Standard Chartered and Australia’s ANZ are in advanced talks to acquire separate parts of the Asian retail and commercial assets being sold by Royal Bank of Scotland, according to people familiar with the matter.Standard Chartered is now in pole position to acquire RBS units being sold in China, India and Malaysia, while ANZ was closing in on assets in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia, said people familiar with the situation.

The assets are expected to fetch around $1bn-$1.5bn for the stricken UK lender.“The process is progressing well but nothing is yet final,” said one person familiar with the matter.HSBC could also pick up some of the assets, should talks with the other banks fail to reach a successful conclusion, said people familiar with the situation.

RBS put the assets up for sale this year, after posting the biggest loss in British corporate history. The bank, which is 70 per cent owned by the UK government, made a loss of £24.1bn $35.3bn last year and is shrinking its £2,000bn balance sheet.Its regional retail banking platform vastly expanded after the 2007 acquisition of the Asian operations of ABN Amro, which had built up significant branch networks in countries such as China and India.

RBS’s Asian retail assets include 170 branches, including 28 in India and 13 in China.The sale of the Asian assets has been complicated by RBS’ decision to retain its wholesale banking footprint in key regional markets.There has been uncertainty about whether banking authorities in the eight individual markets would rubber-stamp the transfer of branch licences to the potential acquirers, some of whom already boasting large retail networks in countries such as China and India.

A successful conclusion of the talks would transform ANZ’s footprint in the region and bolster its strategy to become a “super-regional” lender. The bank in May announced a A$2.5bn capital raising to fund a potential bid for RBS assets.

via FT.com / Companies / Banks – StanChart and ANZ poised to split RBS Asian assets.

zyakaira notes: StanChart benefits from ANZ not being in a hurry to confront RBI and enter India with a fresh licence, i guess…Also, RBS’ new branches will also become Stamchart. While Stanchart has a large presence in India, they are hardly notable for Wealth Management 😦

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