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Sberbank posts 29% net profit rise in 9 months, drives shares up


MOSCOW, January 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's state-controlled savings bank Sberbank posted on Monday a 29% increase in net profit for the first nine months of 2008 over the same period of 2007, driving growth on the Russian stock market.

Sberbank, in which Russia's Central Bank holds over 60% of voting shares, said its profit for January-September 2008 calculated to International Financial Reporting Standards was 90.2 billion rubles ($2.7 billion).

The bank attributed net profit growth in the reporting period to the bank's expanded credit portfolio, increased margin on operations with clients, and larger fee incomes, especially in operations with individuals.

Sberbank, which holds more than half of Russian household deposits, said its return on assets amounted to 2.2% and return on equity stood at 17.9% in the reporting period.

Trading in Sberbank commons on the RTS stock exchange was suspended for an hour from 1:45 p.m. Moscow time (10:45 GMT) on Monday, as the retail bank's shares appreciated more than 15%.

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