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Sberbank, the leading Russian bank, and Cetelem, Europe's leading consumer credit player, unite efforts to develop the consumer credit market in Russia

In line with the Memorandum of Understanding entered into force on June 17, 2011, Sberbank, Russia's leading bank, and Cetelem, the consumer lending division of the BNP Paribas Group, and the leading provider of consumer loans in France and Europe, have signed on 26 December 2011 a binding partnership agreement to create a joint venture for a Russian POS (Point of Sale) finance bank (hereinafter – the “Partnership”). The Partnership will operate under the Cetelem brand. Sberbank will have a 70% stake in the Partnership, the remaining 30% stake being owned by BNP Paribas Personal Finance France, which owns the Cetelem brand.

Partnership operations are planned to start in the summer of 2012 under the retail banking license of BNP Paribas in Russia, Vostok, after the transfer of Cetelem business from ZAO BNP Paribas. During this transfer period, the Parties will apply for all necessary approvals for the joint venture and will continue active preparation to ensure a smooth and quick start of the Partnership promptly after closing of the transaction in the summer of 2012.

Sberbank and Cetelem believe that the Partnership will be a success as early as 2012 thanks to the complementary knowledge, experience and inputs of both partners, and that it will quickly become one of the market leaders in the consumer credit POS market in Russia.

The Partnership will use the concept of “responsible lending” developed by Cetelem and supported by Sberbank that implies providing simple and transparent products to customers with reasonable interest rates. The Parties believe that use of this concept will make POS loans more attractive to customers and lead to the transformation of the Russian POS market.

Sberbank of Russia is the largest bank in Russia, accounting for about 27% of the aggregate Russian banking assets and employing about 240,000 people. Sberbank's founder and major shareholder is the Bank of Russia holding over 60% of voting shares. The bank's other shareholders comprise more than 245,000 legal entities and individuals. The bank has the largest countrywide branch network with 17 regional head offices and more than 19,000 branches as well as subsidiary banks in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus, a branch in India, and representative offices in Germany and China.

The bank holds the general banking licence No.1481 issued by the Bank of Russia.

The official website is

Cetelem, a commercial brand of BNP Paribas Personal Finance, a part of the BNP Paribas Group, specializing in personal financing through its consumer credit and mortgage activities. With 28,000 employees in more than 30 countries across 4 continents, BNP Paribas Personal Finance is N°1 in France and Europe.

Under the its key brand (Cetelem), BNP Paribas Personal Finance offers a full range of consumer credit products that are available either at the point of sale – in retail outlets and car dealerships, or directly from its customer relations centers and via the Internet.

In addition to this, BNP Paribas Personal Finance has turned its partnership activities into a business line in their own right, using its expertise to develop a comprehensive range of credit solutions and integrated services that are tailored to suit each partner's own particular business and own commercial strategy. BNP Paribas Personal Finance has thus become the benchmark partner for brands in the retail, services, banking and insurance worlds. It is also the leading player in the field of responsible lending.

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