Russian Stocks Fall to Lowest Since 2006

Russian stocks fell to the lowest since 2006 on concern the recognition of two breakaway Georgian regions will renew tensions in the area, while lower oil prices may curb the earnings of energy companies.

VTB Group, Russia's second-biggest bank, dropped the most since its initial public offering last year. OAO Surgutneftegaz tumbled to the lowest level in four years as oil traded below $115 a barrel.

The dollar-denominated RTS Index declined 3.2 percent to 1,647.67, a level not seen since November 2006 and the biggest loss among 102 global indexes tracked by Bloomberg. The ruble- denominated Micex Index sank 3.9 percent to 1,320.58, the lowest level since September 2006.

The RTS fell 28 percent this quarter, the steepest retreat among indexes in the world's 20 biggest equity markets, as this month's war in Georgia and tumbling oil helped shake investor confidence. Russia's Parliament today unanimously called on President Dmitry Medvedev to recognize the independence of the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Russian Stocks Fall to Lowest Since 2006, Bloomberg
8/25/2008 12:33:40 PM