Our View: This statement increases the risks of another Sberbank SPO. In 2013, VTB plans to hold an SPO with the state's share likely dropping (although the government will probably keep a controlling stake). Meanwhile, in the near term, privatising more of the bank could push the share below 50% which, according to Belousov, might trigger the sale of Sberbank's shares.
Currently, the banking law protects the share of the CBR by setting a minimum level at 50%. Chairman of the CBR Sergey Ignatiev has also constantly opposed any reduction in the stake. Meanwhile, should the new head of the CBR (to be appointed by 24 March) agree with the further privatisation of Sberbank, that would increase the price overhang risks for the stock in the medium term.