Scottish Business Briefing - Monday 23 September 2013
AAM eyes profits at top end of City forecasts
Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) today said its annual profits should come in towards the upper end of market expectations after it secured £7 billion of gross new business in July and August. However, the firm’s assets under management dipped to £201.7bn by the end of August, from £209.6bn two months earlier, as “considerable volatility” across global markets knocked £3.3bn off the value of equities in its funds (Scotsman).
Government likely to back away from splitting RBS
A TREASURY report is expected to reject calls to break up Royal Bank of Scotland, as sources over the weekend suggested that the edict will be published after the Conservative Party conference in October. The government-commissioned report has moved away from splitting RBS into a “good” and “bad” bank, although it is thought it could still recommend selling off RBS’s troubled Irish business (Scotsman).
Insolvency threat from UK’s ‘zombie’ businesses
Years of recession and financial crisis have turned almost one in ten of the UK’s 2.5 million companies into “zombies”, threatening a “surge of insolvencies” as they are left behind by the improving economy. In new report published today, financial health monitoring group Company Watch says the number of so-called zombie businesses has soared by 108 per cent in the last five years, to 227,000 (Scotsman).
TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY
Angus ‘cheapest location’ for car repairs
Angus in Scotland is the cheapest location to get your car fixed, according to a UK-wide survey. The average amount garages in the area charge for an hour’s labour has fallen this year more than 21% to just over £62. Five areas of Scotland featured in the top 10 cheapest locations for repairs (BBC).
MEDIA, TECH & LEISURE
Expansion bid at IRW to double turnover
IRW Systems, one of Scotland’s largest independent high-end software groups, has announced a three-year expansion to double turnover and create at least 30 new highly-skilled IT jobs. The workforce has grown by 12 in the past year to 38, helped by the opening of an Aberdeen office to target public and private sector businesses in the North East and Tayside (Herald).
Isles attract record total of cruise ships
Shetland will welcome a record number of cruise ships next year following a surge in bookings at the islands’ leading harbour. Lerwick Port Authority has announced that it expects to welcome nearly 50,000 people during the 2014 season. The 2013 cruise season ends this week, with the Norwegian Star being the 39th and final caller this season (P&J).
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