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Report: Sberbank puts international ops' streamlining before expansion

PAO Sberbank of Russia has no plans to expand its presence abroad, according to CEO Herman Gref, news agency Prime reported Dec. 13.

The lender's unit Sberbank International has individual strategies for different countries and regions, with priorities including optimization, digitization and the introduction of new business models, but not geographic expansion, Gref reportedly said.

Sberbank is present in 22 countries, including Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Switzerland. Gref said in mid-March that the lender plans to reduce the number of bank subsidiaries and branches in Europe in 2016 and 2017, Prime noted.

Meanwhile, Sberbank CFO Alexander Morozov said the bank could sell its stakes in Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc., but it is early to discuss details, Prime reported separately the same day.