YALTA, Ukraine -- Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, plans to develop its network in Ukraine and become the market leader there, bank Chairman German Gref said.
"We plan to considerably expand our presence here [Ukraine] over the next few years and I think we will undoubtedly become the number one bank in Ukraine," he told reporters late on Tuesday after the opening ceremony of the bank's Yalta branch, Sberbanks' 11th in Ukraine.
Sberbank's wholly-owned Ukrainian subsidiary is now among the top 20 Ukrainian banks by assets.
Gref said that Sberbank was planning to develop its own network in Ukraine instead of buying one of the Ukrainian banks as was announced earlier.
"To buy an old network and then reinvest in it is a too expensive and is sometimes an unjustified deal," he added.
He also said that Sberbank was finalizing a deal to buy a resort on the Crimean Peninsula to be used mainly by bank employees but also by outside clients.