Scottish Business Briefing - Friday 17 August, 2012

WELCOME to scotsman.com’s Scottish Business Briefing. Every morning we bring you a comprehensive round-up of all news affecting business in Scotland today.

BANKING

Marks & Spencer targets existing customers as it opens first Scottish bank branch

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MARKS & Spencer yesterday launched its banking venture in Scotland but declined to say how many customers it expects to pick up. The high street retailer’s branch at the Gyle shopping centre in Edinburgh is expected to be followed by others in Aberdeen, Glasgow and at the Braehead centre between Glasgow and Paisley (Scotsman).

ECONOMICS

House prices down despite increase in last quarter

The average house price has fallen over the past year despite an increase in the past three months, according to a survey. Prices stood at £164,122 on average in the 12 months to July, an annual drop of 1.5 per cent, the latest Scottish house price monitor from Lloyds TSB Scotland shows (Scotsman)

ENERGY & UTILITIES

Orkney energy experts hook up with South Korea

Marine energy experts in Scotland are to advise South Korea on building a tidal testing centre. The Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre (Emec) is providing technical assistance to Incheon Metropolitan City, in the north west of the country (BBC).

INDUSTRY

It pays to diversify, says John Lawrie

John Lawrie Group said yesterday that diversifying into new markets had helped it more than double profits. The Aberdeen-based metal reprocessing, steel-trading and environmental service company said it had broken the £100million turnover barrier in a positive year for the group (P&J).

MANAGEMENT

Swanson takes role in management deal to buy Law At Work

VETERAN Scottish lawyer Magnus Swanson yesterday helped lead a management buy-out of fixed-fee specialist Law At Work (Law) which has severed ties with parent firm Maclay, Murray & Spens (Scotsman).

TECHNOLOGY

Cloud has a silver lining for Iomart with £8.2m acquisitions

INTERNET group Iomart yesterday announced two acquisitions in deals worth up to £8.2 million and said it was continuing to eye further takeovers as it enjoys strong growth (Scotsman)