Bloomberg News

Russia Stocks Drop From 6-Month High as Greece Curbs Risk Wagers

February 07, 2012

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Russian stocks dropped from a six- month high as concern Greece will fail to take sufficient steps to avert a default curbed appetite for riskier stocks.

The 30-stock Micex Index fell 0.1 percent to 1,562.87 by the close in Moscow, after earlier advancing and falling as much as 0.4 percent. OAO Rosneft, the country’s biggest oil producer, slumped 1.7 percent and VTB Group, Russia’s second-largest lender, fell 0.9 percent. The dollar-denominated RTS Index climbed less than 0.1 percent to 1,626.46.

Emerging-market stocks fell for the first day in five after a gathering of Greek political leaders was delayed by a day as they struggled for a unified response to meet the conditions of a 130 billion-euro ($171 billion) bailout.

“There is still a long way to go before the final whistle,” Chris Weafer, chief strategist at Troika Dialog, wrote in e-mailed comments today. “The possibility of a default in Greece, with unknown consequences for European banks and the global economy, remains a very real threat.”

OAO Polyus Gold, Russia’s biggest gold producer, had its best two-day gain since the stock was listed in Moscow in May 2006 as investors bet the company’s London-listed parent will make a buyout offer. The shares climbed 8.9 percent to 1,505 rubles, taking their two-day advance to 47 percent.

VTB snapped four days of gains after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia’s second-biggest lender is prepared to finance a possible buyback from its profit and won’t use state funds to purchase shares from investors.

The stock slid as much as 1.2 percent and closed down 0.9 percent at 7.245 kopeks.

The Micex is up 11 percent this year and trades at 6.1 times analysts’ earnings estimates for member companies.

The gauge retreated 17 percent in 2011, compared with an 18 percent drop for Brazil’s Bovespa index, which is valued at 10.4 times estimated earnings according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Shanghai Composite Index trades at 9.6 times estimated earnings, and the BSE India Sensitive Index has a ratio of 15.7.

--Editors: Alex Nicholson, Linda Shen

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Corcoran in Moscow at jcorcoran13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net


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