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VTB Jumps 3rd Day as Ignatiev Endorses Sale: Moscow Mover

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- VTB Group, Russia’s second-largest lender, climbed to a three-week high after Sergey Ignatiev, chairman of Russia’s central bank, said he supported the sale of additional shares by the bank without state involvement.

The stock rose for a third day, jumping as much as 2.4 percent in Moscow and closing 0.8 percent up at 5.69 kopeks, the highest level since Jan. 29. Trading volume was more than double the daily average over the past three months.

Further privatization of VTB would be “best done through an additional share issue, without the participation of the state,” Ignatiev said today in Moscow. Russia held 75.5 percent of VTB by September 2011, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“An additional share sale is better because it can boost VTB’s capital and increase its potential for developing its business,” Natalia Berezina, an analyst at UralSib Capital, said by phone in Moscow.

VTB Chief Executive Officer Andrey Kostin said last month that the lender may sell as much as $3 billion of new shares this year. The bank sold equity at $6.25 per global depositary receipt in February 2011. The GDRs gained 0.3 percent to $3.76 in London today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ksenia Galouchko in Moscow at kgalouchko1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at wmoskwa@bloomberg.net

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