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Standard Chartered in race to acquire RBS’ Asian assets

Standard Chartered in race to acquire RBS’ Asian assets
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First Published: Wed, Apr 08 2009. 07 43 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Apr 08 2009. 07 43 PM IST
New Delhi: Standard Chartered is interested in buying the Asian assets of part-nationalized Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) but was not desperate to do a deal, a senior Standard Chartered official said in India on Wednesday.
Jaspal Bindra, chief executive of Standard Chartered’s Asia operations, told reporters in New Delhi the bank had submitted its interest after RBS asked potential bidders to register.
“The government has mandated RBS to go and sell Asia. They have asked hundreds of people: are you interested? We said obviously, this is in our footprint, we are interested,” Bindra said.
“But that’s where it stops, there is no further information... As far as we know, we are still a bidder, but it’s still a long way off before we get anywhere close to a decision.”
Royal Bank of Scotland had received good interest from potential buyers for its Asian assets, its chief executive said last week.
HSBC, Standard Chartered and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) 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 about $2 billion, although RBS is also considering offers for assets in individual countries, sources have said.
Bindra said they were yet to discuss valuations with RBS.
“They haven’t got that far,” he said.
“I think this is a bad week with the Easter holidays and everything else, and there was the G-20 in the UK... we might hear from them, but we haven’t heard much this week.
Bindra said his bank would not go overboard on any acquisition and would maintain a disciplined approach.
“In these times, you know, I think acquisition is a problem than a blessing. As you see with Merrill Lynch, as you see for Deutsche Bourse. We are not jumping or desperate for any transaction.”
“Eighty percent of our growth is organic... and that has been so for the last five years. We are not really dependant on inorganic to grow,” he said.
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First Published: Wed, Apr 08 2009. 07 43 PM IST