Russia equity: IPO Watch

By bne IntelliNews March 1, 2006

Ben Aris -

Russia's stock market has come of age and companies are rushing into the market to IPO.

Low valuations have in the past made Russian companies reluctant to sell their stock. But with competition now running white hot, getting more money to grab market share has become more important than waiting for your company's value to double in the next year.

Russian companies held 13 IPOs in 2005, 10 of which were in the UK (10 on the London Stock Exchange, three on the Alternative Investment Market), raising a total of $4.5 billion. At the start of the year, 28 companies had definite plans for about $12 billion worth of IPOs this year. But since then, it seems that every other week another company announces plans to debut on a stock market either at home or aboard - and most intend to do both simultaneously.

January's guestimates are already looking low. In March, MICEX General Director Alexei Rybnikov said the number planning to float is closer to 40-50.

Roland Nash, head of research at Renaissance Capital, which is handling a big chunk of these IPOs, believes the volume of IPOs could top $50 billion this year, of which at least $4 billion-$6 billion will float on Russian exchanges.

(downloan the bne IPO watch table – and excel file with all the data on companies that have already floated and those in the pipeline – from the bne download page: http://businessneweurope.eu/c/index.php?page=showFileBox)

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