MOSCOW Nov 27 Belgian financial group KBC
is to sell its Russian bank Absolut as part of a series
of disposals required for it to receive 7 billion euros ($9
billion) of state aid.
KBC will sell the bank - valued at up to 12 billion roubles
($387 million) - to Blagosostoyanie, a private pension fund
managed by Russian rail monopoly Russian Railways, Russian
newspaper Vedomosti reported on Tuesday citing sources.
KBC agreed with the European Commission to divest a series
of assets in exchange for the 7 billion euros in state aid from
Belgium and the region of Flanders it received in the 2008-2009
Absolut declined comment on the report.
"The process of trying to sell Absolut is ongoing and, while
it is, we are bound by confidentiality," a KBC spokeswoman said.
Blagosostoyanie executive director Yuri Novozhilov was
quoted as saying the fund received an offer from KBC, which was
outpassed for further consideration. Blagosostoyanie said it had
no comment to add.
Sources told Reuters last month that Russian banker Igor Kim
was the most likely buyer of Absolut.
($1=31.0140 Russian roubles)
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova and Philip Blenkinsop; Writing by
Megan Davies; Editing by Mike Nesbit)