Kiev turns down Paritetbank offer for Sberbank's Ukraine unit - central bank

KIEV, March 27 (Reuters) - The Ukrainian central bank on Tuesday said it had refused a request from Belarussian state-owned lender Paritetbank to buy the Ukrainian subsidiary of Russia’s Sberbank, citing legal issues.

The Russian lender put its Ukrainian unit up for sale in March after Kiev imposed sanctions on Sberbank and other Russian state banks operating in Ukraine in response to tensions over pro-Russian secessionists in eastern Ukraine.

In a statement, the central bank said its decision to refuse Paritetbank’s bid was “linked to the applicant’s incompatibility with the requirements of Ukraine’s legislation.”

It did not giver further details.

Paritetbank, the fifteenth-largest bank in terms of assets out of 25 lenders in Belarus, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is the second time the central bank has turned down a bid for the subsidiary from Belarus, while a third offer from Belarussian investor Viktor Prokopenya was withdrawn last August.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Additional reporting by Andrei Makhovsky in Minsk; Writing by Alessandra Prentice Editing by Louise Heavens