14 Dec 2017 14:20

Sberbank's 2018-2020 strategy assumes 'unambitious' GDP growth, stable oil prices

LONDON. Dec 14 (Interfax) - Sberbank assumes "unambitious" growth rates for the Russian economy and stable oil prices in its strategy for 2018-2020, CEO Herman Gref said at a presentation of the strategy in London.

Russia is "a large window of opportunity" for Sberbank, Gref said.

"We have fairly stable macroeconomics, unambitious growth rate assumptions in our strategy... Most likely, if there is no ultra-shock scenario, we will see such an outlook," Gref said.

According to Sberbank's presentation, Russian GDP will grow1.8% in 2018 then slow to 1.7% a year in 2019-2020.

"We are seeing that the Central Bank's strategy is fairly consistent, never in the history of new Russia has there been such tight policy to bring order to and clean up financial markets and never was there such low inflation. This year no one could believe that inflation would be 4% and this year our inflation will be 2.5% or so. If someone said that just one year ago, no one would believe it," Gref said.

Sberbank forecasts that inflation will be at the 4% level in 2018-2020, although Gref allowed that it might be lower.

Oil prices will most likely be stable in the coming three-year period in the neighborhood of $55 per barrel. "But if it fluctuates up or down $5-$7, this will not have a critical effect on us. The shock scenario that we have analyzed for ourselves is a drop in the price of oil to $25 per barrel. We have a plan of action and a response to these issues," he said.