Russian Stocks Trade Near Month High as Sberbank Extends Rally

  • Ruble strengthens for first time in three days versus dollar
  • Nation’s biggest lender climbs for fifth day to record

Russian stocks traded near a one-month high as Sberbank rose for a fifth day to a record after the head of the the nation’s biggest lender said the economy was set to improve.

The Micex index of Russia’s 50 biggest stocks gained as much as 0.4 percent and was up less than 0.1 percent at 1,927.91 as of 5:06 p.m. in Moscow, trimming its decline in the month to 1.2 percent. Sberbank, which has the biggest weighting in the index at 15.3 percent, rallied as much as 1.4 percent to 135.08 rubles, the highest on record.

Russian stocks have advanced 9.5 percent this year as crude oil, the nation’s main export earner, rallied from a record low in January. The economy has passed through the worst of the slump, Sberbank Chief Executive Officer Herman Gref said last week after the company reported its biggest quarterly profit on record.

"The markets seem to be encouraged by the results,” Olga Naydenova, an analyst at BCS Financial Group in Moscow, said by e-mail. The bank’s guidance for future returns is “very good in current market conditions,” said Naydenova.

The ruble advanced for the first time in three days, adding 0.2 percent to 66.04 per dollar. The yield on five-year government bonds was unchanged at 9.22 percent.

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