Magnit Gains on Store Openings

Magnit, the country's second-largest food retailer, rose the most in three weeks in Moscow trading Monday after saying December sales gained 44 percent on store openings.

Magnit gained as much as 8.2 percent, the biggest intraday advance since Dec. 22. The stock closed up 58.94 rubles, or 11.9 percent, to 553.27 rubles on the MICEX Stock Exchange.

Sales reached 15.6 billion rubles ($510 million) last month, the company said in a statement Monday. Magnit opened 102 stores in December, increasing its selling space by 26 percent.

The retailer, which mainly runs convenience food stores, is expanding across Russia to capitalize on rising incomes outside of the country's largest cities. Same-store sales in the fourth quarter climbed 19 percent in ruble terms, while the amount of purchases increased 0.2 percent, the company reported Monday.