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Sberbank's 2008 net profit slump slightly better than expected


MOSCOW, April 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's state-run retail savings bank Sberbank on Monday posted slightly better than expected 2008 net profit under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) that showed a decline of 8.3%, year-on-year, to 97.7 billion rubles ($2.93 billion).

However, Sberbank's net profit slightly exceeded the 97.6 billion ruble ($2.92 billion) consensus forecast of analysts compiled by RIA Novosti.

Sberbank, in which Russia's Central Bank holds over 60% of voting shares, said its net profit declined in the reporting period as the bank increased provisions for bad loans by 450% to 97.9 billion rubles ($2.9 billion).

Sberbank also attributed the decline to losses from securities transactions "as a result of a slump on the global and Russian financial markets."

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