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Russia's Sberbank forecasts 10% profit growth in 2019

PAO Sberbank of Russia expects its net profit to increase by at least 10% in 2019, with return on equity remaining at more than 20%, the lender said in a Dec. 12 presentation.

The bank also sees its net interest margin staying at more than 5.5% in 2019, while cost of risk is set to remain in the area of 130 basis points, subject to forex market volatility.

In addition, the bank expects the group common equity Tier 1 ratio under Basel III rules to be more than 12.5%, compared with more than 11.15% in 2018.

Sberbank also expects its corporate loan portfolio to expand in line with the Russian banking sector at a rate of between 5% and 7%, while its retail loans will grow by between 15% and 18%, slightly outperforming the sector average.

For the first nine months of 2018, the Russian lender reported an IFRS consolidated profit attributable to shareholders of 655.6 billion Russian rubles, up from 576 billion rubles one year ago.

As of Dec. 12, US$1 was equivalent to 66.34 Russian rubles.