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Russia could move central bank's holding in Sberbank to different entity

Russian authorities are discussing the transfer of the central bank's stake in PAO Sberbank of Russia to another state entity, Reuters reported, citing several sources close to parties involved in the talks.

The central bank owns 50% plus 1 share in Sberbank, and the idea of transferring the stake is not new, but it recently resurfaced again amid concerns over the regulator's potential conflict of interest as Sberbank's majority shareholder and financial market supervisor, the newswire noted.

Russian officials started considering the transfer in September and the discussions were moved to the government level in December. No decision has been made yet as to how or to which entity the stake could be transferred, according to Reuters' sources.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's spokesman, Oleg Osipov, told Reuters that no decision has been taken regarding the potential changes in Sberbank's ownership structure, while the central bank's first deputy head, Sergey Shvetsov, was cited as saying that it is not possible to sell or transfer the regulator's holding in Sberbank to another entity under the existing law.