OAO Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, rose for a sixth day as the ruble surged after the U.S. Federal Reserve unexpectedly refrained from cutting stimulus.
Sberbank jumped 3 percent to 102.58 rubles by 3:34 p.m. in Moscow, the strongest intraday level since May 29 and bringing the six-day rally to 7.4 percent. That’s the longest stretch of gains since June 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The volume of shares traded was equivalent to more than 1.6 times the three-month average. The bank, which accounted for about 45 percent of retail deposits in Russia as of April 1, added 5.2 percent to $12.93 in London. (SBER)
The Fed yesterday said it wants more evidence of an economic recovery before paring its $85 billion-a-month bond buying program, spurring a rally in emerging-market assets. The ruble advanced for a 10th day, appreciating 0.7 percent against the dollar to 31.6135, poised for a record streak. That’s the strongest level on a closing basis since May, when Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke stoked speculation the bond buying program would be reduced, triggering a rout in developing-nation stocks.
“Banks should be outperforming the market today since the ruble is strengthening,” Natalia Berezina, an analyst at UralSib Capital in Moscow, said by phone. “The Fed’s decision is positive since the easing will continue untouched for now.”
Sberbank’s second-quarter profit rose 4 percent to 86.5 billion rubles ($2.6 billion), missing estimates, as slowing economic growth in Russia curbed demand for credit. The central bank kept the refinancing rate unchanged last week, matching the forecast of 14 out of 22 economists in a Bloomberg survey.
Today’s gain in Sberbank shares extended this quarter’s rally to 9.7 percent, taking an advance this year to 10 percent.
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