Sberbank wants lion’s share of credit card market

Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, plans to become the country's leading issuer of credit cards in two years.

Sberbank CEO German Gref says the bank will issue 300,000 credit cards by the end of 2008.

Gref said the potential client base exceeds 20 million people, and cards will primarily be Visa and MasterCard.

The first cards will be issued no later than July 1 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, with the rest of the country to follow.

Cards will initially be made available to holders of debit cards.

Minority shareholders in Sberbank have put forward six candidates for the bank's supervisory board on Monday, including Rajat Gupta, senior partner for consultants McKinsey and Company.