OAO Sberbank, the biggest holder of ruble deposits, climbed to the highest in 2 1/2 months as the Russian currency appreciated for a fifth day versus the dollar.
Sberbank rose for a third day, adding 0.6 percent to 92.15 rubles by the close in Moscow, the highest level since May 3.
The ruble gained 1 percent against the dollar to 31.9845, the longest streak of increases since March 19. A stronger ruble discourages Russians from withdrawing and converting local- currency deposits, Sberbank’s main source of funding.
“Sberbank is benefitting from the sustained rally in the ruble, which encourages savers to keep their money in ruble accounts,” Ovanes Oganisian, a strategist at Troika Dialog in Moscow, said by phone today.
Russia may issue additional shares of state-owned Sberbank and smaller rival VTB Group as an alternative to offering investors part of the existing equity, Izvestia reported today, citing Alexei Ulyukayev, the central bank’s first deputy chairman. A secondary offering would achieve the same result as a privatization by diluting the state’s stake, Ulyukayev was quoted as saying.
Conducting an equity placement would sidestep the “drawn- out process” of selling existing shares, Oganisian said.
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