Sber-owned Denizbank eyes cash from Cyprus
BURSA / MOSCOW - Reuters
Banks in economically battered Greek Cyprus reopened for the first time in nearly two weeks on March 28, albeit with strict restrictions on transactions. AP photoAfter tax imposition on deposits in Greek Cypriot banks, Russian oligarchs may deposit their money in Turkey’s Denizbank, which was acquired by Russian Sberbank last year, the head of Denizbank has said.
“Russian oligarchs’ money will target Turkey thanks to Sberbank’s acquisition. When their money enters the Turkish banking sector, we hope that it also reaches Denizbank,” said General Manager Hakan Ateş, in an interview with Reuters on March 28. He noted that they had not received any definite indication of this. Sberbank acquired its 99.85 percent stake in Denizbank for $3.5 billion last year.
The 10 billion-euro EU-IMF deal will see Russians, who have an estimated total of $31 billion deposited in Greek Cypriot corporate and private accounts, lose cash from a so-called “haircut” placed on deposits of more than 100,000 euros in Greek Cypriot banks. Also, several capital controls have been imposed on transactions, including payments and money transfers, in order to prevent capital flight from Greek Cyprus, which reopened its banks on March 28.
The state-controlled bank, which controls a third of overall lending in Russia, made a net profit of $11.2 billion in 2012, as Its retail loans had grown by 57.1 percent, leading to a 32 percent rise in its gross loan portfolio. The rise in loans was helped by Sberbank’s acquisition of Denizbank in Turkey, and Austria’s VBI, which has operations across Eastern Europe. Without these deals, corporate and retail loans were still up 16.1 percent and 43.2 percent respectively.