Russia’s biggest lender posts 13 per cent jump in earnings

City A.M. Reporter
RUSSIA’S biggest bank, Sberbank, said yesterday that its net profit grew 13.1 per cent for the first five months of the year, driven by growth in loans to corporate and retail clients.

The figures reported are under Russian accounting standards, which have various differences to international financial reporting standards (IFRS) in the way they account for fixed assets, capital and reserves.

Sberbank posted a six per cent rise in first quarter net profit last week under international standards, supported by a cut in bad debt charges.

Under Russian standards, it said net profit for the five months to 1 June totalled 154.9bn roubles (£3bn), up from 136.9bn in the same period the previous year.

Operating income before provisions grew by 27.9 per cent, outstripping the jump in the bank’s costs, which rose by 22.7 per cent versus last year.

Corporate lending in the five months grew 5.5 per cent and retail lending grew nearly 20 per cent. It said there was a small improvement in the quality of the loan portfolio in May, with overdue loans declining to 3.28 per cent of the total from 3.34 per cent in the same period the year before.

Total provisions for losses on loans declined as a result, from 13.8bn rubles last year to 11.6bn rubles.

Sberbank has also been snapping up other banks during the last few months, having bought Denizbank, one of Turkey’s biggest lenders, from bust Belgian lender Dexia.

The Russian firm is largely government-owned following the postponement of a proposed privatisation of a chunk of the bank last year.