Sberbank profit up 6 pct while bad-debt provisions double
MOSCOW Oct 7 (Reuters) - Russia's biggest lender Sberbank reported a 6 percent rise in net profit for the first nine months of 2013, helped by higher interest income, but its provisions to cover potential bad loans doubled from a year ago.
Russian banks have piled into high-margin consumer lending in recent years and have had to set aside more money to cover risks on high-interest loans, potentially weakening their capital position, while a slowing economy has raised fears that customers will struggle to repay their debts.
State-controlled Sberbank said its net profit amounted to 286.2 billion roubles ($8.9 billion) in the nine months to Sept. 30 as net interest income rose 15 percent to 518.3 billion roubles.
Total provisions jumped to 83.5 billion from 39.5 billion a year ago, said Sberbank, which recently trimmed its full-year profit guidance.
The results were calculated according to Russian accounting standards (RAS), seen as a guide to its performance under international reporting standards.
Reporting under RAS is generally seen as less transparent than international standards because it reflects parent company earnings rather than a group's consolidated financial performance. ($1 = 32.1765 Russian roubles) (Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva; Writing by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by David Goodman)
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