RBS Ends Thai Trading Links With Asia Plus, Kongkiat Says

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Britain’s biggest state-owned lender, ended an agreement with Asia Plus Securities Pcl (ASP), said Kongkiat Opaswongkarn, chief executive officer of the Thai broker.

Asia Plus will stop accepting trading orders on behalf of RBS clients starting tomorrow, according to an e-mail from Andrew Yates, the company’s head of institutional sales. RBS contributed less than 10 percent to Asia Plus’s broking business, Kongkiat said, adding that Thailand’s third-biggest brokerage by market value would see “very little impact.”

“We just use their settlement office and the research is basically written from here, not from overseas,” Kongkiat said by phone. “What we will do is probably use the same team with our own marketing for the time being.”

RBS announced in January it would eliminate more positions as it scraps unprofitable cash equities and mergers advisory operations, part of more than 30,000 job cuts since receiving the world’s biggest banking bailout. Earlier this month it ended an arrangement with Dubai-based Rasmala Investment Bank Ltd. for equity research on Middle Eastern companies.

Asia Plus shares rose 0.9 percent to 2.3 baht as of 11:58 a.m. local time. The stock, down 5.7 percent this week, has gained 16 percent so far this year.

RBS’s “contribution to us is very small since last year, actually since they had problems in Europe,” Kongkiat said.

Yuk Min Hui, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for the lender, confirmed the termination of the agreement in an e-mail to Bloomberg News.

Asian Assets

CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. (CIMB), Malaysia’s second-biggest lender, proposed buying some of RBS’s Asian assets earlier this month. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding to negotiate the sale of “the cash equities, equity capital markets and corporate finance businesses” that RBS has in the Asia-Pacific, CIMB said in a filing to the Malaysian stock exchange on March 1.

RBS said last month it plans to move its Australian fixed- income and currency trading business to Singapore and London. RBS was in discussions about the sale of its local equities and mergers advisory businesses, Andrew Chick, who leads the bank’s Australian unit, said in a Feb. 28 statement.

RBS Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester last month reported a wider-than-estimated loss of 2 billion pounds ($3.2 billion) for 2011 and is shrinking the bank’s balance sheet by selling assets overseas.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Ten Kate in Bangkok at dtenkate@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net

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