Four left in the running as RBS whittles down shortlist for £1.6bn UK loanbook

Royal Bank of Scotland has narrowed down the list of bidders for its £1.6bn UK property loanbook to Lone Star, Blackstone, Westbrook Partners and Starwood. Perella Weinberg and Morgan Stanley are believed to be among the up to 12 parties that expressed interest in the loans. Lazard is handling the sale for RBS, which now has around £36bn of non-core property debt that it will look to run down or sell off before the end of 2013.

It offloaded £3.9bn of property assets, excluding derivatives, in Q1 2011, an interim management statement showed. Repaid loans accounted for £3bn of this total, while debt worth £400m was sold or restructured. A further £200m was rolled over.

Lloyds, meanwhile, is selling a distressed portfolio of 38 industrial, office, leisure and retail properties for £60m. It reported a £2.6bn impairment charge on bad loans in its own interim management statement for 2011, primarily linked to writedowns on Irish property loans. Lloyds will exit its Irish investments over the next three to five years.

Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) had approved more than €3bn of asset sales by the end of April, according to its Q4 2010 results. Chairman Frank Daly said NAMA had moved from a period of intensive analysis to the next phase of the project, “where the focus is on identifying those we believe we can work with and moving others into the enforcement process”.