Sberbank Falls Third Day as Russia Stake Sale Ends: Moscow Mover

OAO Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, fell for the third day as Russia raised 159.3 billion rubles ($5.2 billion) through the sale of a minority stake.

Sberbank retreated as much as 2.1 percent and last traded 1.5 percent lower at 93.40 rubles by 2:13 p.m. in Moscow, poised for its biggest fall since July 31. The Micex Index slid 0.7 percent to 1,504.31. In London, the stock slumped 2.3 percent to $12.06.

The Russian central bank priced 1.7 billion shares in ordinary and global depositary stock at 93 rubles each, reducing its stake to 50 percent plus 1 voting share, according to a statement yesterday. The sale signals a renewed push by President Vladimir Putin to go ahead with plans to raise about 1.5 trillion rubles through 2015, a program that had stalled since the $3.3 billion offering of a 10 percent stake in lender VTB Group 19 months ago.

“The share placement was offered at a discount to the market price, so now investors are fixing their profits,” Mikhail Shlemov, an analyst at VTB Capital, said by phone from Moscow. “The drop in shares is logical.”

MSCI Inc. (MSCI) said in an e-mailed statement yesterday it would wait for the results of the sale to announce any changes to its indexes. MSCI will “implement” Sberbank’s share sale at the November semi-annual index review, according to the statement.

“There seem to be short-term investors, people who got the stock in the placement who are already selling it,” said Bruce Bower, a partner at Moscow-based hedge fund Verno Capital, which manages about $200 million and participated in the Sberbank placement.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at

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