Bloomberg News

Russian Stocks Including Sberbank Rise; Gazprom, Lukoil Fall

February 15, 2007

Russian stocks including OAO Sberbank rose. The nation's largest bank climbed to a three-week high after the rose after the government said it sold the shares above the market price.

OAO Gazprom and OAO Lukoil led declines by energy companies after oil prices fell for second day. OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel followed the price of the metal higher.

The dollar-denominated RTS Index (RTSI$) rose for a third day, adding 0.3 percent to 1894.92. The ruble-based Micex Index (INDEXCF) lost 0.13 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1690.84.

Sberbank climbed 1.6 percent to 93,541 rubles, adding to yesterday's 1.6 percent advance.

The Russian Federal Property Fund last week sold 2,176 shares for 91,100 rubles each to a Moscow-based investment company in an auction, the fund said yesterday. Sberbank will sell as many as 3.5 million new shares at a price to be set by the board after Feb. 19.

``If this was a bigger stake, then this could have been seen as a proxy for the secondary placement,'' said Natalia Orlova, a banking analyst at Alfa Bank.

Gazprom, the world's largest gas producer, fell 0.9 percent to 278.79. Lukoil shares dropped 1.7 percent to 2,100.54 rubles.

Crude oil for March delivery fell 1.8 percent to $56.93 today after trading began on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract also lost 1.8 percent yesterday.

Norilsk, the world's largest producer of nickel, rose 0.9 percent to $181.10. Nickel climbed for a third day in London and traded near a record as speculation grew that dwindling stockpiles will lead to shortages. Nickel for three-month delivery climbed 3.3 percent to $38,750 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange.

OAO Severstal rose 0.6 percent to 343.52 rubles, a three- month high. The steelmaker will join Morgan Stanley Capital International's emerging markets index series, MSCI Barra said yesterday. The stock climbed 4.3 percent yesterday, its biggest gain in three weeks.

To contact the reporter on this story: William Mauldin in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balduin Hesse in London at

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