Moscow stock exchange plans Russian float

City A.M. Reporter
MOSCOW’S stock exchange plans to float on its own platform, seeking to revitalise Russia’s capital markets and convince companies to list domestically rather than abroad.

Shareholders of the Moscow Exchange, Russia’s main venue for trading in stocks, bonds, foreign exchange and derivatives, are expected to sell stock worth at least $500m (£315.9m), one source familiar with the situation said yesterday.

The exchange is valued at between $4.2bn and $6.5bn by the banks organising the initial public offering (IPO), a second financial source said.

The exchange’s dominant position in Russia’s markets and expected benefits from reforms such as upgrades to clearing and settlement could attract investors.

“It’s a really interesting asset in its own right – it’s unusual as an exchange as it has several different business lines with equity, forex and derivatives,” said Roland Nash at Moscow hedge fund Verno Capital.

Details of the IPO were limited, but shares will be offered to institutional and retail investors in Russia, and offshore investors and qualified institutions in the US. The exchange’s largest shareholder is Russia’s central bank, which will keep its 24.3 per cent stake.

Other shareholders include Sberbank with 10.3 per cent, Unicredit, VTB, Gazprombank, US private equity fund Cartesian Capital and Russian state-backed private equity fund the RDIF. The exchange has a deadline of 30 June to float, after which RTS shareholders could exercise a put option allowing them to sell their shares back to the exchange.