Russia’s Sberbank ‘ready to support big projects in Turkey’

Russia’s Sberbank ‘ready to support big projects in Turkey’

Russia’s Sberbank ‘ready to support big projects in Turkey’

The CEO and chairman of the executive board of Sberbank, Herman Gref, has said it has preserved its business priorities in Turkey and will gladly continue to support infrastructure projects in the country.

Sberbank, Russia’s biggest by assets, bought its Turkish unit DenizBank in 2012 for around $3.5 billion—the Russian bank’s largest overseas acquisition to date.

The results of DenizBank in first half of 2017 are “brilliant,” Gref told Anadolu Agency.

“DenizBank is the main asset among all our foreign assets. And this asset is in one of the most important countries for Russia-Turkey,” he said.

In five years, DenizBank grew four times.

“Moreover, this growth took place during a difficult period for Turkey,” Gref said.

“We expect future growth of the Turkish economy at the level of 3-4 percent per year,” he said.

The CEO also sees very good prospects in terms of developing our business in the Turkish market.

“We will continue to expand the scope of transactions on the basis of the Turkish Lira and ruble. We feel comfortable here and Sberbank sees Turkey as its ‘second motherland,’” said Gref.

Commenting on the fields of focus for the lender, Gref said the Sberbank group is “number one” in sectors such as agriculture and tourism.

“Besides this, we are among the leading banks in such sectors as infrastructure, healthcare, banking for pensioners and SME banking. We could continue listing all the projects for a very long time,” he said.

“Even if you look out the window, you can see projects supported by us. For example, the third bridge across the Bosphorus [in Istanbul, the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge]. Sberbank also takes part in airport construction projects. Over the past 17 years, 55 airports were built in Turkey and we have participated in one third of these projects. Sberbank keeps these priorities and will gladly continue to support infrastructure projects, as we know that Turkey has very ambitious plans in this area,” said Gref.

The CEO also praised the development in the Turkish economy and the policies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“If we look back, we can observe good growth in all indicators. Over the past 17 years, the gap between the poorest 10 percent and the richest 10 percent of the population has significantly narrowed. Not many countries achieve such results. In this sense, the success of the AK Party is obvious,” he said.