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Bond Yields Drop as Stimulus Wagers Spur Appetite; Ruble Steady

Ruble bonds rose, lowering the yield on 15-year notes from the highest since their sale, as speculation Japan will use stimulus to bolster its economy spurred appetite for riskier emerging-market assets.

The yield on OFZ bonds due 2028 fell six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 7.25 percent from 7.31 percent on Feb. 22. The ruble gained less than 0.1 percent against the central bank’s target dollar-euro basket at 34.7477 as of 7 p.m. in Moscow after rising as much as 0.2 percent to 34.7063.

Oil, Russia’s main export, rose 0.8 percent in London to $115.06 per barrel of Brent crude. Russian bonds followed emerging market assets higher on speculation Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will nominate Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda as Bank of Japan governor. Kuroda said this month there is “substantial room” for easing, according to two officials with knowledge of the discussions.

The monthly tax period, when exporters sell a part of their foreign currency revenue to buy rubles, ends in Russia with company income taxes on Feb. 28.

“After the payment of the mineral extraction tax today exporters’ activity will decline substantially,” OAO Rosbank analysts led by Vladimir Kolychev said in an e-mailed note.

With tax payments out of the way, the ruble will “likely slide” to 34.75 rubles to 35 rubles against the basket, Rosbank analysts said.

The ruble strengthened 0.5 percent against the dollar to 30.2750 and weakened 0.3 percent against the euro to 40.2150.

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