The Russian equity market declined slightly last week in line with the overall EM market. The MSCI EM index fell 0.7% over the week. There was no additional pressure on Russia from oil price decline or from publication of the suggested law amendments regarding sanctions on Russia from the US. MSCI World rose by 0.5% thanks to positive speculation around US-China trade talks and the expectation that the trade deal is near.
Companies in the financial sector outperformed mainly thanks to Moscow Exchange, Credit Bank of Moscow and Sberbank. Their shares rose by 2.3%, 0.7%, and 0.6%, respectively.
Oil and gas companies lagged the other sectoral indices mostly due to an oil price drop. The shares of Novatek, Surgutneftegas and Tatneft fell the furthest: by 4.7%, 3.5%, and 3.0%, respectively.
|RTS Total Return (TR) in USD||-0.9%||11.4%|
|MOEX index TR in RUB|
|Small and mid-cap||-1.3%||4.1%|
|MOEX sector index TR in RUB|
|Metals & Mining||0.2%||3.7%|
|Oil & Gas||-1.7%||0.9%|
Data as of March 1st, 2019
Sources: TKB Investment Partners (JSC) calculations; Bloomberg
Main Russian news
The number of SME companies in Russia fell. According to the Federal Tax Service, the number of small and medium-sized enterprises in February shrank by 6.1% YOY and 7.3% YOY respectively. This is mainly due to a decline in real disposable incomes for the fifth year in a row, rising taxes, and increased inflation. The Russian Small Business Index (RSBI) fell under the 50 points mark in Q4 of 2018, which also indicates a decline in business activity in the sector.
To improve the situation, the Ministry of Economic Development relaunched the program of concessional SME lending to ensure affordable financing for small and medium sized business. The interest rate for borrowers under the program is up to 8.5%, compared to 9.6-10.6% previously. According to the program plan, banks will issue concessional loans for 1 trillion rubles this year. The expected value of concessional loans to be issued by the end of 2024 is 10 trillion rubles.
Rusal and Lukoil are due to publish FY18 IFRS results
Rosstat is due to release macroeconomic figures for February 2019
Author: Marina Tsutskiridze, junior investment specialist
Sources: Rosstat, cbr.ru, Bloomberg, TKB Investment Partners (JSC); March 2019Russian-Equities-Weekly_05-March-2019