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RBS says Saudi bank merger boosts its core capital

FILE PHOTO: Royal Bank of Scotland signs at one of its London branches

(Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) said on Sunday the completion of a merger between Alawwal bank and Saudi British Bank would lead to RBS shedding 4.7 billion pounds of risk weighted assets and boost its core capital.

RBS, through Dutch subsidiary NatWest Markets N.V., was part of a consortium including NLFI and Banco Santander S.A. that held an aggregate 40% equity stake in Alawwal bank, the British bank said in a statement. RBS also had an interest equivalent to a 15.3% stake in Alawwal bank.

RBS said that as a result of the merger completion, it would recognise an income gain on disposal of the Alawwal bank stake for shares received in Saudi British Bank of 400 million pounds and a reduction in risk weighted assets of 4.7 billion pounds.

RBS also said the deal would extinguish legacy liabilities of 300 million pounds.

The changes would increase the bank's CET1 core capital ratio by 60 basis points, it said.

The merger will also help RBS to focus on its target markets, RBS chief executive Ross McEwan said in a statement.

RBS, which was rescued in 2008 with a 45.5 billion pound capital injection by the British government, has been shrinking its overseas operations since the financial crisis to focus on its UK lending operations.


(Reporting by Sathvik N in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Iain Withers; Editing by Mark Potter)