Russia's Sberbank temporarily suspends lending in Ukraine, has no sovereign debt

MOSCOW Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:15am EST

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MOSCOW Feb 21 (Reuters) - The head of Russia's largest bank Sberbank, German Gref, said on Friday that the bank had temporarily suspended lending in Ukraine, but had no intention to exit the market.

He also said that the bank has no Ukrainian sovereign debt as all this debt had been redeemed.

Fears that Ukraine may default have raised concerns about the exposure of Russian banks to its sovereign debt, which was downgraded to CCC by rating agency S&P on Friday.

Sberbank yesterday said in an emailed statement that none of its bank branches in Kiev were damaged as a result of street clashes but three offices out of 211 in Ukraine, located near the conflict zone, were temporarily closed. (Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva, writing by Jason Bush, editing by Megan Davies)

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