EDINBURGH, Scotland (


) --

Royal Bank of Scotland

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is planning 3 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) worth of asset sales in the new year, with its Asian operations likely to secure a buyer before the end of the year, the


reported Sunday.

The largest among the businesses proposed to be put on the block in the Sempra metals division, a joint venture with

Sempra Energy

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that was acquired by RBS when it took over Dutch bank

ABN Amro

. According to the Observer, the sale of Sempra, in which RBS holds a 51% stake, to one of the three bidders --

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JPMorgan Chase

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Deutsche Bank

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and Australia's


-- could raise 2.5 billion pounds.

A deal to sell the retail and commercial banking business in India, China and Malaysia may be secured before the end of the year with the buyer reported to be




RBS, 83% held by the British government, is also in advanced talks to sell its asset management arm for as much as 100 million pounds, the