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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Government to Sell Sberbank Stake

The State Property Committee is preparing Sberbank for sale on the open market, but some government and Central Bank officials warn that the sell-off could spark a rush of withdrawals.

Sergei Belyayev, head of the State Property Committee, said Wednesday that the government will sell off the 40 percent stake in Sberbank -- which it has recently taken over from the Central Bank -- at investment auctions later this year, Interfax reported.

A Sberbank official said Thursday, though, that there would not be a mass exodus of deposit holders from the bank, which is the state savings bank.

"Our point of view is a little calmer," said the official, who declined to be named. "We don't think our investors are going to run away. Sberbank itself will protect its investors with its own strength and resources."

Deputy head of the Central Bank Andrei Khandruyev said Tuesday Russians would flock to withdraw their deposits in the absence of government savings protection, Interfax reported.