Russian deputy PM hints at struggles facing top lender Sberbank

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(Reuters) - Russia's top lender Sberbank is still trying to fund property developers in spite of "difficulties and losses" that the sanctioned bank is experiencing, Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said on Tuesday, the RIA news agency reported.

Khusnullin gave the first insight into the strain that unprecedented sanctions against Moscow are putting on the dominant lender, which has stopped publishing financial reports.

Khusnullin said banks' financing for property developers was going badly and that he had discussed the issue in detail at a meeting with Sberbank CEO German Gref.

"They are now trying, despite the difficulties and losses that they have, to provide funding," RIA quoted him as saying. "If necessary, this means we will look at possible extra capitalisations and support. But the key theme is that banks should provide funding."

Sberbank declined to comment.

The bank, which posted record profits in 2021 of 1.25 trillion roubles ($17.30 billion), has said it has enough buffers to respond calmly to external pressures.

The United States imposed full blocking sanctions on Sberbank earlier this month, exerting pressure on Russia over what Moscow calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine.

($1 = 72.2500 roubles)

(Reporting by Reuters)

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