Russia’s RTS Rises First Day in Three as Lukoil Boosts DividendKsenia Galouchko
Russia’s RTS Index rose for the first time in three days, erasing earlier losses, as the ruble strengthened and OAO Lukoil planned to boost its dividend while Inter RAO UES swung to a profit.
The dollar-denominated RTS added 0.9 percent to 1,037.16 by 5 p.m. in Moscow after sliding as much as 1.8 percent. The benchmark Micex Index gained 0.6 percent to 1,546.41. Lukoil, the nation’s second-biggest oil producer, climbed to a six-year high. Power company Inter RAO jumped 3.8 percent. VTB Group, Russia’s second-biggest bank, retreated 1.2 percent and was the biggest drag on the Micex.
The ruble reversed earlier losses in low-volume trading and oil pared declines after reaching a four-year low, as investors awaited results of an OPEC meeting in Vienna. Russia receives about half of its budget revenue from oil and natural gas sales.
“There’s a sense that even if OPEC members don’t cut the output, traders will be closing short positions and oil won’t fall further,” Vadim Bit-Avragim, who helps oversee about $4 billion at Kapital Asset Management LLC in Moscow, said by phone. “Lukoil is rising as it promised good dividends.”
The ruble gained 0.9 percent to 46.9655 versus the dollar after falling as much as 1 percent. Brent crude fell as much as 2.9 percent to $75.48 a barrel, before trading 1.8 percent lower.
Inter RAO advanced the most in six weeks as nine-month net income rose to 9.03 billion rubles from a loss of 13.2 billion rubles a year earlier, according to today’s website statement. Bank St. Petersburg increased 3 percent as its nine-month net climbed 14 percent from a year earlier.
Lukoil climbed 1.4 percent after its billionaire shareholder and Vice President Leonid Fedun said the company plans to increase its dividend in dollar terms this year and next.
Penalties imposed on Russia over its role in the Ukraine rebellion have exacerbated a slump in the economy, which is growing at the slowest pace since a 2009 contraction. The ruble has tumbled 30 percent this year, the worst performance among 24 emerging-market currencies. Oil has dropped 31 percent in the period.
U.S.-based exchange-traded funds invested in Russia had $2.2 million in outflows yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.