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Russia's retail savings bank Sberbank is planning to issue an additional 198 billion rubles worth of shares
Russia's retail savings bank Sberbank is planning to issue an additional 198 billion rubles ($7.6 billion) worth of shares, the economic development and trade minister said Wednesday. The bank recently announced plans for a substantial capital increase through a public share offering in the first quarter of 2007, expected to yield $6-8.5 billion. "We are currently discussing extra share issues for Russia's two largest banks, Vneshtorgbank and Sberbank. Most of them [shares] will be placed on the internal market," German Gref said. Bella Zlatkis, Sberbank deputy board chairwoman, said Tuesday the bank will offer its stock at 65,000 rubles ($2,500) per share. She said the procedure for investors to buy the stock of companies in the banking sector was more complex than in other sectors. Non-residents have to apply with the Central Bank of Russia for special authorization and wait 30 days, while Russian investors have to prove that their revenues exceed expenditures, and that they will not seek loans. Zlatkis said the lower house of Russia's parliament should pass an array of amendments to banking laws facilitating the stock purchase procedure for investors before the end of the year. The Central Bank is a majority shareholder of Sberbank (over 60%). Sberbank made it on the FT Global 500 in 2006, placing 232 with a capitalization of $29.2 billion.
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