RBS Share Price: Sell-Off Unlikely to Happen Soon, Cable Says

on Aug 12, 2013
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iNVEZZ.COM Monday, August 12th: The 81-percent taxpayers’ stake at Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) may not be sold off any time soon, UK Business Secretary Vince Cable has said.

In contrast to the Prime Minister who commented in May that a sale should take place as soon as possible, Cable sees it as highly improbable to happen during the term of the current government.
The Sunday Telegraph has quoted Cable as saying in an interview: “I don’t think it would be sensible for the government to set a rigid timetable, but given where we start from I think it is pretty unrealistic to think of RBS going back into private ownership this parliament or probably within five years.”

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The state stake in RBS is currently worth £30 million, compared to £45 million when it was bought in 2008.
It is expected that such a long delay of RBS’ sale may increase pressure to split the lender into a “good” and “bad” bank. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has asked investment bank Rothschild to assess whether RBS should be broken up or not. The report is expected to be published next month.

RBS management said earlier that a sell-off prospectus could be ready by mid-2014, meaning that the actual sale could take place before the 2015 general election.
!fm[315 Branches Waiting to Be Floated ](/uploads/story/4729/pic2.jpg)
RBS should sell 315 branches under the terms of its 2008 bailout to comply with the European Commission’s s state aid rules.

One of the potential bidders is W&G Investments, a company scheduled to float on the stock market and led by former Tesco finance director Andy Higginson. Another one is a consortium backed by the Church of England together with ex-United Utilities boss Philip Green. Spanish bank Santander was also a potential buyer of the branches, but has already pulled out.

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**Eventually, RBS could reject all offers and float the branches itself.**
**RBS’ share price was at 330.00p as of 12.08.2013, 08.32 BST. **

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