London: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is close to selling its Indian business to HSBC and may shortly sell its investment bank arm in Chile as an overseas retreat accelerates, a person familiar with the matter said.
RBS, 83% owned by the UK government, could fetch over $8 billion from a trio of big asset sales in the coming months and is also selling a number of smaller non-core business to refocus on its core strengths.
The Edinburgh-based bank is in talks to sell its global banking and markets business in Chile, the source said.
The business offers equities, corporate finance and advisory, cash management and trade finance.
RBS is also near to selling its Indian unit to HSBC after over a year of talks. The business is one of the biggest foreign owned operations in the hard-to-enter Indian market, with 1.3 million customers, 28 branches and 1,800 staff.
HSBC has about 2 million customers and 50 branches across 29 cities in India.
RBS chief executive Stephen Hester is reversing a decade-long international expansion drive and has raised over $2.5 billion from exiting or selling over 20 businesses in the last 14 months.
It last week announced the sale of businesses in Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Argentina.
The bank is also being forced to sell some major assets by European authorities as a cost of taking stake aid, including a network of 318 UK branches, its payment processing business and its stake in RBS Sempra’s North American commodities business.