19 May 2022 15:41

Sberbank receives OFAC license for sale of Kazakh subsidiary, notes elevated investor interest in this asset

MOSCOW. May 19 (Interfax) - Sberbank has received a license from OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department responsible for sanctions enforcement) to sell its Kazakh subsidiary bank and notes the elevated interest of investors from different countries in this asset, Timur Kozintsev, Sberbank's senior vice president and head of Sberbank International, said at the KazanSummit forum.

"At the moment, with the support of the regulator, we have received an OFAC license, which allows us to carry out controlled work for several months to reduce our assets, to withdraw from the market," Kozintsev said.

"We are seeing increased demand from private and state entities in Kazakhstan, Russian investors, as well as investors from Turkey and the Middle East," the Sberbank executive said.

On April 6, the U.S. imposed blocking sanctions on Sberbank. These sanctions provide for the "freezing" of assets in the U.S., as well as a ban on U.S. citizens to conduct any transactions with the bank.

The U.S. sanctions lists also included a number of Sberbank Group companies, including subsidiary banks in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus, as well as Sberbank Europe AG (its European authorities had earlier decided to bankrupt it).

Kozintsev noted that as a result of sanctions, the assets of Kazakhstan's Sberbank subsidiary were more than halved. "Over the past two years we have done a tremendous job, more than doubling our assets. Due to introduction of sanctions, our assets declined nearly twofold, that is, in two months we have actually drawn a line under the results of the last two years," the Sberbank official said.

The situation in the Kazakh subsidiary bank has completely stabilized, he said. "Thanks to the unprecedented support of shareholders, we fully stabilized the situation in the bank, not delaying payments by a single day, we were able to prevent huge outflows of deposits and liquidity. We have honorably withstood a huge influx of customers and anxious depositors, none of them suffered," the Sberbank executive said.