Profits squeezed at sanctions-hit Russian lender

GMT 12:20 2014 Wednesday ,26 November

Arab Today, arab today Profits squeezed at sanctions-hit Russian lender

People walk past a Sberbank sign in Moscow
Moscow - AFP

Russia's biggest lender Sberbank said Wednesday its profits fell 10 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2014 as the sanctions-hit bank stepped up loan-loss provisions due to the slowing economy and falling ruble.
"The group's net profit in the first nine months of 2014 was 241.3 billion rubles, down 10.1 percent compared to the same period of 2013," Sberbank said in a statement.
"The fall in net profits.... is mainly explained by a significant increase in spending on loan loss provision," the bank said.
State-controlled Sberbank was among five major banks to be hit with punitive sanctions from the European Union this summer over Moscow's actions in the Ukraine crisis.
Sberbank said its loan portfolio had suffered from the slowing Russian economy, forcing it to make provisions for "possible losses on loans to some large borrowers."
It also blamed "the depreciation of the ruble, leading to an increase in loan-loss provision for loans in foreign currency", as well as the need to create loan-loss provision for Ukrainian borrowers "due to the worsening Ukrainian economy."
The ruble has this year lost around a third of its value against the dollar as Russia faces Western sanctions over Ukraine and falling oil prices.


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