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Russia Stocks Retreat Second Day as Federal Grid, MRSK Decline

February 05, 2013

Russian (INDEXCF) equities fell for a second day as crude oil, the nation’s chief export earner, dropped and power stocks retreated.

The Micex Index lost 0.3 percent to 1,530.59 by 10:07 a.m. in Moscow. Of the 50 stocks in the gauge, 34 fell, 15 rallied and one was unchanged. The dollar-denominated RTS Index (RTSI$) declined 0.7 percent to 1,601.14. Federal Grid Co. and OAO MRSK Holding led declines, losing at least 1 percent.

Crude traded close to the lowest level in more than a week in New York at $96.09 before a report that may show rising stockpiles in the U.S., the world’s biggest crude consumer. Russia gets about half of its budget revenue from oil and natural gas. Russia will maintain control over its stake in Federal Grid after its merger with MRSK, Vedomosti reported, citing an unnamed official.

“Federal Grid is set to remain on the short list of state companies where the main decisions are set to be approved directly by the government,” VTB Capital analysts led by Mikhail Rasstrigin said in an e-mailed note. “We reiterate our negative strategic stance on Federal Grid.”

OAO Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, and VTB Group both declined 0.7 percent. Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy is facing opposition calls to resign amid contested reports about illegal payments, while Deutsche Bank AG said this year’s rally in Italian, as well as Spanish, bonds may falter as Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi narrowed the front-runner’s lead before elections this month.

The number of shares traded on the Micex were 5.7 percent above the 10-day average, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of commodities retreated 0.2 percent.

The Micex trades at about 5.6 times estimated earnings and has added 3.8 percent this year. That compares with a multiple of 11 times for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which has gained 1 percent over the same period.

Russian equities have the lowest valuations based on estimated earnings among 21 emerging markets tracked by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ksenia Galouchko in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at

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