Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank by assets, may buy 51% of
Austrian bank Volksbank’s international business after all.

The statement comes after Sberbank said in February that it was
not in talks with Volksbank’s international business unit.

An acquisition of 51% of Volksbank would be in line with
Sberbank’s expansion ambitions across central and Eastern Europe,
including the commonwealth of independent states, through inorganic

Volksbank operates in ten CEE countries, including Hungary,
Croatia and Romania.

Sberbank is also targetting growth in Turkey – an attractive
market for foreign lenders – but will maintain its core focus on
its domestic market.

Russia’s largest lender began its international expansion
strategy in 2006 and has since bought banks in Kazakhstan, the
Ukraine and Belarus.