Russia’s Sberbank Signs Cooperation Deal With Italy’s Mediobanca

Posted: November 12, 2014 in Econ 101, Free Trade


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Russia’s Sberbank Signs Cooperation Deal With Mediobanca

OAO Sberbank (SBER), the Russian lender sanctioned by the U.S. and the European Union, signed a cooperation agreement with Italy’s Mediobanca SpA (MB) to work together on investment banking and trading.

Sberbank, the nation’s biggest lender, considers the deal “as the starting point of a long-term mutually beneficial partnership between Sberbank and Mediobanca,” Herman Gref, chief executive officer, said in an e-mailed statement today.

Mediobanca CEO Alberto Nagel is expanding the company’s securities business and sharpening the bank’s focus on providing advice and financing outside Italy, to Europe’s banks and insurers. For Sberbank, the agreement comes as profit fell this year amid higher provisions for overdue loans.

Russia’s central bank said yesterday the economy will probably stagnate in 2015, reflecting the damage wreaked by a slump in oil prices and international economic restrictions over the conflict in Ukraine.

“This is what Mediobanca needs to be doing if it seeks to build an international presence,” said Giorgio Questa, a visiting professor at Cass Business School in London and a former banker. “It’s preparing for a pick-up in Russia.”

The agreement entails cooperating in Russia, Italy and other countries where the banks are present, Sberbank said in the statement.

Sberbank, run by former economy minister Gref, has said the sanctions destroy the “foundations of the global financial system” and don’t “contribute to the easing of the European crisis caused by the situation in Ukraine.”

Sberbank today said net income under Russian accounting standards fell to 294 billion rubles ($6.3 billion) through October from 319 billion rubles for the same 10-month period a year ago. Its provision charge for the 10 months rose to 311.5 billion rubles from 99.5 billion rubles.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Corcoran in Moscow at


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