RBS to sell off its Pakistan bank

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The Royal Bank of Scotland is closing in on a deal to sell its operations in Pakistan, as part of the lender's attempts to shed many of its Asian businesses.

The Edinburgh-based bank is reported to have agreed the sale to Faysal Bank in Pakistan, owned by Bahrain parent company, Ithmaar.

A previous deal to sell the division to MCB Bank fell through when it faced regulatory hurdles in Pakistan.

RBS Pakistan employs about 5,000 staff.

It has 75 branches in 24 cities and was bought by the Scottish bank as part of its disastrous purchase of Dutch lender ABN Amro in 2007.

Other similar assets have been sold off across Asia, while RBS retreats to its core business, in Britain, the USA and in major financial centres.

An announcement is expected next week.

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