UPDATE 1-Denizbank to buy Citibank consumer business in Turkey

Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:14am EDT

* Citi to focus on corporate, commercial banking in Turkey

* Russia's Sberbank acquired Denizbank last year

* DenizBank takes over portfolio of over 600,000 customers

ISTANBUL, April 11 (Reuters) - Turkey's Denizbank , acquired last year by Russia's Sberbank, said on Thursday it had signed an agreement to buy Citibank's consumer banking business in Turkey, part of a Citi plan to shed assets worldwide.

Denizbank, one of Turkey's top-10 lenders by assets, said the acquisition was expected to close in the third quarter, subject to regulatory approvals. The purchase price will be set after financial results are determined.

Sources close to the matter had told Reuters last month that Citi was in exclusive talks with Denizbank on the sale of the unit.

Citigroup said in December it would sell or cut back its consumer business in Turkey as part of a rationalisation scheme also involving the reduction of 11,000 jobs worldwide, intended to save as much as $1.1 billion a year.

Citi Turkey Chief Executive Serra Akcaoglu said Citi would continue to grow its business operations for corporates, financial institutions and commercial banking clients in Turkey.

"Citi has taken a strategic decision to focus on its corporate and commercial banking businesses in Turkey. With our commitment to the country, we will continue to grow these businesses," she said in a written statement.

The transaction is not material to Citi, the statement said.

Under the agreement, DenizBank will take over a portfolio consisting of over 600,000 customers, more than 1.2 billion lira ($650 million) in gross assets and more than 1.5 billion in deposits as of end-2012.

Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, bought Denizbank for 2.8 billion euros ($3.5 billion) last year.