Scotland no voters
Scotland votes no in a referendum on independence, sending a sigh of relief through the UK marketsReuters

Shares in Scotland-linked firms on the FTSE 100 surged on open after the nation rejected independence in a referendum by a comfortable margin.

With all 32 local counts having been declared, the 'No' vote was on 55% and the 'Yes' side had 45%. Turnout of the eligible population was nearly 85%.

Firms were worried about a 'Yes' victory and the uncertainty of independence, such as what currency Scotland would use, what the regulatory framework would look like and whether it would be able to join the EU.

But with the rejection of independence came a sigh of relief and a return of confidence in those businesses exposed to any potential political and economic turmoil in Scotland.

Royal Bank of Scotland shares were up by more than 3%. Standard Life, the insurance giant, saw its share price lift 1.8%.

Shares in Lloyds Banking Group, which is headquartered in Scotland, rose 2.1%. The energy firm SSE saw a 3% increase in its share price on open, while Aberdeen Asset Management's share price was up 1.2%.

Those with exposure to the North Sea oil and gas industry – such as Weir Group and Petrofac – saw their share prices open up by between 2-3% as the cloud of uncertainty lifted.

"The announcement we made about moving our registered head office to England was part of a contingency plan to ensure certainty and stability for our customers, staff and shareholders should there be a 'Yes' vote," said a spokesman for RBS, which is 81% owned by UK taxpayers after a financial crisis bailout.

"That contingency plan is no longer required. Following the result it is business as usual for all our customers across the UK and RBS."

Standard Life said it fully respects the decision of the Scottish people.

"We recognise that further constitutional change is very likely following the clear result of the referendum," said a spokesman, referencing the political push towards "devo max", which would mean the Scottish government given as much power as was possible within the UK's existing framework.

"We will consider the implications of any changes for our customers and other stakeholders in our business to ensure their interests are represented and protected. As a large company based in Scotland, Standard Life is ready to contribute to this process.

"It is now important that we all move forward with respect and work together constructively in the best interests of Scotland and the United Kingdom."