Sberbank keeps head above water despite Russia’s woes

 
Tim Wallace
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RUSSIA’S largest lender Sberbank kept in the black in the first quarter, managing to report a profit despite the country’s economic troubles.

The economy is threatened with a deep and prolonged recession, thanks to low oil prices and Western sanctions imposed over the state’s war with Ukraine.

But Sberbank still managed to report a profit of 30.6bn roubles (£378m) in the first quarter.

The profit is down 58 per cent on the year, but still underlines the bank’s scale and resilience in the face of the economic slump.

Net interest income slid 16.4 per cent to 200.3bn roubles, while operating expenses climbed 14.7 per cent and the cost to income ratio increased to 45.8 per cent.

Increased reliance on domestic and central bank funding, due in part to sanctions, drove up costs – the interest expenses borrowing from other banks shot up 254.3 per cent.

Sberbank increased loan impairment provisions to 114.9 roubles, while its return on equity dived from 15.3 to 5.9 per cent.

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