Direct Line in the sights for Asian investors

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The Independent Online

Asian investors are circling the remaining 28.5 per cent stake in Direct Line that is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, the part-nationalised lender.

Advisors working on behalf of some of the fast-growing region's largest insurers and institutions say they are keen to buy into the insurer given its success since listing on the London Stock Exchange last year.

RBS was forced to sell its holding in the company, which also owns Churchill, as a punishment for taking state funding during the financial crisis. It needs to offload the stake by the end of next year.

It is believed that parties interested in Direct Line, thought to include China's Ping An, would be keen to buy the entire 28 per cent RBS still has to sell. RBS declined to comment.