LONDON, June 22 (Reuters) - The Royal Bank of Scotland has received bids for its Greek shipping finance business which is worth about $3 billion as it looks to scale down on non-core activities, banking and financial sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Credit Suisse and China Merchants were among the suitors bidding, the sources said.
RBS and Credit Suisse declined to comment, while China Merchants did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
The British bank, which was bailed out during the financial crisis, had previously been a top lender to the global shipping industry and its Greek office played a pivotal role. The business also includes a banking licence as well as some 40 staff, the sources said.
“RBS has held preliminary discussions with a number of interested parties,” one source said.
In July 2015, Reuters reported RBS was winding down its Greek operation and putting its shipping loans portfolio up for sale.
The bank, which is 73-percent state-owned, is in the midst of a restructuring aimed at returning the bank to profit after eight straight years of losses. (Reporting by Jonathan Saul, Sophie Sassard and Andrew MacAskill; editing by David Stamp)