Russia's top lender Sberbank, which plans to complete acquisition of 100 percent of Volksbank Int this year, intends to use it as a basis for further acquisitions in Europe, Sberbank head German Gref said on Friday.
Sberbank, which sees international expansion as a key plank of its business strategy, agreed the purchase of Volksbank Int, an international division of Austria's Oesterreichische Volksbanken banking group on Thursday.
"The size and productibility of the platform is enough to create an international group and to use it for further acquisitions in Central and Eastern Europe," Gref said.
"We are seeking to complete formalities by the end of July and to sign a binding agreement by the end of the year to close the deal," he added.
Sberbank intends to raise euro-denominated loans on foreign markets to finance Volksbank Int operations, he said.
Sberbank has previously said it wants to develop Volksbank Int's divisions in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Ukraine, but not in Romania.