Kazakh lender joins bidding for Russia's Asian-Pacific Bank -sources

MOSCOW, Sept 16 (Reuters) - One of Kazakhstan’s biggest banks is vying with Russian lenders in a bidding process for Russia’s Asian-Pacific Bank (APB), sources said, with the winner due to be announced on Friday.

Russia’s central bank has been trying to sell APB, a mid-sized lender with exposure to Russia’s remote far eastern region bordering China, since taking it over in a bailout in 2018.

Russia’s Sovcombank, a private bank which has been expanding, and state-run Promsvyazbank have submitted bids, along with a surprise bid by Kazakhstan’s First Heartland Jýsan Bank, the three sources said.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity as the bidding process is not public.

The sale of APB is a test for Russia’s central bank which plans to divest Otkritie, the country’s largest private bank which it took over in a bailout in 2017, to a strategic investor or via an initial public offering next year.

The central bank, Promsvyazbank and Sovcombank did not reply to Reuters requests for comments. First Heartland Jýsan Bank declined to comment. (Reporting by Tatiana Voronova Additional reporting by Mariya Gordeyeva in Almaty Writing by Katya Golubkova Editing by Susan Fenton)