ST PETERSBURG, Russia May 22 Russia's largest
bank, Sberbank, is looking at various options to
expand in China, where it sees huge potential, a senior
executive of the bank said on Thursday.
Having opened a representative office in Beijing in 2011,
the state-controlled bank will be able to open an actual branch
there next year, Sberbank's deputy chairman Sergei Gorkov said.
"The potential is huge, the question is our niche," said
Gorkov. "We (are trying) to find our niche."
Gorkov said Sberbank is spending this year understanding the
market and would make a decision by the end of the year about
"when and how" it would open a branch.
On Wednesday the presidents of Russia and China signed in
Shanghai a $400 billion gas supply deal, opening up a new gas
market for Moscow as it risks losing European customers over the
Outside Russia, Sberbank has a presence in countries
including Kazakhstan and Turkey, and has representative offices
in Germany and a branch office in India.
(Reporting by Megan Davies; Editing by Greg Mahlich)