Kazkommertsbank’s Barclays Russia deal may fail-paper

Sept 28. Reuters

Kazkommertsbank's Barclays Russia deal may fail-paperBritain’s Barclays Bank is likely to fail to sell its Russian retail unit to Kazkommertsbank (KKGByq.L), Kazakhstan’s no. 1 lender by assets, Russian business daily Kommersant reported on Wednesday.

Barclays said in February it would sell its Russian retail unit and focus on investment banking, because it was unable to compete in local retail business, and Kommersant wrote that the Kazakh lender was in final talks about the deal.

But the newspaper on Wednesday quoted sources as saying that Kazkommertsbank had changed its mind, probably because of the recent downturn on global markets and the Kazakh central bank’s cautious approach to the risks arising from local lenders’ international expansion.

According to the daily, the most likely candidate to buy Barclays’ retail operations in Russia is now mid-sized Renaissance Credit Bank, part of Renaissance Group.

“Now the parties are discussing the deal price, talking not about the premium but about discount,” Kommersant quoted a source as saying.

The daily said in June that the price for the deal with Kazkommertsbank was unlikely to exceed 1.2-1.3 times the capital of the unit.

Renaissance Credit declined to comment. A Barclays spokeswoman in Russia said that the lender is in talks with three bidders but declined to name them.