VTB Surges 3rd Day as Ignatiev Supports Share Sale: Moscow Mover

VTB Group, Russia’s second-largest lender, headed for a three-week high after Russia’s central bank Chairman Sergey Ignatiev supported an additional share sale by the bank without state participation.

The stock rose for a third day, jumping as much as 2.4 percent and trading up 1.5 percent at 5.736 kopeks by 12:54 p.m. in Moscow, the highest level on a closing basis since Jan. 29. The amount of shares traded was 33.9 billion, equivalent to about 107 percent of the three-month average.

It’s better for the government to dilute its stake by allowing VTB to sell new shares without buying any, than to divest its holding, Ignatiev said today in Moscow. The state holds about 76 percent of the lender, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“An additional share sale is better because it can boost VTB’s capital and increase its potential for developing its business,” Natalia Berezina, an analyst at UralSib Capital, said by phone from Moscow.

VTB Chief Executive Officer Andrey Kostin said last month that the lender may sell as much as $3 billion of new shares this year. The bank sold equity at $6.25 per global depositary receipt in February 2011. The GDRs gained 1.3 percent to $3.80 in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ksenia Galouchko in Moscow at kgalouchko1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at wmoskwa@bloomberg.net

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