MOSCOW, September 18 (Itar-Tass) — On Tuesday, the Bank of Russia stated about the sale of 7.58% of its stake in the Russian saving bank Sberbank. The main revenues from the placement will not be transferred to the Russian budget as it was planned before, but to the gold and foreign currency reserves. The experts believe that a partial privatization of the bank will not result in its lower reliability. However, the interest rates on credits and deposits can hardly be predicted. The Kommersant daily reported that Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Troika Dialog organized the deal. Three days are given for the application of bids. Meanwhile, no less than ten percent from overall supply is offered to place on the domestic market. The revenues from the sale of the package of shares will reach at least 156 billion roubles.
“The foreign currency, which we gain, we will put in the reserves, and the roubles – in the furnace. We are an issuing bank, everyone has roubles as assets, and we have it as liabilities,” Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Sergei Shvetsov told the RBC daily. “When we transfer the revenues in the budget, we will print them again,” he remarked. The current situation differs greatly from that in 2009, when the budget was in deficit and the Reserve Fund was short of money, BNP Paribas chief economist Yulia Tseplyaeva believes. “The Reserve Fund has 60 billion dollars, there is almost no budget deficit and there is nothing to worry about in this issue,” she noted. “Now the state authorities reduce their stake not seeking for some insane money but to make the economy more efficient,” Tseplyaeva remarked.
The privatization of the Sberbank state stake should not affect the reliability and trust to the company, the experts believe. The regulator keeps control in the capital stock. “The control is retained so far, the situation with trust does not change, the crediting capabilities of the state-run bank will not be affected,” analyst Viktoria Belozerova told the Novye Izvestia daily. “Even if the Central Bank goes forward with the sale of its stake, the Sberbank positions will be saved thanks to an inertial mind of a large number of depositors,” she said. In other words, most Sberbank clients will be just unaware about the changes going on in the bank.
The privatization of the Sberbank state stake was delayed over a bad market climate many times, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily reported. But on September 4 Minister of Economic Development Andrei Belousov stated that he finds current market conditions comfortable for the privatization of the Sberbank stake. Last week Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich noted that Russia is about to get an opportunity to launch the privatization of the stakes in the state-run companies. The Monday decision of the Central Bank is just the beginning.