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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sberbank chief calls for reform after disappointing 3Q GDP

The head of Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, recently called for a new round of reforms to stimulate the country's private sector as third-quarter GDP figures showed stagnant growth.

"Russia needs a 100 percent new reality for investors," CEO Herman Gref told the Financial Times. "Who is the number one for economic growth? Number one are private investors. In my opinion we have a long-term potential of 6 to 7 percent of economic growth, only we need a very big amount of reforms."

Gref, who was economics minister from 2000-2007, helped reform Russia's pension system and spearheaded the country's membership in the World Trade Organization.

Gref's remarks come as Russia's statistical service showed GDP grew by just 1.2 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period last year. GDP growth in the second quarter was also 1.2 percent, while it was 1.6 percent in the first quarter.

Analysts expect that even with an expected slight upturn in the three final months of the year, the government will miss its growth target of 1.8 percent for the full year.