* 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 (Reuters) - 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 on Friday.
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.