November 27, 2012 / 10:27 AM / in 5 years

Belgian's KBC near deal for Russian unit -report

MOSCOW, Nov 27 (Reuters) - 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 financial crisis.

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)

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