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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gref Seen As Heading Sberbank

The government may appoint former Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref as the new president of state-controlled Sberbank, the country's largest bank, government sources said Friday.

The sources confirmed reports in Vedomosti and Kommersant that the current president of Sberbank, Andrei Kazmin, was expected to leave after 11 years at the helm and that Gref was the main contender to replace him.

Gref, who was seen as one of the top liberals in the previous government, resigned last month following a Cabinet reshuffle, in which President Vladimir Putin replaced Mikhail Fradkov with Viktor Zubkov as prime minister.

A source in one government department said a decision on Kazmin's departure had already been made and that he would be offered another position.

"There is no smoke without fire. People have been saying for a long time that Kazmin planned to leave," a senior government source said.

Vedomosti said Gref was the only candidate to replace Kazmin, but Kommersant quoted sources as saying the government was also considering two other candidates.

They were Igor Zavyalov, a former deputy head of the country's second-largest bank, VTB, and Vladimir Dmitriyev, the current head of the Development Bank, previously know as VEB.