The VEB Holiday Bump

Traders should be happy to hear this holiday news from Reuters:

Russian state bank VEB may launch a last-ditch attempt to improve the Russian stock market’s dismal 2008 performance with stepped-up cash interventions in thin holiday trade, analysts and traders said on Monday.

“VEB is expected to take advantage of quieter international markets to push the price of state enterprise shares higher into the year-end,” Uralsib equity strategist Chris Weafer said in a weekly stock market comment.

VEB, the clearinghouse for hundreds of billions of roubles in government bailout funds, said late last month it had received 115 billion roubles ($4.15 billion) out of a promised 175 billion roubles for direct intervention on the stock market.