On February 11, 2020, the Ministry of Finance of Russia reported that the agency and the Bank of Russia jointly developed a bill on the repurchase of shares of Sberbank of Russia PJSC. The document stipulating the withdrawal of the Bank of Russia from the capital of Sberbank of Russia PJSC and defining the procedure and conditions for the sale of shares has already been sent to the Russian government. An official statement on this topic has been published on the website of the Ministry of Finance of Russia.
It is assumed that the buyback of the regulator’s package will occur at the expense of the National Wealth Fund (NWF) at market value at the expense of the NWF liquidity in excess of 7% of GDP. By the way, the Bank of Russia share in the authorized capital of Sberbank of Russia PJSC is 50% plus one voting share, in voting shares - 52,32%. The remaining shareholders of Sberbank of Russia PJSC are more than 8 thousand legal entities and individuals. At the same time, the share of individuals in the authorized capital of Sberbank of Russia PJSC is about 2,84%, and the share of foreign investors is more than 45%.
It is clarified that Sberbank of Russia PJSC is the largest financial institution in Russia, "therefore it is advisable to maintain a significant state participation in its capital." It is explained that when the Bank of Russia plays the role of shareholder, regulator and supervisor at the same time, a certain conflict of interests occurs. Therefore, the sale of shares of Sberbank of Russia PJSC by the Bank of Russia will help to remove the “tension” of interests and ensure the regulator is equidistant from financial market participants. What prevented doing this earlier is not specified.
At the same time, the Bank of Russia will make an obligatory offer to minority shareholders of Sberbank of Russia PJSC to redeem shares at a time when selling the first part of the package at a price similar to the sale price. It is also said that the change in the controlling shareholder will not affect the state guarantees for Russian deposits and will not cancel plans for investing in infrastructure projects.
In addition, for clarity, it should be noted that as of February 1, 2020, the volume of the liquid part of the NWF amounted to 6,197 trillion rubles or 5,5% of GDP from the forecast for this year. The liquid end of the NWF is expected to reach 7% of GDP by 2020.