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HSBC Resumes Talks For RBS’ Retail, Commercial Units In Asia

The retail and commercial units were identified as non-core assets

HSBC has re-started discussions with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) regarding the acquisition of the remaining Asian retail and commercial units of RBS – reported Reuters.

HSBC’s talks over the RBS units comes as HSBC is also involved in the sale of ING’s private banking assets in Asia. HSBC and other banks approached RBS and its advisers regarding the RBS auction after Standard Chartered’s exclusive negotiations with RBS expired recently.

According to the source, RBS is selling its remaining retail and commercial banking divisions in China, India and Malaysia, for an undisclosed amount. Previous reports has revealed the value of those assets at $200m. Talks with potential buyers were in early stages.

In February 2009, the retail and commercial units in Asia were identified as non-core assets, prompting an auction that has seen several starts and stops.

During August, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group has agreed to acquire some Asian units from RBS for approximately $550m. ANZ has informed that it would purchase RBS’ retail, wealth and commercial businesses in Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong. ANZ is also expected to buy RBS’ institutional businesses in Taiwan, Philippines and Vietnam.

According to the news agency, RBS could sell the remaining Asia retail and commercial units separately in each country. The bank is retaining the wholesale and investment banking business, as well as its international wealth management group.

Yuk Min Hui, spokeswoman of RBS, said: “RBS is in ongoing discussions with bidders for the remaining assets it has decided to sell in Asia and will make further announcements, as appropriate, in due course.”