MOSCOW, July 4 (Reuters) - Shares in Russian telecom providers rose on Tuesday on hopes that lawmakers may postpone approving a data storage law that would increase costs for mobile phone companies.
Russia has been considering implementing a law requiring telecoms operators to store all user-generated data, such as phone calls and text and video messages, for six months starting from mid-2018.
The draft law is part of what the government calls counter-terrorism amendments to bolster state security, but for telecom companies would mean new bureaucratic hurdles and increased spending on new hardware. They have opposed the law, saying it would hurt their profits and they would have to raise tariffs.
Vedomosti daily said on Tuesday that parliament may now postpone approval of the law, proposed by lawmaker Irina Yarovaya, well into 2023.
The so-called Yarovaya law would require telecom companies to spend as much as a combined $37 billion on additional equipment and data centres, Alfa Bank said in a note.
Shares in Russia’s largest mobile-phone provider MTS were up 0.4 percent, while shares in the second-biggest telecom company Megafon rose 2.4 percent.
Telecom companies outperformed Moscow’s benchmark stock index Micex, which was up just 0.1 percent at 1,903.9, and the dollar-traded RTS index, which was up 0.4 percent at 1,013.2.
The rouble was relatively steady in light trade as the U.S. market was closed for Independence Day, trading at 59.2 against the dollar and at 67.2 against the euro.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was down 0.4 percent at $49.45 a barrel, limiting the rouble’s upside.
The rouble is likely to continue gradually weakening amid dividend payments by Russian companies that foreign investors usually convert into dollars, analysts at ING Bank said in a note.
The market is also waiting for an expected meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit in Germany on July 7-8.
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Russia in graphics: link.reuters.com/dun63s (Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh and Susan Fenton)