OAO Lukoil (LUKOY), Russia’s second-largest
oil company, climbed to an eight-week high in New York after the
crude producer said billionaire Chief Executive Officer Vagit
Alekperov bought $498 million of shares since late June.
American depositary receipts added 0.2 percent to $62.31 in
New York after the stock gained 0.6 percent in Moscow, leaving
the ADRs at a 0.1 percent discount. Lukoil has surged 12 percent
in the past month in Moscow as Alekperov bought shares, compared
with a 9.9 percent gain for OAO Rosneft, the world’s largest oil
producer, and an 8.4 percent advance for OAO Surgutneftegas. The
Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index of the most-traded Russian
stocks in the U.S. rose 0.6 percent to 93.09.
Alekperov bought the stock from June 28 to July 18 using a
company he controls, Lukoil said in statements yesterday. The
purchases demonstrate his confidence that Lukoil is poised for
growth after its valuation fell to a three-month low relative to
Russia’s benchmark Micex index (INDEXCF) June 24, according to Alexander Kornilov, an oil and gas analyst at Alfa Bank in Moscow.
“It’s good for Lukoil sentiment,” Kornilov said in an e-mailed response to questions. “He has very strong faith about
the bright prospects for his company, and valuations are
RTS stock-index futures (VEA) were little changed in U.S. hours
Alekperov, 62, is the world’s 73rd-richest man and owns
more than 20 percent of Lukoil’s shares, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg. Partner Leonid Fedun owns about 10
percent and the company holds about 11 percent of its own
Lukoil is trading at 4.4 times estimated earnings, or 18
percent below the valuation of the Micex gauge. That compares
with a multiple of 3.8 on June 24, representing a 22 percent
The Russian government has increased control over the oil
and gas sector since President Vladimir Putin came to power in
2000. State-run Rosneft became the world’s largest oil producer
in March when it closed a $55 billion share and cash deal to buy
TNK-BP, formerly the country’s third-largest oil producer.
Rosneft management expressed interest in taking over Lukoil
and OAO Bashneft in meetings with bankers prior to buying TNK-BP
this year, Vedomosti reported on June 25, citing people it
“It is possible that Mr. Alekperov sleeps better at night
knowing that there are fewer stray shares for a potential
predator to buy,” Chris Weafer, a senior partner at Moscow-based consultancy Macro Advisory, said by e-mail yesterday.
Andrei Gaidamaka, a senior vice-president at Lukoil, and
Olga Vasilchenko, a senior manager for investor relations,
didn’t return requests for comment sent by e-mail after normal
business hours in Moscow.
Seventeen of the 20 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg
recommend buying Lukoil’s Moscow-listed shares, which on average
are forecast to gain 20 percent over the next year, data
compiled by Bloomberg show.
Futures on Russia’s dollar-denominated RTS Index rose less
than 0.1 percent to 137,380. The RTS Volatility Index, which
measures expected swings in the stock futures, decreased 1.3
percent to 23.35. The Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX) slipped 0.1
percent to $27.18 yesterday.
The benchmark Micex Index increased 0.1 percent to
1,417.34, while the dollar-denominated RTS Index (RTSI$) was little
changed at 1,379.88.
Crude for September delivery rose 0.3 percent to $107.23 a
barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for
September settlement gained 0.3 percent to $108.42 a barrel on
the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Urals crude,
Russia main export blend, advanced 0.1 percent to $108.98.
United Co. Rusal (486), the world’s largest aluminum producer,
dropped 1 percent to HK$2.86 in Hong Kong trading as of 11:37
a.m. local time. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped less than
To contact the reporter on this story:
Halia Pavliva in New York at
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Brendan Walsh at
Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov
Lukoil Billionaire CEO Buying Spurs Share Gain