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RBS shares up on asset sale plan.

SHARES in Royal Bank of Scotland soared yesterday as investors welcomed reports of a "radical" restructuring drive to sell off unwanted assets - despite fears that the move could lead to 20,000 job losses.

The part-nationalised bank saw its shares rise as much as 18% as investors await details of the plans, understood to involve splitting its traditional functions from several hundred billion pounds of unwanted assets.

The aim of the scheme is to isolate the troubled areas of the business - thought to be around pounds 300bn of assets - into a "bad bank" and allow the stock market to place a value on the remaining core operations.

The bank, which is 68% owned by the taxpayer, is expected to reveal Britain's biggest corporate loss of up to pounds 28bn on Thursday and make cost cuts of pounds 1bn a year.

It is thought RBS could insure up to pounds 250bn of toxic assets in the scheme, which could reach a total of pounds 500bn as other banks line up to take part.

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 24, 2009
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