UniCredit and Citigroup are reportedly trying to avoid bulky write-downs related to quitting Russia over Ukraine © Getty Images / Maxim Blinov © Sputnik

In an attempt to escape hefty write-downs on operations in Russia due to their exit from the sanction-hit country, UniCredit and Citigroup are exploring the possibility of swapping assets with Russian banks, FT reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The plan comes amid a mass exodus of foreign lenders from Russia due to Western sanctions imposed on the nation over its military operation in Ukraine. According to estimates revealed last week, European banks took a hit of nearly $10 billion writing down assets and setting aside cash to protect themselves against the expected economic ramifications of anti-Russia sanctions.

UniCredit is discussing the sale of its Russian business to several financial institutions that haven’t been sanctioned by the West, people briefed on the talks told the media. (RT)