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UPDATE 1-Russia's Sberbank hopes to complete Ukrainian unit sale in first half - source
March 29, 2017 / 10:40 AM / in 9 months

UPDATE 1-Russia's Sberbank hopes to complete Ukrainian unit sale in first half - source

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MOSCOW, March 29 (Reuters) - Russia’s Sberbank hopes to complete the sale of its Ukrainian subsidiary in May or June, a source with the bank said on Wednesday.

Kiev has recently imposed sanctions on Sberbank and other Russian state-owned banks operating in Ukraine as part of a broader flare-up in tensions linked to separatist regions of eastern Ukraine which are backed by Russia.

VTB, Russia’s No.2 bank, is also considering cutting its exposure to Ukraine.

Sberbank said this week it had agreed to sell its unit in Ukraine to a consortium of investors, which include Norvik Bank (Latvia) and a Belarussian private company.

“We plan that (in the) next one to two weeks we will, together with the buyers, send the documents for approval to the regulators, three in Ukraine and one in Latvia,” the Sberbank source said.

The majority owner of the consortium would be Said Gutseriyev and his Belarussian company, Norvik said this week.

The Sberbank source confirmed that Gutseriyev would have over 50 percent in the consortium. Said Gutseriyev is a son of Mikhail Gutseriyev, co-owner of Russian mid-sized oil producer Russneft.

Neither Sberbank nor the Sberbank source disclosed the value of the deal. Kommersant daily newspaper, citing sources, reported on Wednesday that Sberbank would receive around $130 million from the sale of its Ukrainian unit.

The main shareholder of Norvik Bank is Grigory Guselnikov. “The deal will be completed with investors’ own money, not borrowed money,” the Sberbank source said.

Sberbank hopes to close the deal in May or in June. The deal would not include VS Bank, the unit of Sberbank Europe in Ukraine which Sberbank hopes to sell in the near future, the source said.

Reporting by Alexander Winning; writing by Katya Golubkova and Polina Nikolskaya; editing by Maria Kiselyova and Susan Thomas

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