Top banker to run Post Office

Russia's postal system is on course for a major shake-up after it was announced the service is to be run by Andrey Kazmin. Kasmin was president of the country's biggest bank, Sberbank, for almost 12 years, and is credited with turning the Soviet-era inst

Andrey Mukhin, analyst at Broker Kredit Service in Moscow, says the Post Office can expect big changes under Kazmin.

“His move to head of the Russian postal system portends significant changes for that institution which, like Sberbank, is part of the fabric of Russian society, and is generally perceived as in need of overhaul,” he said.

I would compare it on the basis of infrastructure and on the same potential which Sberbank had especially 5 years ago,” said Leonid Slipchenko, analyst at Uralsib bank in Moscow.

He added that the new management would bring a new forward-thinking culture to the postal service.

It means for the management of Russian post to set up distant goals. It may lead the institution to be rather competitive while other post offices especially foreign ones are coming into Russia

Leonid Slipchenko, Uralsib
“It means for the management of Russian post to set up distant goals. It may lead the institution to be rather competitive while other post offices especially foreign ones are coming into Russia,” he noted.

Kazmin's move raises questions about the direction of Russia's largest bank.

He leaves Sberbank in good shape, with its share price having grown more than 300% in recent years.

The placement of nearly US$ 10 billion worth of shares earlier this year, followed by a share split, has taken Sberbank down a path which would have seemed almost unimaginable 11 years ago.

Substantial increases in profitability and capitalization, overseen by Kazmin in recent years, will leave investors wondering where it goes next.

Andrey Mukhin, analyst at Broker Kredit Service in Moscow pointed out that “Kazmin has been there for some time and a great number of achievements have been made during that period. But now investors need to face the question on whether the bank's strategy will be maintained.”

No immediate successor has been named. But media speculation in Moscow centres around the former Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref. His liberal economic credentials will have both industry analysts and shareholders who came to Sberbank under Kazmin's stewardship watching with interest.

“Mr Kazmin who has taken Sberbank, reformed it and created something out of the very unwieldy bureaucracy into unified commercial bank. This perhaps a natural time when he steps aside and somebody else moves in who will take Sberbank into new, more market orientation,”Richard Hainsworth from RusRating Agency in Moscow pointed out.