Sberbank, VTB Surge as European Leaders Ease Bank Debt Rules

OAO Sberbank and VTB Group, Russia’s biggest lenders, rallied after European leaders agreed to ease repayment rules for the region’s troubled lenders.

VTB gained 6 percent to 5.71 kopeks by the close in Moscow, the biggest jump since October 2010. Sberbank rose 4.4 percent to 86.39 rubles, the most since May 29.

Financial shares climbed after European Union President Herman Van Rompuy said leaders of the 17 euro countries dropped the requirement that governments get preferred creditor status on crisis loans to Spain’s banks. MSCI Inc.’s Russia Finance Index added 6.9 percent to 551.31, the biggest jump since Nov. 30.

“The financial sector is outperforming today,” Farhan Kazmi, the head of emerging-market equities at Credit Suisse Group AG in Moscow, said by phone. “Markets, such as Russia, follow the lead of what’s going on in the Eurozone in absence of the domestic newsflow. The European decision is not a game changer, but it buys time.”

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