Sberbank Poised for 2-Week Low on Conversion Halt: Moscow Mover

OAO Sberbank fell in Moscow, heading for a two-week low, a day after the country’s largest lender said it reached a limit for converting local shares into foreign stock.

The shares dropped as much as 1.1 percent in Moscow, before trading down 0.6 percent at 106.24 rubles by 2:48 p.m., the lowest since Jan. 25 on a closing-price basis. The amount of shares traded was about 49 million, equivalent to 59 percent of the three-month average. Sberbank rose as much as 0.6 percent in London before trading up 0.1 percent at $14.18.

Sberbank said in a statement yesterday that its depositary receipt program had reached its limit. Depositary receipts can only account for 25 percent of a company’s shares and 50 percent of its listed shares, under Russian regulations. Sberbank’s depositary receipts are equivalent to four ordinary shares.

“The closure of the program is likely to create a discount of the local line to depositary receipts,” VTB Capital analysts wrote in an e-mailed note today.