4 Feb 2010 14:25

Sberbank could post 15 bln rubles adjusted RAS profit for 2009

MOSCOW. Feb 4 (Interfax) - Sberbank could have closed 2009 with net profit of approximately 15 billion rubles to Russian Accounting Standards (RAS), adjusted for post-balance sheet events, the bank's deputy chairman, Anton Karamzin, told reporters.

"Net profit adjusted for these events could be 15 billion rubles, as we forecast earlier," Karamzin said.

Net profit before adjustment for post-balance sheet events was 36.2 billion rubles last year.

Karamzin said profit tax had the biggest impact on the adjusted earnings.

Karamzin said there would probably not be much difference between earnings to Russian and international reporting standards, however he said the securities portfolio would have the main impact on the end result.

The 2010 net profit forecast for 100 billion rubles remains intact. "The 100 billion rubles still stands," Karamzin said.

But he said conclusions ought not to be made from the net profit results for the last few months: a trend will only start to emerge at the end of Q1 or by the middle of Q2.

Sberbank expects a "comfortable margin," Karamzin said. That margin was 7.9% to IFRS at the end of Q3 2009, and was 1.5 percentage points lower in 2007.

"It might decrease, but we're unlikely to fall below the comfort level," he said.

Karamzin said Sberbank aimed to come up with a program of lending for medium enterprises that would not require hard collateral in the coming months.

He also said that in retail loans, Sberbank would be switching from the ultra-conservative to the moderately conservative approach. The bank also plans to lend to SMEs. "Those who look like quality borrowers will succeed in this segment," he said.