The big four banks line up as RBS offloads some local assets, while Rio completes its Hathor takeover.

Australian banks have been keeping an eye on the now confirmed sale of large chunks of Royal Bank of Scotland’s footprint down under. It looks like ANZ Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia are the most interested, but it’s also a reminder that European banks are in a mighty difficult place at the moment. If local players don’t get RBS’s assets they needn’t worry; there will be more to come. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto has officially wrapped up the purchase of Hathor Exploration – now all they have to do is get permission to actually run a uranium mine in Canada. Elsewhere, Nathan Tinkler is in the US talking up the Whitehaven-Aston merger, while the NSW government prepares to consider his port building ambitions, QBE won’t be swayed from its taste for acquisitions and a reason has been uncovered to explain why Orbis Australia hasn’t turned its threat to try to spill the Spotless Group board into action.

Royal Bank of Scotland



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