DUBAI (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is considering whether to sell a 40 percent stake it owns in Saudi Hollandi Bank through newly acquired Dutch bank ABN AMRO, the Middle East Economic Digest said.
ABN had been looking to sell the Hollandi stake, worth about $1.3 billion at the stock’s last traded price, National Bank of Kuwait’s chief executive, Ibrahim Dabdoub, told Reuters last year.
The Kuwaiti lender and Standard Chartered Plc were competing for the stake, Dabdoub said. Lebanon’s Banque Audi was a third contender, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
RBS, Britain’s second biggest bank, and two partners, Spain’s Santander and Belgian/Dutch bank Fortis, began a 60-day evaluation of their Saudi assets this month after agreeing to buy ABN, the London-based weekly said.
ABN’s stake in Hollandi did not have “a natural fit with any of the consortium members” who agreed to pay 70 billion euros ($100 billion) this month for the Dutch lender in the world’s biggest bank takeover, MEED reported, without saying how it got the information.
Standard Chartered was in talks to establish a presence in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, and has applied for a banking licence, a spokesman for the London-listed bank said in January.