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The announcement today regarding Standard Life's changing business strategies if the independence vote comes in as a yes has spooked the markets, with the share price dropping 3% within an hour of the announcement. Considering Standard Life has been based in Edinburgh for 189 years, the management will not have taken the decision to look into moving the business south of the border lightly.
Considering the paperwork the Scottish National Party has published to date, it still has numerous questions hanging over it. What would the currency of the new country be, and what would be its underlying value? What plans are in place as far as the European Union is concerned and would the nation join as full a member? These are not small issues and they need to be addressed.
The issue has rather overshadowed the company's earnings released today, which reveal 2013 profits dropped by 13% down to £751 million. These figures will no doubt hamper the firm’s attempts at raising funds, and give those already invested with them cause for concern.
The short-term outlook for the share price looks less than rosy, and worries over uncertainties will dog any efforts to move the share price higher. It could well be the case that the shares continue to test support below current levels before confidence can return.