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Sberbank Gains as Profit Jumps 17% in First 2 Months of 2012

March 7 (Bloomberg) -- OAO Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, rose for the first time in three days in U.S. trading after reporting that net income in the first two months of the year climbed 17 percent.

American depositary receipts of Moscow-based Sberbank added 0.8 percent to $13.15 in New York. They earlier jumped as much as 1.6 percent, the biggest intraday gain in a week.

Sberbank’s profit during January and February rose to 61.7 billion rubles ($2.1 billion) from the same two-month period last year, the company said in a statement today. The results were reported under Russian accounting standards.

“Sberbank has been very actively developing their retail side, credit cards, loans,” Leonid Slipchenko, a banking analyst at UralSib Financial Corp., said by phone from Moscow. “These are very successful developments.”

The state-controlled lender is Alfa Bank’s top pick among Russian banks, according to Jason Hurwitz, a Moscow-based analyst for Alfa.

“Sberbank has sustainable funding advantages, primarily they are the only bank that is a distribution agent for the Russian pension system,” Hurwitz said by phone today.

Sberbank added 0.2 percent to 97.53 rubles, or the equivalent of $3.28, on Russia’s Micex Index today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ksenia Galouchko at kgalouchko1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emma O’Brien at eobrien6@bloomberg.net

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