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