has reported net profit (RAS) of RUB 6.8bn for 7M09, down 92% y/y and implying profit of RUB 1.5bn (+15.4% m/m) for the month of July. Increases in net interest income (up 44.1% y/y) and fees (up 9.3% y/y), and the containment of operating costs (down 3.6% y/y) were unable to offset the decline in earnings in July, which can be attributed entirely to significantly higher loan loss provisioning (8x y/y) in the period.
Overdue loans edged up to 3.2% in July versus 2.8% in June, 2.6% in May, 2.5% in April, 2.4% in March, 2.1% in February and 1.6% at the beginning of the year. However, the level of provisions to gross loans jumped significantly to 8.0% in July from 6.5% in June and 6.6% in May. We reiterate our view that this high level of provisioning reflects the bank’s conservative approach, although it is also clear that the level of overdue loans may understate the degree of problem loans in the portfolio. Under RAS, overdue loans do not include the full principal amount due from a client but only the overdue portion, albeit starting from more than 1 day (versus the 90 days reported under IFRS). In addition, has not revealed the level of loans that have been restructured to alleviate payment problems.
According to Sberbank’s CFO Anton Karamzin, the bank expects only a small net profit in 2009. According to Alexander Morozov, head of Sberbank's financial department, on-balance-sheet provisions are expected to reach 9.5% by year-end 2009 although the bank is not expected to need new capital in the next 12 months. Although the results are negative, they came in line with expectations. The market showed a neutral reaction to the results yesterday.