Asian banks fight to buy RBS’s £5bn aviation arm

CHINA Development Bank and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group are slugging it out in the final days of an auction for Royal Bank of Scotland’s aircraft leasing business in a deal that could fetch up to $7.5bn (£4.8bn), a source with direct knowledge of the matter said yesterday.

RBS, 83 per cent-owned by the British government, is shedding RBS Aviation Capital as part of efforts to pay back a 2008 bailout.

The RBS Aviation auction reaches its final stages as RBS begins a larger process to pare back the size of the bank, including scaling back its investment banking arm.

For the RBS Aviation auction, a decision on the winner is expected by early next week, said the source, who was not authorised to speak to the media, with a sale price in a range of $7.3bn to $7.5bn.

A second source said US bank Wells Fargo was also still involved in the auction. RBS declined to comment.