Russia's Sberbank reports record annual profit of $16 bln


Adds detail throughout

MOSCOW, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Russia's largest lender Sberbank SBER.MM reported a record annual profit of 1.5 trillion roubles ($16.3 billion) for 2023, a more than five-fold increase on the previous year as Russia's banking sector recovered from the impact of financial sanctions.

Last year, Russian banks collectively made record profits of 3.3 trillion roubles, driven by sharp rises in mortgage, consumer and corporate lending even as the central bank jacked up interest rates to their current level of 16%.

Sberbank dominates the banking sector and boasts more than 108 million customers. CEO German Gref said the bank had issued 28.7 trillion roubles of loans to customers in 2023 and its overall loan portfolio grew 27% to 39.4 trillion roubles.

Return on equity reached 25.3% in 2023, the bank said. Net profit for the fourth quarter was 359.7 billion roubles.

"The main positive surprise was the expansion of net interest margin ... to 6.26% in comparison to Q3 of 2023 on the back of strong business growth," said Sinara Investment Bank analysts in a note.

($1 = 92.0875 roubles)

(Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya and Alexander Marrow Additional reporting by Filipp Lebedev Editing by Andrew Osborn and Mark Potter)


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