CIMB to buy Royal Bank of Scotland’s India divisions

MUMBAI, March 31 — CIMB, Malaysia’s largest lender, will acquire Royal Bank of Scotland’s corporate finance, investment banking and institutional equity broking businesses in India and some of the Asia Pacific markets.


According to the Times of India, the deal is expected to be signed in Malaysia next week. Senior CIMB officials, including Carol Fong, CEO of CIMB Securities, were in India yesterday to meet financial market regulators and stock exchange authorities.

RBS, which has the third largest concentration of RBS Group employees after the UK and US, will retain its international debt financing, transaction services and risk management in all 11 Asia Pacific countries it operates in.

RBS is already in discussions with HSBC in connection to the sale of its retail and commercial banking operations in India. CIMB entered into a MOU with RBS earlier this month to acquire its cash equities, equity capital markets and corporate finance businesses in Asia Pacific. Lazard is advising RBS on the transaction.

Sources said CIMB has aggressive plans to expand in broking, investment banking and equity capital markets segments in India and may acquire an institutional brokerage in India to expand its footprint in the country.

Large European banks are shrinking their books and conserve capital while some of the financial services in Asia are taking a toehold in India. Earlier this week, Singapore-based Phillip Capital bought MF Global’s Indian operations in an all-cash deal.

Lisa Irvine, spokesperson for RBS Global Banking & Markets said,“Both parties are working diligently towards a conclusion.” Sources declined to talk about the size of the deal. CIMB declined to comment on this matter.

CIMB may appoint Devesh Kumar, managing director, head equities, RBS Global Banking and Markets, as the country head of CIMB’s India operations once regulatory approvals are in place.

According to sources, CIMB will retain all RBS India employees. The RBS parent reported a loss in 2011 due to its exposure to the Greek debt crisis.


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