HSBC in talks to sell Russian lending business to Expobank-source

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LONDON, July 6 (Reuters)HSBC HSBA.L is in advanced talks to sell its Russian corporate lending business to Expobank, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, as many major banks leave the country.

Several of the world’s largest financial services companies have decided to sell off or drastically reduce their business interests in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine.

The invasion of Moscow, which President Vladimir Putin describes as a “special military operation”, triggered one of the most extensive sets of international sanctions to date.

HSBC’s business lending business, which offers a range of corporate banking and investment banking services to domestic and multinational customers in Russia, employed around 200 people on the eve of the Feb. 24 invasion, it said. HSBC’s chief financial officer, Ewen Stevenson, at the time.

Russian lender Expobank declined to comment on the talks.

Among other banks, France’s Societe Generale has sold its Rosbank unit to oligarch Vladimir Potanin, while Italy’s UniCredit is exploring options for the future of its Russian business, which employs around 4,000 people.

Bloomberg reported the HSBC talks earlier on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Lawrence White and Sinead Cruise, Editing by Iain Withers and Alexander Smith)

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