UniCredit and Citi plan to swap assets with Russian institutions – FT

May 15 (Reuters) – UniCredit SpA (CRDI.MI) and Citigroup (CN) are considering asset swaps with Russian financial institutions as Western banks try to avoid steep writedowns as they exit Russia, said the Financial Times on Sunday.

UniCredit has received several offers from Russian financial institutions to buy its local subsidiary since its chief executive, Andrea Orcel, said in March that it was considering pulling out of the country, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. .

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UniCredit received an offer from Interros Group, the investment firm owned by Vladimir Potanin, one of Russia’s richest men and an oligarch who has not been sanctioned by the United States, Britain or the European Union, but the Italian bank rejected the offer, the FT mentioned.

Citi declined to comment. UniCredit and Interros did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

In March, UniCredit detailed its exposure to Russia, reporting a worst-case loss of 7.4 billion euros. It confirmed its cash dividends and its plan to buy back shares, conditioning the latter on a key capital threshold.

Citi chief executive Jane Fraser said last year that the bank would divest its consumer business in Russia along with a dozen other consumer businesses in Asia and EMEA markets that she said were too small to keep. Citi has since found buyers for many of these companies.

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Reporting by Jaiveer Singh Shekhawat in Bengaluru; edited by William Mallard

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