JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why are Russian stocks so cheap?” – Intellinews/ Ben Aris

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

“Investors into Russian stocks have almost given up on seeing any of the cash the country’s leading companies generate. The valuation of what should be some of the world’s richest companies are in the basement, as would-be minority investors don’t believe the management will share the billions of dollars in revenue these companies make every year. Russia’s stock market boomed in the noughties, adding about 50% to stock valuations every year, but since about 2014 the leading RTS index has got stuck at between 900 and 1,300 depending on the sanctions newsflow or the price of oil.

That’s why when … Gazprom hiked its dividend payments twice in a week in the middle of May to RUB16 per share it came as a shock to the market. Gazprom’s shares … trading sideways for years, soared by 30% in … days. … management … doubled the dividend payout from the RUB8 per share it has been paying come rain or shine to RUB16.6 without warning. Now everyone is wondering if something has changed. …”

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