UPDATE 3-Rosneft shares fall after CEO Sechin hit by US sanctions

Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:20am EDT

* RTS, MICEX rebound on US not sanctioning listed companies

* But Rosneft to suffer from sanctions against CEO

* Rouble firms, players relieved by limited US measures (Adds prices after U.S. announces new sanctions, comments)

By Lidia Kelly

MOSCOW, April 28 (Reuters) - Shares in Russian oil company Rosneft and its major shareholder British BP fell on Monday after the United States announced sanctions against Rosneft's Chief Executive Igor Sechin over the Ukraine crisis.

Shares in Rosneft, the world's largest listed oil producer, were down 1.9 percent at 1435 GMT. They underperformed Moscow's broad MICEX index, which rose on relief that the new U.S. sanctions did not affect any other publicly traded Russian company.

The sanctions against Rosneft only applied to Sechin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, but analysts said the measure might hinder some of the company's business activities.

"Because of the likelihood that the imposed sanctions will complicate the implementation of some of Rosneft's foreign projects and its cooperation with foreign companies, shares obviously declined," Grigory Birg, an analyst at Investcafe market research firm, said in a note.

Shares of BP, which holds almost a 20-percent stake in Rosneft, fell 1.6 percent in London and dollar bonds issued by Rosneft hit a record low.

There was a burst of activity on the Moscow stock market after the U.S. Treasury announced sanctions on seven Russian officials and 17 firms associated with Putin. That was followed by relief that no banking, financial or major industrial company was included.

"The market had expected worse," said Alexei Bachurin, chief trader at Renaissance Capital. "Everyone was afraid that the list will include companies such as ... Sberbank."

Sberbank, Russia's largest lender which lost 11 percent last week, rose 5 percent, recovering from a 2.4-percent fall earlier in the session. Investors see the bank, run efficiently by former Economy Minister German Gref, as a barometer of sentiment towards the Russian market.

"I think that the new list of sanctions, or rather their very targeted character were kind of a relief for the market," said Andrei Yarnykh, head of equity sales at USB in Moscow.

The rouble also firmed, after staying unchanged most of the session, to trade 0.3 percent higher against both the dollar and the euro, at 35.91 against the U.S. currency and at 49.73 against the European single currency.

"Everyone was expecting sanctions against VTB, VEB (banks) or Gazprom (gas major) and they did not materialise, so players hurried to close their long positions taken on those risks," said a dealer at a major Russian bank.

Still, U.S. officials made clear that sanctions against key sections of Russia's economy will be imposed, including the energy and defence sections, should Russia send troops massed along the Ukraine border into eastern Ukraine.

Both Russia's main indexes, the rouble-traded MICEX and the dollar-denominated RTS index, are trading 10 percent below levels seen before Putin declared on March 1 Russia's right to invade Ukraine, escalating the crisis between Moscow and Kiev.

Senior U.S. administration officials told reporters that the new sanctions and the threat of more measures were having an impact on the Russian economy.

Data from the Russian central bank showed that Russia saw $63.7 billion in capital outflows in the first quarter of the year, already exceeding total outflows for all of last year.

The World Bank has estimated capital outflows may reach a record $150 billion this year.

For rouble poll data see

For Russian equities guide see

For Russian treasury bonds see

Russia in graphics: link.reuters.com/dun63s (Addtional reporting by Zlata Garasyuta and Vladimir Abramov in Moscow, Karolin Schaps and Sujata Rao in London; Writing by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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