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Tue 8 Nov 2016 04:54 PM

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Credit Suisse picked to sell RBS stake in Saudi Hollandi Bank

Sources say Public Investment Fund could be in line for $1.2bn deal

Credit Suisse picked to sell RBS stake in Saudi Hollandi Bank

Credit Suisse has been appointed to sell Royal Bank of Scotland's 40 percent stake in Saudi Hollandi Bank, sources aware of the matter said on Tuesday, in a deal potentially worth around $1.2 billion.

Several sources said Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), was considered a likely buyer of the stake. The fund has been buying up assets at home and abroad following plans to turn it into the world's largest sovereign wealth fund with $2 trillion of assets.

The sale would be an opportunity for a foreign buyer to gain a foothold in the kingdom's banking sector, in which 12 commercial lenders share total assets worth around 2.22 trillion riyals ($592 billion). But banking sources expect the holding to go to a domestic player.

Spokespeople for RBS and the PIF declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Saudi Hollandi did not respond to a request for comment.

Saudi Hollandi was founded in 1926 as the first bank in Saudi Arabia. It has assets of 106.9 billion riyals as of Sept. 30 and a market value of $3.06 billion according to Reuters data.

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