BRITAIN-US-BANKING-SECTOR-COMPANY-STANDARDCHARTERED-HSBCStandard Chartered (STAN.L) has agreed to sell its Hong Kong-based consumer finance business to a consortium that includes Pepper Australia Pty Ltd and a Chinese group, in a deal estimated between $600 million to $700 million, two people with knowledge of the deal said.

The deal, which is expected to be announced later on Tuesday, comes after the UK-listed bank had entered into advanced talks with Pepper in September, Reuters had reported earlier.

The people declined to be identified because the deal is not public.

Officials from Standard Chartered and Pepper could not be immediately reached for comment.

The sale of the Hong Kong consumer finance unit, called PrimeCredit, is among the initial few divestments being pursued by Standard Chartered as it tries to address share price underperformance and difficulties in markets such as South Korea.

Pepper is a specialty mortgage lender, third-party loan servicer and an asset manager, withbusinesses in the United Kingdom and Australia.

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar and Denny Thomas; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)