Sberbank to sign preliminary Denizbank deal: source

MOSCOW Fri Jun 1, 2012 4:04am EDT

People walk outside the Sberbank headquarters in Moscow July 15, 2011. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov

People walk outside the Sberbank headquarters in Moscow July 15, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Denis Sinyakov

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's top lender Sberbank (SBER.MM) may sign a preliminary agreement to buy Turkey's Denizbank (DENIZ.IS) on June 7-8, a source close to the deal negotiations told Reuters, furthering its expansion in emerging markets.

"An agreement is planned to be signed June 7-8... It will be preliminary," he said, adding that discussions on price would continue after the signing.

He declined to give a price. Denizbank wasn't immediately available to comment. Dexia (DEXI.BR) and Sberbank declined to comment.

Sberbank, which controls around half of household deposits in Russia, started its international foray by snapping up VBI in February for 505 million euros ($624.40 million), securing a foothold in emerging Europe. It named Turkey and Poland as its priority markets for further expansion, entering exclusive talks on a proposed takeover of Denizbank from bailed-out Franco-Belgian lender Dexia last week. [ID:nL5E8GOF3M]

Sources said previously that the Belgian government, a Dexia shareholder and responsible for most of its guarantees, had wanted 1.5 times Denizbank's book value, which according to Reuters calculations based on the current Turkish lira rate is around $3.9 billion.

($1 = 0.8088 euros)

(Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva, additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Asli Kandemir, writing by Katya Golubkova,; Editing by John Bowker)

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