Futures Rally as Magnit Buoys Earnings: Russia Overnight

Russian stock futures climbed as oil rallied and OAO Magnit’s better-than-estimated earnings stoked optimism for 2012 corporate results.

Futures expiring in March on the dollar-denominated RTS Index rose 0.4 percent to 159,640 in New York hours yesterday. The ruble strengthened in late trading, climbing 0.2 percent versus the dollar-euro basket used to manage its movements. The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index of Russian companies listed in the U.S. added 0.2 percent, led by gains in OAO Mobile TeleSystems and Polyus Gold International Ltd.

Oil climbed for a fourth day in New York as German investor confidence at a 2 1/2-year high bolstered the outlook for Russia’s biggest export earner. Magnit, the biggest food retailer by market value, reported net income for the fourth quarter that was 24 percent above the average of seven analysts’ estimates. Five of 26 companies on Russia’s Micex Index that reported third-quarter earnings beat analysts’ estimates by an average 2.7 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“There is some optimism in the market as we enter a period of earnings reports,” Andrey Tretelnikov, an analyst at Rye Man & Gor Securities, said by phone from Moscow yesterday. “Magnit has managed to surprise and that added to the optimism. As long as the global economic environment doesn’t worsen demand for Russian equities should increase.”

Quarterly Results

Polyus Gold, Russia’s biggest producer of the metal, is expected to provide an update on its earnings to investors and analysts Jan. 28, Deutsche Bank AG said in a report yesterday. Global depositary receipts of Polyus rose 1.6 percent to $3.11 in New York yesterday, the highest level since Jan. 8. OAO Severstal, Polymetal International Plc and OAO Novolipetsk Steel are set to report fourth-quarter results next week, data compiled by Bloomberg indicate.

Mobile TeleSystems, or MTS, increased 1.7 percent to $19.39 in New York, the highest level since Sept. 13. The American depositary receipts settled at a 17 percent premium to the company’s Moscow-listed stock, the biggest gap since Dec. 18, data compiled by Bloomberg show. MTS rose 0.1 percent to 250.14 rubles by 5:46 p.m. in Moscow today, or $8.28. One ADR equals two shares.

MTS is set to release 2012 earnings in the middle of March. Yandex NV, Russia’s biggest Internet company, is expected to post its 2012 financial results Feb. 20 and VimpelCom Ltd. is scheduled for March 13, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

VimpelCom climbed 1.6 percent to $12.09 in New York yesterday, closing at the highest level since Oct. 3 on trading volume that was 2.4 times the daily average over the past three months. Analysts at HSBC Holdings Plc upgraded the stock to overweight from neutral, according to a report yesterday.

Magnit Earnings

Magnit’s net income was 8.2 billion rubles ($271 million) versus 5.32 billion rubles in the year-earlier period, the retailer said in a statement yesterday. That beat the average

6.63 billion rubles of seven analysts’ estimates collated by Bloomberg.

The Market Vectors Russia ETF, the largest dedicated Russian exchange-traded fund, decreased 0.2 percent to $30.32 yesterday, falling for the first time in three days. The RTS Volatility Index, which measures expected swings in the stock futures, declined 1.3 percent to 20.64.

Crude oil for February delivery in New York rose 0.4 percent to $96.62 a barrel, set for the highest settlement since Sept. 17. The contracts added 0.7 percent to $96.24 yesterday. Brent oil for March settlement increased 0.1 percent to $112.52 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange today, while Urals crude, Russia’s chief export blend, fell 0.1 percent to $111.61.

The ruble strengthened 0.1 percent to 30.1830 per dollar today, after gaining the same amount to 30.2250 yesterday. Ruble futures show the currency 0.2 percent stronger at 30.438 per dollar.

United Co. Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer, lost 1.6 percent to HK$4.93 in Hong Kong trading.