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Royal Bank of Scotland launches a float for insurance unit Direct Line

LONDON -- State-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland on Thursday launched a partial flotation of its insurance subsidiary Direct Line Group on the London stock market ahead of a full sale of the unit by the end of 2014.

RBS raised at least 787 million pounds (US$1.26 billion) from the sale of around a third of Direct Line in an initial public offering, the bank said in a statement.

The offer price was set at 175 pence, valuing the entire group at 2.63 billion pounds.

Direct Line shares were trading above the launch price, at 181 pence, in limited exchanges on Thursday ahead of the start of full trading of the stock next week.

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