Bloomberg News

Russia Stocks Drop on Putin’s Gazprom Merger Call, Earnings

April 30, 2010

Russian stocks fell for the third day this week after OAO Uralkali and OAO Surgutneftegaz reported a drop in earnings and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for “unification” of OAO Gazprom with Ukraine’s state energy company.

The Micex Index of 30 stocks retreated 1.3 percent to 1,436.04 at the close in Moscow, leaving the ruble-denominated gauge with a 1 percent drop in April.

Gazprom, the world’s biggest gas producer, tumbled 2.4 percent to 170.33 rubles after Putin called for its merger with NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy. The company’s chief executive officer Alexei Miller said Gazprom was ready to consider asset swaps with its Ukrainian counterpart.

Uralkali, Russia’s largest fertilizer producer by market value, slipped 0.8 percent after reporting profit declined 59 percent last year.

OAO Surgutneftegaz declined as much as 2.4 percent to 28.05 rubles after reporting first-quarter net income tumbled 64 percent to 8.37 billion rubles ($286 million) compared with the previous three months.

“Earnings reports have generally been disappointing and provide no reason for investors to reverse the slide into holiday mode,” Chris Weafer, chief strategist at UralSib Financial Corp. in Moscow said in e-mailed comments.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Corcoran at Jcorcoran13@bloomberg.net

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


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