Bloomberg News

Russian Stocks Fluctuate as European Debt Woes Threaten Growth

November 24, 2011

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Russian stocks fluctuated, pushing the 30-stock Micex index to gains and losses on concern Europe’s debt crisis will hamper global economic growth.

The Micex rose 0.1 percent to 1,403.38 as of 2:59 p.m. in Moscow, after earlier losing as much as 1.6 percent and advancing by as much as 1.3 percent. The dollar-measured RTS Index slid 0.7 percent to 1,421.82.

“We’re still waiting, still worrying” over how Europe and the U.S. will solve their debt problems, said Chris Weafer, Moscow-based chief strategist at Troika Dialog, Russia’s oldest investment bank.

Oil, Russia’s biggest export, dropped 1.8 percent to $96.24 a barrel in New York futures trading as investors speculated that rising stockpiles in the U.S. and Europe’s slowing economy will damp demand for fuel. Germany failed to get bids for 35 percent of the bonds it offered in a government auction today, a sign the region’s debt crisis is spreading further. The European Union is Russia’s biggest trading partner.

United Co. Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum company, slid 2.6 percent to 225.15 rubles. The company said before the markets opened in Moscow that non-executive director and audit committee member Alexander Popov resigned, effective Nov. 24. He’ll be replaced by Dmitry Troshenko.

Gazprom, MTS, Polymetal

OAO Mobile TeleSystems, the country’s largest mobile operator, gained 5.3 percent to 197.13 rubles. Moscow-based MTS may bid jointly with rival VimpelCom Ltd. for a Ukrainian company with a license to offer so-called third-generation services there, the Vedomosti newspaper reported today.

OAO Polymetal, the country’s biggest silver producer and a non-Micex Index component, gained 0.4 percent to 514.50 rubles after its parent company, London-listed Polymetal International Plc, said it will offer minority shareholders 531.15 rubles apiece for shares in Polymetal it doesn’t already own.

The Micex has lost 17 percent so far this year, compared with a drop of 19 percent for Brazil’s Bovespa index. The MSCI Emerging Markets index declined 22 percent over the same period, and lost 1.9 percent to 892.42 today.

--Editors: Linda Shen, Robert Valpuesta

To contact the reporters on this story: Denis Maternovsky in Moscow at dmaternovsky@bloomberg.net; Jack Jordan in Moscow at jjordan22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Hellmuth Tromm at htromm@bloomberg.net


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