RBS sells its Kazakhstan units to HSBC for $52m

ROYAL Bank of Scotland sold its Kazakhstan business to HSBC yesterday to take the part-nationalised bank’s proceeds from a trio of Asian and Middle East assets to $200m (£135.2m) in two days.

HSBC, which unlike RBS did not take state help during the financial crisis and consolidated its position as Europe’s biggest bank, said it would pay up to $52m for RBS Kazakhstan to increase its customer base there fivefold and tap into important trade flows with China.

The RBS business includes four branches, two support offices, 490 staff and personal customer loan and credit card portfolios. HSBC has been operating in Kazakhstan since 1998 and employs 250 people there.

Kazakhstan has about 15.5m people, and 10 per cent of exports are to China, which HSBC is targeting.

RBS on Wednesday raised $150m from the sale of retail businesses in the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. It is exiting up to 16 countries deemed as non-core by chief executive RBS Stephen Hester following a review of its businesses.