Russian stocks have not reversed their earlier losses at a session on Friday, April 23. Russian stocks grew at the opening but shed their gains after. However, the past weekend may influence the stock market this week. First of all, the issue canceling the practice of compensations for the VAT paid by Russian exporters was raised during a meeting between Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and members of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. Fradkov told journalists that the issue was not discussed at a governmental level.
Canceling the practice of paying compensations for the VAT might affect cash flows of Russian oil companies and result in using illegal export schemes. Thus, this may increase risks related to investing in Russian stocks.
But there are some positive factors. Sibneft owners have received preliminary backing from Russian authorities to sell a 25 percent stake in the company to the French oil company Total. If Total becomes a Sibneft shareholder the company will hold control on its assets. The deal may influence the ongoing conflict of de-merging YUKOS and Sibneft.
The board of directors of RAO UES approved the idea of creating generating companies on territorial criteria and this is a negative factor for those investors, who had bought shares in regional energy companies. They might begin selling securities of the RAO UES regional affiliates (AO-energo), Rosbank analysts believe. They foresee an upward trend during today's session due to a technical correction. The dollar's strengthening on Asian exchanges will pressure the ruble, which is a negative factor for the Russian stock market. But the so-called dividend factor, namely the period of dividend payments, as well as a technical correction will likely support the market.
U.S. Justice Department is acting behind the scenes to have Assange extradicted from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and prosecuted in the U.S.