Views Article – Sharenet Wealth

Asia, Forex

Sberbank converted FX proceeds from DenizBank sale in early August – sources

(Updates to add that Sberbank declined to comment.)

By Tatiana Voronova and Elena Fabrichnaya

MOSCOW, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Russia’s largest lender Sberbank sold a large amount of foreign currency for roubles in early August, three financial market sources said, around the time the currency fell sharply after fresh U.S. sanctions against Moscow and a broader sell-off on emerging markets.

Two sources close to Sberbank told Reuters the state-controlled lender had converted $2.7 billion it had received from selling its Turkish business DenizBank. Sberbank converted the funds in tranches over several trading days in early August, the two sources said.

Another financial market source, who asked not to be named, confirmed that Sberbank had converted large amounts of foreign currency in early August.

One of the sources close to Sberbank said the conversion had supported the rouble, but the other source close to Sberbank and the financial market source said the transactions had had only a limited impact on the rouble exchange rate.

Sberbank declined to comment. The central bank declined to comment.

Sberbank said in late July it had closed a deal to sell DenizBank, once its biggest foreign asset, to Emirates NBD , marking the end of Sberbank’s foreign expansion which it began before 2014 Western sanctions.

Sberbank said it had earned 170.7 billion roubles from the sale, which in early August bought around $2.68 billion.

In the first six trading days of August, the rouble lost 3% against the dollar compared to its value at the end of July . ($1 = 66.2525 roubles) (Writing by Andrey Ostroukh Editing by Andrew Osborn and Alexandra Hudson)

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