Russia’s Sberbank posts strong Q3 profits

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Russia's Sberbank posts strong Q3 profits © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An installation with the logo is on display in the office of Sberbank, Russia’s state-owned dominant lender and one of the country’s leading technology players, in Moscow, Russia, March 28, 2023. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s dominant lender Sberbank reported on Thursday 411.4 billion roubles ($4.41 billion) in net profit in the third quarter and a return on equity (ROE) of 27.6% as it recovers from a difficult 2022.

CEO German Gref said the strong nine-month results and a good start to the fourth quarter formed solid ground for an upgrade to Sberbank’s 2023 ROE forecast of more than 24%.

Net interest income increased to 667.9 billion roubles in the quarter as Sberbank’s margins improved and its volume of working assets expanded.

No comparisons were provided as the central bank ordered banks to limit disclosures last year in the wake of Moscow despatching troops to Ukraine.

Sberbank’s net interest margin rose in the quarter to 6% on the back of higher interest rates. The Bank of Russia has raised interest rates by 750 basis points since July, most recently to 15% in late October.

Russian banks are proving resilient, reporting higher banking revenues as their cost of risk normalises, and jostling for business from the state, particularly a burgeoning defence budget, and the country’s big corporate accounts.

($1 = 93.2950 roubles)

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