Russian stocks climbed to the strongest level in almost three weeks as the ruble’s oil-driven rebound lifted Sberbank PJSC, the nation’s biggest lender, toward a record high.
The Micex Index rose 1 percent to 1,895.74 by 12:54 p.m. in Moscow as Sberbank surged as much as 3.5 percent to 116.90 rubles. The lender, which holds almost half of all household deposits in Russia, has a 13.5 weighting in the Micex, the second biggest in the 50-stock gauge. The ruble climbed for a second day, appreciating 0.2 percent to 66.9910 versus the dollar, the strongest level since Dec. 1 on a closing basis.
Sberbank reported a first-quarter quadrupling of net profit under Russian accounting standards on Thursday as the ruble gained and non-performing loans declined. Lukoil, Russia’s second-largest oil producer, was the next-biggest contributor to the Micex’s advance, after Brent crude’s six percent surge on Friday lifted energy producers, which account for more than half of the stock market.
“Firstly, this is the reaction to the recovery in the oil price and the ruble,” Olga Naydenova, a banking analyst at BCS Financial Group who rates Sberbank at hold, said by e-mail. “And secondly, this rally may have been propped up by Thursday’s numbers.”
While the index has added 7.5 percent since the beginning of the year, Sberbank has advanced almost 14 percent. Those gains mean the lender “doesn’t look cheap,” according to Naydenova. The shares trade at 8.4 times forecast earnings, compared with 7.7 times for the Micex, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Government bonds fell, raising the yield two basis points to 9.36 percent.