CHINA'S US$200 billion sovereign wealth fund is considering buying a US$4
billion stake in Russia's largest commercial bank, media reports said
China Investment Corp has received a proposal from investment banks, which are now lobbying global clients to buy a total of 7.6 percent of OAO Sberbank. Russia's biggest state-controlled lender is expected to roll out its privatization program soon, 21st Century Business Herald reported yesterday.
OAO Sberbank expects to raise around US$6 billion and the proposal to CIC, which manages part of the country's foreign exchange reserves, is for a 5 percent stake, the newspaper cited unnamed sources as saying.
The proposal includes a report by the Russian bank detailing its assets and operational status. A separate report compares OAO Sberbank and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the largest lender in China, the newspaper added.
A woman surnamed Wang in CIC's public relations department declined to comment on the report when contacted by Shanghai Daily.
The Russian government plans to sell part of its shares in more than 10 state-owned enterprises and banks in exchange for about US$35.9 billion. But the government will still hold at least 50 percent stakes in each enterprise to maintain control.
The Russian central bank owns 57.6 percent of OAO Sberbank.
The central bank hired Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, UBS and a Russian investment firm to be co-financial counselors for the sale.
OAO Sberbank's net profit jumped to nearly US$6.4 billion last year, six times that of 2009, the bank's president said in March.