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Novatek Surges on Sinopec Stake in Yamal Report: Moscow Mover

OAO Novatek gained the most in three weeks on a report China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., China’s biggest oil refiner, may sign an agreement to buy a stake in the Russian gas producer’s Yamal LNG project.

Novatek jumped as much as 7.5 percent and closed up 3.7 percent at 315.06 rubles in Moscow, the biggest gain since May 22. The amount of shares traded was equivalent to 2.1 times the three-month average. Global depositary receipts advanced 5.4 percent to $110.10.

Reuters reported yesterday that Sinopec, as China Petrochemical is called, may sign an agreement next week to join Novatek’s $20 billion project to produce liquefied natural gas in the Yamal region, citing unidentified people in Moscow. Mikhail Lozovoy, a Novatek spokesman, declined to comment.

“The market really likes good reports about the entry of a reliable partner and consumer into the project,” Alexei Kokin, an analyst at UralSib Capital in Moscow, said by phone. “Chinese participation could instantly solve the question of sales for Novatek.”

Billionaire Chief Executive Officer Leonid Mikhelson met with Sinopec and other companies during Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich’s visit to China in February and may offer a stake in the project, two people in the delegation told Bloomberg at the time, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Total SA holds a 20 percent stake in the project.

Sinopec Chairman Fu Chengyu met with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Feb. 26, said the Chinese company in an online newsletter. Sinopec plans to expand cooperation with Russian companies in oil and gas production and trade, Fu said in the statement, without elaborating.

Russia’s benchmark Micex Index added 1.4 percent to 1,299.61.

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