Russian shares sharply higher after MSCI keeps Sberbank, VTB in index

MOSCOW Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:11am EDT

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MOSCOW Aug 11 (Reuters) - Russian shares opened sharply higher on Monday after stock index compiler MSCI kept Russia's two largest banks, Sberbank and VTB, in its MSCI Russia index.

At 0605 GMT, the dollar-denominated RTS index was up 2.4 percent to 1,198 points, while its rouble-based peer MICEX traded 1.8 percent higher at 1,372 points.

The rouble was 0.11 percent stronger against the dollar at 36.08 and gained 0.24 percent to trade at 48.33 versus the euro.

Stock index compiler MSCI said late on Friday it would keep sanctions-hit Sberbank and VTB, Russia's two largest banks, in its MSCI Russia index after consultations with investors.

MSCI indexes are used by many investment funds to determine their weightings so exclusion from the Russia index could have significantly reduced demand for the banks' shares.

"Given the decision by MSCI not to exclude the shares of Sberbank and VTB from its indexes, as well as the lack of negative news from Ukraine, we expect the Russian stock market to recover at the start of this week," said Yevgeny Loktyukhov, an analyst at Promsvyazbank.

For rouble poll data see

For Russian equities guide see

For Russian treasury bonds see

Russia in graphics: link.reuters.com/dun63s

(Reporting by Alexander Winning and Olga Voitova, editing by Jason Bush)

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