China Development Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui in race to buy RBS Aviation Capital

China Development Bank and Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group are in the race to buy Royal Bank of Scotland's (RBS) aircraft leasing business, a deal that could fetch the bailed-out lender nearly $7.5 billion, Reuters today reported, citing a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

In July last year RBS put up its aircraft leasing business for sale, the biggest disposal of assets for the bank, which was bailed out by the taxpayer during the fallout of the global financial crisis.

The British government owns 83 per cent of RBS.

Dublin-headquartered, RBS Aviation Capital is one of the world's largest leasing companies with a fleet-size of around 260 planes.

RBS Aviation Capital, created in 2001, concentrated on narrow-bodied, fuel efficient planes favoured by low-cost carriers.

RBS first put the leasing unit up for sale in 2009, following a state bail-out that left it 83 per cent state-owned. However, the auction never materialised as recession hit the aviation industry.