Royal Bank of Scotland in talks to sell stake in Euroclear

Jasper Jolly
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The headquarters of the Royal Bank of Sc
Royal Bank of Scotland is reportedly in talks to sell its stake in Euroclear (Source: Getty)

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is in talks to sell its stake in settlement house Euroclear, in the latest in a series of asset sales.

A buyer is in advanced talks to purchase the stake in the clearing giant, Sky News reported.

The holding represents less than five per cent of the privately held clearing house, which has major branches in Amsterdam, London and Paris on top of its Brussels-based headquarters.

The sale could net RBS, which is still more than 70 per cent owned by the British government, a figure in the tens of millions in the “coming weeks”, said sources cited by Sky News.

Read more: UBS analysts back London Stock Exchange Group to buy this "hidden jewel"

The sale will be overseen by RBS’s capital resolution group, which was in 2014 put in charge of the since abandoned sale of business lender Williams and Glyn.

RBS and Euroclear declined to comment, and the identity of the potential buyer has not been made public.

Euroclear is one of the several large firms between which the European clearing industry is split. Clearing firms play a crucial role in the world’s financial markets, settling transactions after the pledge to pay has been made.

The Euroclear group settled the equivalent of €655 trillion (£584 trillion) in securities transactions in 2016, representing 196m domestic and cross-border transactions. In the first half of 2017, the group held €28 trillion in assets for clients.

Analysts at UBS have previously said Euroclear is a “hidden jewel” ripe for takeover, noting a likely value of around £6.1bn for the whole firm. The analysts noted London Stock Exchange Group would be in a strong position to mount a takeover.

Read more: Government strikes £835m deal with EU to settle RBS state aid issues

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