Scottish Business Briefing – August 15th 2013

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FINANCE

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The costs and complexities of carving Royal Bank of Scotland into “good” and “bad” parts would likely leave taxpayers worse off and exceed any benefits, a ratings agency has claimed. Chancellor George Osborne has ordered a review into breaking up the lender, which is 81 per cent state-owned, with investment bank Rothschild due to report back in the autumn.

ENERGY

SUBSEA 7, which employs 2000 people in Scotland, said it has won almost $1 billion (£650m) worth of business in the North Sea this year amid booming investment in the area. The oil services firm has won a string of bumper contracts to work on new fields that oil and gas firms plan to bring onstream in the North Sea to meet strong demand for energy.

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Major farmed salmon producers are joining forces to address challenges facing the industry globally. A group representing 70% of the world’s farmed salmon industry is launching the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) in Trondheim, Norway. GSI will include 15 firms based in the world’s main salmon producing nations - Scotland, Norway, Canada and Chile.

SCOTSMAN CONFERENCE

Full agenda now available. Featuring expert industry speakers including: Scott McLarty of Spirit AeroSystems, Alan Fraser of BAE Systems; Jim Houston of Woodward & Gavin Campbell of Bombardier Aerospace. See The Scotsman Conferences website for more details.

TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY

CITYJET is to axe its loss-making Edinburgh-London City route in October, leaving British Airways with a monopoly on the route for the first time in a decade. The Air France-KLM subsidiary has thrown in the towel in the face of “very tough” competition from BA on the key business link.

THE Scottish operation of the maker of the Gore-Tex waterproof material has seen profits slump 63% as European austerity measures hit sales. Accounts filed at Companies House show turnover at WL Gore & Associates (UK) dipped almost 18% from a record £136.3 million to £112.3m.

MEDIA, TECH & LEISURE

SHARES in Frontier IP, which helps universities to commercialise their research, jumped by 10 per cent yesterday after the Edinburgh-based firm raised £392,000 through an over-subscribed share placing. Sigma Capital, the Aim-quoted investment vehicle in which Sir Tom Hunter has a 22 per cent stake, reduced its holding in Frontier from 26.7 per cent to 5.9 per cent as part of the move to place new and existing stock.

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