The UK government is in advanced talks to sell a significant stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to Abu Dhabi.
According to the BBC, the government, which controls 82% of RBS, has been negotiating with Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds for months.
It could sell up to a third of its stake to Abu Dhabi, one of the seven states of the United Arab Emirates.
Any sale will likely be loss-making given the significant fall in the share price of RBS since the government acquired its stake.
The government was forced to inject £45.5bn of taxpayers' cash into the troubled bank between 2008-09 to prevent its collapse following the group's takeover of ABN Amro at what turned out to be the top of the market.
The treasury bought the RBS shares at an average of 50p each, almost double the current share price. Today the shares closed down 1% at 27.75p.
Five years ago, before the credit crisis, RBS shares traded at 453p but they plunged around 95% after the bank was forced to turn to the government for support.
UK Financial Investments, the body responsible for managing the government's stakes in RBS and Lloyds, is yet to comment.
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