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KBC Group to sell Absolut Bank to group of Russian companies

Belgium-based integrated multi-channel bancassurance firm KBC Group is planning to sell its Russian banking subsidiary Absolut Bank to a group of Russian companies, which oversee the assets of the second largest non-state pension fund in Russia, 'Blagosostoyanie'.

The transaction is for a cash consideration of €300m and repayment of all KBC funding which is presently within Absolut Bank for an amount of €700m euros. The deal is expected to free up €300m of capital for the Belgium group.

After completion of acquisition, Absolut Bank`s brand name, staff and management will be absorbed by the acquirer, without any change.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is likely to complete during the second quarter of 2013.

The sale of Absolut Bank is a part of KBC Group`s strategy to concentrate on retail customers, small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-caps in its key markets such as Belgium and Central and Eastern Europe, while curtailing risky assets.

Established in 1996 and based in Moscow, Blagosostoyanie offers services to .9 million customers, pertaining to non-state pension provision and mandatory pension insurance in 80 regions of Russia

KBC delivers banking, insurance and asset management products and services through its integrated distribution channel consisting of bank branches, insurance agents and brokers and the Internet.