Scottish Business Briefing - Thursday 23 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

RBS investigated by United States

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THE Royal Bank of Scotland is being investigated in the United States for possible breaches of sanctions with Iran, it emerged yesterday. The Federal Reserve and Department of Justice in America are looking at potential infringements after RBS volunteered information to US and UK regulators around 18 months ago. (Scotsman)

ECONOMICS

Scots ‘zombies’ teeter on the brink of crisis

The financial crisis and prolonged recession have left nearly one in ten Scottish businesses in a “zombie” state, unlikely ever to return to healthy profitability. The latest survey by insolvency trade body R3 revealed 14,000 firms, or 8 per cent of all businesses, were able to do no more than pay the interest on their debts. (Scotsman)

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Swinney doubts all 1,700 Hall’s of Broxburn jobs could be saved

Scotland’s Finance Secretary said it would be “difficult to conceive” that all 1,700 jobs at a threatened West Lothian pork plant could be saved. John Swinney made the admission after attending the latest meeting of a special taskforce. It was set up to minimise job losses at Hall’s of Broxburn. (BBC)

Diageo sees profits jump on emerging market sales

Diageo, the world’s biggest producer of spirits, has reported a big jump in annual profits, thanks in part to strong sales and acquisitions in emerging markets. (BBC)

MEDIA & LEISURE

Skyscanner’s landmark deal with Chinese giant

TRAVEL website Skyscanner will today sign a landmark deal with Chinese search engine giant Baidu and reveal plans to open an office in Beijing. The Edinburgh-based travel search company, known as “Tianxun” in China, will allow Baidu’s 440 million users to search for international flights. (Scotsman)

TRANSPORT

Shareholder concern as Souter moves upstairs for second time

STAGECOACH founder Sir Brian Souter caused history to repeat itself yesterday after announcing he will resign as chief executive to become chairman of the Perth-based transport group. (Scotsman)