Scottish Business Briefing - Wednesday 7 March, 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

Nationalised RBS is best for Britain, suggests Cable

BUSINESS Secretary Vince Cable has proposed keeping Royal Bank of Scotland mostly nationalised “as a ward of state”, acting as a domestic business bank (Scotsman).

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ECONOMICS

More captains of industry and finance join clamour for clarity

MORE of Scotland’s most influential business leaders have called on Alex Salmond to “clarify” his plans for independence (Scotsman).

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ENERGY & UTILITIES

Wood calls for clarity on North Sea tax rules to unlock investment

SIR Ian Wood, chairman of energy services giant Wood Group, is looking for clarity from the Chancellor over decommissioning costs in this month’s Budget, which could trigger further investment in the North Sea (Scotsman).

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INDUSTRY

Ferguson Marine hit by £1.58m yearly loss

FERGUSON Marine, the last independent shipbuilder on the Clyde, plunged to a £1.58 million annual loss as the collapse of key renewable energy sector customer Subocean left a hole in the order book (Herald).

HIE invests £1m in Arnish yard on Lewis

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Steel rolling equipment has been imported from Italy to a manufacturing yard on Lewis in the Western Isles. The machinery forms part of £2.9m-worth of investment Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) plans to put into the site at Arnish, near Stornoway (BBC).

TRANSPORT

Menzies buoyed by aviation growth

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John Menzies said aviation services overtook newspaper distribution as its biggest profits driver last year after the 179-year-old company benefited from a flurry of contracts for ground handling and cargo work (Scotsman).