Uralsib completes purchase of Citi's Russian consumer loan portfolio

A view of the exterior of the Citibank corporate headquarters in New York, New York, U.S. May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar//File Photo

MOSCOW, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Russian commercial bank Uralsib said on Monday it had completed the acquisition of a portfolio of consumer loans from Citigroup Inc's (C.N) Russian unit, as the major U.S. lender reduces its exposure to Russia on the way to a full exit from the country.

Neither bank has disclosed financial details of the deal.

"The acquired portfolio includes unsecured consumer loans, which going forward will be serviced by Uralsib Bank from the moment of purchase," Uralsib said in a statement.

Privately-owned Uralsib, among Russia's top 30 banks by assets, said the loan portfolio had high credit quality, giving it the opportunity to increase its client base in Moscow and St Petersburg.

A decree signed by President Vladimir Putin on Aug. 5 bans investors from so-called unfriendly countries from selling shares in key energy projects and banks until the end of the year. Putin has the power to issue special waivers in certain cases for deals to go ahead.

Citi said in October it would also sell a portfolio of credit card balances, if it secures customers' consent.

Citi last year agreed to shed its retail operations in Russia as part of an overhaul led by Chief Executive Jane Fraser. The scope of the exit was expanded in March to include its commercial banking business after Russia began its "special military operation" in Ukraine on Feb. 24.

In August, the bank said it was expecting to incur about $170 million in charges over the next 18 months as it wound down consumer and commercial banking operations in the country.

Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Jan Harvey and Mark Potter

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