* Deal expected within a month -sources
* Citi is cutting back worldwide to save costs
* Denizbank parent Sberbank seeking to boost intl operations
By Evren Ballim and Ebru Tuncay
ISTANBUL, March 8 Citigroup is in
exclusive talks with Denizbank about the sale of its
consumer banking unit in Turkey as part of the U.S. group's
global rationalisation, three sources close to the matter said
Citigroup said in December it would cut 11,000 jobs
worldwide to save as much as $1.1 billion a year in costs and
that the plan included selling or cutting back its consumer
business in Turkey.
"They are firstly going to sign an exclusivity agreement
with Denizbank and the final agreement is expected to be
announced within a month," one of the sources close to the
matter told Reuters on Friday.
Citi and Denizbank declined to comment.
Banking sources told Reuters in February that four local
banks - Denizbank, Garanti Bank, Fibabanka, and
Odeabank, the Turkish unit of Lebanon's Audi Bank -
had been shortlisted for the sale.
Denizbank, one of Turkey's top 10 lenders by assets, was
acquired last year by Russia's Sberbank.
Sberbank has said it wants to open more Denizbank branches
in Turkey under its expansion plan aimed at making 5 percent of
its net profits from international markets by 2014.