Royal Bank of Scotland sells card unit

6th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Royal Bank of Scotland, state controlled after a massive bailout in the financial crisis, said Friday it will sell its credit card payment unit for some 1.9 billion pounds (2.3 billion euros, 3.04 billion dollars).

RBS, now 83-percent government owned, said it will retain a holding of 19.99 percent in Global Merchant Services (GMS) after its sale to investment funds Advent International and Bain Capital.

The sell-off was required under the terms of EU approval of the state aid that RBS needed at the height of the global financial crisis to save it from collapse.

Earlier this week, RBS sold 318 bank branches in Britain to Spain's Santander for 1.65 billion pounds.

It said it would realise a net gain of 850 million pounds on the GMS sale, which comprises a first payment of 1.7 billion pounds to be followed by another 200 million pounds depending on the performance of the business.

On Friday, RBS reported that it made a net profit of nine million pounds (11 million euros, 14 million dollars) in the six months to June compared with a net loss of 1.04 billion pounds in the first half of 2009.

© 2010 AFP

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