RBS Sells More Than $800 Million of Loans Amid Exit From Mideast

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc sold more than $800 million of corporate loans to Commercial Bank of Dubai PSC as the U.K.’s largest taxpayer-owned lender exits its business in the Middle East and Africa.

RBS sold 3 billion dirhams ($817 million) of loans made to companies in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai-based CBD said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday. CBD, which is 20 percent owned by the Dubai government, intends to expand the U.A.E. loan portfolio “significantly,” it said, without naming the companies.

RBS is exiting its corporate loans and debt capital markets business in the Middle East and Africa as part of Chief Executive Officer Ross McEwan’s decision to make the Edinburgh-based lender a smaller, simpler bank. McEwan has been cutting back investment-banking operations and focusing on domestic customers after seven straight annual losses.

The Dubai lender has developed its corporate and commercial banking divisions over the past year, including hiring senior staff, it said in the statement. In July it appointed Alain Renaud, who previously worked for HSBC Holdings Plc, to be general manager for corporate, commercial and investment banking.

“We are extremely pleased to acquire a pool of high-quality corporate loans that aligns well with our strategic direction and further expands our customer base of large corporates,” Peter Baltussen, CEO of CBD said in the statement.

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