MOSCOW, April 12 (Reuters) - Russia’s top lender Sberbank is taking another look at Denizbank, put up for sale by Dexia, as part of its plans to enter the fast-growing Turkish market, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.
Last year, Sberbank dropped out of the race for Denizbank, now worth $6 billion, as it focused on integrating its acquisitions of Russian brokerage Troika Dialog and the eastern European arm of Oesterreichische Volksbanken.
“We are interested in entering the (Turkish) market and are also looking at Denizbank. But we are not in talks at the moment,” the spokeswoman said.
Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday that Qatar National Bank had made a higher bid for Denizbank after earlier talks stalled over price.
Sberbank, which controls around a third of Russia’s overall lending and half of household deposits, last year started an international foray.
The bank, Europe’s second largest lender by market capitalisation, aims to earn at least 5 percent of net profit from international operations by 2014 and has previously said it is interested in Turkey and Poland.
Analysts doubt Sberbank would get drawn into a bidding war for Denizbank, as CEO German Gref drove a hard bargain in the acquisitions of Troika Dialog and VBI.
“We expect the bank to remain price sensitive and we do not anticipate any newsflow in the near term,” VTB Capital analysts said in a note. (Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Mark Potter)