April 3, 2009 / 3:45 PM / 11 years ago

RBS says "good interest" in Asia assets for sale

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Part-nationalized Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) has received good interest from potential buyers for its Asian assets, its chief executive said on Friday.

“We’re seeing good levels of interest, but it would be premature to declare victory with respect to price or executability,” RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester told reporters after a shareholder meeting.

“We’re in the process of working through expressions of interest, but we’re not at the stage where bids you can rely on are being called for,” he said.

RBS asked potential bidders to register their interest by April 1, Reuters reported last month, citing people familiar with the matter.

RBS is retrenching to its core businesses and plans to exit or significantly scale back in up to 36 of the countries where it operates globally.

HSBC (HSBA.L)(0005.HK), Standard Chartered (STAN.L)(2888.HK) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) (ANZ.AX) are all considering bids for the Asian assets, separate sources with direct knowledge of the matter have previously told Reuters.

All of the assets in the region could fetch around $2 billion, although RBS is also considering offers for assets in individual countries, sources have said.

Reporting by Myles Neligan; Writing by Steve Slater

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