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Exclusive: Russia's Sberbank to remain Yandex partner, may adjust some projects – CEO Gref


Chief Executive of Sberbank German Gref attends a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the Gorki state residence outside Moscow, Russia October 31, 2019. Sputnik/Dmitry Astakhov/Pool via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Sberbank (SBER.MM) plans to continue its partnership with Yandex (YNDX.O) even though it has transferred its ‘golden share’ in the country’s leading internet company to another entity, Sberbank’s Chief Executive German Gref told Reuters.

To assuage Kremlin fears about potential foreign influence, Yandex this month approved changes to its corporate structure to establish a “public interest foundation” which would receive Sberbank’s golden share and a number of other rights.

Sberbank, Russia’s top bank, has also agreed to buy a stake in internet company Mail.ru (MAILRq.L), as Gref continues to transform the lender into a banking-to-online services company.

“Partnership (with Yandex) will remain,” Gref told Reuters, adding there could be some changes in a number of joint projects between the two companies. Sberbank’s key joint ventures with Yandex are Yandex.Market and Yandex.Money.

Reporting by Tatiana Voronova and Katya Golubkova; Editing by Kirsten Donovan



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