Sberbank allegedly ponders sale of its Slovak arm

THE CONFLICT between the West and Russia has allegedly forced the Russian bank Sberbank into selling its assets in central Europe, including Slovakia.

(Source: Sme)

The Lidové Noviny Czech daily reported on February 23, citing an anonymous source, that Russians are pondering a withdrawal from the Slovak and Hungarian markets. Ľubomíra Chmelová, spokeswoman of Sberbank in Slovakia refused to comment on the change of the owner explaining that this is merely speculation, the Sme daily wrote.

According to Lidové Noviny, Sberbank is selling assets worth €2 billion in Slovakia and €1.6 billion in Hungary. Three entities have allegedly expressed interest in buying the Slovak assets: Penta financial group, the Czech-Slovak arm of Italian UniCredit Bank and Hungarian bank OTP, which is also active in Slovakia.

Sberbank has been hit significantly by EU and US sanctions against Russia, with the bank having problems gaining capital on global markets. While Sberbank’s arms in the European Union are not affected by the sanctions, proceeds from the sale may be very useful for the entire group.

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