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U.K. Plans to Sell 5 Billion-Pound RBS Stake, Telegraph Says

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May 15 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. Treasury is considering plans to sell a 5 billion pound ($8.1 billion) stake in Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

A sale to professional investors and sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East and East Asia could take place as early as the first half of 2012, the newspaper said, citing unidentified sources. The sale, which would represent about 13 percent of the government’s 83 percent stake in the bank, may be the first of four RBS stake sales, according to the report.

A decision on the divestment will be clearer by the end of this year after the Independent Commission on Banking releases its report on the industry, the Sunday Telegraph said.

Linda Harper, a spokeswoman for RBS in London, declined to comment on the matter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ambereen Choudhury in London at achoudhury@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net