Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, beat expectations by reporting a 34 percent rise in net profit in its first ever quarterly results to international standards on Friday.

Net profit of 26.8 billion roubles ($1 billion) compared with the average forecast of 25.1 billion roubles in a Reuters analyst poll and 19.94 billion in the same period of 2006.

Analysts had forecast the IFRS figures would be roughly in line with the results under Russian Accounting Standards, which Sberbank published earlier. Under RAS, its net profit for the period was 25.9 billion roubles.

State-controlled Sberbank, which raised 250 billion roubles in a rights issue in March, has an unrivalled position in the sector due to its vast network of branches across Russia.

It is the most liquid banking stock on the market and an attractive asset for foreign investors seeking exposure to a lending boom in Russia's petrodollar economy.

Total assets were 3.937 trillion roubles ($153.1 billion) as of the end of the first quarter, up from 3.467 trillion at the end of 2006 and slightly behind expectations of 3.99 trillion.

First-quarter net interest income was 52.58 billion roubles, below an average forecast of 53.27 billion in the Reuters survey. In the first quarter of last year, net interest income stood at 44.05 billion.

Sberbank shares lost 17 percent last month after the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States hit banking stocks worldwide. They closed 0.5 percent down on Friday.