OAO Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, said net income in the first quarter rose 6 percent, beating analysts’ estimates on increased fee revenue and growth in lending.
Net income climbed for the first three months to 92.2 billion rubles ($2.84 billion) from 86.8 billion rubles in the same period last year, the Moscow-based company said in a statement on its website. Profit beat the 87 billion-ruble consensus of 15 analysts polled by Bloomberg.
Sberbank said net interest income and net fee and commission income accounted for 92.5 percent of total operating income before provisions for loan impairment. Net interest income, the difference between what a bank earns from lending and what it pays on deposits, jumped 20.5 percent to 156.3 billion rubles in the first quarter. The share of non-performing loans fell to 4.8 percent of total lending by March 31, compared with 4.9 percent at the beginning of the year.
Russia plans to sell 7.6 percent of Sberbank by as early as September as Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expedites the government’s privatization program, a person with knowledge of the matter said yesterday. Dexia SA, the Franco-Belgian owner of Turkey’s Denizbank AS, said on May 24 that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with Sberbank to sell the unit.
Sberbank is seeking growth outside the former Soviet Union as some western European lenders sell their subsidiaries in eastern Europe and Turkey to comply with capital rules or state aid conditions. It acquired most of Oesterreichische Volksbanken’s eastern European business for 505 million euros ($635 million) in February to expand in the region.
Sberbank’s shares in Moscow slumped 1.3 percent to 83 rubles by 10:50 a.m.