NatWest Group has this week warned of a “very uncertain” outlook for the economy as it ramped up provisions for bad debts spiralling amid the fall-out from coronavirus, plunging it to a first-half loss.

The former Royal Bank of Scotland, still majority-owned by UK taxpayers following its £45.5 billion bailout in 2008, booked a net impairment charge of £2.9bn to reflect the risk posed by the deteriorating economic conditions.

READ MORE: The charge, which followed a £628m provision linked to Covid in the first quarter, dragged the bank to a loss of £705 million, against a profit of £2bn at the same stage last year. 

Energy giant Drax this week emphasised it could invest hundreds of millions of pounds in a key renewable energy power station in Scotland with the right official encouragement.

READ MORE: The company sees so much potential in the Cruachan pumped hydro storage power station in Argyll that it is considering a plan for dramatic expansion of the facility, which could provide a big boost to the local economy.

Scotland's first boutique dedicated to luxury watch brand Rolex has opened its doors in Glasgow.

READ MORE: The outlet, based near the top of Buchanan Street, debuted following a “significant investment” by owner Watches of Switzerland, which designed the interior and external facade in conjunction with the famous Swiss brand.

Also this week, Irn-Bru maker AG Barr is bringing all of its workers off of furlough, but chief executive Roger White has not ruled out the possibility that some jobs will be lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

READ MORE: Speaking after the soft drinks company issued its trading update for the first half of the year, which forecasts an 8 per cent decline in revenues for the 26 weeks to July 25, Mr White told The Herald that about 230 of AG Barr’s 940 employees were furloughed during the height of lockdown restrictions. 

Also this week, investment giant Baillie Gifford handed a major vote of confidence to the Edinburgh office market by agreeing terms on a giant new home in the city.

READ MORE: The fund manager, renowned for its long-term approach to investing, has struck a pre-let deal to lease 280,000 square feet of Grade A accommodation at the £350 million Haymarket Edinburgh development.

Opinion: Scott Wright: Staycation hopes are fading fast for Scotland’s battered tourism industry

Opinion: Brian Donnelly: Commerce veterans taking on SNP mandarins over Covid policy​

Opinion: Kristy Dorsey: Time to stop acting like nothing else matters but Covid-19

Opinion: Mark Williamson: Success of Edinburgh-based fintech shows investment in people pays​

Monday Interview: Making sure food was on the table amid wave of panic buying​

SME Focus: Highland craft brewery eyes growth as pubs reopen after lockdown​

And Finally ... Plans for new £6.5m island distillery unveiled

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