RBS in talks to sell Australian assets

11-07-2008

RBS in talks to sell Australian assets
Royal Bank of Scotland is in talks with National Australia Bank to sell assets acquired as part of the ABN Amro deal.

The bank is looking to raise capital through selling off its insurance arm and other assets after the credit crunch depleted its reserves.

National Australia Bank said it is considering buying the Australian and New Zealand corporate banking unit from RBS. However, the deal is not certain yet.

"Any potential transaction would be subject to due diligence and, ultimately, the receipt of relevant regulatory approvals," National Australia Bank said in a statement.

Last year, RBS led a consortium to buy Dutch bank ABN Amro for £56.7 billion. But the acquisition drained the bank of its capital reserves, leaving it with one of the lowest tier one ratios in Europe.

RBS has since raised £12 billion through a rights issue, which was snapped up by investors, and sold off Angel Trains for £3.6 billion.

It has also put its insurance arm, which includes Churchill and Direct Line, for sale and hoped to sell to Zurich Financial Services.

However, Zurich pulled out of the bidding yesterday.

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