Novorossiysk Surges to 22-Month High on Owner Spat: Moscow Mover

OAO Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port climbed to the highest in 22 months on speculation the owners of Russia’s largest Black Sea harbor are boosting their stakes amid a reported boardroom conflict.

The shares rose as much as 5.4 percent before closing up 4.8 percent at 3.74 rubles in Moscow, the strongest since April 2011. The company has rallied 31 percent on the Micex Index this year, the biggest advance on the 50-stock gauge.

OAO Transneft, the state pipeline operator, has called on Novorossiysk’s board to elect a new chairman and chief executive officer, Kommersant reported yesterday, citing a letter from Transneft’s CEO Nikolay Tokarev to Ziyavudin Magomedov, Summa Group’s owner and the port’s current chairman. Transneft and Summa control 50.1 percent of the port, while the government has a 20 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The conflicting parties -- Transneft and Summa -- are likely increasing their stakes right now,” Elena Sadovskaya, an analyst at Rye, Man & Gor Securities in Moscow, said by phone. “Transneft realizes that Summa might get the government’s 20 percent stake and gain control over the company.”

Russia is interested in finding a strategic investor for its shares, Economy Minister Andrei Belousov said on Feb. 7 at a government meeting.

In the letter, Tokarev said that Transneft’s opinion on the management of Novorossiysk was being ignored, Kommersant reported. The details of Russia’s state asset sales plan will be announced between April 1 and June 1, Russian Deputy Economy Minister Olga Dergunova said on Feb. 7.

The amount of shares traded was 18 million, equivalent to about 7.5 times the three-month average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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