MOSCOW Feb 7 Russia's Sberbank boosted provisions against potential bad loans by 28.5 billion roubles ($821 million) last month because of increased corporate lending and a sharp devaluation in the rouble, the bank said on Friday.
Sberbank, feeling the effects of a faltering Russian ecomony that grew by only 1.3 percent last year, said a considerable part of the additional provisions covered risks on loans denominated in foreign currencies.
The January figure is equivalent to almost 30 percent of the 97.3 billion roubles set aside by Sberbank, Russia's biggest lender by assets, during the whole of 2013.
VTB Capital analyst Jason Hurwitz said the provisions were the highest in any month since 2010 but that flat net profit in January could be viewed as satisfactory, given the size of the hit.
Sberbank's shares were virtually flat at at 1046 GMT, against a 0.6 percent rise for the broader market.
The results were calculated according to Russian accounting standards (RAS) that are watched as a guide to the bank's performance under international reporting standards. ($1 = 34.7060 Russian roubles) (Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva; Writing by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by David Goodman)