The race to buy Dutch bank ABN Amro is in the final stage—with a consortium led by the Royal Bank of Scotland apparently on the inside track ahead of Barclays. The consortium has already won agreement from ABN and the Dutch government, but has yet to raise the $99 billion it needs for the purchase, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Barclays and the RBS consortium, which includes Dutch-Belgian bank Fortis and Spain's Banco Santander, have been vying for ABN Amro for more than six months. Barclays' last hope is that their rivals' financing will collapse, a possibility in the ongoing global credit crunch. "I guess they weren't thinking that this whole liquidity crisis would continue this long," said on analyst.