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RBS Asia to be broken up before it can be sold off

ROYAL Bank of Scotland&rsquo;s planned sale of its Asian operations looks to be running into trouble, after regulatory hurdles made it likely that the bank will have to break up the unit into several pieces.<br /><br />HSBC, Standard Chartered and Australia &amp; New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) were all circling the businesses, but interest is thought to have cooled amid uncertainty over whether banking authorities in the relevant countries will wave the deals through.<br /><br />ANZ said last month it had made an offer for &ldquo;selected businesses&rdquo;, but HSBC and Standard Chartered have asked for more information before proceeding with an offer.<br /><br />RBS was keen to sell the unit as a whole, as part of chief executive Stephen Hester&rsquo;s remit to slim the bank down.<br /><br />But all interested parties are now believed to favour taking portions of RBS Asia, rather than the whole unit.<br /><br />The bank had hoped to garner some &pound;2bn from a sale, but that figure is now likely to be substantially lower.