European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has agreed to sell its 15% stake in OAO Swedbank Russia to its parent and major stakeholder, Sweden-based Swedbank. The move will give Swedbank full ownership of its Russian subsidiary.

The sale decision was agreed with Swedbank after a five-year investment which saw the EBRD become a minority shareholder in March 2005 in what was a start-up Russian corporate banking operation, at the time called OAO Hansabank.

Reportedly, the Russian bank’s name was changed to OAO Swedbank Russia in May 2007. In December 2008, the EBRD participated pro-rata in a capital increase for the bank.

However, the sale is conditional on by Swedbank obtaining the approval of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and will be completed only after such approval is duly received.

Swedbank has 9,5 million retail customers and 550,000 corporate customers, with 381branches in Sweden, 226 branches in the Baltic countries and 164 branches in Ukraine. The bank is also present in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Kaliningrad, Luxembourg, Marbella, Moscow, New York, Oslo, Shanghai, St. Petersburg and Tokyo. As of December 2009 the group had total assets of SEK1.795bn and approximately 19,000 employees.