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Sberbank privatization unlikely in coming years — CEO

November 10, 2016, 21:54 UTC+3

"I think it is rather an idea than a plan," Sberbank CEO Herman Gref said

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Sberbank CEO Herman Gref

Sberbank CEO Herman Gref

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, November 10. /TASS/. Sberbank CEO Herman Gref said that no one has approached him to discuss a possibility of the bank’s privatization in the coming years and that "it is unlikely to happen."

"No one has discussed it (possible privatization of Sberbank) with me. I think we're always ready for it, but this is unlikely to happen, because it is the matter the country's president should decide on and it requires changes in legislation," he said.

"I think it is rather an idea than a plan," he added.

Earlier on Thursday, Deputy Economic Development Minister Yevgeny Yelin said that the Economic Development Ministry proposed to include Sberbank in the privatization plan for 2017-2019.

"VTB and Sovcomflot are definitely on the list. Sberbank is being considered," he said, adding that the government is now considering the privatization plan for 2017-2019.

Also on Thursday, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev told reports that it is possible for the government to privatize a small package of Sberbank without losing its control over the bank.

"Sberbank is not entirely related to privatization, but, strictly speaking, we have a possibility to privatize a small part of it without reducing the government’s number of voting shares below 51%," Moiseev said.

However, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Thursday that the government is not discussing privatization of Sberbank now.

He said that in any case the government will keep the controlling stake in the bank.

"We agreed that the controlling stake will be with the state," he said.

Earlier President Vladimir Putin said that the privatization of Sberbank would not be considered in a mid-term perspective.

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