Scottish Business Briefing - Friday 25 October

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

ScottishPower has announced fuel bills will rise by 8.6 per cent. Picture: PA


Aberdeen in talks to buy Swip from Lloyds

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ABERDEEN Asset Management has revealed that it is in talks to buy rival Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (Swip) from Lloyds Banking Group in a deal that would create the largest listed fund management group in Europe. A deal, which could value Edinburgh-based Swip at around £500 million, would take Aberdeen’s funds under management to almost £350bn (Scotsman)


ScottishPower latest energy firm to hike prices

ScottishPower has announced fuel bills will rise by 8.6 per cent – just a day after parent company Iberdrola warned it would be “forced” to raise prices in its UK business. The firm said rises in wholesale energy costs, increased energy delivery charges and inflated costs supporting environmental schemes had left it no other option than to hike its bills. (Scotsman)

Bibby ready for Houston HQ

Bibby Offshore has announced £3million plans to expand into Houston. The subsea installation contractor – which has bases in Aberdeen, Liverpool, Singapore and Trinidad – has set up Bibby Subsea Inc in the US as it continues to expand. As part of the expansion plan, Andrew Duncan will relocate to Houston, from his existing position of business and commercial director at the company’s Aberdeen HQ, to president and managing director of Bibby Subsea. (Press & Journal)


Pernod Ricard hit by slowdown in its emerging markets

ANALYSTS warned that French drinks giant Pernod Ricard may be over-optimistic about the recovery in China after Scotland’s second-biggest distiller yesterday unveiled a slowdown in emerging market sales. Pernod, which owns Paisley-based Chivas Brothers, posted a 1 per cent dip in first-quarter sales to €2 billion (£1.7bn), with some of its whisky brands suffering the biggest falls as they came up against tough comparisons with the start of the previous financial year. (Scotsman)

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Hope for Grangemouth after government meeting

THE Scottish and UK governments have called on Grangemouth owner Jim Ratcliffe to lift the axe hanging over Scotland’s biggest industrial site and save its threatened petrochemical plant from closure. Workers were clinging to fresh hope that a last-minute deal can be struck to secure the 800 jobs at stake after crunch talks at the plant on Thursday between operator Ineos, Westminster and Scottish ministers and union bosses

Call centre firm to create 600 jobs in Motherwell

THREE former executives from call centre operator BeCogent yesterday unveiled plans to create more than 1,000 jobs by reopening an ex-Lloyds Banking Group site in Motherwell. John Devin, Dermot Jenkinson and Katrine Young are launching Ascensos with a £1.8 million regional selective assistance (RSA) grant from Scottish Enterprise after the Lloyds call centre closed earlier this year. (Scotsman)