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Company News

Russia's Sberbank net down 85 pct in Jan-Oct

* 10-month net profit 17.1 bln roubles

* Expects full-year net profit of at least 20 bln rbls

* Figures are according to Russian Accounting Standards

* Buys Eurozone sovereign securities for first time

By Oksana Kobzeva

MOSCOW, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Sberbank SBER03.MM, Russia's largest lender, on Tuesday reported an 85 percent year-on-year drop in net profit for the first 10 months of the year under Russian Accounting Standards

State-controlled Sberbank said in a statement net profit for the period was 17.1 billion roubles ($594 million), down from 113 billion roubles a year earlier.

Sberbank Chief Executive German Gref said on Nov. 10 he expected the bank to post a net profit of around 20 billion roubles or more for the full year. [ID:nLA421383] That would be less than a fifth of the 109 billion roubles earned in 2008 under Russian Accounting Standards.

Sberbank's closest rival, No. 2 Russian bank VTB VTBR.MM, is expected to post a loss this year.

Sberbank said on Tuesday that it acquired sovereign securities of Eurozone countries for the first time in October. It did not give details.

“Of course, we will invest, if it’s profitable for us,” Sberbank’s first deputy chief executive, Bella Zlatkis, told Reuters, referring to the securities. (Writing by Robin Paxton; editing by John Wallace) ((robin.paxton@reuters.com; +7 495 775 1242; Reuters Messaging: robin.paxton.reuters.com@reuters.net)) ($1=28.79 Rouble)

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