BUSINESS IN SHORT

Volksbank becomes Sberbank

THE THIRD largest bank in Europe, Russia’s Sberbank, has officially launched activities on the Slovak market, the TASR newswire reported on February 15.

THE THIRD largest bank in Europe, Russia’s Sberbank, has officially launched activities on the Slovak market, the TASR newswire reported on February 15.

Speaking at the ceremonial opening of the bank’s first branch in Bratislava, bank vice-president Sergey Gorkov said that entering the Slovak market was an important step for the bank in terms of its strategic plan to penetrate European markets. Sberbank has replaced Volksbank in Slovakia following the Russian firm’s purchase of Volksbank’s central and eastern European operations last year. Sberbank said it might create 50-60 new jobs thanks to plans to open two new branches in Slovakia in the months ahead, Gorkov added.

Sberbank Slovakia intends to focus mainly on financing small and medium-sized businesses. Its director Samuel Vlčan added that the bank’s activities will be aimed at operating financial and commercial flows between Slovakia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The main shareholder in Sberbank Slovensko is Austria’s Sberbank Europe, which is owned by the Russian parent company, TASR wrote.

Meanwhile, the owners of Sberbank announced they would file a complaint about their purchase of the Volksbank subsidiaries, including the one in Slovakia, for which they paid €505 million last February. Sberbank president German Gref said they had a problem with the quality of the assets they had bought, the Sme daily reported on February 20.

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