Russia Utilities Advance Most Two Weeks on Dividend Regulations

Russian utilities headed for the biggest gain in two weeks after the government approved dividend rules for state-owned companies.

MSCI Inc.’s Russia Utility Index rallied 2.3 percent to 35.66 by the close in Moscow, poised for the strongest advance since Nov. 6. OAO MRSK Holding rose 0.7 percent to 1.896 rubles. Federal Grid Co. gained 1.5 percent, while OAO Inter RAO UES added 1.1 percent to 2.47 kopeks. OAO RusHydro increased 1.5 percent to 73.42 kopeks.

The government approved regulations requiring state companies to pay no less than 25 percent of their net income in dividends, according to a website document posted Nov. 16.

“If this decree starts working, this will be very positive for investors,” Elina Kulieva, an analyst at Alfa Bank, said by phone from Moscow. “Power companies’ large capital-spending programs didn’t allow them to pay high dividends.”

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