Sberbank may take action over assets bought from Volksbank-FT

VIENNA Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:56am EST

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VIENNA Feb 18 (Reuters) - Russia's Sberbank may seek redress over its 505 million euro ($674 million) purchase of Austrian lender Volksbank AG's eastern European arm VBI last year, the Financial Times reported, citing Sberbank CEO German Gref.

"We do have certain issues with the asset quality of what we bought from Volksbank, compared with what was originally declared," Gref was quoted by the paper as saying in an interview published on Monday.

"We anticipate having to have serious conversations with the auditors as well as with the bank."

Volksbank had no immediate comment. Sberbank did not respond immediately to a request for comment regarding Gref's criticism.

Sberbank closed the VBI purchase a year ago after getting an 80 million euro discount off the originally agreed price. The deal gave Russia's top bank a springboard to expand in emerging Europe.

($1 = 0.7490 euros) (Reporting by Michael Shields in Vienna and Oksana Kobzeva in Moscow; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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