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By Alistair Smout GLASGOW (Reuters) - A split in Scotland's business elite over independence widened on Thursday, with supporters of secession arguing the economic benefits of going it alone after a rival group had sung the praises of staying in the United Kingdom. On Thursday, a group of 200 Scottish business leaders, including Stagecoach head Brian Souter and engineering tycoon Jim McColl of Clyde Blowers, joined forces in a newspaper letter to back Scotland's breakaway. A day earlier, 130 business leaders, among them the heads of BHP Billiton, temporary power provider Aggreko and HSBC bank, signed an open letter opposing independence, voicing fears of its impact on business. Latest opinion polls show support for independence has gained ground, but is still trailing the pro-union camp.