Russia Micex Index to Be Expanded to 50 Stocks to Match RTS

Russia’s benchmark Micex Index will incorporate 20 new stocks starting Dec. 18 as the government moves to simplify trading and ease investment.

The additions will make the composition of the ruble-denominated Micex identical to the 50-stock RTS Index, which is priced in dollars, according to Sergey Golovanev, head of the Moscow Exchange’s index and market data department.

“The dollar and ruble-denominated indices will be based on the same pool of stocks with the largest market capitalization,” Golovanev said in a phone interview from Moscow today.

The changes, aimed at unifiying the two gauges, are a step toward President Vladimir Putin’s goal of turning Moscow into a global financial hub and luring international investors to the nation’s assets. The Moscow Exchange was created when the Micex Stock Exchange merged with the RTS Exchange in December. The bourse offers stock, bond, currency and futures trading.

In 2013 the exchange plans to unite the RTS and Micex indexes under a single trademark, according to Golovanev.

“In 2013, both names, the Micex Index and RTS, will continue to exist,” Golovanev said. “2013 will be a transition year. This will continue until the exchange decides on a new joint name for the indices.”

The Micex Index climbed 1.9 percent to 1,486.33 by 6:05 p.m. in Moscow. The RTS added 2.4 percent to 1,511.71.

‘Positive Change’

“It’ll be very convenient when we have one index,” Ilya Piterskiy, an analyst at VTB Capital, said by phone. “This is a positive change.”

OAO Gazprom, the world’s biggest natural-gas producer, OAO Lukoil, Russia’s largest non-state oil producer and OAO Sberbank, the country’s largest lender, have the largest weighting in the Micex, Bloomberg data show.

OAO Bashneft, a Russian oil company, OAO Phosagro, a fertilizer producer, and M.Video, Russia’s largest electronics retailer, are some of the companies on the RTS Index that aren’t included on the Micex.

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