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RBS to expand Asian operations out of Lion City

RBS to expand Asian operations out of Lion City

Singapore: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is about to embark on an aggressive expansion plan in Asia out of its regional base in Singapore. The move follows  takeover of ABN Amro, Singapore's oldest existing bank, which officially rebranded as RBS yesterday, the Straits Times reports.

RBS said yesterday that it received Qualifying Full Bank (QFB) status from the Monetary Authority of Singapore two weeks ago, taking over ABN Amro's licence. This enables it to set up its own branches and automated teller machines (ATM) in Singapore.

RBS also said yesterday that Singapore will be playing a bigger role in its operations, acting as a base for almost all of RBS' operations in Asia. It will be the global hub for RBS' group operations and control and RBS Coutts; and regional hub for global transaction services, manufacturing and corporate credit risk management.

It is expected that RBS will be keen to expand its ship finance business - where notably it is leader in the Greece, the world's leading market - to Asia, especially since ABN Amro was not active in that field. Many financial institutions now view syndication of loans to Asian banks as an attractive growth area given the Asian market's relative insulation from the woes of the US subprime market.  [16/09/08]