Bloomberg News

LONDON - Royal Bank of Canada is in talks to buy Greenwich Natwest, the global bond and derivatives business of National Westminster Bank PLC, people familiar with the situation said Friday.

The unit may fetch $1 billion.

The talks are being held up by Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, which won a bidding battle for Natwest last week, at $33.2 billion, and has not decided whether it wants to sell all or part of the debt unit. Greenwich Natwest and Royal Bank of Canada declined to comment.

Buying Greenwich Natwest would give Royal Bank of Canada "a far greater global presence in the fixed-income market," said Nigel Heath, a bank analyst at Dominion Bond Rating Service Ltd., a Toronto-based rating agency. The Canadian bank would also get an "excellent list of large corporate clients," he said.

London-based Natwest put the business up for sale as part of its defense against rival hostile bids from Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland.

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