Russian Stock News: Why are SBRCY, LUKOY and OGZPY stocks in the spotlight today?

Several Russian stocks are in the spotlight following news that the country’s market resumed trading today.

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Shares of leading Russian companies such as Sberbank (OTCMKTS:SBRCY), Gazprom (OTCMKTS:OGZPY) and Lukoil (OTCMKTS:LUKOY) were all the rage in the United States today. These tickers are traded over-the-counter and represent American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) of Russian companies.

However, while these stocks may be trending on message boards and on Yahoo Finance, investors cannot actually trade them. Despite the reopening of the Russian stock market, these OTC tickers are still suspended. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) halted trading in these tickers on March 3.

Investors should note that the effective reopening of the Russian stock market also comes with caveats. It reopened with a ban on short selling as well as limits that prevent foreign investors from selling their shares.

What happened with Russian stocks

the Moscow Stock Exchange resumed trading in 33 Russian stocks today, and the MOEX Russia index ended up 4.37%. Shares of Moscow-listed Lukoil jumped 12% on its first day of trading since late February.

Investors should note that the Moscow Stock Exchange has been closed since February 25. Its shares began to plunge after its invasion of Ukraine and the resulting sanctions. The country has already reopened its bond market and started trading stocks again today.

why is it important

The reopening of the Russian market is being closely watched. Why? Investors see it as a test of the performance of the Russian financial markets and, more broadly, of the Russian economy following the economic sanctions. In an official statement, the White House described the reopening as a “charade.” The statement further said:

“This is not a real market or a sustainable model, which only underlines Russia’s isolation from the global financial system. The United States and our allies and partners will continue to take steps to further isolate Russia from the international economic order as long as it continues its brutal war against Ukraine.

And after

Russian stocks are trading again in Moscow. However, the market is tightly controlled by Russian regulators and strict controls are imposed on foreign investors. For individual US investors, ongoing trading halts also limit opportunities for direct action.

As of the date of publication, Joel Baglole had no position (directly or indirectly) in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, subject to InvestorPlace.com Publication guidelines.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.