Russian firms look to raise cash in City

RUSSIAN state-owned bank VTB has become the latest business from the country said to be planning a listing in London.

The bank is thought to be planning a $3.7bn (£2.3bn) initial public offering (IPO), as a series of firms from the country look to raise cash on the London Stock Exchange.

The Russian state stepped in to purchase part of the bank, which is run by chairman and chief executive Andrey L Kostin, during the height of the financial crisis, and is now looking to sell between eight and 10 per cent of its 77 per cent holding.

And Russian steel pipe maker Chelpipe will this week announce a price range for its floatation, after it first revealed its intention to list in London earlier this month.

Advised by JP Morgan, the firm is looking to raise up to $1bn with a 40 per cent sale of the company.

Mining firm Russian Copper is also said to be preparing for a fundraising in London, which could value the firm at around $3bn.

The firm is looking to issue global depository receipts (GDRs) in an effort to raise $500m-$750m.

Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank are said to be leading the listing.

Analysts have said Russian companies could raise around $30bn in 2011 given the right market conditions, up from $5.5bn in 2010, as firms look to London to raise cash.

Several more industrial firms have also recently announced an intention to list in London or have priced offerings.

Steel giant Severstal last week announced the price range for the listing of its Nord Gold mining unit.

The company, majority owned by billionaire Alexey Mordashov, hopes to raise as much as £811m with a 25 per cent share issuance.

Russian pump manufacturer HMS Hydraulic and pig iron producer Koks also announced their intention to list in London earlier this month.