UniCredit in talks to sell stake in Kazakhstan's ATF Bank

ALMATY/MILAN Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:49pm EST

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ALMATY/MILAN Nov 17 (Reuters) - UniCredit, Italy's biggest bank by assets, is in talks with Kazakh investors over the sale of a controlling stake in Kazakhstan's ATF Bank, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.

A Kazakh government source said a deal was likely to be struck next year.

"The talks are about a controlling stake in ATF bank, most probably, this is a deal to be struck in 2013," the source told Reuters.

The source added the former owner of ATF Bank, Bolat Utemuratov, was interested in acquiring the stake from UniCredit. A different group of Kazakh businessmen were also interested in buying it, the source said.

A second source said the price for the stake was still being determined.

UniCredit declined to comment.

UniCredit bought a 92 percent stake in ATF-Bank, the Central Asian nation's fourth-biggest lender by assets, for $2.1 billion in 2007, at the height of the credit boom. (Reporting By Mariya Gordeyeva and Silvia Aloisi)