Sberbank lifts outlook on margins and loan growth

City A.M. Reporter
SBERBANK, Russia’s largest bank, hiked its full year profit forecast yesterday following a 76 per cent rise in third-quarter net income to $2.55bn (£1.6bn), driven by loan growth and higher margins.

The state lender now expects 2011 net profit to come in at 300-310bn roubles (£6.2bn – £6.4bn), up from an earlier forecast of 250-270bn roubles, finance director Anton Karamzin said.

He added that 2012 profit “will be higher” than this year as Russian economic conditions and consumer confidence continue to drive bottom line growth. Sberbank earlier beat analyst third quarter forecasts with a net profit of 79.7bn roubles in the July to September period, up from 45.3bn roubles a year ago. Analysts expected the bank to earn 75.7bn roubles.

It added that it also had minimal exposure to debt-laden countries in the Eurozone, placing it in a relatively stronger position compared with Western peers vulnerable to any Eurozone country default.

“The group does not have investments in debt securities of European Union countries or companies. All the group’s investments in securities issued by foreign countries comprise less than three per cent of the group’s securities portfolio,” the bank said.

Sberbank, which dominates high street banking in Russia and recently expanded into investment banking, is also strongly capitalised, with a total capital adequacy ratio of 17.3 per cent.