MOSCOW, March 29. /TASS/. Russia’s biggest lender Sberbank plans to sell its second asset in Ukraine, VS Bank, in the nearest future, according to a source in the credit organization.
"VS Bank is a subsidiary of our European daughter - Sberbank Europe AG, that is our lower-tier subsidiary," the source said, adding that "Sberbank Europe keeps searching for buyers" and "hopes to strike a deal in the nearest future."
Russia’s biggest lender chose the fastest way to sell its Ukrainian subsidiary available, a source in the company added:
"We, our employees and clients, can potentially lose more, which is why it was decided that to implement the fastest option available would be the safest bet for us. Said Gutseriyev, though young but already a prosperous businessman, has spawned a successful business in Belarus. In its turn, Norvik Banka is a successful bank in Latvia."
Investors will not use funds borrowed from Sberbank to buy its Ukrainian subsidiary, the source said.
"The consortium will use its own funds, not borrowed, to buy shares of our Ukrainian bank. Also, regulators always consider the structure of the deal. That is why everything will be as transparent as possible from this viewpoint."
Sberbank admits that the Ukrainian regulators may not approve the transaction with its local subsidiary, according to a source in the company:
"We admit that Ukrainian authorities will not approve the transaction for whatever reason, though we hope very much that this will not happen. We are in contact with the management of the National Bank of Ukraine and expect them to help us quit the market as soon as possible. Three regulatory bodies of Ukraine will have to approve the deal: the National Bank, the antimonopoly body and the security commission. The deal will not take place if any of those bodies refuses to approve it."