UK Markets close in 8 hrs 17 mins

Promsvyazbank buys SMP for Russia's second major banking tie-up in Dec

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Promsvyazbank said on Friday it had bought its competitor SMP Bank, without disclosing the price of the deal, the latest banking sector tie-up after No.2 lender VTB snapped up Otkritie from the Bank of Russia last week.

In a statement, Promsvyazbank said that the deal included SMP's subsidiaries, MOSOBLBANK and the SMP-Insurance factoring and leasing companies.

Promsvyazbank, one of Russia's 13 "systemically important credit institutions", offers a wide range of services but has focused on state employees and the defence sector since it was bailed out by the central bank in 2017.

In recent months, the bank has been actively expanding in the four Ukrainian regions that Russia declared it had annexed in September, after holding referendums condemned by Ukraine and Western countries.

Promsvyazbank was targeted with Western sanctions this year over Russia's actions in Ukraine.

SMP Bank, which was placed under U.S. sanctions in 2014, is majority owned by the Rotenberg family. Washington says brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg both have close ties to President Vladimir Putin.

The central bank sold bailed-out Otkritie Bank to VTB, for 340 billion roubles ($4.76 billion) in a deal that completed this week.

($1 = 71.5000 roubles)

(Reporting by Felix Light and Alexander Marrow; editing by David Evans)