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RBS moving to sell $5bn of Greek shipping loans

RBS moving to sell $5bn of Greek shipping loans
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), is looking to scale down its Greek operations and sell its $5bn Greek shipping portfolio, according to a Reuters report.

The bank has historically been a prominent lender to shipping, and Greece in particular. The downsizing and sell-off are part of a global refocus on RBS' core interests in the UK, as it pulls back from other international markets.

The news comes on the day Greece accepted a bailout deal after a 17-hour Eurozone summit to decide the country's future as part of Europe's single currency.

Reuters' source at RBS commented: "We won’t be around for much more in Greece. RBS is slowly closing up operations here. The shipping business is up for sale. They have decided to sell it, if there is a buyer by December."

Traditional avenues for finance in the shipping industry have been squeezed since the global financial crisis, with many banks retreating from the notoriously cyclical industry.

The current crisis in Greece has raised the possibility of increased taxation of shipowners in the country, and has owners concerned over the effect on their businesses.