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Russia’s Sberbank Unlikely to Be Privatized Before 2017 - CEO

Здание Сберегательного банка РФ
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Russia’s largest lender, Sberbank, is unlikely to be privatized before 2017, the bank’s CEO Herman Gref said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Sberbank currently operates in such EU countries as Austria, Germany, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. The financial institution also has branches in several non-EU member states in the region, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine and Serbia.

"I think that there will be no privatization either this year, or the next one, but we’ll see after that. Of course, we need to take into account that we are under sanctions right now and it would be quite difficult to privatize us," Gref said in an interview with the Russian Izvestia newspaper.

The CEO stressed that privatization needs to be supported by a relevant political decision.

"The government has supported it [privatization], but the president said that it is not time yet…Certainly, a political decision is needed to start privatization. There has been no such decision yet and it is not on the horizon."

The principal shareholder of Sberbank is Russia's Central Bank, with 50 percent of the share capital plus one voting share.

"Overall, we support the sale of part of Central Bank’s share and are ready for it."

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