VTB outperforms Moscow market after hitting 2013 low
MOSCOW Oct 30 (Reuters) - Russian second-largest lender VTB outperformed the broad Moscow Exchange on Wednesday in a move analysts said reflected a mismatch on prices compared to the bank's main competitor Sberbank.
At 0920 GMT, VTB shares were up 2.3 percent on the rouble-denominated MICEX, compared to a 0.5 percent broad rise in the index.
Of the two state-controlled banks, investors have increasingly favoured Sberbank, managed by former economy minister German Gref, over VTB for its transparency, better management and higher profitability.
But analysts say VTB has now reached a reasonable minimum.
"The fundamentals of VTB are weaker from that of Sberbank, but some players have started counting on a closing of the gap in the dynamics of the shares," said Artyom Argetkin, head of sales at BKC investment house in Moscow.
Sberbank's shares were up 1.1 percent. Since the start of the year, its shares have risen 12 percent, while VTB has fallen 17 percent, reaching a 2013 minimum in early October.
Argetkin said increased purchases of VTB shares had begun a couple of weeks ago.
Alfa-Bank also raised its recommendation for VTB to 'outperform' earlier this month. Mikhail Kotov, head of foreign investors relations at Alfa, said the bank's clients had begun acquired VTB shares at that time.
"Now, we don't see anymore clients' transactions with the shares," he said.
Rosneft, which reported third-quarter results on Tuesday, underperformed, with analysts disappointed by its profit, taking under consideration only a small, 1.8 percent, weakening of oil prices in roubles during that period .
The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.6 percent at 1,501 points.
The rouble traded higher on rise in oil prices and the central bank's purchases of the Russian currency to replenish the Finance Ministry's budget funds. On Tuesday, the central bank bought $62 million on behalf of the ministry.
The rouble was up 0.4 percent at 31.99 versus the dollar and 0.2 percent higher at 44.00 against the euro .
This has left the rouble 0.3 percent higher at 37.39 against the dollar-euro basket the central bank uses to monitor the rouble's nominal exchange rate.
For rouble poll data see
For Russian equities guide see
For Russian treasury bonds see
Russia in graphics: link.reuters.com/dun63s (Reporting by Zlata Garasyuta; Writing by Lidia Kelly; editing by Patrick Graham)
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