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Wed 8 Jun 2011 08:35 AM

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Kuwait sovereign fund says open to RBS stake buy

KIA says no offer made yet by bank, Qatar fund has also indicated interest in RBS stake

Kuwait sovereign fund says open to RBS stake buy
The UK government accumulated stakes of 83 percent in RBS during the financial crisis

The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) would consider buying
a stake in British lender Royal Bank of Scotland but no offer has yet been
made, the sovereign wealth fund's managing director said on Tuesday.

"They did not offer us a stake... When we get an offer,
we will look at it," Bader al Saad told reporters outside Kuwait's
parliament, adding the KIA had met with RBS.

Britain, which bailed out RBS and rival Lloyds during the
credit crisis, could start selling its stake in RBS next year, a senior RBS
executive said last week.

Earlier this year, Qatar said it was open to buying stakes
in part state-owned lenders RBS and rival Lloyds. The British government ended
up with stakes of 83 percent in RBS and around 40 percent in Lloyds after the

The government wants to sell back those stakes to the
private sector in a bid to raise cash to cut Britain's deficit, but a final
decision on the sale rests with UK Financial Investments, a specially-formed
body that oversees taxpayer investments in the lenders.

The Sunday Telegraph, citing sources close to the process,
said last week that RBS Group’s chief executive Stephen Hester was looking to
attract sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East.

Hester said during his visit to Abu Dhabi that he would be
disappointed if the sale of the government stake didn’t start in 2012.

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