Russia's Sberbank loses leadership

Russia's Sberbank loses leadership

Sberbank has ceased to be the most reliable bank in Russia, according to Forbes ranking of the 100 most reliable Russian banks of the current year, based on their international ratings. It was bypassed by three credit organizations: Rosbank with ruAAA (RAEX), Ba2 (Moody's), BBB- (Fitch), AAA (ACRA); Unicredit Bank (BB + (S&P), BBB- (Fitch), AAA (ACRA); Raiffeisenbank (Ba1 (Moody's), BBB- (Fitch), AAA (ACRA).

Sberbank ranks fourth with ratings of Ba2 (Moody's), BBB- (Fitch), AAA (ACRA). 

Citibank (BBB- (Fitch), AAA (ACRA) ranks fifth, Bank Nordea (BBB- (Fitch), AAA (ACRA) ranks sixth. VTB with ruAAA (RAEX), Ba2 (Moody's), BB + (S&P) ranks seventh. Bank of China with ruAA (RAEX), BBB- (Fitch) ranks eighth. Intesa bank with ruA (RAEX), BBB- (Fitch) ranks ninth. Gazprombank with ruAA + (RAEX), Ba2 (Moody's), BB + (S&P), BB + (Fitch), AA (ACRA) ranks tenth.

Alfa-Bank, Rosselkhozbank and the Russian Capital bank are also included in the group of banks with the highest reliability.

In total, 13 banks were included in the category of the most reliable banks against 11 banks a year earlier. All credit organizations, included in last year's reliability rating, managed to survive the ongoing sweeping of the Central Cank: none of them lost its license, the newspaper notes.

The first four banks in terms of assets remain the same: Sberbank (23806.1 billion rubles), VTB (9808.4 billion rubles), Gazprombank (5530.5 billion rubles) and Rosselkhozbank (3222.5 billion rubles).

"State banks continue to increase their influence in the banking sector. If last year there were five state-controlled banks in the group of banks with the highest reliability, but now there are five of them. The number of private lenders also declined, the Otkritie bank and Promsvyazbank were recapitalised," Forbes writes.

The advisor on macroeconomics to the CEO of the 'Opening-Broker' brokerage house, economist Sergey Hestanov, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the Forbes rating is quite subjective. "It is not worth dramatizing on this topic due to the fact that, first, any rating is conditional, and second, often the ratings are drawn up with the goal of make some kind of press event. In addition, it should be borne in mind that the assessment of banking stability requires not only standard criteria, but also a factor of systemic importance. In the Russian context, the top 10 banks are much more systemically important than others, it is likely that the state will help these banks. This means that when assessing the reliability of banks one should look at their ranking by the value of assets, because the top 10 largest banks will be the most reliable in Russia," he stressed.

The professor at the department of the stock market and investments at the Higher School of Economics, Alexander Abramov, in turn, said that the banks at first four lines of the rating have the same ratings of three international rating agencies. "The only difference between subsidiaries of foreign banks and Sberbank that they have higher capital adequacy ratios. According to this criterion, the first three banks outstrip it, but Sberbank has an advantage in the terms of liquidity and capital returns," he said.

Alexander Abramov expressed confidence that foreign subsidiaries from the top 13 banks are really reliable. "It seems to me that the Central Bank's claims against them are just as unrealistic as against Sberbank," the professor at the department of the stock market and investments at the Higher School of Economics concluded.

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