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DBS, FirstRand in talks to buy RBS India unit – sources

Deal could fetch about $200 million.

HONG KONG/MUMBAI – Singapore’s biggest lender DBS Group Holdings and South African banking group FirstRand are in separate talks to buy Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s India unit, people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Financial details of the transaction were not immediately clear, though one of the people said the deal could fetch about $200 million.

An Indian private sector lender is also likely to bid for the unit, another source directly involved in the process said, declining to give details. The sources declined to be named as the talks are not yet public.

RBS, 73% owned by the British government, said in February it would shrink its banking operations, pulling out of about 25 countries including India to help it refocus on lending in Britain.

The India business of RBS comprises corporate banking, trade finance and cash management.

DBS, FirstRand and RBS declined to comment.

($1 = 0.6497 pounds) 

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