January 19, 2018 / 2:13 PM / 4 months ago

EBRD considers selling stake in Russia's SDM bank to Expobank - sources

MOSCOW, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is in talks over a possible sale of a 15 percent stake in mid-sized Russian bank SDM to Expobank, two sources close to the talks told Reuters on Friday.

One of the sources said the EBRD, which has suspended its activities in Russia following Western sanctions imposed on Moscow in 2014, is gradually leaving the Russian market.

An EBRD spokesman declined to comment.

The EBRD is to shut five of its seven offices in Russia this year, sources at the bank told Reuters in October, following a freeze on lending there since the Ukraine crisis.

The EBRD lost its 11.75 percent stake in Russia’s Promsvyazbank after the central bank decided to bail out the bank late last year.

Both SDM, Russia’s 85th biggest bank by assets according to Interfax data, and Expobank, the 79th largest, declined to comment.

Expobank, controlled by Russian businessman Igor Kim, is buying mid-sized banks in Russia, focusing on assets offered for sale by foreign lenders. (Reporting by Tatiana Voronova and Dmitry Antonov; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Mark Potter)

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