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Business news, 21.09.2008 09:56

Bank St Petersburg ups profit, postpones SPO

Alexander Savelyev Russia's Bank St Petersburg said on Wednesday its first-half net profit more than doubled to 1.755 billion roubles ($68.82 million), beating analysts' expectations.

The bank, which raised $274 million in a share offering in November last year, said pre-tax profit rose 23.5 percent to 1.336 billion roubles, and net interest income jumped 113 percent to 4.034 billion roubles.

Assets at BSPB, ranked among Russia's top 30, increased to 165.792 billion roubles from 126.656 billion roubles a year ago.

Analysts polled by Reuters forecast net profit of 1.47 billion roubles, profit before tax of 1.97 billion roubles, net interest income of 3.56 billion roubles and assets of 163.62 billion roubles.

The bank's chairman and co-owner Alexander Savelyev said BSPB would postpone its planned additional share offering until next year and would attract funds from other sources including subordinated loans.

The bank earlier planned to raise $400 million through a share offer in autumn this year and to borrow up to $1 billion on international financial markets in the next two years.

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