Bank of China a likely buyer for RBS jet unit: report

LONDON (Reuters) - Bank of China <3988.HK> <601988.SS> is a leading contender in the race to acquire the aircraft leasing business being sold off by Royal Bank of Scotland <RBS.L>, the Sunday Times reported without citing sources.

Royal Bank of Scotland, which is 83 percent owned by the UK government after a bailout during the financial crisis, said on Sunday its aircraft leasing division RBS Aviation Capital was on the block again, a year after it shelved a previous sale attempt.

Bank of China, U.S. conglomerate General Electric <GE.N> and private equity firm Terra Firma are among eight parties to have submitted expressions of interest for the Dublin-based business, with Bank of China one of the leading contenders, according to the paper.

"The sale process for RBS Aviation Capital is underway following significant expressions of interest from potential bidders in the business in recent months," a spokesman for Royal Bank of Scotland told Reuters on Sunday.

Sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters in June RBS was considering a fresh attempt to sell RBS Aviation Capital.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Erica Billingham)