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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Intesa Considers Buying Local Bank

Italian retail banking group Intesa Sanpaolo is considering buying banks in Russia and Ukraine, Russian magazine Bank Review reported, citing the chairman of the group's Russian subsidiary.

The monthly magazine quoted Antonio Fallico in its current issue as saying potential acquisitions would need to have assets of $1.5 billion or more.

"We realize that we are a small bank in Russia by assets, by scale of business and other indicators," Fallico was quoted as saying.

"We also understand that a qualitative leap is only possible if we acquire a Russian bank with assets of at least $1.5 billion."

In Russia, banks with assets of $1.5 billion are ranked among the country's top 50 creditors.

Fallico said the total assets of Intesa, the Russian subsidiary of Intesa Sanpaolo, and of KMB-Bank -- in which Intesa Sanpaolo holds about 75 percent -- stood at 1.3 billion euros ($1.75 billion).

He also said the group was considering acquiring a bank in Ukraine, but added that the Russian market was its top priority.