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Sberbank changes to Sber, builds home electronics

Russian state lender Sberbank is dropping the "bank" part of its name as it changes directions and launches new products that include a TV streaming box, smart speakers and virtual assistant.

Big tech has spent recent years filtering into the financial services scene, with the likes of Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Tencent and Alibaba making various plays to take on banks in everything from payments to lending.

Just this week, Yandex, often called Russia's Google, made a $5.5 billion move to buy Sberbank's rival, Tinkoff. Now Sberbank is rebranding as Sber and entering the home electronics market.

The Sber Box turns any television into a smart TV, providing access movies, television, music, and games. In addition, the Sber Portal is a multimedia smart display with a speaker, sensor, voice control, and gesture recognition.

Both have a family of virtual assistants, called Sber Salut, built in. The assistants also work with iOS and Android devices.

Meanwhile, the company is launching its own equivalent of Apple's App Store and Google's Play. Called SmartMarket, it will enable developers to build their own apps.