Citigroup Agrees to Sell Turkey Bank to Russia’s Sberbank

Citigroup Inc. (C), the third-biggest U.S. bank, will sell its consumer banking unit in Turkey to OAO Sberbank (SBER), Russia’s largest lender, as it withdraws or scales back operations in some emerging markets.

The transaction, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed in the third quarter, Denizbank, the Turkish unit of Sberbank, said in a filing to the Istanbul stock exchange today. The price will be announced later, it said. The unit may be valued at about $270 million, a person who asked not to be identified because the sale talks were private, told Bloomberg last month.

Citigroup will sell or shrink consumer banking operations in Turkey, Pakistan, Romania, Uruguay and Paraguay as it cuts costs under new Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat, it said in December. The New York-based lender will continue commercial and corporate banking activities in Turkey, country chief Serra Akcaoglu said in an e-mailed statement today.

The unit in Turkey had 1.2 billion liras ($670 million) of assets, 1.5 billion liras of deposits and more than 600,000 clients at the end of last year, Denizbank said. Citigroup owns 37 branches.

Sberbank bought Denizbank last year, paying Belgium’s Dexia SA (DEXB) 6.47 billion liras ($3.6 billion).

Denizbank climbed 5.2 percent to 11.10 liras at 10:17 a.m. in Istanbul, valuing the company at 7.95 billion liras.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sibel Akbay in Istanbul at sakbay@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net; Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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