Scottish Business Briefing – May 14th 2013

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


RBS facing shareholder anger over bonus payments

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is facing shareholder discontent at its annual meeting tomorrow over £607 million of staff bonus handouts during a year when it lost £5.2 billion. Payouts by the 81 per cent state-owned bank are likely to infuriate investors after a “chastening” 2012 when a £390m settlement for Libor rate-fixing, another £1.1bn of mis-selling provisions and a £175m IT fiasco drove losses deeper from £1.2bn in 2011.

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Independence: Vote affecting oil investment plans

THE referendum on Scotland’s independence is affecting the investment plans of more than a third of North Sea oil and gas companies, a benchmark industry survey has revealed. The number of offshore operators and contractors reporting that the outcome of the vote is now a factor in their future plans and investment proposals has risen from 32 to 38 per cent in just twelve months, according to the latest Oil and Gas Survey published by the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce.

Trading group shelves Sterling takeover

North Sea explorer Sterling Resources said yesterday the energy and commodity trading group behind a £123million takeover attempt had abandoned the move. Sterling had previously branded Vitol Anker International’s bid “opportunistic and inadequate”, but welcomed news yesterday that the move had been ditched.

Shell deal for oil driller Ithaca Energy

ITHACA Energy, the Aberdeen-based oil producer that took over Valiant Petroleum last month, yesterday sealed a deal with Shell to reduce the amount it will have to pay to develop the Beverley prospect. The driller has “farmed out” half of its 40 per cent stake in the licence that covers the Beverley prospect and the Belinda and Evelyn discoveries.

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Genius move will supply gluten-free rolls to Caffe Nero

GENIUS has clinched a deal to supply gluten-free rolls, made in Scotland, for sale in Caffe Nero coffee shops, which is expected to result in a big boost in its profile. Founded by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne after she developed a special bread for her gluten-intolerant son, Robin, Genius has been appointed to provide rolls for 600 Caffe Nero outlets across the UK.

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Defence Policy: Protecting Scotland & Preserving Jobs – 14 June, Edinburgh

Join delegates from the defence industry, legal, PR, academia and more at this hugely important conference. Top speakers will tackle the burning issues facing the defence industry, one of Scotland’s most economically significant sectors.

(The Scotsman Conferences)

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UK leadership profoundly frivolous, says fund chief

JAMES Anderson, manager of the £2.7 billion Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, has described the UK’s political and economic leadership as “deeply lacking” and “profoundly frivolous”. Mr Anderson, who declared that the UK economic environment was “dire”, yesterday warned about the influence which the City of London exerted over the country’s political leaders.

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