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Deutsche Bank in talks to buy RBS Sempra

Deutsche Bank has emerged as a key bidder for commodities trading company RBS Sempra, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

Part-nationalized Royal Bank of Scotland said in November it was selling its 51% stake in the firm, which it jointly owns with Sempra Energy, as part of a deal to lighten the bank's risk in exchange for government aid.

Citing a person close to the talks, the newspaper said Deutsche Bank was talking to both RBS and Sempra. Earlier this month sources told Reuters Sempra was also considering selling its share in the business.

The latest round of bids have been submitted this week, the newspaper said, adding that other banks believed to have shown interest in the business include Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Bankers say the deal could be worth about $3 billion, the paper reported.

RBS paid $1.7 billion last year for its stake in the Stamford, Connecticut-based firm, which trades commodities ranging from oil and natural gas to metals and agricultural products.

Deutsche Bank has been actively expanding its involvement in commodities, launching 11 new commodities indices, three new commodity systematic mutual funds and one new commodity exchange traded fund this fiscal year.

A spokeswoman for RBS declined to comment on the story when contacted by Reuters, and no one at Deutsche Bank was immediately available to comment. (Reuters)