Russian equities were little changed before U.S. jobs data that may signal how soon the Federal Reserve will starting trimming record stimulus. TCS Group Holding Plc sold shares in the first initial public offering by a Russian company in London since November.
Twenty-seven stocks fell and 23 rose as the the Micex Index (INDEXCF) traded down less than 0.1 percent at 1,533.47 by 1:23 p.m. in Moscow. The gauge has rallied 19.6 percent from this year’s low in June. OAO Magnit, the nation’s biggest food retailer, increased 0.8 percent to 8,551 rubles. OAO Mechel (MTLR), Russia’s largest coking-coal producer, fell 0.7 percent to 105 rubles.
The Federal Reserve will probably delay the first reduction in its bond purchases until March after the government shutdown slowed fourth-quarter growth and interrupted the flow of data, according to a Bloomberg survey. TCS Group Holding, the owner of Russian consumer lender Tinkoff Credit Systems, raised $1.09 billion in the London IPO. The sale was priced at $17.50, the top end of the range, according to a company statement today.
“The market had risen a lot, now it’s waiting for the U.S. data,” Lev Snykov, a partner at Greenwich Capital in Moscow, said by phone today.
Tinkoff’s shares traded at $19.16 according to indicative pricing in London today, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“This is an interesting asset because they have a narrow focus on credit cards and we expect demand for credit cards to only rise in Russia,” Vladimir Savov, an analyst at Otkritie Financial Corp. in Moscow, said by phone. “This is a private company that’s not dependent on the state. Investors, seeing this, prefer to buy into the stock despite the high valuation.”
Russia’s two biggest lenders, OAO Sberbank and VTB Group are state-owned. Sberbank fell 0.3 percent to 105.18 rubles, while its global depositary receipts were steady at $13.16. VTB added 0.4 percent to 4.38 kopeks and 0.8 percent to $2.753 in London.
Crude slid 0.3 percent to $98.89 in New York, trading below $100 a barrel for a second day. Russia receives about half its budget revenue from natural gas and oil industry sales.
The Micex rallied 1.3 percent last week after President Barack Obama signed into law a measure ending the 16-day government shutdown and extending the nation’s borrowing authority until early next year.
Russian equities have the cheapest valuations among 21 emerging economies monitored by Bloomberg, with shares on the index trading at 4.4 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with a multiple of 10.8 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. Ten-day price swings on the Micex dropped to 14.176 from 14.383 yesterday.
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