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Sberbank to grow organically in East Europe

img_0086Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, will focus on organic growth in central and eastern European operations for the time being while opening a new front in online banking in Germany. The bank is still digesting the eastern European network it bought two years ago from Austria’s Volksbanken, Sberbank Europe chief executive Mark Arnold said, so acquisitions in the central and eastern European, or CEE, region are not a priority. But it will open a direct banking operation in Germany in the third quarter of the year, aiming to beat prices from established banks with large branch networks. Direct banks typically offer their services online and over the telephone. The new bank will function separately from Denizbank, an Austro-Turkish direct lender owned by Sberbank that operates in Germany. An Austrian unit of Russia’s number-two bank, VTB, ING’s ING-DiBa unit and BNP are also big players there.

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