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Gref Suggests Delay for Sberbank Stake Sale, Vedomosti Reports

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Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- German Gref, chairman of OAO Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, said the government should postpone selling a stake in the bank until the price rises, Vedomosti newspaper reported.

Gref spoke in an interview with Russia 24 television today, according to the newspaper.

Gref said foreign banks have been withdrawing their capital from Russia and reducing their business in the country, Vedomosti reported. Lending in Russia will probably grow at a slower pace in 2012 compared with 2011, Gref said, the newspaper reported.

Sberbank increased its net profit by more than three fold in 2011 from 2007, he said, according to the newspaper.

Russia is considering selling a stake in OAO Sberbank and VTB in 2012, Economy Minister Elvira Nabiullina said on Dec. 26.

To contact the reporter on this story: Halia Pavliva in New York at hpavliva@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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