Russia’s cbank to sell 7.6% of Sberbank after govt approval

The National Banking Council (NBC) has given the go ahead for Russia’s central bank to sell up to 7.6% of the country’s top lender Sberbank from the central bank’s 57.6% stake, NBC member Pavel Medvedev said on Wednesday.

“The central bank was permitted to sell shares within the limits of 7.58%,” Medvedev, who is also a deputy of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, told RIA Novosti. “But the deal has to be agreed with the government. Our decision is not a final approval.”

He said the central bank would decide on the timeframe and size of the stake sale.

“Later the central bank, its chairman or its first deputy chairman, will announce the bank’s plans,” Medvedev said. “I mean the terms of privatization and its intensity.”

Russia launched a privatization program earlier this year by selling 10% in the country’s No.2 bank VTB for $3.3 billion.

On Monday, Sberbank head German Gref said the bank could float the shares in the second half of 2011, adding that the size of the stake would depend on the market conditions.

MOSCOW, March 23 (RIA Novosti)

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