RBS Says It’s in Discussions to Sell Equity Derivatives Unit

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, the British lender scaling back its investment bank after receiving a government bailout, said it’s in talks to sell its equity derivatives and structured retail investor products unit.

“No agreement has been entered into and there is no certainty that an agreement will be reached,” RBS said in a statement today. “A further announcement will be made as appropriate.”

The statement didn’t identify the bidder. The Edinburgh-based lender is poised to sell its structured products portfolio to France’s BNP Paribas SA, Structured Products Magazine reported last week, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter. The Paris-based lender beat bidders including Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale SA, the magazine reported.

Rebecca Nelson, a spokeswoman for RBS, and Ilias Catsaros, a spokesman for BNP Paribas in London, declined to comment.

RBS, Britain’s biggest government-owned lender, said in June it would exit all structured retail investor products and equity derivatives. The bank has about 50,000 structured products outstanding such as certificates tied to commodities, currencies, equities, interest rates and proprietary indexes, according to its website.

Derivatives are a type of security whose price is dependent upon or derived from underlying assets such as stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.