Raiffeisen to sell or spin off the Russian business as much as possible

VIENNA (Reuters) – Raiffeisen Bank International may sell or spin off its Russian business, CEO Johann Strobl told shareholders at its annual general meeting on Thursday.

While the bank pursues these options, it said it would reduce its business in Russia and retain some of its banking business in Russia to retain its banking license there.

“The RBI will monitor transactions that may lead to the sale or divestment of Raiffeisenbank Russia and the dissolution of the RBI group … in consultation with the relevant authorities,” Strobl said.

“While we pursue these potential transactions, we will further reduce our business activities in Russia,” he said, adding that “Raiffeisenbank will retain some banking businesses in Russia to meet the terms of its banking license.”

The European Central Bank is pushing Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International to divest its most profitable business in Russia, people familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this month.

The push comes after the top US sanctions official raised concerns about Raiffeisen’s business in Russia during a visit to Vienna last month, another person said.

(Reporting by John O’Donnell, Editing by Miranda Murray)

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