Scots shares plummet after EU vote; RBS critical

The share prices of many of Scotland most important public traded companies have plummeted since Friday morning when it became clear the UK had voted narrowly to leave the EU.

Royal Bank of Scotland shares have fallen from roughly 248p on Thursday night to as low as 153p and at one stage on Monday morning trading in RBS shares was suspended because they fell far enough to trigger the stock market’s “circuit-breaker.”

Standard Life shares have fallen from 344p to 261p, Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank from 287p to 210p, SSE from 1,545p to 1,392p, Aberdeen Asset Management from 310p to 248p and Weir Group from 1,377p to 1,234p.

FirstGroup has plunged from from 103p to 88p, Stagecoach from 257p to 197p, Wood Group from 675p to 639p, Aggreko from 1,199 to 1,084p and A.G. Barr from 524p to 465p.

Scotland voted in favour of remaining in the EU by 62% to 38% — but the UK voted to leave the EU by 51.9% to 48.1%.

Financial markets remain in turmoil amid genuine uncertainty as to whether the UK Government will go ahead and trigger the so-called Article 50 process to set in motion a two-year timetable for leaving the EU.

Reuters reported that globally, about $2.08 trillion was wiped off share prices on Friday alone, the biggest daily loss ever, according to Standard & Poor’s Dow Jones Indices.

On Monday, sterling plunged to a 31-year low against the US dollar — falling as low as $1.3209 — and yields on 10-year UK government bonds fell below 1% for the first time ever as demand from investors surged for the perceived safety of government debt securities.

The Scottish Council for Development & Industry said: “Regardless of any position on the referendum result, it is essential that the Scottish and UK Governments, the Bank of England and international institutions implement their contingency plans and respond effectively to maintain stability.

“While many businesses also have plans, they will need the close engagement and support of government.

“As the focus turns to negotiations on the future relationship between Scotland and the UK and the EU, the Scottish and UK Governments should work closely with Scottish business and with civic Scotland.

“There is a need to develop an agreement which will support prosperity, maintain partnerships and progress common priorities across Europe.”

Graeme Jones, chief executive of trade body Scottish Financial Enterprise, said: “The decision to leave the EU … is the start of a long process and the industry will continue to remain focussed on doing its best for customers during this time.

“The Financial services industry is hugely important to the UK economy and ensuring we remain a globally competitive financial centre should be central to negotiations moving forward.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.