Bloomberg News

Sberbank’s Gains May Not Last Long, Troika’s Option Data Show

March 20, 2009

OAO Sberbank’s 46 percent rally in six days will probably be short-lived, according to options trading data from Troika Dialog.

Clients yesterday sold call options due in December on Russia’s largest bank with a strike price at the current share price, indicating gains won’t continue in the second half of 2009, said Denis Agaponov, a Moscow-based option strategist at Troika. Clients also bought June calls at a similar strike price, suggesting a positive short-term view.

Call options grant the right to buy a security for a certain amount by a given date. Sellers of call options are betting the price of the shares won’t exceed the strike price.

“Those who sold the December calls think Sberbank won’t have much upside from current levels,” Agaponov said by phone. “When the market moves up, you can be fairly confident of selling calls because further upside may be more limited.”

Sberbank, the biggest holder of Russian ruble deposits, climbed this week as the currency strengthened, Vedomosti reported the central bank plans to let lenders use subordinated loans for Tier 1 capital and banks including Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. said they were profitable in the first two months of the year.

A record 1.3 billion Sberbank shares changed hands in ordinary trading on the Micex Stock Exchange yesterday, according to Bloomberg data.

Sberbank today gained 0.7 percent to 24.26 rubles, extending the advance since March 13 to 46 percent, the biggest such gain in a decade, as of 2:58 p.m. in Moscow.

To contact the reporter on this story: William Mauldin in Moscow at wmauldin1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net


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