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In Play Today: Commerzbank in deal for comdirect; TP Icap to buy Louis Capital

Europe

* Commerzbank AG is on track to take full control of unit comdirect bank AG after clinching a deal to purchase a block of shares in the digital lender. The German banking group will acquire an equity stake in comdirect from from U.K.-based hedge fund Petrus Advisers LLP through Commerzbank Inlandsbanken Holding GmbH.

* The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said it sold its entire 10% stake in Borsa İstanbul AS to the Turkish sovereign wealth fund. The deal brought the Turkish wealth fund's total holding in the stock exchange to 90.6%.

* The Italian Treasury requested that the European Commission grant a delay until early 2020 in presenting its plan for the sale of the government's 68% stake in local lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA. The Treasury made the request because a discussion about the bank's bad loan reduction plans is ongoing, Reuters reported.

* Nova Ljubljanska banka d.d. and KBC Group NV unit KBC Verzekeringen NV agreed to sell their respective 50% stakes in Slovenian life insurance joint venture NLB Vita dd to Sava Re, the parent company of Sava Insurance Group. The transaction is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2020.

* State Development Corp. VEB.RF acquired an approximately 25% stake in Non-State Pension Fund Blagosostoyanie via its unit JSC VEB-Leasing. Financial details of the transaction and the seller's identity were not disclosed. VEB.RF said the deal has been approved by the Russian central bank and the country's Federal Antimonopoly Service.

* PJSC Sovcombank agreed to acquire Liberty Mutual Group Inc.'s Russian unit Liberty Insurance (OJSC). The deal is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2020.

* The Russian finance ministry plans to acquire the central bank's 50% plus one share stake in PAO Sberbank of Russia through the national wealth fund, Reuters reported. The plan will also see the central bank transferring any profits it earns from the potential sale to the state budget. The central bank's stake in Sberbank is worth 2.8 trillion rubles based on the lender's current market capitalization, according to the newswire.

* The Serbian finance ministry said that Slovenian lender Nova Ljubljanska banka d.d. submitted the best bid in a tender to acquire the Serbian state's majority stake in Komercijalna banka a.d. Beograd and was invited to launch negotiations regarding the purchasing contract.

* U.K.'s TP Icap PLC will acquire Louis Capital Markets and MidCap Partners, collectively known as Louis Capital, for an initial cash consideration of $21 million plus a deferred noncontingent consideration of $6 million.

* Finnish bank Aktia Pankki Oyj is set to purchase the remaining 24% stake in Aktia Asset Management Oy AB from Evergreen Holding. The transaction is expected to have a positive annual impact of more than €1 million on Aktia Bank's results as of 2021.

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