Turkey’s Denizbank Confirms Talks to Buy Citigroup Consumer Unit

Denizbank AS, a unit of Russia’s OAO Sberbank, is in talks to buy Citigroup Inc.’s Turkish consumer-banking unit as the U.S. lender pulls back from some emerging markets.

Denizbank confirmed the negotiations in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange today. Citigroup said Dec. 5 it would sell or scale back consumer operations in Turkey, Pakistan, Romania, Uruguay and Paraguay as the New York-based bank cuts costs. Commercial and corporate-banking services in Turkey will continue, Citigroup said.

Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS, the nation’s largest bank by market value, on Feb. 14 denied press reports it was involved in the process of buying the Turkish consumer unit. Garanti, Fibabanka AS, Denizbank and Odeabank, the Turkish unit of Lebanon’s Banque Audi sal-Audi Saradar Group, were on the shortlist to buy the Citigroup unit, Reuters reported on Feb. 13.

Denizbank shares were down 0.5 percent at 11 liras at 11:43 a.m. in Istanbul today, after rising as much as 1.8 percent earlier.

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