Russia’s Sberbank briefly emerges as richest bank in continental Europe

Russia’s Sberbank briefly emerges as richest bank in continental Europe
Russian bank Sberbank briefly became the richest bank in continental Europe on Monday, leaving Spain’s Banco Santander in second spot. By the end of the day, the Spanish bank, however, had reclaimed the top ranking.

The value of Sberbank's ordinary shares exceeded 285 rubles per share, while the preferred shares fetched the price of 235 rubles each, at the Moscow Stock Exchange. The top Russian bank’s capitalization reached 6.3 trillion rubles, or 91.73 billion euros.

The capitalization of Banco Santander, which was ousted by Sberbank from the top place, was at €91.56 billion as of Monday afternoon. However, the Russian bank’s reign was short-lived as, by the end of the trading day, Banco Santander’s capitalization rose to €91.8 billion, pushing Sberbank back to second place. The Russian bank closed the day with assets of €90.7 billion, or 6 trillion rubles.

On Friday, Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings agency raised Russia’s long-term and short-term sovereign credit rating to BBB-/A-3 over the country’s prudent policy and improved monetary transmission. Fitch also said that it has “affirmed Russia's Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'BBB-' with positive outlook.”

Sberbank is the main creditor in the Russian economy, holding the largest share on the deposit market. It was founded by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), which remains its main shareholder, holding 50% of the authorized capital plus one voting share.

READ MORE: S&P raises Russia’s rating to investment grade, Fitch sees positive outlook

The sate-owned bank has more than 127 million retail customers in Russia and 10 million abroad, as well as 1.1 million corporate clients in 22 countries. Sberbank became Russia’s most valued company last year, leaving energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft behind.

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