Scottish Business Briefing - Friday 2 August, 2013

Aggreko was the biggest faller in the FTSE 100 index. Picture: CompAggreko was the biggest faller in the FTSE 100 index. Picture: Comp
Aggreko was the biggest faller in the FTSE 100 index. Picture: Comp
WELCOME to’s Scottish Business Briefing. Every morning we bring you a comprehensive round-up of all news affecting business in Scotland today.


Ross McEwan named new RBS chief executive

Royal Bank of Scotland has announced a sharp turnaround in its fortunes as it confirmed that Ross McEwan, the head of its retail bank, will replace chief executive Stephen Hester on 1 October. The group, which is 81 per cent owned by the taxpayer, also announced a £185 million increase in its bill to cover the cost of mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI), taking total provisions to £2.4 billion (Scotsman).


Growth hopes raised after surge in factory activity

Economic growth is predicted to accelerate in the third quarter after new figures showed the UK’s manufacturing sector expanding at its fastest rate in more than two years. The rise in factory activity will also take the pressure off Bank of England governor Mark Carney to embark on another round of fiscal stimulus (Scotsman).


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Soames stays ‘cautious not nervous’ as profit dip hits Aggreko

TEMPORARY power supplier Aggreko was the biggest faller in the FTSE 100 index as investors digested news that the company’s high-margin power projects division is in the midst of a “soft patch”. Soldiers pulling out of Afghanistan, and Japan’s recovery from the devastating tsunami of 2011, hit the Glasgow-based firm, with trading profit dipping 2 per cent in the six months to 30 June to £146 million (Scotsman).

Energy firm wins US backing over oil and gas hunt

CAIRN Energy has won a big vote of confidence from a US industry giant over its decision to expand its hunt for oil and gas to Senegal. Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy said ConocoPhillips has agreed to buy a 25% stake in the exploration acreage off the west African country that the company acquired in March. The value of the deal was not disclosed (Herald).

Businessmen strike gold with sale deal worth up to £24m

TWO North East oil men have sold the business they set up just four years ago in a deal which could be worth up £24 million. Keith Wallace and Peter Kirkbride established Aberdeen oil and gas services firm EPC Offshore in 2009 and together with their wives own all of the company which has been acquired by engineering group Costain (Scotsman).


Aberdeen firm adding 50 people to workforce at Forres plant

Aberdeen-based EFC Group said yesterday it was to increase its Moray workforce by 50 people, just months after opening a manufacturing plant in the Enterprise Park at Forres. EFC, which designs and manufacturers instrumentation, monitoring, handling and control systems for the global oil and gas industry, has had a satellite office in the business park since last September (P&J).