OAO Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, headed for its best close in almost two months as the ruble strengthened against the dollar and RIA Novosti said retail-lending growth will accelerate.
The shares, which have a 13 percent weighting in the 30-stock Micex Index, climbed as much as 3.4 percent and last traded 2.2 percent higher at 86.91 rubles as of 3:32 p.m. in Moscow, poised for their strongest level since Dec. 5.
Retail deposits will grow 20 percent this year after an 18.1 percent gain in 2011, state-run RIA reported, citing Sberbank department head Dmitry Oguryayev.
The Russian currency added 0.5 percent to 30.7074 versus the dollar today. A close that that price would be its best since Nov. 15. A stronger ruble discourages Russians from withdrawing and converting ruble deposits, Sberbank’s main source of funding.
-- Editors: Alex Nicholson, James Kraus