November 16, 2017 / 8:52 AM / a year ago

Russian rouble up on stronger oil price, VTB shares fall

MOSCOW, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble firmed against the dollar on Thursday, supported by a recovery in oil prices and companies buying roubles to make local tax payments, but stocks in Russia’s second-biggest bank, VTB, continued to fall.

At 0800 GMT, the rouble was 0.37 percent stronger against the dollar at 59.99 and had gained 0.59 percent to trade at 70.62 versus the euro.

The Russian rouble dropped to a four-month low on Monday as oil prices fell. But oil prices recovered on Thursday and supported the rouble.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 0.34 percent at $62.08 a barrel.

The rouble has also been helped by export-focused Russian companies converting parts of their dollar revenues into roubles in order to meet monthly tax payments which began on Wednesday.

The rouble was still pressed by the longer-term impact of a net $23.5 billion in foreign debt redemptions that Russian banks and companies are due to make in the fourth quarter.

Shares of Russia’s VTB, the country’s second-largest bank, extended loses in trading on Thursday, losing 2.5 percent to trade at 0.054 roubles, the lowest level since December 2014.

Raiffeisenbank said in a research note this week that VTB’s net borrowings from the central bank and the finance ministry has grown by almost 300 billion roubles ($5 billion) as of Oct. 1 from the end of the second quarter, to reach 907 billion roubles.

On Wednesday, VTB announced an issue of rouble bonds worth a total of 15 billion roubles with a yield of 8 percent, higher than some of the yields offered on the bank’s deposits.

VTB under-performed the wider market for Russian stocks.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.86 percent to 1,126 points, while the rouble-based MICEX was 0.59 percent higher at 2,144 points.

Shares of Russian low-cost food retailer Magnit recovered and were up 3.26 percent after a drop due to the decision of its main owner to sell a stake at a big discount.

For rouble poll data see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/fx-polls?RIC=RUB=

For Russian equities guide see

For Russian treasury bonds see

Russia in graphics: ($1 = 59.8909 roubles) (Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya; Editing by Katya Golubkova and Christian Lowe)

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