Bar Roma bought and Amec chief talks independence

Bar Roma has new owners. Picture: Justin Spittle
Bar Roma has new owners. Picture: Justin Spittle
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THE former Bar Roma Italian restaurant in the west end of Edinburgh has been acquired by Prezzo and will open as the first Chimichanga, a Mexican-themed chain, next month.

Bar Roma closed last summer after owner Mario Cugini said he and his wife Bibi wanted to retire and had no-one to take on the business, which had been in Queensferry Street since 1981.

There had been speculation that pub chain JD Wetherspoon was interested in acquiring the site, but Cugini said there had been no talks with the company.

Amec chief talks tax and independence

The chief executive of engineering giant Amec is the latest business leader to warn of the dangers of Scottish independence.

Samir Brikho told a Sunday newspaper that the referendum comes at a time when billion of pounds needs to be invested in the North Sea energy industry.

Brikho said oil production could be maintained at its current level only if large investments were made, while the industry also faces substantial costs for decommissioning older fields that would require tax breaks.

Barclays agrees sale of UAE operations

Barclays yesterday agreed to sell its retail banking operations in the United Arab Emirates to Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) for an expected price of 650 million dirhams (£107m).

The emirate’s largest Islamic bank said it aimed to acquire 110,000 customers through the deal.

It is thought round half-a-dozen banks, including Citigroup and Standard Chartered, had expressed interest in the Barclays operations after it raised the “for sale” sign in September.

Consumer spend at 14-month low

Growth in UK consumer spending slowed to its lowest level for 14 months in March, rising just 1.1 per cent compared to last year, according to the latest figures from Barclaycard.

Despite improving employment figures, growth fell below the rate of inflation for the first time in six months as household budgets continue to be squeezed by wage growth failing to keep pace with rising household costs.

The figures were also impacted by strong sales leading up to an earlier Easter in 2013.