Retail property giant Hammerson has announced the sale of a Scottish retail park in a £67 million deal.

The shopping centre owner told investors on Monday that it sold Abbotsinch retail park in Paisley to property investment firm Ashby Capital.

Hammerson acquired the site, which houses retailers such as B&Q and Dunelm, in 2012 for £42 million and said it invested £17 million into a expansion at the retail park, which increased its number of tenants from six to 14 during its ownership.

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The deal means that Hammerson has secured £523 million through sales this year as it looks to cut its significant debt pile.

David Atkins, chief executive of Hammerson, said: "Our absolute priority is to reduce debt, and with this deal we have exceeded our target of over £500 million in disposals in 2019."

Shares were up 0.6% to 285.8p.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has confirmed that the UK economy slid into decline in the second quarter of 2019, in the latest update of its figures.

UK GDP fell 0.2% in the quarter to June 2019, the ONS said, as it confirmed the figure was unrevised from its previous estimate.

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It means the UK economy could enter a recession if it remains in decline in the third quarter of 2019.

However, the new GDP figures also showed that the UK economy grew slightly faster than previously thought at the start of 2019.

The ONS said that the economy expanded by 0.6% in the January to March quarter, up from its previous estimate of 0.5%, due to the wave of extra stockpiling ahead of the original Brexit deadline.

This resulted in lifting the annual growth rate at the end of June to 1.3%, up from the figure of 1.2%.

Rob Kent-Smith, head of GDP at the ONS, said: "Headline GDP remained unrevised in the latest quarter with the economy contracting, partly due to a fallback in manufacturing following the UK's originally planned EU departure date.

"Improved data sources and new methods mean our estimates now show households have been lenders in recent quarters.

"In addition, our improved method for measuring student loans means that, due to our new way of recording loan cancellations, overall less money is being lent to households by the Government."

French airline Aigle Azur has closed down after it failed to find new investors, leaving 1,150 employees out of work.

France's second-biggest airline, which was mostly operating between France and Algeria, had filed for bankruptcy earlier this month and cancelled all its flights.

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A French commercial court on Friday ordered the company's closure due to the lack of a sustainable offer from bidders.
Chinese conglomerate HNA Group is the company's largest shareholder with a 49% stake.

Aigle Azur transported about 1.9 million passengers in 2018. It also had operated routes to Brazil, China, Russia and other countries in recent years.

Slovenia-based carrier Adria Airways has filed for receivership after having to suspend most of its flights over the past week amid financial woes.

A court in the Slovenian town of Kranj will decide on the motion in the next three days, reported the official STA news agency.