VimpelCom Ltd., Russia’s third-biggest mobile carrier, is poised for the biggest monthly gain since August 2012 on prospects its inclusion in the Nasdaq benchmark index will bolster demand for the shares.
American depositary receipts of VimpelCom have rallied 21 percent to $14.22 in October. The shares added 1.1 percent yesterday. The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index of the most-traded Russian companies in New York fell for a third day, led by OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, which settled at the narrowest premium to the Moscow-listed shares in four days. RTS stock index futures decreased 0.1 percent to 148,570 in U.S. hours.
VimpelCom, which moved its listing to the Nasdaq Stock Market from the New York Stock Exchange, last month, replaced Dell Inc. on the Nasdaq-100 yesterday. Exchange-traded funds and other products linked to the Nasdaq-100 managed about $53.3 billion at the end of the second quarter, according to data compiled by Nasdaq. The average daily share volume this year in VimpelCom rose to 1.6 million from 1.2 million after the stock joined the exchange on Sept. 10.
“Transfer to the Nasdaq has proved to be a very successful step for VimpelCom,” Ilya Piterskiy, an equity strategist at VTB Capital in Moscow, said by phone yesterday. “People who manage tens of billions of dollars and didn’t even have VimpelCom on their radars will now have to add the stock to their portfolios.”
VimpelCom will probably attract about $200 million inflows from funds that trade the Nasdaq-100 Index, Piterskiy said yesterday. VTB has a buy rating on the stock. VimpelCom, owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman and Telenor ASA, has rallied 45 percent this year.
The company, based in Amsterdam, will report on Nov. 6 that third-quarter revenue grew for the first time in three quarters, increasing 0.7 percent to $5.8 billion, according to the mean estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. VimpelCom posted a 2 percent drop in second-quarter earnings as sales rose in Russia and other former Soviet countries, while revenue fell in Italy.
The company, which got 40 percent of sales from Russia in the second quarter, is working to reduce $28.6 billion of debt resulting from the acquisition of telecommunications assets in Italy and Algeria.
The Market Vectors Russia ETF, the biggest U.S.-traded exchange-traded fund that holds Russian shares, dropped 0.4 percent to $29.56, paring its October gain to 4.9 percent. The RTS Volatility Index, which measures expected swings in the index futures, added 4 percent to 23.48 in U.S. hours.
The Bloomberg Russia-US gauge slipped 0.4 percent to 104.16, paring its advance this month to 7.7 percent. CTC Media Inc., the Nasdaq-listed Russian television company, rallied 2.6 percent to $12.86, the highest level since April 25. The stock has climbed 22 percent this month, making it the best performer on the Bloomberg-Russia gauge. VimpelCom is the second-biggest gainer on the index this month, followed by OAO Rostelecom, which has increased 17 percent after two months of declines.
Norilsk, the world’s biggest producer of nickel and palladium, said its board of directors recommended paying an interim dividend of 220.7 rubles per share for the period of January through September 2013. Shares purchased by Nov.1 will be eligible for the payment, the company said in a statement yesterday. Its ADRs fell 2 percent to $15.73 yesterday.
The S&P GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.3 percent to 627.67 yesterday, while West Texas Intermediate crude dropped for the first time in four days on estimates that U.S. inventories reached a four-month high. Raw materials, including oil, metals and natural gas, accounted for about 83 percent of Russia’s export revenue in 2011.
Crude for December delivery slipped 0.6 percent to $97.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange today. Prices have decreased 4.6 percent this month, poised to extend last month’s 4.9 percent decline. Brent oil for December settlement fell 0.3 percent to $108.60 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
United Co. Rusal, a Moscow-based aluminum producer, rose 0.8 percent to HK$2.39 in Hong Kong trading as of 10:43 a.m. local time. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.6 percent.