Russia’s Sberbank CEO says very satisfied with business in Turkey

Russia’s Sberbank CEO says very satisfied with business in Turkey

MOSCOW - Reuters
Russia’s Sberbank CEO says very satisfied with business in Turkey The head of Russia’s top bank Sberbank, German Gref, said on March 15 he was satisfied with his bank’s business in Turkey and that he saw good opportunities to grow there.

Sberbank operates in Turkey under its Denizbank unit. 

Sberbank made its largest quarterly profit in the fourth quarter since it was placed under Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, underscoring how it has navigated an economic crisis better than rivals.

Russia’s top bank made 72.6 billion rubles ($1.03 billion) in the final three months of 2015, better than analysts had forecast and its best result since the second quarter of 2014.

Analysts said Sberbank’s results were helped by around 20 billion rubles of earnings on forex operations as well as a steady increase in its interest income.

Improving loan quality kindled hopes that pressure on the bank’s bottom line could ease this year.
“We were impressed by the improvement in its credit portfolio and lower risk management costs,” BCS analyst Olga Naidenova said.

Sberbank said on March 15 its return on equity - a measure of profitability - reached 12.6 percent in the fourth quarter from 9.7 percent in the same period of 2014.

Its level of non-performing loans came down to 5 percent from 5.4 percent a quarter earlier, while provisions for bad loans were up 6 percent from a year earlier at 112.7 billion rubles.

State-controlled Sberbank was sanctioned by the United States and European Union in 2014 in response to Moscow’s role in the separatist conflict in Ukraine.

The sanctions on Sberbank, which controls around a third of the total assets in Russia’s banking system, limit its access to international capital and have driven up its cost of financing.

In contrast to competitors such as VTB, Sberbank has stayed profitable throughout Russia’s economic crisis.