Blackstone frontrunner in Signature Bank commercial-property loan sale- Bloomberg News

FILE PHOTO: Signature Bank in New York City

(Reuters) -Blackstone is in the lead to win the $17 billion portfolio of commercial-property loans from the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp's (FDIC) sale of Signature Bank debt, Bloomberg News reported on Sunday.

In September, the FDIC was seeking buyers for the $33 billion commercial real estate loan portfolio of failed New York lender Signature Bank.

The bidding process has brought in several finance companies such as Starwood Capital Group and Brookfield Asset Management , according to Bloomberg News.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter, that a venture of two nonprofits and Related Fund Management is poised to win an auction for billions of dollars of Signature Bank loans backed by New York apartments.

A formal winner could be awarded as early as Monday, WSJ reported.

The FDIC hired Newmark Group in March to sell about $60 billion of Signature Bank's loans, after state regulators decided to close the failed lender amid turmoil in regional banks earlier this year.

FDIC declined to comment on the Bloomberg News report, saying: "We only comment on sales after they close. The entire portfolio sale has yet to close."

The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the WSJ report.

Blackstone, Newmark Group and Related Fund Management did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Chandni Shah and Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker, Bill Berkrot and Diane Craft)