Mrs Dursley, o nummer fower, Privet Loan, were prood tae say that they were gey normal, thank ye awfie muckle.

“They were the lest fowk ye wid jalouse wid be taigled up wi onythin unco or ferlie, because they jist widnae hae onythin tae dae wi joukery packery like yon.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALISTAIR MUNRO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488883.1498655300!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488883.1498655300!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "First Harry Potter book to be translated into Scots language. Picture PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "First Harry Potter book to be translated into Scots language. Picture PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488883.1498655300!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/gap-between-uk-rich-and-poor-widening-1-4488223","id":"1.4488223","articleHeadline": "Gap between UK rich and poor widening","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498653639000 ,"articleLead": "

Britain risks becoming more divided unless there is a renewed effort to reduce the gap between the “haves and have-nots”, the influential Social Mobility Commission has warned.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488845.1498653636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

In a damning report, the commission found two decades of government efforts had failed to deliver enough progress and urged ministers to adopt new approaches to tackle the problems in British society.

Alan Milburn, the commission’s chairman, warned “whole tracts of Britain feel left behind” in “volatile and uncertain times”.

The commission’s findings come as a study released today by Edinburgh University reveals school leavers from poorer families in Scotland are significantly more likely to be unemployed regardless of which subjects they have studied.

The commission’s analysis of efforts to bridge the gap between rich and poor under Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May found failings at every stage of a person’s life.

The report covered areas such as education, employment and housing.

It found at current rates of progress it will take about 15 years before all children are school-ready by age five and 40 years before the attainment gap between rich and poor at that age is closed.

In higher education, it will take about 80 years before the participation gap between students from rich and poor areas closes.

It also stated there is “currently no prospect of the [Westminster] government achieving its ambition of Britain becoming a high-skilled, high-paying economy”.

It highlighted the income and wealth divide which is said has become “more acute” – between 1997 and 2017 the bottom fifth of households saw incomes increase by just over £10 a week compared with £300 for the top fifth.

Former Labour minister Mr Milburn said the UK had reached an “inflection point”.

“If we go on as we have been, the divisions that have opened up in British society are likely to widen, not narrow.

“There is a growing sense in the nation that these divisions are not sustainable, socially, economically or politically. There is a hunger for change.The policies of the past have brought some progress, but many are no longer fit for purpose in our changing world.”

The commission recommended the Prime Minister establish a single cross-government plan to deliver the social mobility agenda, with ten-year targets to halt the short-term nature of many interventions.

It recommended a social mobility test for new public policies and every Budget should identify how taxpayers’ money is redistributed to address geographical, wealth and generational divides.

Professor Cristina Iannelli, of Edinburgh University, said: “In contrast to official government statistics showing more than 90 per cent of school leavers are in education or employment, the study found about 30 per cent of S4 leavers and 9 per cent of S5/S6 leavers were unemployed or inactive a few years after leaving school.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488845.1498653636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488845.1498653636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488845.1498653636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/edinburgh-s-dynamic-earth-keeping-it-cool-this-summer-1-4488576","id":"1.4488576","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth keeping it cool this summer","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498643743000 ,"articleLead": "

A HEATWAVE is being predicted by many this year, but Edinburgh’s five-star visitor attraction aims to keep visitors cool with a host of polar-themed events.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488575.1498643740!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ava Wright, 4, from Edinburgh, hanging out with penguines in front of a real iceberg at Dynamic Earth. Picture: Lesley Martin/Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Throughout the summer holidays, Dynamic Earth is inviting youngsters to become polar explorers and see if they have what it takes to withstand the harsh environments of the poles through a range of interactive demonstrations and activities.

With the help of Dynamic Earth’s much-loved green screen photo booth, visitors can dress up in a genuine polar explorer kit and take a trip to Antarctica with some cuddly penguin pals.

Photos from the booth will be uploaded to the Dynamic Earth Facebook page for visitors to share with friends.

READ MORE: Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Dundas Castle offering glamping accommodation

Eilidh Massie, head of marketing at Dynamic Earth, said: “We are fascinated by the poles here at Dynamic Earth.

“Our permanent polar extremes gallery is a firm favourite with visitors of all ages, so we always enjoy putting on extra activities for families to enjoy.

“We’re extremely excited to welcome back The Penguin Counters, an important and entertaining film assessing the impact of climate change on our favourite polar birds.

“We expect these screenings to be a sell out so grab your tickets before it’s too late.”

As part of an admission ticket, visitors can also take part in the daily interactive family science shows which aims to entertain participants showing the difference between the Arctic and Antarctic.

Drop-in activities, including polar themed arts and crafts tables, will help youngsters get creative and inspired by polar wildlife.

After a successful run over Easter, ‘Penguin Nights’ are back by popular demand with screenings of The Penguin Counters - a cinematic experience focusing on the research work of Ron Naveen and his team who count hundreds of thousands of penguins to track the impacts of climate change and ocean health on penguin populations, helping us understand our changing world.

The Penguin Counters’ treacherous, heart-warming journey poses the ultimate question in the world’s fastest warming region: What can humans learn from penguins on the frontlines of climate change?

READ MORE: Discover the best of Scotland at Mountain & Sea Festival

On top of the polar activities, regular Dynamic Earth features include Scotland’s only permanent 4D cinema, a real iceberg, a bone-shaking earthquake and the Deep Time Machine which takes visitors billions of years back in time.

The daytime half-term activities will run throughout the day between 1 July and 27 August and are free with admission to Dynamic Earth. Admission to Dynamic Earth costs £15 adult and £9.50 child

For more information on events and activities happening at Dynamic Earth, visit www.dynamicearth.co.uk.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALISTAIR MUNRO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488575.1498643740!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488575.1498643740!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ava Wright, 4, from Edinburgh, hanging out with penguines in front of a real iceberg at Dynamic Earth. Picture: Lesley Martin/Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ava Wright, 4, from Edinburgh, hanging out with penguines in front of a real iceberg at Dynamic Earth. Picture: Lesley Martin/Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488575.1498643740!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/richard-hall-edinburgh-buses-driving-a-thriving-tourist-sector-1-4487674","id":"1.4487674","articleHeadline": "Richard Hall: Edinburgh buses driving a thriving tourist sector","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498629622000 ,"articleLead": "

One of Edinburgh’s many roles as a capital city is to serve as the gateway for tourists from across the globe.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487673.1498562409!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinburgh Bus Tours launch with Tattoo drummers in the Grassmarket. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor"} ,"articleBody": "

Edinburgh Castle and the range of festivals are ­probably the best known from a wide selection of world-class locations and events. Interestingly, ­Edinburgh Bus Tours, ­operated by Lothian ­Buses, is now the second-most ­popular paid-for ­attraction in Scotland, overtaking ­Edinburgh Zoo.

We welcomed more than 600,000 passengers on board our four different tours in 2016, up 9 per cent on 2015. This year we are seeing even stronger visitor numbers with a 24 per cent increase in people hopping on our open top buses to see the sights.

The new Queensferry Crossing will inject a ­further tourism boost to the city region’s economy. In April we launched one of our services as the ‘3 Bridges’ bus and boat experience.

The success of our tour operation also led us to invest more than £6.5 million in 30 new custom-built vehicles. Designed to some of the highest standards in accessibility and environmental performance, we believe they send a hugely positive message to visitors about the modern, inclusive, innovative city and country we all know and love.

In previous articles I’ve talked about how we’re ­trying to reduce our carbon ­footprint. These new buses are an excellent example of that and reinforce our long term commitment to the environment.

Critically they reduce CO2 emissions by more than 40 per cent compared to the ­previous vehicles and cut nitrous oxides and ­particulates by up to 99 per cent. Along with dedicated ­wheelchair and ­buggy ­spaces, coloured LED ­destination information ­display, wi-fi, CCTV and ­panoramic views, these ­vehicles are a world-first.

This isn’t the only investment we’ve made to benefit the tourism sector. This year we added another ­dedicated route to the ­airport called Skylink, which ­provides improved connections with the north of the city. It ­complements our ­existing Airlink service from the ­centre of the capital which drives tourism and growth and supports one of the ­fastest growing airports in the UK.

In addition, our transport offering now extends east of the capital with our EastCoastBuses operation ­opening up a new ­audience to the ­natural ­beauty of the amazing ­coastline on the city’s doorstep.

Naturally enough, the ­tourism sector of today looks unimaginably different to that of 200 years ago, when the Scotsman first launched. It is now critical to our ­country and contributes significantly to both the local and wider Scottish economy, supporting jobs, investment and economic growth.

As a proud Scottish ­business, Lothian’s role is to continue to work hard to deliver excellent routine ­connections through our city bus and airport services and unique and amazing experiences through our bus tours, to ensure residents and ­visitors have the best ­possible time in and around our ­capital.

Richard Hall is managing director of Lothian Buses.

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Contrary to what they might think, governments do not control their own ­economies. Neither can they act together to control the world ­economy.

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In all matters of finance, whatever happens is decided by global ­brokers and traders, and the ­bankers who finance them.

They are in a position to make money no matter which way the markets move and their fiscal ­power overwhelms any ­government actions. What the ­traders and their money men do has more effect on the hapless ­electorate than any ­legislation.

The world of commodities – the derivatives market if you like – ensures that the price of everyday foodstuffs is heavily influenced by the global speculations of traders, who make money in the rising or falling of those markets, whose movements they can control by the sheer size of their trades.

Other essentials, such as building materials – metals, cement and even timber – suffer a similar fate. Sometimes these trades are orchestrated so that the rise and fall of prices allows groups acting in collusion to make money from what amounts to a sure thing.

Oil in particular is a speculator’s paradise. It has been reckoned that diesel and petrol pump prices are 10 per cent higher than they need to be because of the meaningless and unproductive activities of those traders, who make so-called ­profits for what amounts to no more than gambling on certainties. In ­reality, the assets of the world have become gambling chips in a casino for the mega-wealthy. The price of ­everything we need is either set or influenced by those who play in that casino. If their bets are lost, the ­government allows the Bank of ­England to print money to cover those losses. It’s called quantitative easing so that it can be sold as being of benefit to the man in the street, which it certainly is not.

So far some £375 billion has gone to the banks, with the idea that it will pass into the economy. Of course, the banks have simply used it to patch up their balance sheets and to settle the adverse market positions of their trader friends.

It will probably pay for some bonuses as well and favoured ­customers will be able to ­borrow more to expand their casino ­activities.

Hence the creation of markets in fine art, antiques, and classic cars, none of which had existed until the advent of quantitative easing.

For the powerless citizen, this simply reduces the value of money already in circulation and damages the pension expectations of those who have worked hard all their lives, by reducing yields on gilts and government securities.

For any government to think that it can control the economy without controlling the banking system and their pals, the global speculators, is to misunderstand how the world really works.

Malcolm Parkin is a retired business adviser. He lives in Kinnesswood, ­Kinross-shire.

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