MOSCOW, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Sberbank, Russia's top lender, aims for profit from international businesses to total $900 million this year, according to a transcript of a conversation that its CEO had with President Vladimir Putin.
That would exceed the earnings target previously set by the bank that its business abroad contribute 5 percent to total profit.
"In the first half of this year, we earned already 14.5 billion roubles ($441 million) in international markets; by the end of the year, we hope that we will earn around $900 million in profit from abroad," said CEO German Gref, according to a transcript published on the Kremlin's website on Monday.
A former economy minister, Gref has pushed into global markets by buying foreign assets such as the Eastern European arm of Austria's Oesterreichische Volksbanken (OeVAG) VBI and Turkey's Denizbank.
Deputy chairman Sergey Gorkov said last year that Sberbank's new international assets would make up five percent of group profit in 2013.
The bank has previously forecast its net profit for 2013 will be 370 billion roubles ($11.3 billion) - 390 billion roubles ($11.9 billion).
On this basis, international profit would make up more than seven percent of total profits. Sberbank was not immediately available for comment regarding a comparative figure for 2012.
For a link to the transcript: www.kremlin.ru/news/18998
$1 = 32.8847 Russian roubles Reporting by Megan Davies and Oksana Kobzeva