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Gazprom Neft Surges as VTB Makes It Top Russia Oil Pick

July 12 (Bloomberg) -- OAO Gazprom Neft gained by the most this year in U.S. trading after VTB Capital said it “remains bullish on the oil sector” and selected the stock as one of its top picks.

Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russia’s natural gas export monopoly, rose 4.5 percent to $23.82 in New York, the biggest gain since Dec. 20. The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index of Russian shares traded in New York ended little changed at 88.95.

“While remaining bullish on the sector we have now become pickier in terms of investments in specific companies,” VTB Capital analysts led by Dmitry Loukashov said in a report dated today. “We split the companies into two categories on the back of the quality of their investment governance practice. We define ‘investment governance’ as a company’s ability to act in the interest of shareholders, rather than in the interest of management.”

VTB Capital prefers Gazprom Neft, OAO Lukoil and BP Plc’s Russian subsidiary TNK-BP against OAO Surgutneftegas, OAO Tatneft, OAO Bashneft and Alliance Oil, according to the report.

To contact the reporters on this story: Halia Pavliva in New York at hpavliva@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tal Barak Harif at tbarak@bloomberg.net

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