Business news in brief: Carduus | Chisholm Hunter | Diageo

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FRANK Blin, the former head of PWC Scotland, has joined social housing bond company Carduus as a non-executive chairman.

The Scottish firm, which is set to launch a £200 million Scottish Housing Bond in the first half of 2013, has also welcomed Gordon Campbell, formerly of National Australia Group and Dunfermline Building Society, as its lending adviser, and Andrew Hutt as treasury and finance manager. Hutt will be based at the firm’s London-based capital markets team. Brian Gilmour, managing director, said Blin’s experience and contacts were “unrivalled”.

Chisholm Hunter casts its glass

Jewellery retailer Chisholm Hunter has unveiled plans for further expansion after creating 11 jobs with the opening of a store in Glasgow’s Fort shopping centre.

The family-owned business, founded in 1857, now has 19 branches. It recently opened an outlet at the Bluewater centre in Kent, where director Tracey Brown said sales were “already far exceeding expectations”.

She added: “The Fort is a very exciting location for us as it is currently undergoing a £9 million development. Over the next six months, we’ll be looking at other locations in Scotland and the rest of the UK.”

Diageo boasts of Beijing ‘embassy’

Drinks giant Diageo has opened Johnnie Walker House Beijing as the world’s largest “embassy” for luxury Scotch whisky.

Following on from a sister property in Shanghai which opened last year, the building features a bar, museum, retail outlet and a VIP members’ club.

Gilbert Ghostine, president, Diageo Asia Pacific, said: “The Johnnie Walker House in Shanghai has been our most successful experiment in marketing and commercial innovation in Asia to date. This was a journey for our consumers.”