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Sun 24 Feb 2008 05:05 PM

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Qatar eyeing investment in British bank

Qatar Investment Authority considering stake in Royal Bank of Scotland, report says.

The Qatari government is considering making an investment in Britain's second biggest bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), a UK newspaper reported on Sunday.

The Sunday Telegraph said the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) was considering RBS as the home for part of a $15 billion pool of cash that it is planning to invest in European and US banks.

But any investment in RBS would be on a relatively small scale, the paper reported, citing people familiar with the QIA's plans. The QIA has not yet bought RBS shares and no talks have begun, it added.

No one at the QIA or RBS was immediately available to comment.

The report said RBS had not solicited any cash injection and was not thought to be aware of the interest.

Major banks have turned to sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) for capital injections as the global credit crisis has deepened.

In January, Citigroup said it was privately raising $12.5 billion, with investment from Singapore Investment Corporation, the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Merrill Lynch & Company, Morgan Stanley and UBS AG have also received investments from sovereign funds. (Reuters)

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