An independent Scotland would be less attractive to invest in -Kingfisher

LONDON Sat May 31, 2014 7:47am EDT

LONDON May 31 (Reuters) - The boss of Europe's biggest home improvements retailer Kingfisher said on Saturday that a vote for independence from the United Kingdom would make Scotland a less attractive place in which to invest.

Kingfisher, which operates the DIY chain B&Q across Britain as well as Castorama and Brico Depot in France, is the latest business to warn on the implications of a "yes" to independence vote in a referendum on Sept. 18.

"It would put a pause on everything," Chief Executive Officer Ian Cheshire said in comments reported by Sky News.

"If we have differences on VAT, currency, it just puts everything into hibernation as we try to figure out what it will mean," he said adding though that B&Q would not leave Scotland if Scots vote for secession.

"It would be more complicated, probably more costly and less likely to attract investment, given we could invest in 11 other countries around the world," he added.

The formal campaign for a Scottish independence vote began on Friday with polls currently showing Scots are unlikely to choose to end the 307-year-old union with England.

The chief executive of drinks giant Diageo Plc said on Thursday that remaining part of the European Union was "extremely important" for the firm and for the Scotch whisky industry.

Scottish nationalist leader Alex Salmond has said an independent Scotland would seek to become an EU member in its own right. British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to renegotiate membership of the bloc if he is elected in next year's general election and then hold an in/out referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017. (Reporting By Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison)

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