DBS, IDFC Bank 'preparing final bids' for RBS Indian assets

MUMBAI (BLOOMBERG) - DBS Group Holdings Ltd., South-east Asia's largest bank, and IDFC Bank Ltd are among suitors preparing final bids for Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc's Indian onshore assets, people familiar with the matter said.

The lenders plan to submit offers by this week's deadline for the British lender's portfolio of loans and deposits in India, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. RBS had a balance sheet of 190 billion rupees (S$4 billion) and a loan book of 111 billion rupees in India at the end of March, according to financial statements posted on its website.

Since taking over leadership of RBS two years ago, chief executive officer Ross McEwan has eliminated thousands of jobs, exited countries around the globe and sold assets to help return Britain's largest government-owned lender to an annual profit. The bank sold its offshore Indian loan assets in October and aims to complete the sale of its private banking business in the country in the first quarter of next year.

The bank's Indian business has loaned money to the local units of US, European and Canadian companies, one of the people said. The bank plans to choose a winning bidder in January, the people said.  Representatives for DBS, IDFC Bank and RBS declined to comment.

RBS agreed in April to sell its Indian business that finances diamonds and jewellery, including about 45 billion rupees of loans, to Mumbai-based IndusInd Bank Ltd.